Highfives: Successful teams require assembly

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By Jack Dillon

So many of us grew up following our favorite sports teams. We followed teams mainly because we grew up in the city where they played. When we got the opportunity to go to a game, that was extra special. We saw our team up close, and loved it whether they won or lost.

Teams are all made up of individual athletes. Organizations spend millions of dollars working to pick the best athletes for their team. In order to develop into great teams, the individuals must gel into a cohesive unit — and no matter how great a draft turns out, managers and coaches must work hard to create a team work ethic, playing as a unit for the team and not for individual statistics.

 Great teams, whether on a basketball court or a golf property, must be assembled. Teamwork does not just happen. Just as you cannot stick any five basketball players on a court and win a championship, you cannot stick a few dozen people onto a golf property and build a profitable service business. Assembly is required!

More and more, as I look at the modern consumer business through a pair of very experienced (old) eyes, I see people that try to do their jobs, but I rarely see a team of people put forth total effort for the customer — because I believe management does not take the time.

Today we are looking at five thoughts in building a successful team at a property just like yours:

1) Plan to spend extraordinary amounts of time recruiting to find solid citizens, people who like people, and who will be all-in.

2) Create a one of a kind on-boarding program. One that will take from 45 to 60 days.

3) Create community meals with the team. Eating together can help the people gel quicker. Work to have a community meal once a quarter.

4) Many people on the payroll do not play golf. They may not even like golf. I believe it is important, however, to get the entire team to understand the game in order to create empathy for your members. Develop a program where everyone on the payroll learns the game, together. This is a good way to build a solid, fun group.

5) Have a monthly team meeting where it is all good news: great service execution stories, tales of people helping each other, and successful stories about the total property.

Creating a team is about first finding good people. It is also about being very proactive in developing people together in order to build one mission, one direction, where all have each other’s backs.

Creating a winning sports team can be easier with lots of dollars. Golf properties do not have that option, so we must take our time, use our network, and spend time with people in order to build a team that works for the members and guests. The right individuals can turn into a strong team. It takes your patience, your courage, and your tireless efforts to do so. Is it worth it? You bet it is.

Jack Dillon writes the highfives series. Jack has been in golf for 46 years. He is a speaker, merchant, consultant. Reach Jack at 407-973-6136. For more information on building a better golf shop call Jack.

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