How to Hire a Great GM

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The golf course business is tough to figure out because for one thing, it is ever-changing. Course conditions, weather, local issues all play a part in the financial roller coaster of any property. Payroll too, adds to the challenge of making money from year to year. Although many of the staff are part-time and seasonal, a property will always have a certain number of managers as well as full time staff to build their hospitality story. People can and should make the difference in any property, in any business. At the same time, having amazing leadership can help build an experience other properties will not recreate.

This highfives post is about the property leader.  If you are the property general manager, then this is about the next person in line.  If not, then this post is about hiring a great general manager. A top-notch leader will build so many positives for the club, every person involved in the property will know it, because they will feel it. I believe hiring and keeping a top-flight general manager/leader will pay amazing dividends for years to come. Although easy to say, great general manager types are probably not knocking on your front door. In fact, they are working at a successful club somewhere across our golf landscape right now.  Here are 5 thoughts for hiring a top general manager:

1) Know that locating the right qualified candidates that will fit you and your property may take a year or longer. It will be a long, arduous process.

2) It will be important to use your network to begin the process of finding candidates.

3) You should plan to travel to several properties to not only meet candidates, but to get a feel for the properties they manage.

4) Because you want to hire a leader for life, the candidate(s) must be given the chance to like you, as you are working to know them.

5) As you develop a compensation plan, think hard about a growth plan where the money and benefits get better over the years. It is important to know, you are building a compensation plan as much for the spouse, as you are the candidate.

I deeply feel a strong leader will make members feel great about the property. The leader will build a team of like-minded people that will create a legacy of hospitality you club has never felt before. A great general manager/leader will build the entire property up because they get it. They know what makes staff happy, golfers happy, members happy. If you make the decision to find a top-flight general manager, create a plan, build a budget, set a timeline and begin to communicate (quietly) with your network that you are about to make your club great! The best leaders only need a small bit of direction in order to hit all of your expectations and more. Hiring the best is a process, but the benefits on the other side are like nothing you have ever experienced.  Thank you.

Jack Dillon writes the highfives series.  Jack has been in the golf industry for 46 years.  He is a speaker, a coach, consultant, and operational expert.  He understand the golf shop as few others. Contact Jack at 407-973-6136.

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