Personal Foundation: Stop Tolerating

(Leadership) Permanent link
06.09.16 Tolerate - 175

The sixth piece of the puzzle in our personal foundation journey is the concept of eliminating tolerations. As human beings we tolerate a lot. Club managers tolerate a lot. So let’s begin by understanding what toleration is.

Toleration is simply something we’re putting up with. It may be something small or perhaps something that brings much bigger consequences, but for a number of reasons we decide that it’s not important enough to deal with. When I say, “we decide,” this is an important point to understand. We need to see that we have made a choice when we are tolerating something. We may view toleration as simply something that we haven’t done anything about but that in itself is a choice. To have this make more sense, let’s think about some examples of things that we might be tolerating.

Maybe we’re tolerating poor performance from one of our employees. Maybe we’re tolerating the unacceptable behaviour of a board member or any of our members. Perhaps were tolerating that we haven’t had much balance in our lives lately. Maybe we’re tolerating the behavior of a teenager that seems unacceptable. Some are tolerating expanding waistlines, rising cholesterol levels or blood pressure that is through the roof. We could be tolerating a squeaky cupboard door. A tear in a carpet. Or an area on a wall that needs to be repainted. Read more...

The Battle Between Healthy and Toxic Workplaces

(Interpersonal Skills, Leadership) Permanent link
05.24.16 Hazmat

An interesting juxtaposition has developed -- the simultaneous focus in the world of work on toxic workplaces and creating positive work environments.

Our book on toxic workplaces and the subsequent training we created on how to avoid becoming a toxic workplace (or survive one you are currently in) are growing in popularity and interest. And I am asked more and more to speak to professional associations and write on the topic.

At the same time, there is a growing body of literature on how to create a positive workplace environment (sometimes labeled as workplace culture or climate).

One might mistakenly conclude that the two types of work settings are just opposites of one another:

  • If you create a positive atmosphere, the workplace won't be toxic, OR
  • If a work environment isn't toxic, then it must be a positive environment.

Neither conclusion is necessarily true. Why?  Because a truly toxic workplace is comprised of more than negativity alone (poor communication, dysfunctional patterns, lack of accountability). Similarly, there can still be lot of unhealthy communication, decision-making and leadership even when people relate in a cheerful manner. Read more...

Personal Foundation: Raising Your Standards

(Leadership) Permanent link

05.10.16 ExcellenceIf you are reading one of my articles for the first time you should know that this article is the fifth in a ten part series that is intended to support CMAA members in building a personal foundation that will support them in their efforts to build brilliant careers that truly support the professionalism of the industry. So far in the series we have discussed the importance of clearing unresolved matters, the importance of integrity, getting your needs met, extending your boundaries and now this month the discussion moves to raising your standards.

You have standards. We all do. Some people hold themselves to very high standards some haven’t chosen to and some people that we encounter in our lives may have very low standards. Standards are the set of behaviors or beliefs that we have decided to live by. I think that as important as it is for us to define what our standards are is the investigation of how they became our standards. In our clubs we have standards that we ask our staff and our members to live by. They can be a way of doing things but I would ask that you think of your standards in the context of a personal foundation as a way of being. Are you being the way you decided to be or are you being what others have told you to be? The reason I ask this is that we need to realize that we have the ability to decide the way we are and it is not just a result of the way we have always been.

If you know me very well you will know that I am a proponent of learning from the stars in our lives and the stars in our industry. Over the past twelve years of involvement with CMAA I have sought out and built relationships with many of the leaders of the organization. I have been so interested in observing the personal standards of these leaders. My friend Joe Charbonneau advised me long before I became a coach to find the masters of the business and really get to know them. In addition to seeing what they do, learn how they think, how they talk, how they interact with people, how they feel about their families or in other words how they "be." Read more...

Personal Foundation: Extending Boundaries

(Interpersonal Skills, Leadership, Communication) Permanent link

04.05.16 BoundryThis article is the fourth part of a 10-part series that is designed to guide you in building a foundation that will support you in your professional and personal goals. If you have been following the series you will know that we have already covered three issues. If we can stop losing energy to unresolved issues, if we can truly operate authentically when we have restored integrity and we have the confidence, personal power and attractiveness that comes with getting our needs met we have really begun to set the foundation for a strong career and life.

The next step is to establish or extend boundaries.

Boundaries are imaginary lines we establish around ourselves to protect us from the unhealthy or damaging behavior of others. I touched on this concept briefly in the discussion about needs. In any sizable population of people there will be a number of individuals whose behavior can be unhealthy or damaging. In my time as a Club Manager and my years as a Coach working with Clubs, I found that Clubs are not an exception to this rule. If you manage a Club where there are no members or staff members who have displayed these kinds of behaviors, please contact me. I would love to talk to you. The reality is that you will have to deal with them and some protection is needed or it is easy to become resentful, defensive and less effective. Read more...


Personal Foundation: Getting Your Needs Met

(Leadership) Permanent link
03.08.16 Needs

This is the third article in the series I have been doing about personal foundation. If you are one of the many CMAA members who have utilized my services you may recognize this concept. For some people the concept of looking at our own needs may feel uncomfortable because, generally speaking, we don’t want to feel needy. That is precisely why it is important to get an understanding of your own needs. Most people reading this article have traveled by air and can recall the flight attendant’s instruction that if the cabin loses pressure an oxygen mask will drop down in front of you.  If you are traveling with a young child you are instructed to put the mask on yourself first. The point of this is if you want the child to live you need to be alive to be able to help. 

In club management, getting your needs met may not be the difference between life and death but it may be the difference between success and failure. It may mean the difference between doing the job well and doing the job brilliantly. Managers and their people can serve their members without getting their own personal needs met, but my experience is that it is not done with brilliance. Read more...

Building a Personal Foundation, Cleaning Up Unresolved Issues

(Leadership) Permanent link

01_05_16 Problem Solving 175Previously I discussed the process of building a personal foundation. This process is key for anyone who wants to operate at a high level of performance, including those in the world of Club Management. So much of what I do when working with Club Management clients is to help them to understand that one of the keys to their success is the management of their own energy. When our energies are focused on our goals, the things we want to achieve or our purpose we can accomplish amazing things. So often we are only using a portion of our energy to achieve our goals.

The first step in building a personal foundation is clearing unresolved matters. Here we deal with getting past issues that stay with us and hold us down. It could be something we did or didn’t do or that we should have done or did poorly or perhaps something that was done to us.

When I first started delivering coaching sessions for CMAA we thought that many of the people who would be looking for coaching would be people who had recently lost their jobs. I am currently finding that 25 percent of the people that I speak to fall into this category. Of that 25 percent, I work with a high percentage to help them clear unresolved matters. If you have ever gone through the process of losing a job it is possible that you’ve spent some time with hate, anger or resentment. You will know the kind of energy it sucks out of you. And you may have observed how it can even change who you are. My job is to help you get back to who you are, recognize where that energy has been going, and help you to focus on what’s next.

Here are some ideas and questions that may help you get past some of these issues.  Read more...

Building a Personal Foundation

(Leadership) Permanent link

10_13_15 FoundationIf you are going to have a life or a career it might as well be a powerful, stable, Extraordinary one. As leaders it is important to be leaders and human beings that people want to follow and are inspired by. This article is an introduction of a ten part series on the Personal Foundation Program. This is one of the tools that we use to support our clients and is an ideal exercise for people at all levels and stages of their career. Take it on and notice the difference it makes.

The foundation of a building is a great metaphor for the foundation of a person. As architects and engineers design bigger, better, taller buildings the design of the foundation becomes more critical. An amazing, tall superstructure built on a poor and weak foundation is doomed. In personal terms we can rise in our careers, in our lives and in our opportunities but without a strong personal foundation our lives can quickly come crashing down. There are many examples in the news that can illustrate this point.

As a coach, my job is to help people to achieve their goals. I ensure that we do so in a balanced way and therefore often the beginning of the process is to ensure that the personal foundation is intact. To give you an understanding of what a personal foundation is I would like to briefly describe to you the topics we deal with when creating this personal foundation. Read more...


The Gift of Giving and Receiving!

(Leadership) Permanent link

08_25_15Have you ever felt like you give a lot but you don't get much in return.  At our lowest of times we might look at it like a balance sheet. On one side you give, give, give, but on the other side it may feel like you don't get, get, get.

In this article I would like to suggest some different ways to think about this topic. The first thought I am putting out for your consideration is "You can’t give without receiving, and you can't receive without giving." Now, some of you may spend some time trying to find examples of this not being true, but I would ask you to spend more time finding examples of it being true. Read more...

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.