Say These Two Words to Boost Employee Performance

Game Plan – Henry DeLozier‘s monthly column in Golf Course Industry Magazine – continues its series on staffing for success with a review of the business bestseller “Leading with Gratitude: Eight Leadership Practices for Extraordinary Business Results.”

“Thank you.”

How does it make you feel when someone expresses their appreciation for a job well done? Pretty great, right? We can all remember the emotional high when a boss we respected told us how grateful he or she was for our contribution to a particularly meaningful project. As it turns out, beyond the personal boost gratitude provides, it’s also great for business. The multi-faceted benefits of gratitude is the subject of Adrian Gostick’s and Chester Elton’s business bestseller “Leading with Gratitude: Eight Leadership Practices for Extraordinary Business Results.”

After surveying more than 1 million employees, Gostick and Elton found that expressing gratitude is the easiest, fastest and least expensive way for managers to improve employee performance and engagement. In that sense, showing gratitude is not only about being nice — it’s about being smart because it could also uncover untapped employee potential and identify obstacles standing in the way of even better performance.

Maybe the best thing about practicing gratitude is that it’s easy. But that’s not to say that it comes naturally to all leaders or that it’s well understood as a business strategy. In many organizations, there exists a sizeable “gratitude gap” between the appreciation employees feel they deserve and what they receive.

This gap points to the consequences of an ungrateful work culture. The authors found that 81 percent of workers said they would work harder if their boss was more grateful for their work. And if you want to reduce turnover, start with gratitude. The No. 1 reason people leave a job, according to the U.S. Department of Labor: They don’t feel appreciated by their managers, even more of an issue with today’s younger workers.

Expressing gratitude effectively is an easily learned behavior, but it does require more, in the authors’ view, than “showering more thank-yous” on employees: “Developing genuine gratitude involves carefully observing what employees are doing, developing greater empathy and sincerely trying to understand the challenges they face.”

Some leaders will insist they are “not wired” for gratitude, excusing their command-and-control style with increased performance, production and results. But the authors insist just the opposite: “Leaders who infuse fear into their work cultures undermine their objectives to increase performance and instead produce stress that can lead to burnout and other productivity-crushing effects.”

Former Ford CEO Alan Mulally is among the many executives who back up the authors’ claims. “Skills are one thing,” he says, “but to create a smart and healthy organization, void of politics, whose people don’t go after each other, that’s about respecting them, showing them the data and thanking them for what they’ve done.”

In his first meeting with Ford’s 4,000 dealers, Mulally began practicing what he preached. He asked Ford employees in the audience to stand, turn and face the dealers. “Now say ‘We love you,’” Mulally instructed. It took the employees three tries before Mulally was satisfied with their sincerity and enthusiasm, but the dealers were quickly convinced this was going to be a new Ford under Mulally’s leadership, one where their roles were valued.

“We aren’t saying every manager needs to offer praise to every employee every day,” Gostick and Elton conclude. “We are saying that most managers should be offering more of it, quite a bit more often.”

This article was authored by Henry DeLozier for Golf Course Industry magazine.


Learn more about staffing for success:
Read Staffing for Success: Part 1
Read Staffing for Success: Part 2
Read Staffing for Success: Part 3

Executive Search: SVP Hospitality & Finance at Edgar’s Hospitality Group

Augusta, GA


The Company

Edgar’s Hospitality Group (EHG) is an LLC operated by Goodwill Industries of Middle Georgia (GIMG). EHG operates hospitality venues in Macon and Augusta with plans to build an eco-tourism campus at Lake Oconee Georgia. EHG is named after the founder of Goodwill Industries, Rev. Edgar J. Helms.

The mission of Goodwill Industries of Middle Georgia (GIMG) is to build lives, families, and communities one career at a time by helping people develop their God-given gifts through education, work, and career services. Edgar’s Hospitality Group was created to support this mission through its portfolio of applied learning venues.

The hospitality enterprises include restaurants, conference centers, food service contracts, a bakery café, a private city club, and a local farm to provide fresh products with a new agri-business that allows culinary agriculture certifications for students. Chef Frank Kassner is the Director of Culinary Operations for EHG and the corporate executive chef.

Edgar’s Hospitality Group was founded to provide a new source of revenue for GIMG and to create diverse applied learning venues for the students of Helms College’s School of Hospitality managed by Bruce Ozga, VP Culinary Education.

Properties operated by EHG include:

Edgar’s Above Broad (Augusta, GA), recently opened in September 2020 as an exciting new 17,000 square foot indoor-outdoor restaurant and entertainment venue.

The Pinnacle Club (Augusta, GA), a premier dining membership club in downtown Augusta which provides incredible views of the Savannah River and Augusta cityscape.

Anderson Conference Center (Macon, GA), centrally located in the state, the Anderson Conference Center features 15,000 square feet of meeting space, including a 700-seat banquet space and six break-out conference rooms with premier technology.

Edgar’s Grille (Augusta, GA), an upscale casual restaurant which offers New American cuisine with a Southern Flair.

The Snelling Center (Augusta, GA), a conference venue co-located with Edgar’s Grille which can accommodate events from ten to 300 guests.

Edgar’s Bistro (Macon, GA), offers weekday lunch and dinner, a full-service bar and catering service.

Edgar’s Bakehouse (Augusta, GA), bookstore and café which specializes in gourmet coffees, smoothies, paninis, salads, and fresh baked breads and desserts. An Edgar’s Bakehouse production bakery is being built for commercial baking enterprise launch in late 2021. New website coming soon.

Wright’s Farm and Lake Oconee Eco-Tourism Farm Campus (Augusta, GA), coming soon.

The SVP Hospitality & Finance Position

Reporting to the President/CEO, the Senior Vice President Hospitality & Finance (SVPH&F) will work closely with the CEO and peers to achieve GIMG’s 2025 strategic plan success measures through strategies that will enhance profitability, productivity and efficiency throughout the organization.

In addition to leading Edgars Hospitality Group this key executive leadership position will serve a dual role as the CFO for Goodwill Industries of Middle Georgia. Leading the finance department of this $50 million operating budget non-profit will involve executive responsibility for budgeting, banking relationships, franchising, and mergers & acquisitions.

As member of the Goodwill Executive Leadership Team, the SVPH&F will be expected to understand and fully embrace the faith-based, “hand up” mission of Goodwill and demonstrate daily the core values of service, ownership, accountability, and respect.

Principle Accountabilities – SVP Hospitality


  • Lead Edgar’s Hospitality Group to be three things: profitable, vibrant applied learning enterprises for the students of Helms College, and a daily stage to tell the Goodwill life changing story in a manner that leads to philanthropic Investment.
  • Direct the start-up and operational leadership of all new hospitality operations to be launched as applied learning venues associated with Helms College within GIMG’s thirty-five county territory and franchise operations in other Goodwill territories.
  • Maintain benchmark operational controls and outcomes in existing hospitality business lines.
  • Oversee development and implementation of budgets for multiple hospitality enterprise operations; responsible for meeting budget objectives for growth in revenues, gross margins, operating profit, and net cash flow.
  • Assure top-line business growth through increased accountability, innovation, increased sales, expanded operations, reaching new markets and diversification.
  • Annually revise and develop short and long-range plans for all assigned areas; establish performance measures for multiple enterprise operations.
  • Maintain continuous lines of communication, keeping the President informed of all critical issues.
  • Lead a large team of direct and indirect employees to ensure the execution and completion of business goals; evaluate performance for compliance with established policies and objectives of the company and contributions in attaining objectives.
  • Promote a culture of high performance and continuous improvement that values learning and a commitment to quality.
  • Mentor and develop staff using a supportive and collaborative approach: assign accountabilities; set objectives; establish priorities; and monitor and evaluate results.
  • Promote Goodwill externally as a community-based non-profit with a key human and economic development role.

Principle Accountabilities – CFO


  • Plans and directs GIMG’s real estate activities, including land/building acquisitions and leasing/landlord relations. Develops all pro-forma presentations for GIMG board of director’s consideration.
  • Participate in organizational strategic planning initiatives and direct/coordinate activities of department in compliance with this plan.
  • In concert with VP Finance, plan and coordinate preparation of organizations annual operating business plan and budget, after collaborative negotiation with department executive leadership.
  • Assume lead role in all contract review and negotiation and project fiscal forecasting due diligence. Develop proposal for CEO’s consideration and approval.
  • Provide oversight for all capital development, and acquisition of funds for new ventures.
  • Interact with senior staff to identify, evaluate and promote new business opportunities.
  • Responsible for oversight of all Information Technology functions.
  • Identify agency “vital” operating data elements. Create and manage IS system to capture and disseminate data on a timely basis.
  • Create, foster, and manage third party relationships for banking, financing and other collateral administrative functions.
  • Review for implementation by VP of Finance, statutory and regulatory compliance procedures for all fiscal functions of the organization.
  • Working with VP of Finance, source, manage and publish annual certified fiscal and compliance audits.
  • Prepare and maintain investment policy and long-term investments, direct and monitor performance.
  • Responsible for all Risk Management and Loss Prevention functions.
  • Ensures compliance within areas of responsibility of all regulatory and accreditation bodies.
  • Mentor and develop staff using a supportive and collaborative approach: assign accountabilities; set objectives; establish priorities; and monitor and evaluate results.
  • Build relationships with CFO’s from other Goodwill organizations and CFO’s from other Colleges/Universities to obtain best practice benchmark Ideas to Incorporate Into GIMG.


  • A graduate business or hospitality degree is required, CPA licensure is preferred.
  • A blend of for-profit and non-profit executive experience gained leading diverse profit generating business lines.
  • Minimally five years of senior leadership on both the finance and operations side of an independent luxury resort or multi-faceted entertainment company.
  • Banking finance and investment senior experience.
  • Multi-unit executive level hospitality operations leadership experience required.
  • Experience with mergers and acquisitions.
  • Experience with financial management of accredited federally financial aid eligible post-secondary Institutions preferred.
  • Demonstrated experience creating and taking new business ventures from a concept to a successful, revenue generating operation.
  • Superior budget and/or financial planning and management skills involving multi-million dollar and multi-site operations.
  • General administrative skills including developing, implementing and monitoring company-wide policies and procedures.
  • Excellent verbal and written communications skills.
  • Strong people skills with abilities to partner with a dynamic leadership team and interact with all levels of employees.
  • Must be aligned with and energized by Rev. Edgar Helm’s faith based social enterprise model to eliminate poverty one career at a time.

Note: A pre-employment drug screen and background check will be required. The position is available June 15, 2021.

Salary & Benefits

Salary is open and commensurate with qualifications and experience. The company offers an excellent bonus and benefit package.


Interested candidates should submit résumés along with a detailed cover letter which addresses the qualifications and describes your alignment/experience with the prescribed position by Wednesday, June 11, 2021.

Documents must be saved and emailed in Word or PDF format (save as “Last Name, First Name, Edgars SVPHF Cover Letter” and “Last Name, First Name, Edgars SVPHF Resume”) respectively to: Please email résumé with references.

For more information about Goodwill of Middle Georgia please visit;;;

GGA Partners Renews Legacy Alliance Partnership with the National Club Association

Top corporate partnership demonstrates GGA’s commitment to supporting the advancement of clubs nationwide.

(Washington, D.C., May 17, 2021) – The National Club Association (NCA) announced that GGA Partners Inc. (GGA) has renewed its corporate partnership with NCA at our top corporate partnership level, Legacy Alliance Partner, for three years. As a Legacy Alliance Partner, GGA will continue to provide industry-leading resources to NCA members in an effort to strengthen and advance clubs nationwide.

GGA is an international consulting firm and trusted advisor to many of the world’s most successful private clubs. Its global reach and wide-ranging experience allow its professionals to deliver proven best practices and innovative concepts to clubs of all types.

For NCA members, GGA will continue to be the source of data-driven strategic solutions that consider the unique market, financial, operational and governance circumstances of their clubs.

“We’re thrilled to continue to better serve the club community with industry leading education resources through this powerful partnership,” said NCA President & CEO Henry Wallmeyer. “GGA’s expertise in critical areas like market analysis, financial and operational analysis, governance, and strategic planning provides clubs of all kinds the framework they need for sustained success.”

“NCA serving as the foremost club authority on COVID-19 is emblematic of their visionary leadership throughout our partnership,” said GGA Partner Henry DeLozier. “We are pleased to continue our long-standing partnership and eager to provide more value for the club community.”

As a Legacy Alliance Partner and lead sponsor of the NCA Board Leadership Institute, GGA will benefit NCA club members through numerous sponsorships, research and educational initiatives, including:


  • Hosting the Club Governance Symposium during NCA’s annual National Club Conference.
  • Sponsorship of NCA’s Board Leadership Institute, a leading resource for club board members.
  • Co-publishing a new joint periodical, Club Governance, to provide club leaders with industry data, case studies and best practices to improve club leadership, strategy and governance.
  • Sponsorship of NCA’s Club Governance Standards, a collection of whitepapers designed to educate and guide club boards on specific issues.
  • Presenting the Club Leadership and Governance Webinar Series focusing on improving the function of club boards.


About the National Club Association

The National Club Association (NCA) has been the advocate for the private club industry in Washington, D.C. for 60 years. As the voice of private clubs on Capitol Hill, NCA ensures that club concerns are at the forefront when legislative and regulatory issues affecting the industry are being decided. In addition, NCA provides club leaders an outstanding array of resources on club industry trends, governance best practices, legal and operational matters, and ways to strengthen club leadership. For more information, please visit


About GGA Partners

GGA Partners™ is an international consulting firm and trusted advisor to many of the world’s most successful golf courses, private clubs, resorts, and residential communities. The firm is dedicated to helping owners, asset managers, club and community leaders, investors and real estate developers tackle challenges, achieve objectives, and maximize asset performance.

Established in 1992 as the KPMG Golf Industry Practice, our global team of experienced professionals leverage in-depth business intelligence and proprietary global data to deliver impactful strategic solutions and lasting success. GGA Partners has offices in Toronto, Ontario; Phoenix, Arizona; Bluffton, South Carolina; and Dublin, Ireland. For more information, please visit