Golf Course Management

APR 2018

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

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Page 39 of 159

36 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 04.18 Traits of weak workplace leaders • Poor co mmunicator, lacks vision • Confrontational, authoritative, arrogant • Abusive, micro-manager, dictator • Indecisive, impatient, insecure • Closed-minded, uninsp iring, self-promoter • Unorganized, disrespectful, has an I'm-the-boss attitude Putting language to leadership Last fall, as I was researching the con - cept of exceptional leadership, I asked more than 100 superintendents and co-workers to complete a survey that would document their opinions on what makes a strong workplace leader. For comparison, I also requested their thoughts on the traits of weak workplace leaders. I found the results (above) valuable and enlightening, and they support the no - tion that the positive human connection plays a significant role in effective leadership. As a superintendent and manager myself, I reflected on each characteristic identified by my peers and colleagues, and on how well, throughout my 35-plus years on the job, I'd embodied the traits of the exceptional leader, and where I'd fallen short. In retrospect, I could have been a better communicator and listener, been more open to others' input, and better understood the value of meaningful criticism of my own per - formance. Perhaps most important, I could have focused more on being a teacher, trainer and delegator of responsibility. In my opin - ion, all golf course management professionals would benefit from doing an honest evalu - ation of their managerial demeanor against the attributes listed above. ccording to GCSAA survey data, the average golf course budget increased just 5 percent from 2010 to 2015. Despite this relative stagnation, golfer and employer expectations have continued to grow, and today's superintendent also faces heightened pressure in the form of tougher environmental scrutiny, lack of an adequate labor pool, and decline in golfer participation. Superintendents have long demonstrated ingenuity in dealing with higher expectations and limited resources, and I believe today's superintendents will be successful in tackling future challenges. Developing an understanding of and placing greater emphasis on human connections in the workplace is a universally available strategy that can help any manager meet increasing demands. Qualities such as empathy, care and compassion are components of what's known as the "positive human connection," and when such virtues are displayed alongside strong leadership skills, managers can efficiently meet difficult organizational expectations, improve staff productivity, and even decrease the workplace pressure they feel on themselves. Traits of exceptional workplace leaders • Excellent co mmunicator and listener, visionary • Humble, collaborative, kind • Sets examp le, delegates, insp ires • Honest, compassionate, possesses integrity • Positive, approachable, empathetic • Teacher, accepting of others' ideas, fosters teamwork

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