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The golf industry today feels like a tough grind, much of the time.  You are working hard to fill that tee sheet, add members, and build an experience that will drive loyalty.  Operators and managers get so busy sometimes that they may miss opportunities beyond the tee sheet.  They might be missing the chance to build strong people.  As staffing has changed over the past 10 years, and clubs work with fewer people, leadership many times puts people into positions and then moves on to the "hard work".  The staff members, now in position as on a chess board, will work and learn on the job.  Some will excel because they have interest, passion, and the desire to get better, while others may lose their job, many times through no fault of their own.  I urge operators to take a step back.  There are 4 words that every staff member is thinking of today, and every day while at the club.  It is a question they have on their mind but will rarely ask.  If you will grab this question and make it a part of your management style, sales will go up, loyalty will grow, and more people will want to work for you.  "How am I doing?" is what they each want to know.  Whether they are 22 or 62.  Whether they started yesterday or in 1986, they have this thought always on their mind.

  There are 4 other words.  They also form a question.  It is a question you should be asking of your staff.  Again, I believe if you make this question an integral part of your management style, production and loyalty will grow.  Once this happens, biggers dollars will not be far behind.  The question: "what do you think?  Wow.....the boss wants my opinion!  You are making the staff a part of the decision making process.  Think about how that will make people feel?  Here are 5 thoughts about these 8 words:


  1. Help to make the staff feel like an intregral part of the process.....your process.
  2. In addition to formal reviews, answer the "how am I doing?" question often.  Recognize not only touchdowns, but first downs too.  Recognize people one on one and in a group setting.
  3. As you answer this question, no matter how the current performance is, you are creating a path for that staff member to move on, as well as understanding where they need work.  Build a plan together.
  4. If you plan to ask that second question: "what do you think?" please know you will be taken seriously, so understand the consequences.
  5. Good leadership does not take lots of time.  It does take lots of observation, empathy, and love for your people.  Show them every day they are important to you, and watch a great team blossom.

  No matter how tough the day is, the leader must make time to lead, to observe, and to "catch people doing something right", as my mentor Tom Peters has said.  Be away from the computer, walk around the club, and observe daily with fresh eyes.  Your staff is craving leadership, your leadership.  8 powerful simple words might just improve this grind of a business.


Jack Dillon writes the highfives blog.  Jack is an advanced speaker with Toastmasters International.  Jack is a golf shop expert, and can speak on growing the game with women and player development.  Reach Jack at 407-973-6136.  Jack lives in Orlando.


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