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About this blog

Industry consultant Jim McLoughlin addresses topics such as the job application process; career planning; and job security in a bad economy.

Entries in this blog

 

GCSAA Priorities: Upgrade The Nominating Process And Return To Transparent Governance

Coming out of the winter of 1980, several chapters asked GCSAA to survey all the chapters to inquire whether they wanted to be mailed (no e-mail then) the minutes of GCSAA Board meetings for distribution to their chapters board members and to any of their chapter members requesting a copy.   The chapters voted 95-0 to implement this policy that served the Association well as evidenced by the fact that every existing activity/program given attention at the time realized sizable growth because t

Jim McLoughlin

Jim McLoughlin

 

Why Most Superintendents Have Jobs, Not Careers And What To Do About It

While Jim McLoughlin's blog series was completed a short while ago, an additional thesis with an important message will be posted from time to time.   The following question relating to the career welfare of every golf course superintendent across the country has to be asked and should be addressed:   "Why have GCSAA Boards continuously failed to address the singular most important issue of their time? Namely, that it is time to liberate superintendents from the long-standing conundrum where

Jim McLoughlin

Jim McLoughlin

 

Qualified Chapter Executive Directors Are Key To Superintendents' Career Advancement

During the late 1970s GCSAA unexpectedly found itself floundering with its future in doubt because its trade show (now the GIS), magazine, dues revenues and member counseling programs were all suffering because the Association was conducting business within the high risk "not-for-profit" business world without the benefit of having a definitive mission statement to guide it through troubled waters.   There are over 40,000 n-f-p associations in the country with the golf industry housing about 3

Jim McLoughlin

Jim McLoughlin

 

The Challenging Task Of Hiring A Chapter Executive Director

It is recommended that last week's blog message entitled, "The Indispensable Role Of The Chapter Executive Director" be reviewed before reading the blog message below.   Appropriate job descriptions for a chapter Executive Director define the job as a COO (Chief Operating Officer) level assignment. (See Jan. 18th blog message.) However, be cautioned that hiring at the COO level is one of the more challenging personnel assignments throughout the small business and corporate worlds because it re

Jim McLoughlin

Jim McLoughlin

 

The Indispensable Role Of The Chapter Executive Director

The purpose of this blog message is to identify the appropriate role of the chapter Executive Director, which is concisely stated within the following model chapter Executive Director job description:   Chapter Executive Director: General Duties & Responsibilities   The Executive Director shall serve as the chapter COO . . . .   The Executive Director's fundamental responsibility is to act as a "steward" of his chapter's mission statement in the following ways: to ensure the chapter ha

Jim McLoughlin

Jim McLoughlin

 

Prototype Chapter Mission Statement: The Key To Members' Job Security

The purpose of this blog message is to demonstrate that a chapter without an effective mission statement is like an airplane flying without a navigation system. Nobody knows how to get to where they want to go; and missions fail accordingly.   What Is The Status Of Chapter Mission Statements? Appalling, because the reality is that about half of GCSAA chapters do not have a mission statement and the mission statements of the remaining half of the chapters are too vaguely worded and miss identi

Jim McLoughlin

Jim McLoughlin

 

Insights For The New Year Or Any Time

Superintendents No.1 Asset: Their Work Ethic Ask the average golfer, or the country's many superintendents themselves, "What is the golf course superintendents' Number One Asset?" The answers that come forth cover a wide variety of skills (communications skills, technical expertise, quality greens, etc.) all of which with the best of intentions miss the mark.   A consensus of industry-wide opinion suggests that what separates the core of golf course superintendents' performance from virtually

Jim McLoughlin

Jim McLoughlin

 

Outreach Programs: The Profession’s Vital Missing Link

Outreach programming is the most vital service an organization can provide its employees or members because it redirects careers, stabilizes families and ensures that there will always be "career hope" through the most difficult of times. Outreach programming permeates the corporate and military worlds of employment for a good reason.   DEFINING THE CONCEPT Outreach is a counseling program provided by employers, or their affiliates, where trained counselors support employees in the following

Jim McLoughlin

Jim McLoughlin

 

Accomplished Superintendents Have 'Fortune 500' CEO Talent

A long-standing axiom that is consistently noticed by knowledgeable sports fans and beyond states that established NFL coaches have the equivalent personal skill sets as Fortune 500 Company CEOs.   Accordingly, in this hypothetical world, it is believed that proven NFL coaches are equipped to successfully manage the worlds most dynamic companies given the same preparatory educational opportunity the CEOs have had.   Informed golf industry watchers familiar with the above premise consistentl

Jim McLoughlin

Jim McLoughlin

 

Ground Rules For Starting Your Own Business

The content of this blog message is extensive. But this might be the only time a reader will have access to a concise presentation on the subject of "How To Start A Business"  - something superintendents should prepare for in case the desire/need arises later in their careers.   Superintendents should always be mentally prepared to start a business at an appropriate time in their careers for the following reasons: Course operators are hesitant to assure superintendents employment beyond thei

Jim McLoughlin

Jim McLoughlin

 

Myths That Undermine Superintendents’ Jobs...

Following are examples of myths that have plagued golf course superintendents for a long time:   MYTH: Employers don't mind when superintendents manipulate budget data from one line item to another without notifying anyone so long as the bottom line stays the same...   Wrong! Guaranteed at least one person up the chain of command on either the committee or staff side will notice because there are "budget hawks" within every administration who like to nail superintendents with something to ad

Jim McLoughlin

Jim McLoughlin

 

Little Known Insights That Can Bolster Superintendents' Careers

Following is a series of little known insights that, once adopted, can help advance superintendents careers.   It Is far easier to get hired at top-of-the-line clubs than many think: Because it is not widely known that Search Committees at the top-of-the line clubs generally limit the number of job applications they will accept to fill vacant superintendent positions to less than ten because  by so doing they will be better able to focus on and identify the better candidates. Furthermore, jo

Jim McLoughlin

Jim McLoughlin

 

The Off-Season: Best Time To Grow Or To Decline Personally

Athletes with an ambition to excel in sports soon learn that the best/only time to definitively enhance their skill sets is during the off-season when trial and error experimentation cannot hurt the team.   I can attest to this personally having initially been a run-of-the-mill high school basketball player who through a commitment to extensive summer-time ball yard practice time developed my skill sets to the point of being able to set a New York State private school tournament scoring record

Jim McLoughlin

Jim McLoughlin

 

Understanding The Assistant Trap

Unfortunately, many assistants jobs fail to spawn successful careers in golf because:   First Problem: Being semi-desperate to escape the assistants world, too many settle for superintendent positions at courses with weak reputations that, accordingly, cannot advance their careers -- thereby creating career traps that offer little opportunity from which to seek better employment.   Proven Solutions: Assistants (or anyone else) should never accept a superintendent position without doing the

Jim McLoughlin

Jim McLoughlin

 

The Ultimate Job Security And Career Satisfaction? The Family Of Golf!

Because golf is played in 118 countries around the world by over 60 million people, it encompasses the deepest and most widespread fraternity known to man - recognized respectfully as The Family Of Golf.   What Is The Family Of Golf? The Family Of Golf is the community of people who make up the core humanity of the golf world; i.e., those people who shape the playing and/or the staging of the game of golf.   Who Inherently Belongs To The Family Of Golf? Regular playing golfers with officia

Jim McLoughlin

Jim McLoughlin

 

Dignity Defines Our Lives: Incoming And Outgoing

Studies following World War II concluded that the one clear distinguishing element between the German and Japanese treatment of prisoners was that the Japanese intentionally stripped their prisoners of all dignity. Throughout Japanese prisoner of war encampments, personal degradation could be as lethal as a bullet. Similar studies later concluded that:   In the absence of personal dignity men and women are defined not by who they are but by what is done to them... not only as prisoners of war

Jim McLoughlin

Jim McLoughlin

 

How Superintendents Can Create A Level Negotiating Field

Back in the mid-1990s, I was invited to GCSAA headquarters in Lawrence, Kansas to attend a series of meetings for the purpose of addressing superintendents' job security issues. No matter how the conversations went at these meetings, I was consistently told by GCSAA Board members, staff and chapter leaders (all acting in good faith) that . . .   "It would not be prudent for superintendents to take the initiative when negotiating job security issues because it would anger/offend their employers

Jim McLoughlin

Jim McLoughlin

 

Best Stress Relief: Build Ongoing Relationships With Established Consultants

It is estimated that less than 50% of golf course superintendents are comfortable engaging consultants because they believe their employers might see this as a sign of weakness and/or their pride/ego gets in the way.   General opinion suggests that these two perceptions are mistaken because when survey-tested, the concept of engaging consultants is seen almost universally as a sign of strength and maturity. To support this premise it should be noted that:   The American Institute Of Health a

Jim McLoughlin

Jim McLoughlin

 

Develop Post-Superintendent Career Options Early On

It has been fully recognized for some time that the better NFL head coaches possess the organizational skills and leadership qualities to become effective CEOs of Fortune 500 companies -- assuming an appropriate business education has been acquired along the way. No one doubts this.   Along this same line of thinking, I suggest that many of the respected veteran superintendents at the country's better golf course facilities possess similar skills and leadership qualities and, accordingly, qual

Jim McLoughlin

Jim McLoughlin

 

There Are Many Kinds Of Success... Only One Makes A Lifetime’s Difference

There are two kinds of success in life that we need to identify with if we are going to live unselfish rewarding lives. These are:   The Intervening Successes: The kinds that are not enduring but fail the test of time even while serving us well for periods of years during our lives; for example:   Financial Success: A necessary pursuit because we need money to sustain careers and to support families. But a pursuit that fails the test of time because economies waver and are generally define

Jim McLoughlin

Jim McLoughlin

 

How To Qualify For Pedigree Jobs Earlier In Your Career

It has been traditionally thought that pedigree (prestigious) jobs were available only to the more veteran superintendents. Interestingly, this is not the case today because credential quality now supersedes age as a primary qualifier.   The Challenge Of course, the better things in life do not come without ultimate challenges, which in this case are:   There are fewer pedigree golf courses compared to the many worthy candidates capable of filling these jobs -- which means that only the bes

Jim McLoughlin

Jim McLoughlin

 

Personal Appearance Matters - A Lot

Nothing delivers a negative message to employers and everyone else on a golf course campus more directly that a superintendent has defaulted into a laissez-faire work ethic than a poorly dressed, obviously out-of-shape body.   Following is a list of personal appearance guidelines that superintendents should follow: Physical Fitness: Superintendents owe it to themselves, their families and their employers to strive to be physically fit throughout life because: they will live longer; deliver

Jim McLoughlin

Jim McLoughlin

 

Prioritizing Career: Country... Family... God... Self

For some 25 years I have asked superintendent attendees at the dozens of Career Counseling workshops I have presented to prioritize the following five elements (presented in alphabetical order) that collectively drive the course of each of our lives: Career - Country - Family - God - Self.   Judging where these five elements fit within your life plan is more than a game. It is a prudent exercise to identify the sequencing of priorities that will best ensure your life's effectiveness.   After

Jim McLoughlin

Jim McLoughlin

 

The Peter Principle: The Ultimate Glass Ceiling

In its raw form, the "Peter Principle" simply states that both organizations and people tend to develop/succeed up to their level of competence -- after which incompetence prevails.   The primary characteristics of the Peter Principle are: It stealthfully positions a performance 'glass ceiling' upon each of us. It never goes away. Its glass ceiling can be advanced (see below) creating added upward mobility. When ignored, it can do damage.   Because it is difficult to know when we have

Jim McLoughlin

Jim McLoughlin

 

Why Workaholic Superintendents Are Job-Vulnerable

Myth: Golf course superintendents who consistently allow their personal work schedules to stretch to 60 and 70+ hour work-weeks are perceived as being dedicated to their jobs and are respected for this commitment profession-wide.   This is a dangerous myth that has cost more than a few superintendents their jobs through the years.   Why? Because the vast majority of those responsible for hiring superintendents are private-sector executives who require the managers they hire in their day jobs

Jim McLoughlin

Jim McLoughlin

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