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INDIGO INSIDER: The Fast-Approaching Spring Season has Inspired Many to Dust Off Their Golf Clubs

The start of the golf season also entails some spring cleaning, and as managers, leaders, and mentors, it is a great time to dust ourselves off and determine potential strategies for our own growth.

Dear Friend,

The fast-approaching spring season has inspired many to dust off their golf clubs, as well as implement tactics and strategies for growth and success in 2020. The start of the golf season also entails some spring cleaning, and as managers, leaders, and mentors, it is a great time to dust ourselves off and determine potential strategies for our own growth. To this end, I’d like to share some thoughts, tidbits, and highlights that might further your success this year. If you’d like to discuss, kindly contact me.

Self-Awareness – Perhaps the greatest gift you can give yourself is improved self-awareness, i.e. the ability to see yourself as others view you. It involves monitoring and understanding your emotions, thoughts, and communication. Self-awareness is difficult to achieve – we spend so much of our time focused on who we want to be, rather than acknowledging who we are presently and how others perceive us.

High self-awareness is a good predictor of personal and professional success. Those who can understand themselves are able to build stronger relationships, make more informed decisions, and recognize when strategic opportunities present themselves. Too often we operate on autopilot – recognizing success and failure while remaining oblivious to the what/why behind these outcomes.

It is critical to foster a culture of genuine feedback, soliciting the opinions of those closest to us and fellow team members, so that we can embrace and enhance the positives and change the things we don’t like. According to Organizational Psychologist Tasha Eurich, 95% of people believe they are self-aware, but it is only true for 10-15% of the population. Check out Tasha Eurich’s TED Talk, “Increase Your Self-Awareness with One Simple Fix.”

Reimagining and Repurposing – Similar to self-awareness, how cognizant is your facility of perceptions within your target market, community, and prospective guests? Do the perceptions of others match your vision for the facility? Revisiting your strategic plan and recognizing current realities is the first step in reimagining and repurposing your club for future growth. We have worked with several clubs/HOAs/public facilities identifying opportunities to increase usage beyond the golf-centric aspects of the facility. For instance, private clubs might focus on removing barriers and adding amenities - allowing members and guests to embrace the club lifestyle, to include; daycare, fitness, workspace/office space, “golftainment” options, simulators (not just golf simulators), and amenities for the whole family (to include Fido).

Being Elite – After much introspection and upon review of 2019, I realized that I was not exhibiting Elite Behavior at all times. To paraphrase Coach Lombardi, I was “winning” some of the time, but not all the time – Why Not?

Why had I allowed my mindset to change, my expectations to lower, my vision to be reframed? There are not any good answers other than it served to re-energize my vision/commitment to being Elite. To be clear, being Elite is a mentality in everything you do – both personal and professional - not the amount of time spent. Being Elite is a process accomplished brick by brick, where proper planning is the foundation for successful execution. As a leader, focus on Elite behavior and celebrate when your team exhibits it – you might be surprised at the responses elicited and what can be accomplished.

Successes Celebrated - We just finished our annual meeting/celebration of 2019 and preparation for 2020. As we recognized co-workers for achievements in 2019, common themes of teamwork, desire to honor our namesake, and commitment to Indigo Golf Partners' vision and mission permeated each award winner. The widespread understanding and buy-in of achieving our vision and mission only occurs with regular communication and reinforcement throughout the organization. Initiatives change, but as a golf course owner, business leader and department head, spend time developing your unwavering vision and mission and share ad nauseam with each team member, reinforcing at every opportunity. Simply put, provide the qualitative and quantitative clarity of what success looks like, staff’s unique roles for achievement, and WHY it’ll benefit their professional and personal well-being – it builds a winning culture. Incidentally, being part of the team means a commitment to leaving the golf industry better than we found it and being the best operators in golf - our vision and mission.

I wish everyone continued success and many birdies in 2020.

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About the Author
With 30 years’ experience in golf, Mike oversees Indigo Golf Partners growth plans and specific lease, acquisition, consulting and third-party management opportunities. He enjoys an invaluable talent of dissecting ways golf courses, country clubs and resorts can create significant new revenue and save expenses without compromise to quality. Previously, Mike managed the company’s vast southeast portfolio. A PGA member, he is a graduate of Mississippi State University, an avid cyclist and diehard college football fan.