Powerful Lessons to be Learned from Jordan Spieth’s Masters Disaster

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Sometimes, companies have advance warning when dangerous conditions exist that may result in disaster. Hurricanes and blizzards, for example, don’t exactly sneak up on anyone. Other times, however, disaster can strike seemingly out of nowhere. Just ask Jordan Spieth.

Spieth, of course, is the American golfer, currently ranked no. 2 in the world, who saw a 5-stroke lead in the 2016 Masters Tournament disappear in the course of three holes on the back nine of the last round, highlighted by a stunning quadruple bogey on the par-3 12th hole. (See this story for a good summary and this video of his shots on no. 12.)

By way of background for any non-golfers, The Masters is one of professional golf’s four Major Championships, which are the most prestigious of the dozens of tournaments the pros play each year. Spieth won the 2015 Masters and had led the 2016 edition through the first three rounds, putting him in position to become only the fourth golfer ever to win back-to-back Masters. He birdied five of the first nine holes during his final round and seemed destined for the history books – until disaster struck.

Another painful sports disaster took place at Super Bowl XIV. The Seattle Seahawks were a yard away from a go-ahead touchdown in the closing seconds of the game, with one of the game’s best running backs – Marshawn “Beast Mode” Lynch – in their backfield. But rather than run the ball, Seattle elected to pass – a pass that Malcolm Butler of the New England Patriots intercepted to take the victory away from Seattle. (Of course one team’s disaster leads to another team’s victory dance.)

Disaster struck twice at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. First the defending champ Spain was humiliated in its first game, losing 5-1 to the Netherlands. Spain then proceeded to lose its second game as well and was bounced from the tournament, an unprecedented letdown for a defending champ. Later, in the semi-final round, Germany thumps the host team Brazil, 7-1, the worst loss by a host country in World Cup history. In my book there’s no shame in losing a semi-final game, but nonetheless some Brazilians took to looting and vandalism; riot police were called in.

In sports, it’s virtually impossible to prepare for disasters of these sorts; sometimes, they just happen, no matter how diligently an individual or team may have prepared. But in business, you can absolutely take steps to protect yourself and your organization against the kind of disasters that threaten utility power.

In an industrial environment, it means conducting an assessment of your facility and making sure you have UPS protection in critical areas. And there may well be more of those areas than first meet the eye, as we covered in this recent post.

Keep in mind that it doesn’t take a full-blown disaster, whether from Mother Nature or man-made, to cause real power problems in industrial and commercial environments. Variations in power frequency and voltage can be enough to throw sensitive equipment out of whack. This post includes a few real-world examples, including in hospitals, movie theatres and a casino.

Jordan Spieth will likely come back and continue his promising golf career. To protect your own career and keep your organization productive, make sure you’ve got adequate power protection. Develop or review your own disaster avoidance plan by checking out this white paper, “A Practical Guide to Disaster Avoidance in Mission-Critical Facilities.” Need more information on UPS options? Click here to check out the full lineup of UPS options available from Schneider Electric or here for those intended for industry, infrastructure and marine environments.

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