Jack Nicklaus: Learning Humility and Excellence for your work

by | Apr 7, 2016

Are you a young professional in your 20’s or early 30’s?

Are you in your late 30’s and 40’s juggling family and a significant career?

Maybe you are in your 50’s in the prime of your life at work?

Regardless of your season of life, we all desire our life and work to make a difference. We want our work to matter in some way. We know work is hard, but we want to succeed and have a positive influence on others through it.

As I write this, the 2016 Masters is just starting.  In this video (that already has over 3,000,000 views on Facebook), you will see for yourself what a career of 1) treating people with deep humility and 2) doing your work with excellence, truly yields.


Jack Nicklaus is a true legend in the golf world. He has won more men’s golf “Majors” than anyone in history, an astounding 18. He has built an extraordinary business in and through the golf industry. He has every reason to let his work success create ego and pride.

Yet, throughout his career, he has been known as both a fierce competitor (excellence) and a humble friend. His success and his humility have endeared him to “co-workers” and fans all over the world. As a result, his life and work have yielded incredible influence.

So, what about you? What can you learn from Jack Nicklaus’ leadership story?

  1. Humility starts in the heart — how’s your heart? Do you love and care for your coworkers? Do you recognize where your success actually comes from?
  2. Excellence is essential to influence — influence starts in the heart, but it earns its credibility in how we do our work. Have you set the bar high?
  3. “But wisdom is proven right by her actions” – Jesus gave us this coaching. Wisdom gives us the potential to live with humility and do our work with excellence. But your actions ultimately tell the story. (ref. Matthew 11:19)

Do you want to your work to have purpose and meaning?  To make a difference?

Invite Jesus into your work….

Photo of David Roth

David Roth

David Roth has been the president and CEO of Workmatters since October, 2003. Workmatters is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization founded in Northwest Arkansas in 2003 with a mission is to help people pursue God’s purpose for their work. Since then, Workmatters has been used to impact thousands of leaders in Northwest Arkansas and across the U.S. Prior to leading Workmatters, Mr. Roth was vice president, sales and marketing for J.B. Hunt Transport, Inc. Before joining J.B. Hunt in 1999, David was the senior vice president of marketing for Manugistics, a supply chain management software provider in Maryland and vice president of marketing for American Software in Atlanta, Ga. He also has nine years of supply chain management experience with McKesson Corporation in San Francisco, Calif. and Harrison, Ark. David has a bachelor’s degree in marketing from the University of Arkansas. He resides in Fayetteville, Ark. with his wife, Theresa and has two sons, Dylan and Tyler.