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You can't unring the bell...


Dave Wilber

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I am profoundly aware of the need for all Turfheads to be critical. It really is our job. One mentor told me that if he didn't "point and bitch" enough, he wasn't doing his job. And I adopted this. I was a ruthless stickler for the details.

 

Hated by many. Loved by no one. Followed infrequently.

 

I remember someone sending me a book called Don't Sweat the Small Stuff (*and it's all small stuff). I returned the book with a scathing letter indicating that it was my job to "sweat" in parts per million. It was brilliant writing. And I was a dead wrong ass.

 

In our culture, if we do our jobs right, then often we don't hear anything. Perhaps a "greens were good today" or a "thanks for getting the order to me early" happen... rarely. But when things are wrong, well, you need a personal force field when you get near the driving range tee or the super's office. It trickles downhill to our staff. It shouldn't. But it does.

 

In our culture, if we do our jobs right, then often we don't hear anything...

 

In my last position, I rarely heard much about good stuff. But when I missed something or didn't get it quite right a criticism bomb went off nearby. The shrapnel of words cut me deeply. Perhaps this is why I'm no longer there. Which is neither here nor there.

 

Here comes early season for many of you. And for others in warm climes the long winter golf season coming to an end brings a summer of projects and preparing for another long winter golf season. And so, it's a good idea to sit and think about your management strategy.

 

This isn't one of those "catch someone doing it right" speeches or words in support of everyone getting a trophy no matter how much they suck. But I will tell you, the Turfheads I see who stop the flow of criticism, act as a dam and release positive reenforcement are dead solid perfect winners.

 

This isn't one of those "catch someone doing it right" speeches or words in support of everyone getting a trophy no matter how much they suck. But I will tell you...

 

I recently read a beautiful blog entry about this. Better written that I could ever do. So here it is. Do yourself a favor and take it in. Deeply. And use it. Effectively. https://www.kateheddleston.com/blog/criticism-and-ineffective-feedback

 

Because when the pressure is on and you let those you lead know constantly that they suck, guess what, they will suck. For sure. The banging gong that destroys. Don't be that. No one will follow you.

 

Read Kate Heddleston's words. And determine a strategy that coaches, uplifts and supports. I'm not saying settle for bad work. But, when an employee gets it wrong, well, the correction won't sound like gong beating and then you will be a leader.

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Well said, Dave, as always. With the stream flowing strongly in the direction of high expectations and no excuses for not meeting them the easy way is to jump on board and follow suit. I can't tell you how many superintendents have relayed the message of "....if you can't do it we will get someone else who will..." Insert your own subject matter. It takes the wind out of anyone's sails when they feel set up to fail. It is time for every one of us to re-evaluate how we deal with people and make sure we are providing real leadership instead of following someone else's path in a bad direction. Once again, well said, my friend.

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Sweating the small stuff is a curse.

 

But I'm grateful for the ability to see the small stuff. It's what separates the men from the boys in our business.

 

How you handle it is what will create your work environment.

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