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Paul MacCormack: The Mindful Superintendent

Things I'm pretty sure to be so...

Posted 17 June 2017 · 13,855 views

In everyone's life they have a few core things they know in their heart of hearts to be so. I hesitate to use the word truth, because it can so often get twisted and deformed. One person's version of "truth" can be vastly different from someone else's, so for the purpose of this piece, we will leave that word alone.

 

In our industry there are also things that appear to be so. These things are not dogma, nor are they written in stone anywhere. They are simply things that I have noticed over the course of my career that just are no more, no less. This is by no means an exhaustive list, so feel free to add anything that you might feel adds to the conversation. Here they are in no particular order:

  • Work is better when it's fun. This goes for not only you, but for your staff as well.
  • Following that last one, it can be helpful to remember that we prepare surfaces for golfers to play a game on. It's not a life or death scenario. We maintain golf courses so people can also have fun... period.
  • Walk as much as possible. Whether it's moving from job to job, or you push or carry your bag when you golf, walking forces us to slow down and see things from a completely different vantage point... always helpful.
  • When you are out on course and you have one of those moments that stop you in your tracks (you know the ones I mean, flower or tree blossoming, or your entire crew working in unison) stop and enjoy it. Savor it. It helps one truly appreciate how lucky we are.
  • It can be quite useful to make pausing frequently a part of your day. It helps you to slow down and focus. A few deep breaths can bring you back to the present moment and go a long way to resetting your busy mind.
  • Yelling at people rarely (only exception being if they are in grave danger) helps a situation. Resist the urge to tear someone a new one, or dress someone down. It might appear to fix things in the short term, but it rarely does any lasting good.
  • Practicing your listening skills is a wise use of your time. Talk less, make eye contact, and truly be present when you are having a conversation with someone... no matter who it is. People in this world like to be listened to and feel appreciated.

Practicing your listening skills is a wise use of your time. Talk less, make eye contact, and truly be present when you are having a conversation with someone... no matter who it is. 

  • Unhelpful habits (isolation, negative self talk, procrastination) can be changed. You must be honest with yourself and move towards change with an open and compassionate viewpoint. You can't shame our guilt your way to real and lasting change.
  • Never stop learning or asking questions. Continuously approach your job and your life with an open, curious mind. As soon as you are certain about something, it's usually a good sign that it's time to move on to something new.
  • Thinking big is often very helpful, but not at the expense of the small day-to-day details. Remember to check in often and keep things in perspective.
  • Embrace your creative side. Whether it's on course or sitting home on your couch learning to play guitar, it's always helpful to embrace creativity.
  • You are not your golf course. The speed of the greens, the density of your fairway turf, and the look of your bunker faces has nothing to do with you as a person. Never use what happens or doesn't happen on the golf course as a tool for measuring your self worth.

Never use what happens or doesn't happen on the golf course as a tool for measuring your self worth.

  • Your personal bank of energy is not endless, so choose how you use it with care. Giving all of yourself to your job from time to time is fine, but doing it 24 hours a day, 7 days a week is not. Remember that you have a wife, kids, family, friends, and most importantly your inner self to allocate energy to as well.
  • Take care of yourself. Sleep lots, walk lots, eat well and give yourself a break from time to time.
  • Most things that are worth doing well take intention, commitment, and some heavy lifting. Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming.
  • Be kind to those around you. Everyone is doing the best they can at any given moment. Doesn't mean you can't help out and lend some insightful direction, but don't overdo it.
  • Love yourself, love your family and friends, and love your job. Usually best to keep them in that order.

 

Take care and thanks so much for reading.

 


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Randy Wilson
Jun 18 2017

Great one, Paul.

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Peter McCormick
Jun 19 2017

Bingo on all points. Paul! Great roadmap for life!

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Paul MacCormack
Jun 19 2017

Thanks so much both of you, means a great deal.

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Charles Granger
Jun 20 2017
Paul,
Outstanding insight, taking this to the classroom with your permission.
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Paul MacCormack
Jun 22 2017

You always have my permission Charles. Love it if you share the wisdom. 

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