'Identify' what matters

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Knowing your club's mission will drive its success.

There is a scene in the basketball film: Hoosiers where Dennis Hopper’s character screams “identify” down the hill at Gene Hackman’s character, as he approaches a secluded location in the woods, where the recluse lives. Hopper’s character wanting no visitors, is prepared to shoot first, looking for detail second. Most of us do not live as hermits today, as we have truly become an interdependent society. Although we may have a daily path for our lives, the places we work may not have identified themselves with enough detail, in order to become a successful organization in their community. These businesses need to tell their story.

Over the years, I have worked in organizations that missed the mark in telling the consumer who they were, what they were about, and why they existed. The purpose of a business, management guru, Peter Drucker told us in 1950 is to: “create and grow a customer.” How we do that is up to us. Golf course managers sometimes get so tied up in operational efforts that they may forget to tell the story of the clubs’ mission, thus providing the answers to the questions: why should I play your course, join your club, eat at your restaurant? This post is a reminder to identify all the attributes about you, your team and property that matter, in order to drive customers through your doors each day. Here are 5 thoughts in identifying your keys:

1)    It is a valuable exercise for you to write down what the club represents, why it exists, and the reasons customers should spend time and money with you

2)    Once you have written out the mission in detail, teach it to every staff member. It is vital for all on the team to know the mission, why your property is in business

3)    It is absolutely necessary to answer the always silent question: WIIFM? What is in it for me, is the #1 question of every golfer or would be golfer of your club. You must answer this question well enough in their mind, in order to get on their playing schedule

4)    If you plan to put up your mission statement in a public area of the club, be very certain to live that mission every single day. It must represent more than words on a wall

5)    When you know what you want for the club, and you know the service you want to provide, it is vital that employees provide it, and members receive it. Communicating this well and often is, I believe vital. Anytime you meet with staff, talk about the mission. Each time you speak to a member or guest, ask how the club performed against the mission, without specifically identifying it as such. Keeping score is the way to improvement.

 It is important to tell team and member what the club is all about … why it exists. When you and the team have a common, worthwhile mission as your specific guiding light, it becomes easier to manage. When your members and guests know what the club is about, they will better understand the offer and how to receive it. When you identify all of the vital details of team and mission, your members and guests can more easily decide where your club fits on their golf calendar.

Jack Dillon is an Orlando-based writer of the highfives series and is a speaker and an expert in hospitality, merchandise and people coaching. He has been in this industry for more than 45 years. Contact him at 407-973-6136.

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