Golf Course Management

OCT 2013

Golf Course Management magazine is dedicated to advancing the golf course superintendent profession and helping GCSAA members achieve career success.

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gcm ex t ra lar than others. We have all displayed in some way the ability to "get the job done." Although superintendents are constantly pushing to do more with less, being frm in our decisions, directions and instructions shows leadership and confdence. Despite all of the fairness and frmness that we can offer, there will be miscommunications or "fallouts." Showing compassion for people on your crew will enhance the human connection we all have and make you trustworthy on many levels. I'm not saying that you should "go soft," but there is a time and a place where having compassion will achieve the desired result. Whether you are playing referee between two crew members or sorting out a task, minding everyone's strengths and weaknesses allows you to make personal connections with others. Some people have told me that showing compassion is letting my feminine, soft side show, but I completely disagree. I believe that it shows I am a well-rounded person who understands we all have issues outside of the workplace that we try to leave at the door. However, sometimes it is unavoidable and they come to work with us. Being compassionate toward others is not only being a good supervisor, but also being a good person. In the end, we are all trying to accomplish the same goal of making a living and being happy. It's not that I am disregarding charging forward in the workplace to get work done. We push our team to be the best at Firestone. But an individual can only be pushed so far before he or she will no longer work for you. Displaying positive interactions with our employees and others is a great way to set the tone for the positive workplace. If you lead by example, compassion, fairness and frmness will be instilled in your crew. Your fairness, frmness and compassion creates great leaders. 'Bring it on' Contrary to popular belief, women are different from men (there's a joke in 66 GCM October 2013 Geyer was a featured speaker for the Innovative Superintendents Session at the 2013 Golf Industry Show in San Diego. She described her experiences as a young woman working in golf course management. Photo by Roger Billings there somewhere). Speaking from a woman's point of view, even though we are very different in so many ways, women don't want to be treated any differently from men. However, speaking to women is different from speaking to men. Women are inherently more sensitive than men and will always be more in tune with their emotions. It is just how we are made. So, it is not that a man cannot stand up and give out orders to women forcefully (as you may with a man). Women listen and do the job as assigned because it is our work. As managers of all kinds of people, superintendents need to use their best judgment regarding the person and his or her level of sensitivity. Despite gender, if the employee is a good one, the job will get done. On the other hand, a stark comparison also exists. Women in this industry may have a "bring it on" attitude. I'm not saying that hiring or having female employees and colleagues will get you attitude all of the time. If a woman is working to get into the golf course management industry, especially as a manager of some sort, she knows that she may experience some resistance. She will probably already have ways to relate to fellow crew members or colleagues in place; whether it is talking about things that are stereotypically "male topics" or by being someone who tries to relate to others across the board. By the nature of this business, it is dirty, messy, sweaty and all around hard work. In the end, women are just as much up to the task as men. Now what happens when you are one of the youngest in the crowd? Are you automatically viewed as being behind, just from being a "youngster" as I have been called? This goes out to the folks that fall in that 35-and-under category. I think many assistants fall into this age group, and we are the ones being impacted by this mentality. According to GCSAA membership data from 2012, 44 percent of all professional members are in their 20s and 30s. This means that if you are one of these people, you probably have individuals working for you who are older than you. How do you face it and deal with the generational gaps in understanding one another? I deal with it by listening. There is a huge difference between listening to someone and waiting for your turn to speak. Just because we hear sounds and voices does not mean that we understand it beyond the aural stimulation. You may be hearing, but not listening. It sounds corny, but you are never too old to respect your elders. It's a simple detail in life that is totally and 100 percent true. The older you are, the more life experience you have had and just may have something to say of value and quality that we

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