Let's Talk Club Management Ep.5 - What You Missed at LLC

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This month, Kyle and Melissa review the education and the networking at the 2018 Leadership/Legislative Conference in Washington, DC. They are joined by CEO Jeff Morgan, FASAE, CAE, who recaps his State of the Association presentation and Casey Newman, CCM, who discusses River Oaks Country Club's winning Idea Fair entry: The Holiday Wishbook.

Why Should I Work with a Coach?

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In 2003 CMAA asked me to create a coaching program that could serve the members of the Association. In 2006 Shelley MacDougall joined me in delivering coaching services one on one in person and over the telephone, along with group coaching, speaking, and email communication. Over the past 15 years we have had thousands of coaching connections and feel privileged to have been with people during some of the highest and lowest times in their lives and careers.

In this article we would like to give you some answers to the question posed in the title.

Why Should I Work with a Coach?

Because You Can!
When I was a club manager and a member of CMAA this resource was not available. There are many ways that CMAA contributed to a specific member’s professionalism back then, but in 2003 there was a place a member could call and talk about anything they were going through in confidence with someone who was trained to help them get a different result. Not only was the resource available, but it became available to CMAA members at no cost to the club or to them personally. It is there for you as a benefit of membership. Members are able to have up to three coaching sessions at no charge. CMAA also set it up so they can call toll free for coaching.

What would we talk about?
When you talk to one of the CMAA Coaches you own the agenda. You can talk about work, career or life. The truth is that whatever improves you and your abilities, impacts all parts of your life. The conversations are in confidence. Often people call with issues that they are dealing with at the time and would like to think out loud and get some feedback about their thoughts. We find that people at the top of any field of endeavour are constantly striving to get better. Often times the average or below averaged performers don’t feel that they need help. Sometimes the need to be right is stronger than the need to be successful.

Here are some things that you – as a top achiever – can use your coach to accomplish:

Determine Where You Are
Working with a coach can dramatically change your level of awareness. Before you leave for work in the morning you tend to look in the mirror to make sure you look ok. Working with a coach gives you the opportunity to look in the mirror to see where you are, what you look like, how you operate, what drives you, what inspires you and generally speaking how to get the best out of you. If you were the coach of a professional sports team you would want to have a clear understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of all of your players. You would use this information in their development and to decide how to get the best results for the team. Take the time to determine where you are, how you operate and how to set yourself up for success.

Where Are You Going?
Once you determine where you are and how you operate, you can spend some time deciding where you want to go. If you don’t know where you want to go then it doesn’t matter which path you take. You can work with a coach to get clear on what is important to you. You can create a compelling vision! You can develop the plan of how to make your vision come to life. You can connect to energy required to see it through. You can build the habit of bringing your visions to life and have the confidence to create bigger visions. As a leader having clarity about where you are going inspires followers.

Put Standards in Place
Many people set high goals and accomplish great things but haven’t put the standards in place that will support their success. As important as it is to set organizational standards, it is important for leaders to set personal standards to live by. A coach can support you in ensuring that you have a strong personal foundation to build an extraordinary career and life upon.

Discover What is Getting in the Way
Like a golf instructor helping you with your golf swing, a coach can help you see from the outside things you can’t see from the inside. Is it possible that you are thinking, feeling, or doing things that are diminishing your success? What are you tolerating in yourself or others that is having an impact on your results? Are your habits working for you or against you? Are you working to live or living to work? Is your success in one part of your life creating failure in another part? Sometimes the obstacles we face can be as big and obvious as a mountain and sometimes small and tolerable like a pebble in your shoe, but they both slow down our journey of getting to where we want to go.

Create Accountability
One of the greatest secrets to success is being accountable. Sometimes it is helpful to set up some support in staying accountable. Many people use their coach for this purpose. It can be helpful to have someone else who can support you in your efforts to stay on track.

Become a Better Coach
One of the benefits of using the CMAA coaching benefit it is to learn skills and concepts that can make you a better coach. The coach’s job is to bring the best out in the people they work with. The best club leaders care about their people and want the best from and for them.

Navigate a Transition
Some CMAA members call the coaches in times of transition. They might call after losing a job, before retirement, as they are about to graduate or when they are changing a job.

If one of these reasons to work with a coach seems compelling, please contact Kevin and Shelley at 1-866-822-3481 toll free.


Let’s Talk Club Management Episode 4: Back to Certification

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While everyone else is gearing up to head back to school, we turn our focus on CMAA's education and chat about our certification process. We are joined by our own Brian Watkins, Manager, Certification, and Amanda Day, CCM, of Charlotte Country Club. Brian answers some of our most frequently asked certification questions and gives his advice for a successful CCM exam and Amanda shares her journey from student member to Clubhouse Manager.

Alex Sarris, Director of Member Events & Front Desk Operations at Congressional Country Club, joins us as well, as she shares her winning Idea Fair entry: Team Walk Run Club.  

Let's Talk Club Management Episode 3: Governance Confidential, Part 2

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This month, we have a super-sized episode for you as we continue the conversation around club governance with two more interviews.

We are joined by retired member Harry Waddington, CCM, CCE, who reflects on some of the issues he experienced as a club manager in the Carolinas and Georgia and Robert Sereci, CCM, shares the successful use of white papers with his Board of Directors for our Idea Fair segment.

Finally, we hear from CMAA's Research Department – Amilcar Davy, Manager, Research, and Sarah Bal, Director, Virtual Education and Research, in Association News. They share with us what’s going on with research here at CMAA, what you need to be on the lookout for and what’s coming down the pike.

It is Time to Take Care of Yourself!

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In the movie Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, John Candy gets turned around and enters on to the exit of the highway. He is driving down the Interstate on the wrong side. Steve Martin wakes up to the sound of people driving parallel to them on the other side of highway honking their horn. He is curious as to why and he rolls down the window. The people in the car are shouting “You are going the wrong way!” Steve Martin’s character passed this information on to John Candy’s character and he replies “How would they know where we are going?” The groggy Steve Martin says “Yeah, how would they know where we are going?”


This happens moments before they are narrowly missed by two transport trucks missing them head on, on either side of their car.


So MacDonald is saying “It’s time to take care of yourself!” “How would he know if it is that time for me?” “Is he not aware that it is my busy season?” “Does he not know that we are short staffed?” “Maybe he hasn’t heard that we have a big project coming up?”


If you have thought any of these things or if you feel compelled to argue why this is not time to take care of yourself, may I suggest that you keep a look out for large trucks?


And just so you know, they take on many forms!


Last month I talked about the joy and privilege of being in hospitality. We work in an industry of people who take pride in taking care of others. The problem is that many of us are so focused on taking care of others that we neglect taking care of ourselves. It is easy to admire selflessness vs. selfishness. We see many examples of people who live life in service and seem to have little concern for themselves, self-promotion or personal gain. We see others who think it is all about them and they have little concern for the needs or wants of others.


As a coach, I see people who pay a price for being at either end of that spectrum.


Shelley MacDougall and I work with people to help them understand what they need to perform at their best. When people get their needs met, they are attractive, dynamic, energized, productive, fun, caring, happy people. When they don’t get their needs met they can be ugly, miserable, lethargic, angry, defensive, unproductive, disengaged people. We encourage people to learn what their needs are and learn how to meet them.


But isn’t this a form of selfishness?


In this industry, Shelley and I observe, that instead of taking care of themselves at the expense of others, the people at the top of the game take care of themselves so they can be brilliant at taking care of others.


Is it possible to take care of others, without taking care of yourself? Absolutely! You probably will be able to do an adequate job but it will be hard to be brilliant.


Now here is where the timing comes in. It is obviously easier to take care of yourself when you are not at the busiest time of the year, but the time to take care of yourself is everyday throughout the year. The busiest part of your year may be the most critical time to take care of yourself. It is the time of the year when you are being seen and evaluated the most. It is the time of the year when your reputation is being built up or broken down. It is the time of year when you may need the preparation and grounding the most. The illusion is that if you give your all then you will be appreciated, admired, and rewarded and often times people find that instead they are criticized, compared and often times rewarded with the chance to look for another career opportunity.


This is your life! This is your job! This is your career! This is your legacy!


We work with people to change their focus from giving their all to giving their best. Taking care of yourself in a way to give your best is more powerful and sustainable than giving your all.


In our Extraordinary Leader Program we recently interviewed Chip Franks, the author of Life Lessons from Dad 101 Ways to Get More from Life (From Someone Who Loves You)


Chip was a successful and driven business man with a wife and three children when he had a stroke while attending a conference. While he was wondering if this might be the end of his life, he regretted that if it was, he hadn’t left his children with the messages he wanted them to hear. He was given the gift of living on and the chance to give his kids his ideas on how they could be their best.


He broke the book into four main things they could work on to live great lives. The same four areas are worthy of our focus in our goal of being our best in our lives, our families and our careers.

They are the Heart, the Mind, the Body, and the Soul.


We all get to decide how or if we will work on any or all parts of us. It is a choice and hopefully a catastrophic health episode is not required for us to make the decision.


Being used to, or resigned to the belief that you have to give away yourself and your best to give your all, is sort of like driving in the wrong direction on the interstate and not being aware that isn’t the right path.


It is time to take care of yourself!

KevinKevin MacDonald and Shelley MacDougall are the coaches for CMAA and can be reached at 1-866-822-3481 toll free.

Let's Talk Club Management: Members, Meetings, Mulligans, and More Episode 2 – Governance Confidential

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Join Kyle Jennings, Manager, Communications & Student Development, and Melissa Low, Senior Director, Communications & Advocacy, for the second episode of CMAA's podcast: Let's Talk Club Management

In this installment, Kyle and Melissa speak with Mac Niven, MCM, CCE, to discuss some of the perennial challenges club managers face - namely board governance and the personalities that come with it. Mac was kind enough to share a powerpoint that he create on the subject. Check it outRead Mac’s Master Club Manager Monograph on the subject as well.

Our Idea Fair winner this month is Kaitlyn Allen, Events Coordinator at The Carriage Club in Kansas City, MO. Kaitlyn shares with us her winning entry in the Club Dining Room Promotions category. View her entry, and others, online.  

Also joining us this month are CMAA team members Kim Pasquale, Jason Koenigsfeld, and Chris Velo. They share with us information about the brand new  CMAA Fellows Program  as well as the technology upgrades going on behind the scenes to keep CMAA running smoothly. 



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Hos.pi.tal.i.ty  (noun)the friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers.

I am on day 14 of my 14-day trip that has had me wandering around North America. I have been in different time zones, weather patterns, hotels, clubs, and homes. I have been by oceans, rivers, lakes, and a gulf. I have played golf on beautiful golf courses and flown on a number of flights.


When I reflect on all the places I have been, the things I have seen and the experiences that I have had the one word that stands out for me is “Hospitality”.


For the past two weeks I have been living a life that rivals Jeff Morgan’s Instagram and Facebook posts.

I studied Business Administration in University and the business I got into was the hospitality business. I visited my friend Jon Fisher at a resort he was working at one summer and as I watched him work, I felt immediately that this was the business I wanted to work in. It was fascinating to me that you could have a job where you work in a beautiful location, with first class facilities and connect with and serve Extraordinary people. Jon and I had worked in a very hot, very smelly factory with shifts from 8:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m. to earn money to pay for school. We worked with men who had been working at the factory for over 30 years and we knew that we didn’t want to do that.


The idea that there was a business that allowed us to work and serve in a playground was sort of mind blowing. I loved entertaining! I loved music! I loved parties! In my early 20’s I opened night clubs for a company. I would go to a city and have the best sound system in town, a newly designed facility that would be the coolest place in town and there would be a party at my place every night. The amazing part was they paid me to be that person. They paid me to find the next person and I would go off to open the next one in another city.


I will never forget the feeling I got from taking care of people and creating an environment that made them feel great. I will never forget the discovery that I got even more joy from taking care of the people who would serve those guests and inspiring the same feeling of joy in them.


That experience was almost 40 years ago.


I recently had the chance to visit Jon Fisher at the Country Club where he is the General Manager. I arrived at the club before he did and I was sitting at the top of the stairwell waiting for him. I could hear his voice from a lower level of the club and I could hear the people he was talking to laughing. I then heard the sound of him bounding up the stairs two or three steps at a time. When I saw him he had a big smile on his face. We didn’t bound into work at the factory in our late teens but here was a 60 year old bounding in to work like he was still at the resort at the beginning of his career.


This all takes me back to my journey of the past two weeks. I feel very fortunate that I have spent my last few weeks with people who are passionate about hospitality.


I have noticed that not only do they make sure that your basic needs are taken care of, but they consider what they can do to make your experience an Extraordinary one. They care about details. They want things to be special. They asked lots of questions to ensure they understand what would be special for me. They were authentic in their concern. They felt honored to honor me. They made it feel like what was theirs was mine. They accommodated me. They wined and dined me. They gave me the opportunity to play golf. They took me to listen to music. They included me in family events. They took me to the Presidential Suite to see the setting sun. They introduced me to Extraordinary people like I was the important one. They took me to Top Golf. They went out of their way to see me. The list goes on!


Here is an important consideration if you are a person of hospitality! They allowed me to be hospitable. They allowed me to host them and show them appreciation. They allowed me to express my gratitude. They allowed me bring my magic to what they created.


Some people in hospitality are more than willing to give, but they are reluctant to receive.


You can’t give without receiving and you can’t receive without giving.


Here is a challenge for hospitality professionals!


Focus on being brilliant at receiving hospitality! Arrive with your arms wide open, willing to receive Extraordinary hospitality. Be grateful in the moment. Be grateful later on with cards or notes. Be cautious about getting into the game of how you would have done it differently, but rather receive the brilliance and generosity of that person’s gift.


You can give someone the feeling you got early in your career when someone genuinely appreciated your efforts and saw your gift of hospitality.


It is also possible at times for the business of hospitality to get in the way of your spirit of hospitality. Maybe it is time to reconnect with what got you into this business in the first place. Maybe it is time for you to help someone you lead make this same reconnection!


Don’t you just love Hospitality?

KevinKevin MacDonald and Shelley MacDougall are the coaches for CMAA and can be reached at 1-866-822-3481 toll free. 

Privilege and Accountability

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Privilege and Accountability

This year my family is having a wonderful landmark vacation. Rose and I along with our three adult children and their significant others are going to Italy. We have been invited to a wedding at a castle near Florence. My niece and the man who is planning to spend the rest of his life with her have asked me to officiate the wedding. I am truly honored and excited to have been asked to play this role in their special day.


As you can imagine, I am taking this job seriously and I have been researching things about marriage that might help me say something that can make their wedding special. Yesterday a quote from Richard Needham showed up in front of me. It said;


When you marry someone you don’t marry one person, you marry three people.


1. The person you think they are.

2. The person they are.

3. And the person they are going to become as a result of being married to you.


Yesterday Rose and I celebrated 13,111 days of marriage and we talked about this quote as it related to us. I was 24 when I got married which is pretty young by today’s standards, but it was not uncommon then for people to get married after they graduated from high school. Regardless, it was young. I know we both had an idea of who the other was. I am not sure if we were very clear on who we were but never the less we walked into a new life together. We have truly become different people as a result of being married to each other. We both celebrate the people that the other has helped us to become.


The two words I want to focus on in this article are privilege and accountability.


It is a privilege to get married and it comes with accountability!


It is a privilege to live and design your life and it comes with accountability!


It is a privilege to lead others and it comes with accountability!


In marriage, in life, and in leadership, if we point our finger in the other direction and say they are the reason I was not successful, we are missing the key point that we are accountable. When we give up this responsibility then we can begin to look like a victim.


In a marriage we are accountable for who we choose to marry (an arranged marriage is an exception to this), we are accountable for the importance we give to the other person, we are accountable for the respect, appreciation, affection and caring we show the other person and we are accountable to help the other person know how we need to be treated.


Who has your spouse become as a result of being married to you?


I realize that people read this article from where they are. Some are single, some are about to get married, some are happily married, some are unhappily married, some haven’t really thought about it much, some have been married multiple times and some may be ending a marriage. There is no judgment about where you are as you read this it is just an opportunity to consider if where you are is a privilege and a place for accountability.


Most of the people reading this article are leaders. In our Extraordinary Leader Program we help leaders see the privilege and accountability of being a leader. The truth is that when you hire someone at any level of your organization you are really hiring three people.


1. The person you think they are.

2. The person they are.

3. And the person they are going to be as a result of being led by you.


How are you at choosing people?

After President and Mrs. Carter celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary President Carter was asked about the secret to a long happy marriage. He said “It is important to marry the right person.” In marriage and in leadership it is easy to look at others and judge them against the expectations we had for them. If we get to choose, choose wisely. If we are leading people who others chose, choose to make them successful.


How are you at setting people up for success?

On some reality television shows, and in life people often set others up for failure and then criticize and punish when the person fails. If your people are succeeding, flourishing and excited, there is a good chance they have been set up for success. Do they know what success looks like? Do they have a plan to succeed? Are they given the support and tools to succeed?


How are you at serving people?

If you think marriage and leadership is about being served by others, good luck with that! We are service professionals. You can’t give without receiving and you can’t receive without giving. It is a two way street.


How are you at celebrating people?

In a marriage and in organizations, celebration creates energy. Catching each other doing things that we appreciate, celebrating the big things, celebrating the little things, celebrating the effort and celebrating the fact that we are connected creates energy. You can create energy or you can suck energy! You have a choice!


How are you at caring about people?

In marriage and in leadership, do they know you care? Do you care about their happiness? Do you care about their health and safety? Do you care about their future? Do you care about their passions? Do you even know they exist? If they don’t think you care, there is a chance they won’t either.


How are your people as a result of being led by you?

When you look at the people you are privileged to be in life with, do you see Extraordinary? If you don’t you have the opportunity to consider your accountability in that result!


You are privileged and accountable!


KevinKevin MacDonald and Shelley MacDougall are the coaches for CMAA and can be reached at 1-866-822-3481 toll free. 

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.