3 Reminders for Every Leader

Now, More Than Ever

Three reminders for every leader, every day – from a coaching perspective

Over the past 18 months after speaking with managers and their teams, I have found myself frequently saying “Now More Than Ever”. I rarely leave a coaching session or conversation without being reminded that there are some principles of leadership that can’t been forgotten or taken for granted, especially now.

Sometimes managers think they are displaying these “leadership musts” more than they really are. The truth is that managers are tired, their teams feel exhausted and overworked, and the challenges keep arriving.

In the midst of fighting the fires of urgencies like the labor shortage and the pandemic’s next crisis, it is so important to remember to lead. That’s the secret – to remember that along with managing the business, they have the opportunity to make a huge impact on their most valuable resource, their people.  The challenge is on to find good people to fill the available positions. Even more important is creating the culture to retain them.   Here are three simple, yet powerful reminders for everyday leadership.


When it comes to your people, everything matters. Managers often underestimate the importance of their presence. As they tackle the big picture issues, it is easy to leave it up to supervisors to keep teams engaged and deliver the best member experience possible. While managers surely have a lot on their plates right now, it is crucial and critical to stay connected with every employee at every level.  Model what you want to see. Your visibility is surely important to your members. It’s even more important to your staff members. As the late motivational speaker Zig Ziglar often said:

“People don’t care how much you know,
until they know how much you care – about them.”

Years ago a Sous Chef proudly showed me a thank you note he received from his GM. It was a simple hand written note on a white piece of paper.  He carried it with him every day in his wallet for over 10 years and I bet he still has it.

Connect with as many staff and managers as possible every day. Call them. Text them. Stop for a few minutes and talk with them. Ask them how they are doing, how their family is doing, what they need to do their job more effectively, and thank them genuinely for specific contributions they are making. Giving bonuses, gift cards and extras can be meaningful. However, nothing replaces a sincere thank you on a regular basis. Nothing. Keep connecting. Keep acknowledging.  Keep encouraging.


Are you an Employer of Choice? The labor shortage has brought a new set of challenges – finding qualified people.  The selection process is important, yet even more critical is retention. Here are some insights about how you can keep these new valuable recruits as well as your current invaluable team members:

  • Revisit your onboarding process to determine if it is working. Does each new team member get what they need. Do they feel welcome and part of a team, or do they just receive the basics and head out onto the floor? Get as many team members involved as possible during this most important phase.
  • Make sure the General Manager is part of the orientation process. As the GM, be sure to welcome every single new hire, get to know them, and then challenge them to add value that will make your club better. If you give employees something to live up to, they can make a difference.
  • Every manager and supervisor should keep asking – Does everyone have the tools they need to do their job? Do they have the daily information and updates they need? Are they trained properly? Do they know how to answer the latest pandemic questions and club policies? When staff aren’t equipped for success, they will surely get frustrated and leave. They may say they are leaving because of the money. They aren’t.


Most managers are in their role because of their technical competence and proficient operational skills. The tendency when engaging with staff is to give all of the answers. There is certainly a time and place for telling people what to do, however, leading others and engaging your team is the perfect opportunity not to give all of the answers. Every manager I have spoken with during the pandemic has said that one of the big lessons they have learned is that we don’t always have all of the answers. Exactly. So let’s apply that to our teams.

Dr. Peter Hawkins, author and Professor of Leadership at the Henley Business School, states that “The 21st century leader realizes that they can’t solve problems on their own, and they need the skills to orchestrate the team to come up with the best answers.”  Most team members are engaged in the culture when they can contribute, learn, and grow. They want to give their ideas and be a part of the solution.

Before you give the answers, think about what powerful questions you can ask to engage your team, then watch what happens.

Now more than ever is the time to lead.

Shelley MacDougall is a Director, Leadership Development at GGA Partners specializing in leadership coaching and training. She is passionate about developing leaders who want to make meaningful change where it counts: within themselves, with their teams, and in their organizations. To view Shelley’s profile, click here.

Executive Search: General Manager for Minneapolis Golf Club

Minneapolis Golf Club logo

Minneapolis Golf Club
St. Louis Park, Minnesota

Minneapolis Golf Club photo


Our Club

Founded in 1916, Minneapolis Golf Club is a member-owned club located just seven miles west of downtown Minneapolis. The centerpiece of our Club is our Willie Park Jr./Donald Ross golf course, representing one of the finest tracks in the Upper Midwest. Our golf course provides an experience that has drawn the admiration of generations of golfers for its eminent playability, imaginative layout and supreme walkability.

The MGC golf experience also features a picturesque short game practice area, convenient driving range, indoor swing simulator, and perhaps most notably an inclusive, active and family-friendly membership who share a passion for golf and welcome players of all ages and abilities.

Beyond golf, MGC offers members, their guests and families a myriad of social activities along with indoor and alfresco dining options at the Grill and poolside and an Olympic-size pool and patio area that serves as the center of family sun in the summer.

Improvements & Future Plans

A comprehensive multi-million-dollar enhancement to the golf course, completed in 2020,  replaced every blade of grass on our classic layout. The update added modern improvements, including new bent grass tees, fairways and greens, a state-of-the-art irrigation system, improved drainage systems on the greens, thicker rough, larger green complexes and inventive hole locations. This approach carefully balanced the original design integrity of the course with the evolving demands of modern players.

In 2021, the Club embarked on the development of a 5-Year Strategic Plan. This process involved a top-to-bottom examination of our market position, operations, membership structure, utilization, communications efforts and our finances to develop a set of strategic initiatives that serve as our guide to meet the needs of our existing members as well as those who will join us in the future.

Minneapolis Golf Club amenities

Minneapolis Golf Club Overview

  • 394 memberships (Golf: 310, Social: 73, Other [Honorary, Clergy]: 11)
  • Initiation fee (Resident Member Golf: $25,000)
  • Annual Dues (Golf: $9,749)
  • $4.70M Gross volume
  • $2.60M Annual dues
  • $1.50M F&B volume
  • $2.60M Gross payroll
  • 135 Employees in-season; 50 off-season
  • 9 Board members
  • Average age of members is 52

The General Manager Position

Reports to the Board and coordinates with the President of the Board on a regular basis. The General Manager implements the policies established by the Board of Directors and the Club’s bylaws. He/she develops operational policies and is responsible for the creation and implementation of standard operating procedures for all areas. This includes the preparation of the annual operating and capital budgets as well as  management of operations to attain the desired results.

Coordinates all management functions and works in concert with committee chairs to assist them in the development of proposed policies, programs, events, etcetera.

Serves as the lead coordinator of programming and development of synergy among all departments. Overseeing the internal and external marketing strategies for membership growth and member engagement is a critical part of the position.

The General Manager should have a strong presence and seek to be highly visible to the membership and staff, setting the tone for consistently treating members with first class of hospitality. It is also the responsibility of the General Manager to communicate this expectation to the entire staff.

Important Individual Characteristics:

  • A naturally enthusiastic personality and passion for the club management profession.
  • A natural leadership style which promotes staff and membership engagement.
  • Ability to act as a thought partner with the Board and committees.
  • The ability to communicate effectively, both verbally and in writing.
  • Disciplined follow-through to ensure the vision and goals of the Club come to fruition.
  • Ability to cultivate a high-level of member services and satisfaction.
  • Possess a strong understanding of top-notch food and beverage experiences for Club members and guests.
  • Effective fiscal management through delivery of actual operational and capital results in alignment with approved budgets.
  • Maintain a high level of visibility to members and staff as the face of the Club.
  • Understands the importance of digital communications, with the ability to utilize web and social media tools to communicate with the staff and membership.
  • Ability to develop a dedicated team with a shared vision.

Candidate Qualifications:

  • A minimum of 5 years of progressive leadership and management experience in a private club environment. Current Assistant General Managers or Clubhouse Managers at well-recognized clubs, with verifiable records of achievement will also be considered.
  • A Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited college or university, preferably in Hospitality Management or Business.
  • Certified Club Manager (CCM) designation preferred or in pursuit of.

Note: A pre-employment drug screen and background check will be required.

Salary & Benefits:

Salary is open and commensurate with qualifications and experience. The club 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, October 13, 2021.

Documents must be saved and emailed in Word or PDF format (save as “Last Name, First Name, Minneapolis Golf Club GM Cover Letter” and “Last Name, First Name, Minneapolis Golf Club GM Resume”) respectively to: execsearchus@ggapartners.com. Please email résumé with references.


For more information about the Club, visit www.minneapolisgolfclub.com