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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

 

Your Children Are Watching 24/7

Unfortunately, too few parents understand that their role model responsibilities to their children extend throughout every waking hour of every living day.   The imperative lesson to note here is that our children learn more from what they see their parents doing on a 24/7 basis than from being told by their parents what to do, or not do, in life.   The old cliché, "Do what I say and not what I do" has no place within a relationship between parents and their children.   Following is a list

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

 

Why Superintendents Are Denied Written Contracts

Two totally independent national surveys that mutually support each other's findings tell a frightful story about the careers/lives of golf course superintendents:   FIRST SURVEY:  Indicates that only about 20% of golf course superintendents enjoy the security of a written employment contract, while roughly 80% of PGA and CMAA members enjoy this privilege.   Few people in the world give thought to the devastation wrought upon families when a superintendent is summarily dismissed - which is n

Jim McLoughlin

Jim McLoughlin

 

Why New Jobs Can Be More Secure

As the job stagnation theme of last week's (Oct 30th) blog post indicated, hunkering down to maintain job security in a bad economy can be fraught with danger. Therefore, the counter-point to this refrain must be that new jobs -- once properly vetted -- can offer greater job security.   Recommended Approach To Changing Jobs To Avoid Job Stagnation After identifying a target job vacancy, superintendents should quality-test the opportunity by working through a comprehensive due diligence test w

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

 

What You Don’t Know About Putting Greens?

Every golf course superintendent understands what he needs to know about the putting greens at his home golf course. But this is not the case elsewhere because most superintendents consistently fail to see the unique opportunities and associated risks green quality can bring to their jobs/careers. For example:   Unique Greens Role #1: Within Modest Budget Environments Includes: private, daily fee and public access golf courses.    Superintendents with much of their careers still ahead of t

Jim McLoughlin

Jim McLoughlin

 

Visiting The Masters Elevates Superintendents' Work Standards - Admission Is Free

I firmly believe that every golf course superintendents should attend The Masters championship as early as possible in their careers because they'll see a standard of maintenance excellence that's not available anywhere else in the world and unless witnessed would not be believed possible.   Granted, no golf course superintendent will ever have Augusta National's budget to work with, but that is not the point.   The point is that every GCSAA member who visits Augusta National will be reachin

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

 

Total Transparency: The Key To Defensive Management And Job Security

Several earlier posts in this series have focused on presenting better ways of securing jobs. This post combines all earlier comments on the subject with the master umbrella concept of "defensive management."   The concept of defensive management is the least understood and least practiced proven management concept throughout the world of the golf course superintendent and beyond.   By design, defensive management techniques are intended to defuse the impact of arbitrary decision-making and

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

 

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

 

The Superintendent Sets The Quality Standard For All Club Operations

During my 25+ year career I have been fortunate to play or prep for tournaments some 400+ golf courses across the country of all types, lengths and shapes. FYI: You learn more about a golf course preparing it Rules-wise for tournament play than playing the course itself.   Out of this blend of personally inventoried golf courses, I have been able to make the following observations:   Top 100 Classic Golf Courses: I have played, or officiated at 53 of the top 100 courses.   Universal Obser

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

 

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

 

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

 

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 Best Commencement Address Ever?

I am going to interrupt the career-counseling theme of this blog series for these next two weeks to address the matter of how to more effectively meet our responsibilities to our children... because we will all be judged accordingly.    Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas gave the 2008 commencement address to the graduates at the University of Georgia. It has been judged, by some, as worthy of being considered to be the best commencement address given in our time.   Because commencement a

Jim McLoughlin

Jim McLoughlin

 

Test Your Job Survivability

Time to pause the series to measure your evaluation of your job security and life balance. Be honest; don't cheat on yourself. Read each line below from left to right; marking the left or right column which ever is more applicable.  (For a PDF of this checklist, click here.)     Grade Ratings: Pick Left Column 24 out of 31 times = A Grade. Pick Left Column 20 out of 31 times = B Grade. Pick Left Column 16 out of 31 times = C Grade. Pick Left Column 12 out of 31 times = D Grade. Pick Le

Jim McLoughlin

Jim McLoughlin

 

Taking Charge Of The Interview Process

The bad news is that due to inexperience many job applicants are not comfortable taking the initiative through the interview process. They are not used to talking about themselves nor of their value to others. Accordingly, they generally pay a price for this shortcoming.   However, the good news is that this is a correctable situation. Interviewing can be a stress-free process that candidates can learn to control from start to finish.   There are two separate approaches to quality-controllin

Jim McLoughlin

Jim McLoughlin

 

Take Charge of The Budget Process In A Bad Economy

The timely question that must be asked today is: How will golf course superintendents deal with the inevitability that an already difficult economy is likely to get worse in the coming years?   The reasons for this question in part are because of the anticipated negative impact twenty-one new Obamacare taxes will have next year, the inevitability of higher inflation and the long promised jump in the cost of electricity. Analysts advise that the next recession will hit hard and stay around for

Jim McLoughlin

Jim McLoughlin

 

Superintendents' Responsibilities To Support The Rules Of Golf: Part Two

Last week's message (see Feb. 5th blog) presented the Part One presentation on the subject of superintendents' responsibilities to support the Rules of Golf; namely, to maintain a constant golf course degree of difficulty, etc. The Part Two presentation is presented below:   SECOND RESPONSIBILITY: To ensure that golf courses are properly marked to support the application of the Rules Of Golf.   Every time a golf course is not adequately prepped to support the Rules of Golf -- a somewhat com

Jim McLoughlin

Jim McLoughlin

 

Superintendents' Responsibilities To Support The Rules Of Golf: Part One

The answer is definitely yes, but the profession as a whole has yet to see the light although a number of superintendents clearly have. What specific responsibilities to the Rules are superintendents expected to address?   Review the USGA Handicap Manual, Section 15 to see a more definitive presentation relative to the first responsibility guidelines presented immediately below.   FIRST RESPONSIBILITY: To maintain a constant golf course degree of difficulty on a daily basis to sustain the co

Jim McLoughlin

Jim McLoughlin

 

Submit job applications electronically...

Why submit job applications via the hard copy equivalent of the 'pony express' when electronic service is available? The answer is that applicants wouldn't if they wanted to maximize their job application opportunities.   Yet, in this high tech age of the Internet, roughly 90% of golf course superintendents are submitting hard copy job applications via the U.S. Mail. This doesn't make sense because submitting job applications electronically provides the following unique advantages: Immediate

Jim McLoughlin

Jim McLoughlin

 

Stress-Free Job Interviews... Guaranteed!

The interview process between a job-seeking candidate and a search committee can be one of the most inefficient communication exchanges known to man.   The reality is that qualified but interview-inexperienced candidates often do not present themselves well in this typically tense and highly structured sit-around-the-table interview format. Is there a better interview format that would benefit candidates? Fortunately, there is; for example:   A candidate would request a more informal (stress

Jim McLoughlin

Jim McLoughlin

 

Step Two Approach To Written Contracts: Commit To The "Plant The Seed" Concept

This post is intended to complement the message presented in the last post and presents the negotiating sequence that should be considered in the pursuit of a written employment contract.   Acknowledging the fact that roughly 80% of qualifying superintendents are consistently denied the protection of written contracts and suffer the consequences thereof (see Sep 25th blog), the purpose of this blog message is to educate newly hired and already employed superintendents who have been denied writ

Jim McLoughlin

Jim McLoughlin

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