When conditions are not what they should be, regardless of the reason, Stromme says superintendents should be upfront and honest about conditions and have a recovery plan. "I don't like to call it getting fired. I like to call it making someone available to the industry. And I've never done that because someone has lost turf," Stromme said. "The only reason I've done that is because of a breakdown in communication, and it's not a breakdown on my part. I'm the one communicating. But when (superintendents) clam up, when they're hiding and not talking, when they don't have any solutions, that's how you lose jobs." Positive attitude
Maintaining a positive attitude is not always easy when the going gets tough, but doing so can be the difference between keeping a job and being forced to search for a new one. "Don't adopt the victim attitude,"Stromme said. "Be positive with everyone around you, above you, below you, guests. Nobody likes working with someone who complains." Know your staff
A manager is only as good as those who work for him, yet too many superintendents don't take the time to get to know or understand their staff or learn what makes them happy. "I hear it all the time, 'oh, they're an $8-an-hour employee. I can't talk to them,' " he said. "You have to understand what motivates them to come to work. That comes from talking to them." Business communication
Stromme says he stresses the importance of effective business communications to his staff of superintendents. That includes checking emails for correct spelling and grammar as well as proper phone etiquette. "Return emails and phone calls, and understand the importance of that," he said. "With so many properties to manage, I have to prioritize my day. If someone calls me and leaves a voicemail, I will call them back 100 percent of the time. But, if I see a missed call, I assume that it's not that important. If you call someone, leave a voicemail."
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