Cognitive Dissonance

 Permanent link

Cognitive Dissonance 

In psychology, cognitive dissonance is the mental stress or discomfort experienced by an individual who holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas or values at the same time; performs an action that is contradictory to their beliefs, ideas or values; or is confronted by new information that conflicts with existing beliefs, ideas or values.


I just experienced cognitive dissonance!


On Christmas Day we were invited to the home of our son Nathan’s girlfriend’s parents. It would be the first time we visited their home. When we arrived we were greeted warmly and soon after we arrived they suggested we have a picture taken of our family in front of the Christmas tree. Rose and I were asked to pose with our sons Nathan and Danny in the first picture.


We were resigned that for the fifth year in a row our daughter Jenny, who lives in China, would only be connected to us by Skype a few hours later.


Behind us and beside the tree was a door to another room. As we were posing for our picture three of the four of us didn’t know that Jenny had come through that door and was behind us in the picture. Our host was trying to show us the picture to reveal that Jenny was in the picture. He had inadvertently zoomed in so close that what he was showing us was a close up of my sweater and my chin.


When he showed us the actual picture we could see that someone what photobombing the picture. By that point Jenny had come around in front of us and in a video of this event, you can see Rose looking at her with her mouth wide open for three or four seconds with no words coming out, and then I spotted her.


When I did, a sound came out of me that I had never heard before and I suspect I will never hear again. I rushed up to hug her and hold on for dear life. My mind was blown. Three or four hours later at dinner I asked her if I was dreaming this or if she was really beside me. She assured me that it was real.


What Rose and I saw was not in alignment with our belief that Jenny was in China. Even though we were physically looking at evidence to the contrary, our minds battled against it until we were able to have a new belief!


What I see over and over again as a coach is that people want to create a reality that is a contradiction to the belief they have been holding on to.


Remember just because we believe something doesn’t mean that it is true. Yet we will often fight with all our might to hold on to our belief. Two people can watch a sporting event, see the same play and if they are cheering for opposite teams will probably see the result of the play in a way that benefits their team.


This concept may be something that helps people in this time of year to get a result they have been trying to attain unsuccessfully for many years.


If you think you are fat and you are setting up plans to be fit, you may work very hard and find yourself defaulting to do things that support your belief. If you think you are a person who always struggles financially and you have a plan to become wealthy, that old belief will work hard to make sure you don’t. If you believe there are no good matches out there for you romantically and you have a goal to find someone, they could walk right past you and you probably wouldn’t see them. If you believe there is something lacking in you that might keep you from getting a particular job and you apply for it, there is a chance that the belief will impact your chances regardless of whether it is relevant or not.


What is needed is to step back, think about what beliefs you are holding on to and determine if they are supporting you or holding you back. You could also try to determine if they are actually even true, but be warned, even if they are not true, your mind will put up a fight. You are just used to believing they are true.


Be open to considering that what you believe is not true!


We have the ability to decide to believe something other than what we have believed!


When Shelley and I are talking to someone who tells us “I am always late.” (It is likely that they are not always late, maybe they are late 10 percent of the time, but connect themselves to lateness when they are) we often would respond with “You mean you used to be?”  They have the same look on their faces that I had when I saw my daughter. “What do you mean I used to be?” Well, that thinking and that behavior is in the past. At this moment you get to decide what your reality will be in the future, but if you keep saying “I am always late” you can probably expect lateness in the future. You get to decide!

If you choose to decide that everything you believe is true and nobody, including you, can convince you of anything to the contrary, then your conviction, your steadfastness, your stubbornness or whatever you want to call it will serve you as it always has.


The big opportunity at this time of year is to blow your mind, think differently, decide, get out of your own way, dream and live your dreams!


If you would like some support with this, some coaching or some coaching tools, please contact us. Use us to think differently and get the results you are looking for.


Kevin MacDonald headshot To reach Kevin and Shelley, you can call (866) 822-3481 toll free or by e-mail at kmacdonald@dccnet.com or newreality@telus.net. We believe you could have your best year yet!

 


An Important Distinction

 Permanent link

  
 Blue Ribbon - Important Distinction

This fall we have had the chance to meet with a lot of Industry Leaders, Club Managers, Supervisors and staff. We have had a lot of people ask me to talk about a distinction that Shelley MacDougall and I have been talking about for the past few years as we coach people from the Club Industry.

We tell people that their club deserves their best. We tell people that their marriage and their families deserve their best. We say that their health deserves their best. We think their passions and their hobbies deserve their best.


The important distinction in the club industry is that a lot of people think their club deserves their all!

We believe that your club deserves your best, not your all.


We have met managers who would argue that giving your all is the best you can do for your club. There are others who believe their people should give their all, as if sucking every moment they can out of someone is a measure of success.


We often get calls to coach people right after they have lost their job. They are shocked they have lost their job when they gave their all to their club. We are with them in this moment of frustration, anger, grief, confusion, but we assure them that we will soon begin the process to help them give their best to the next opportunity, rather than their all.


It is often at this moment that a metaphorical light bulb lights up and they realize what they have done.


Your all gets in the way of your best!

The more extreme examples of this are when someone gets sick or dies, or when their marriage ends in divorce, or when important relationships in their lives are lost or diminished, or when they arrive each day at a job that they dread going to.


The more subtle examples are letting your body diminish from lack of attention, a loss of energy and enthusiasm, less harmony at home that makes it easier to stay at work, a disconnection with friends ,the concept of fun or not being as passionate a leader as you once were.


Giving your all hurts your club and it hurts you!


Giving your all diminishes your cognitive skills, your creativity, your patience, your energy, your productivity and your leadership abilities. Giving your all impacts your health, your relationships and perhaps most importantly your relationship with you. It can end up with you forgetting what your best is or even losing sight of the fact that being your best should be your goal.


What is your best?

This is a great and worthy question. It is one that we can help you to answer for you. We can tell you that your best changes from day to day and your best today may be different from your best 6 months from now. Defining and working toward your best could be your best defense against falling into the trap of giving your all.


What does your best look like?

When you are at your best you are operating in a way that almost looks effortless. You are doing what you are meant to do and you are doing it at your highest level. You are focused on the important and less on the urgent. You are focused and passionate. People can feel your energy and your authenticity. Your thinking is clear and your creativity is high. You inspire and you make an impact. You get more done in less time and you are conscious of the time suckers that you once let distract you. You are an example for the people you lead when it comes to health, the passions you have for the things that give you joy outside of work and happiness you experience. You experience Extraordinary experiences and you experience peace and quiet. You are happy to be in your own skin!


You are getting paid for results, not time!

The old belief that we exchange time for money may be at the core of this problem. There is a good chance that the first job you ever had was one where you were paid by the hour. Maybe on some level you are stuck in that thinking. Perhaps there is a connection in you between the amount you get paid and how many hours you should work. That is old thinking. You now get paid for the results you get not the hours you put in. The focus should be on how effective you are versus how much endurance you have.


In some ways you all can be easier than your best!

It might be easier to throw more time at your job than it is to get clarity about how to give your best and make it happen. If it is what you know, then you may believe there is no other way.

  • Giving your all is not sustainable

  • Giving your all is not an inspiring example

  • Giving your all gets in the way of your brilliance

  • Giving your all may indicate that you don’t know how to give your best

  • Giving your all has many costs


When we interviewed David Chag from The Country Club at Brookline for our Extraordinary Leader Program, he told our audience that at the beginning of each month he puts his personal and family commitments in his calendar first. He said there was a time when he found that all his time could be taken and it left little or no time for parts of his life that are very important.


You can make it a habit to give your all to your work at the expense of family, health and your life and you can still do your job. You just need to be very aware that you will just not be giving them your best.

If you are interested in getting clear on how to deliver your best, call us toll free at (866) 822-3481 for the complimentary coaching session that is a privilege of membership in CMAA.

Kevin McDonald HeadshotTo reach Kevin and Shelley you can call 1-866-822-3481 toll free. Kevin MacDonald kmacdonald@dccnet.com Shelley MacDougall newreality@telus.net


Member Engagement: From the Honeymoon ‘Til Death Do Us Part

 Permanent link

Wedding Rings - Member Engagement

What a fantasy for any club executive, having a member engaged from matriculation to death. Although it might not be realistic to have all of your members this long, what a great pinnacle to aspire. Let’s look at the different stages and tactics you could employ.


The Honeymoon: In the 1980’s, Club Corp identified the first 90 days as prime time to make that great first impression. Members are the most excited in enjoying for themselves as well as showing off their new club to their friends. Tactics to use:

  • The Orientation: This sets the tone. Besides reviewing rules, which will save your neophytes from embarrassment, this can be a fun-filled hour in which your Membership Director can have the new members meet staff and ask questions. This could be done over a meal - club’s treat.

  • Play with a Pro:  This is a great icebreaker. It can be with the Head Professional or one of the Assistants. Once again this is not a playing lesson, but it gives your professionals an opportunity to size up the new member’s game for future instruction. This is not just for golf, but could be for tennis, paddle tennis or squash as well.

  • Dinner with your Sponsors:  At Park Country Club, our incentive reward for sponsoring a new member is that the Club picks up a dinner for the new member and the sponsor. We want the sponsor to be active in introducing the new member to other members.

  • New Member Receptions: Depending on how quickly and at what volume you are matriculating in members, you can host these monthly, quarterly or annually. Usually the club picks up the tab for appetizers and drinks. Invite new members (obviously), sponsors, membership committee members and even the Board. At Park Country Club, we invite all members to this affair. Nothing like a good mixer to get them engaged.

  • Newsletter Recognition:  In case we forget, this is an egocentric business. A picture along with a bio if not already in the matriculation vetting process, reinforces the new member’s introduction to the club.


The Nitty-Gritty:  Here are tactics and stratagems that various clubs employ to help set the intangible bond.

  • The McDonalds Approach:  McDonalds in the 1970’s and 1980’s excelled in marketing to the children to hook the parents. One of the most powerful instincts in nature is the parental instinct. Have fun and creative children’s programming and the parents will follow them to the club. Some examples are: Camp outs, paintball/lasertron, visits from the zoo with exotic animals and American Girl fashion shows. The sky is the limit.

  • Travel Sports Programs:  This takes the swim teams and the interclub tennis to a whole new level. As an example when my son played competitive volleyball, we would see teams at national tournaments from the Outrigger Canoe Club from Hawaii. The New York Athletic Club is known for their various travel sports teams.

  • Today’s Your Birthday: Member’s special days, can be your special days. At Park Country Club, we send out a letter each month to the members or their spouses when they are celebrating their birthday. In that letter is a certificate for a free dinner at Park Club. Usually people celebrating birthdays do not dine by themselves. Now connect the dots. The Buffalo Club gives their members a complimentary bottle of wine when they dine at the club in celebration of their birthday. Other club’s utilize a similar promotion for anniversaries.

  • Club’s Within Club’s: At Park Country Club, the monthly Ladies Book Club meets. Each month they chose a book to read. Then they don’t read it, but have cocktails, appetizers and dinner to discuss it. What a scam to gather and socialize. The Buffalo Club features it First Monday Club, where on a monthly basis they engage renowned speakers to pontificate on different subjects. Other clubs within clubs examples are investment club and garden clubs.

  • Communications, Communications, Communications:  How do members stay engaged if they do not know what is happening at their club?  Clubs should have communication plans. Usually this strategy works off of the “Pasta Theory.” The “Pasta Theory” revolves around that if you throw enough pasta against the wall, some of it is bound to stick. Club Corp emphasized newsletters to have a plethora of pictures of members enjoying their club. Remember this is an egocentric business. At Park Country Club we have a video promotion monitor which shows upcoming events as well as most recent events. Members coming and going will stand at the monitor looking for their pictures. Also do not forget to employ posters (old school) as well as targeted e-mail blasts.

  • Commit to a Committee: Encourage members to serve. It opens many eyes for member to see what a sophisticated business their club truly is. This helps dispel the negativity which pervades our nation regarding distrust for governance. Who wants to leave a club with integrity?


Thank You Mr. Obvious: Now this area deals with the obvious, however if not satisfied this could lead to attrition.

  • Great Food and Beverage: This concept is easier said than done. Almost all clubs feature this amenity. A few observations on this are:

    • Do not have the chef dictate what the members should eat. Ego is not a driver. Member satisfaction is.

    • Let them tell you what they like. At Park Country Club we use member survey, comment cards and managers “touching” tables.

    • Provide variety: clubs cater to a variety of tastes. If you keep your menu narrow you will appeal to a narrow market. Variety can be promoted through: daily specials, frequent menu changes and larger selection of menu items.

    • Value:  Remember value is a function of price to quality. In sophisticated clubs great value is driven by great quality.

    • Have a great sense of urgency. Complacency will lead to member dissatisfaction.

  • Know Thy Members. This is a twofold concept.

    • Call a member by name at least three times every time they are in the club. Robert Dedman, founder of Club Corp, emphasized this behavior. 20 years later, his has a multi-billion dollar company.

    • As referenced above research your members frequently. This does not necessarily require an annual survey each year, however frequent mini surveys on key areas can shed light. These surveys should be no longer than five minutes. There are several national companies which provide this service. This research information is priceless.

  • Great Services Drives Facilities: Just like software in a computer drives the hardware buying decision, so do the services drive your facilities. As an example if your club requires an outstanding year-round tennis program, you are not going to have asphalt hard courts with lights. You would probably have har-tru courts with some domed/bubbled courts or indoor courts. You might even have junior sized courts to promote younger play.

  • When the Honeymoon is Over:  Service failures happen. You dread them. However, the proper service recovery can make a skeptic a lifelong fan. Be careful what you say because it will be used against you. Empathize with the member. Reflect back so they know you understand. Do not make any promises you cannot keep. Research the problem and respond back expediently so the member knows that you have a sense of urgency. Remember, it is better to lose a battle and not the war.


The Stages of Life: As our members age, different membership classifications are needed to meet their needs.


Senior Memberships: The company line is “we want to reward loyalty and longevity.” The real answer is “that we want to maintain a revenue stream as they move to fix incomes.” The problem was many clubs gave too deep of a discount and as members age out the dues line shrank. Today 20 percent to 30 percent discount (not 50 percent) will suffice.


Non-Resident Memberships: This is the first cousin to the Senior Membership. In other words, when people retire and move away, how do we still keep them engaged (paying dues)? The “snowbirds” who are away at least 6 months will be looking for value. The key limits for eligibility are out of state driver’s license and limited rounds of golf for the dues. Extra rounds may be traded out for greens fees.


Legacies: If a son or daughter joins, there further develops the bond. Legacies are the easiest prospective members to matriculate to your club. Discounts for legacies are viewed as an amenity and solute to the parents for their longevity. A trend today is that grandparents move to be near their grandchildren.


When Death Do Us Part:  Surviving Spouse membership once again helps maintain engagement to the club. In most cases dues are discounted in relation to club amenities. At Sycamore Creek Country Club, if the surviving spouse died then the child was offered the opportunity to inherit the membership. The pluses are this maintains the family’s engagement to the club. You also preserve that dues stream from the family. The downside is it compromises the ability to collect initiation fees. This is a very provocative concept.


In summary, member engagement is not rocket science. However, brainstorming with your Management Team and/or your Membership Committee may be productive. As with your body, any exercise will have its benefits.  


Brad Pollak, CCM, CCE is the General Manager of Park Country Club of Buffalo, in Buffalo, NY.

The Three Most Important Questions You Can Ask Before Having a Meeting

 Permanent link

Meeting Questions

Have you noticed that lately everyone seems to be in more meetings? Our voice messages tell others we are in meetings. Receptionists say that company employees are unavailable because they are in meetings. Some of you have just left a meeting or are on your way to another meeting while reading this blog.

Meetings can be cumbersome, expensive and time consuming. Meetings have become synergized as part of our corporate culture. Before your next meeting ask these three questions:


Question number one: What are alternatives to having a face-to-face meeting?

Sixty percent of meeting participants say their time in meetings is wasted. When you factor in attendee’s salaries, utilities and missed opportunities, meetings can cost $1,600 an hour! Phone conferences are an inexpensive way to get real time communication with multiple parties. Use an electronic posting with an intranet service. Send updates via email to ensure assignments, goals and expectations are clearly stated. If these methods are implemented, should a face-to-face meeting still be necessary, it can be more efficient.

Question number two: Has an agenda been sent to all participants? 

If you are conducting the meeting, send an agenda. If you are attending a meeting, request an agenda. The agenda includes the date, time and location of the meeting. The originator of the agenda can include how much time will be spent on each area. The agenda should arrive at least 48 hours in advance. Requesting confirmation from attendees ensures everyone coming is aware of the expectations.

Question number three: What is the plan for follow-up after the meeting?

The purpose of a meeting needs to be something more than having another meeting. For each point covered during a meeting, include a segment that asks, “What’s next?” This may include confirming a deadline, getting approval, transitioning to a new phase on a project or bringing closure. People will lose focus and energy if they feel an idea or project lingers. This will have a negative impact on their preference to attend future meetings. When people see movement on a project, they will be more inclined to get and stay involved.

Use these three points to maximize the efficiency of your next meeting.

Vincent Phipps
Communication Vip logoVincent Ivan Phipps, is owner of Communication VIP Training and Coaching, He is an award winning trainer and speaker. His expertise is in the areas of: Communication, Motivation, Leadership and Customer Service. www.NoUms.com


Presents vs. Presence

 Permanent link

Presen
 

There are certain times of the year that we may associate with presents. We give presents to show love and appreciation. We give presents to celebrate and honor someone or something. We do it to show we care or to let someone know we are thinking of them.
 
Another meaning of the word present is about time. It refers to this moment! This slice of time that is now! The present is wonderful and powerful gift. Many of our clients could tell you that “The present is perfect!” What they mean is that in this moment it is not about regretting the past or worrying about the future, it is about the ability to use this moment in the way they choose to use it. It is about seeing whatever is happening in this moment as a gift, whether it seems good or bad. We don’t know how many moments we are going to have, but we know we have this one.
 
 
This article isn’t about presents, it is about presence.
 
 
People may love to receive your presents, but the more profound gift might be your presence.
 
 
Are you interested in living an Extraordinary Life?
 
 
You are more likely to live an Extraordinary Life if, you intend to do precisely that. Although it might seem out of reach or something that other people do, you have the opportunity to decide. It starts with this moment as you read this. It will be followed by the next moment and if we are lucky hundreds of thousands or millions of moments after that. The important thing is what do we decide to do in those moments?  How do we decide to think in those moments? What do we decide to see and focus on? Are we open to seeing, feeling and receiving Extraordinary? Are we present enough in any moment to do any or all of those things?
 
 
We recently interviewed Doug Smith author of the book Happiness. He gave us so many wonderful ideas about Happiness, Leadership and Building Culture. He said that two most important things you can do if you want to be happy is to have a purpose and build strong meaningful relationships. He gave us a gem about building relationships that speaks to being present in this moment.
 
 
He called it 140 Bits of Information! 
 
 
He said the mind can process 140 bits of information per second. In a casual conversation we use about 40 bits per second. Often when we are in conversation with someone we are watching TV, checking our cell phone, thinking about the meeting we have tomorrow, thinking about something that went wrong yesterday, we take the remaining 100 bits of information and send it in a whole bunch of different directions. But, if you take your 100 percent capability and devote it to one person you will make a friend for life. Then he said “because nobody is doing it.”
 
 
Similarly, what if you devoted your full attention to what you are doing in any moment? What if today you experimented with giving whatever you are doing, whoever you are with, whatever you are observing, learning or eating 100 percent of your focus in that moment? There is a chance you will be more productive, make others feel more important, see things in a way you have never seen them before, understand and retain things more powerfully and notice that your food tastes a little better. 
 
 
There are many things you can do to live an Extraordinary Life! Working on being present is one of them!
 
 
In the book The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino, there is a line that says “when you are in the market place don’t think about your family and when you are with your family don’t think about the marketplace.”
 
 
Your presence is not just a gift to give to others; it is a gift you can give to yourself. Where ever you are, be there! Be present!
 
 
We live in a world that can be very busy. We can find ourselves running around trying fit into the agenda that others have set up for us. We can fill our days so full and be going in so many directions that although the volume of what we are doing may seem impressive, some analyses of the quality or even the relevance of what we are doing may be in order. 
 
 
Perhaps in the quiet time, if and when you find some quiet time, you could be present with you long enough to consider what the real important things are for you. Think about how much time you spend with those things. Think about whether or not in some ways you have abandoned those things. Get extremely clear about what you will choose to give your moments to.
 
 
When you decide what the most important things are to give your moments to, decide to give them fully and watch what happens.
 
 
Perhaps it is time for a course correction!
 
 
We have created some coaching tools that may support you in deciding where to focus your presence. One is called the Reinvention of You! Whether you decide to make a little “r” reinvention or a BIG “R” Reinvention, taking a slightly different version or you to where you go and what you do can make a significant difference.
 
 
Another tool is called “Designing an Extraordinary Year!” This tool can help you decide what to get clarity on what is important. 
 
 
We also have a tool that helps you to keep the important things in focus. If you would like any of these tools, just e-mail us and they will be our present to you!
 
 
We truly hope the world and the people you love will receive the gift of your presence

Kevin McDonald Headshot

Kevin MacDonald and Shelley MacDougall are the coaches for the CMAA. You can reach Kevin at kmacdonald@dccnet.com or Shelley MacDougall at newreality@telus.net. Or call the Toll Free Coaches Line at 1(866)822-3481.

Draw Members to Your Dining Room With an Updated Beverage Program

 Permanent link

 beverages

For clubs, the dining room is a marquee amenity. The 2016-17 RSM Trends in Private Clubs Report phrased it this way: “Food and beverage is the most important amenity for club members. More people eat and drink than swing a golf club.” This point, that Food and Beverage (F&B) is important because all members and guests enjoy its offerings, is a call for F&B directors to seek out ways to improve and modernize their club’s dining room. Clubs are competing for member attention with every restaurant, movie and other form of entertainment available to their members. For club managers that are hearing this call to action, here are strategies to modernize your food and beverage program in order to draw members to your dining room, and increase revenue generated by food and beverage. 


Member Wine Locker Programs

Are you looking to draw members into the dining room on a regular basis? A wine locker program is a great way to create a personal connection and add an elevated dining experience. Wine lockers offer members a chance to stock a personal selection of wines by the bottle. They have a private list available only to them, and this reserved list is a wonderful way to drive members to into your dining room on a regular basis. You can create separate menus for listing individual member’s wine locker selection, or use digital wine menus with protected passcodes to allow members to access their personal menu. 


Local and Craft Beer on Tap

Local and craft beer deserves a place in the clubhouse. Whether run through a draft system or served in bottles, a rotating selection of local beer options can excite members who are looking for something new. There are a wide range of craft beers available on the market now, many of which are takes on traditional lager styles that many club members will be familiar with. Clubs should not fear “craft beer” as a euphemism for extreme flavors or niche. The craft market is comprised of a wide range of traditional and experimental styles. The local angle helps create a connection to the beers and breweries.



Cocktails with a Twist

A reinvigorated interest in cocktails has led to the creation of truly delicious and inspiring drinks at bars and restaurants across the country. But a modern cocktail program does not have to be difficult to execute. There are many ways to build a program that is accessible and easy to manage. One way that clubs are putting a spin on their cocktail list is to have drinks inspired by local history, landmarks, and club members themselves. Timesaving and consistency-ensuring strategies like pre-batching cocktails make serving craft cocktails as fast as pouring a glass of wine.


Wine Tastings and Education

Wine tastings are a chance to lift the curtain on your wine program for your guests and connect with them through education and enjoyment of wine. There are many resources available to clubs when it comes to wine tastings and wine based events. Whether in-house staff like a sommelier is leading the event, or a wine distributor or supplier has volunteered time to talk with your members, wine tastings can be fun and enlightening events. Another great opportunity to offer members is a trip to a winery or vineyard. If this is possible, get in touch with your one of your wine suppliers and book a trip.


Food and Wine Dinners

Launching a series of dinners is a great way to build interest and excitement in your membership. There are countless ideas and ways to run a dinner series. From seasonal dinners that celebrate season-specific ingredients to wine paired dinners where regional wines are paired with regional cuisines to explore the connection between place and flavors. The key: have fun. Make sure your chef and creative team to be adventurous. This will be contagious and your members will soon be excited, too. 


Key Points:

Food and Beverage is becoming a key amenity for members as club culture is changing Club dining rooms are competing with other restaurants and entertainment. It’s important to take note of trends and strategies in the wide world of food and beverage. Modern beverage trends don’t have to be difficult to execute, just take the time to understand what would work at your club. Food and beverage offers many opportunities to create great events and enhance social interaction in your club’s community.


Kyle Thacker is the Marketing Director for Uncorkd, Inc. Uncorkd is a CMAA Affiliate Company that designs digital beverage menus for both the private club and restaurant industry. With a background in hospitality and beverage service, Kyle now helps private clubs enhance their beverage programs. To learn more about Uncorkd, visit http://www.uncorkd.biz.

Personal Foundation: Re-Orienting on Values

 Permanent link

Personal Foundation: Strengthen the Family

Once we have a clear understanding of our values, we can be very powerfully focused on the goals we set, which are clearly consistent with those values.

This is the tenth part of the ten part series that I have been submitting to help you understand the concept of building a strong personal foundation. If it is the first one you have discovered I hope you will go back and explore some or all of the other pieces of the puzzle. You can find my other posts here on Back of the House, or you can find them in the “articles” page of my website which is www.claritysuccesscoaching.com . Finding them and reading them is a start. I hope you feel compelled to take action to build your foundation or just strengthen one or two of the areas that might not be at the level you want to see them.

Having a strong foundation will provide the support for the efforts you take to create an amazing life. Can you have an amazing life without building a personal foundation? Maybe! Having said that I must tell you that I truly believe that even ignoring or not addressing just one of the ten areas can put our success at risk. I hope you can see the importance of taking the time to build a personal foundation.

When you think of values you may be thinking of things that you would hear through the media like “family” or “American” or “cultural” values. You may be thinking it has to do with morality or living a certain lifestyle and for you that may be part of it but what I am talking about are the values that define you. I am talking about values that come from you, not from what others have told you ought to be valuing. Values make you uniquely you. Values are what you are naturally inclined or eager to do. An interesting exercise would be to think back to when you were three or four years old. The things you were doing then before you went to school to be told what you “should” be doing might give you some insights into what you value.

To help you understand this I will give you some examples of the values that some of the people that I have worked with have expressed. They may value opportunities to contribute, to be creative, to learn, to lead, to teach, to win, to have pleasure… and when the goals they have, the job they do or the way they live aligns with their values it can seem quite effortless.

For those of you who have been following this series you will know that there are many things that can get in the way of this alignment. Things like unresolved matters, needs, tolerations, people telling you what you “should” be doing, stress, adrenaline, addictions or obligations or duty can distract you from connecting your goals to your values.

When we start to look closely at the things we value we will begin to notice that these are not things we need to try to do, they are just part of us. If we are a person that values adventure we will tend to find adventure in what we do. If we are a person that values compassion or caring about others then we don’t have to try to be caring and compassionate we just are. If we value creativity then we will find ways to be creative in whatever we do. Some people may have jobs that don’t necessarily align with their values but they may have opportunities to do things outside of their job that align with their values.

When we have a clear understanding of our values it makes decision making in our professional and our personal life easier and less time consuming. I can think of times when I have supported people who are looking to make the next step in their career and the fact that they had taken the time to get very clear on their values made a very important career decision easier to make.

I had one club manager that spent time with me on many of these personal foundation issues prior to looking for a job. He had some very clear insights into his needs and his values. He was very clear on what he needed from his future employer to perform at his best. I remember clearly that he valued creativity and autonomy in leadership. He was being interviewed by a very prestigious private club. It was truly a job that was sought after, but after a few interviews it was very clear to my client that this club didn’t want too much creativity. From his interviews he understood that the Board didn’t want many changes and if there were any they wanted to be very involved in managing them.

He thanked them very much for the opportunity to speak to them but suggested he wasn’t the right person for the job. If his needs were driving the decision he might have considered it strongly, but it was clearly a values based decision for him. He is now in a position where he is responsible for many high end properties and his creativity and his ability to be autonomous are appreciated and called upon.

So where does all this leave you? I hope you see that it makes some sense to take some time to really discover what your values are. If you are a member of CMAA you can contact me to work with you on values, one of the other personal foundation concepts or any issue at all as a benefit of your membership. I truly hope you will. We can choose to make the game of our life or our career easier or more difficult. I hope you choose an easy one with a solid foundation!

Kevin McDonald HeadshotKevin MacDonald and Shelley MacDougall are the coaches for the CMAA. You can reach Kevin at kmacdonald@dccnet.com or Shelley MacDougall at newreality@telus.net. Or call the Toll Free Coaches Line at 1(866)822-3481.

Personal Foundation: Strengthen the Family

 Permanent link

 Personal Foundation: Strengthen the Family

Part of a great foundation is about being part of a family, whether it is biological or chosen. Creating a structure where you can support others and benefit from their support when you need it strengthens the person you can be. 

What does your family look like? Perhaps you are married with children. Perhaps you are single or divorced with children. Perhaps you are the child of parents. Perhaps you are a sibling? Perhaps you have grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins. If you watched the television show “Friends” you could see and example of six friends who although only two of them were related biologically they became a family who was there for each other. When my wife and I were young parents we moved three thousand miles from our families to the West Coast. Two other couples that we knew from back home did the same and now twenty years later we have spent most family occasions together and our children have grown up together more like cousins than the relationships they have with their actual cousins.

Families can take on many configurations but regardless of what they look like they can be an important part of our personal foundations. For most people the reality is that jobs, material objects, acquaintances will come and go but family will be there when all else fades away. 

I have coached over three thousand people and I have been trying to recall if I have coached anyone who has told me that their family is just not important to them. I can tell you with great certainty that I have coached hundreds who tell me that their family is the most important thing to them. This can be a challenge when you work in a career that demands that you sometimes spend many hours and days away from your family. Some would say that their chosen career is one where their family suffers, while others in the same career have found that it has provided brilliantly for their families and given them flexibility to be there at times when others would have found it difficult.

What I would like you to consider is not how a career affects the strength of a family but rather how the strength of a family impacts a career, your health, your happiness and your prosperity.

In the book “The Greatest Salesman in the World,” Og Mandino talks about being present in the moment when one of the characters says “I will think naught of my family when I am in the market place for this will cloud my thoughts. So too will the problems of the market place be left in the market place and I will think naught of my profession when I am in my home for this will dampen my love.”

This speaks to the challenge that I hear from many of my clients is that perhaps their family doesn’t get the best of them when they do come home. If you come home exhausted after taking care of hundreds of people, if you come home with little patience and some irritability, or if you come home still engaged in some of the issues you have been dealing with during the day, good luck in strengthening relationships in your life. If our families are the most important thing, they deserve the best of us. When we can be present with them, having fun, listening to them, learning with them and truly being with them the family gets stronger. 

When people leave a turbulent home to go to work they may have trouble leaving the family issues at home when as Og puts it they go back into the marketplace. When they are not as present in the market place their energy, performance and decision making suffers which may mean they have to stay later to get things done. They may be bringing guilt into the workplace as they think about what they have missed doing at home.

When we strengthen the family our relationship becomes easier, there is less drama and less energy wasted.

Those who have built strong families will tell you that you truly know what you have when times get tough. When someone in the family is ill or someone has lost a job or experienced the loss of a loved one then we start to see the depth of a family. I was recently talking to a twenty four year old young man whose father passed away suddenly at a family event. I couldn’t get over his strength. He told me that he had lost his best friend but he said that there were over one thousand people at his dad’s funeral, his friends had all come to visit him every night of the week since his dad’s death and people he didn’t even know were dropping food off at the house so his mom wouldn’t have to cook. 

Conversely I knew an angry man that had alienated himself from family. He had no contact with any of his ex-wives. His parents were gone. His siblings would have nothing to do with him. He was alone. When he was dying of cancer I went to see him. I am not sure if anyone else did. 

These are two very contrasting stories. One about a man who lived a wonderfully fulfilling life where he could accomplish a lot outside the home with a strong family foundation and one never felt supported and who never seemed fulfilled and would make people in his path pay for it.

It is my hope for you that you can see the importance of taking the effort to build those relationships in your family so that it is a wonderful foundation, a refuge from the storms and joyous place to be.

As I wrap up this article I would just like to express how thankful I am for my family. I have an amazing immediate family and as I write this, my wife and I have been married for 12,500 days. We have three wonderful children. My parents and eldest brother are gone, but I still have a brother and two sisters. I am thankful for all of those who have joined my family over the years and my CMAA family as well.

Kevin McDonald Headshot

Kevin MacDonald and Shelley MacDougall are the coaches for the CMAA. You can reach Kevin at kmacdonald@dccnet.com or Shelley MacDougall at newreality@telus.net. Or call the Toll Free Coaches Line at 1(866)822-3481.

This information is provided for informational purposes only. The contents are presented with no warranty, either expressed or implied by the Club Managers Association of America. No legal responsibility is assumed for the outcome of decisions, commitments or obligations made on the basis of this information. If your club is faced with a question concerning legal issues, you should contact the club’s legal counsel for the specific application of the law to your situation.