How to Become an Invaluable Part of Your Golf Course and Industry

Preparing to build authority

As a new employee of a golf course, one of your first goals as a new professional is to create value both inside and out of your company. With the right attitude and work ethic, you can gain authority both throughout your industry and in current company.

Determining your area of authority

It is important to determine what area of work you will be most successful in when determining your area of authority. First, determine your current talents that you’re gifted in and love to do. It is also important to identify your most valuable activities that would cost the most for others to do. For a golf professional the simple answer to this would be golf instruction. Once these two steps are completed, the next step is to ask yourself “inside of the company I work for, I would most like to be known as an authority on”(Crenshaw, 2013, para. 4). After completing this, then ask yourself “in the public, I would most like to be known as an authority on” (Crenshaw, 2013, para. 4).

Scheduling time to build authority

When building authority you must set time aside to share your knowledge to gain authority. A good rule of thumb is to open your calendar and try to find at least one hour per week and dedicate it to building your authority. As you become more of an authority you will want to dedicate more time to further develop yourself. By setting time aside each week you will see the hours accumulate and your authority grow.

Selecting a mentor

One of the fastest and most efficient ways to build authority is by finding a mentor and learning how they have built their authority. By following your mentor’s advice you will be heading in the right direction on building your authority. The three most common areas to find a mentor are inside your company, through friends and acquaintances, and long distance mentorship. These mentors should be masters in their field of work and should have already found success in their industry. Becoming a master in your field doesn’t come easy, however, it will be much easier after you have found a master to learn from and communicate with when needed.

The PGA of Alberta mentorship program is a great resource to help CFM professionals learn from a Class A individual and help them throughout the process of achieving Class A status. I have spoken with my mentor Kevin Chow on several occasions to help with my development. I most recently utilized his insight when developing the name of this very website you are reading.

Building authority within a company

Becoming a systems expert

One of the easiest paths to becoming an authority in your company is by becoming a systems expert. It is important to find something you have some knowledge on, to begin with, and learn as much as you can to become an expert in that particular system.

As a golf professional this is a great tactic to build authority at your golf course and in your industry. Some systems that would be useful as a golf professional to become an expert in would be: golf fitness, club fitting, retail merchandising, and social media marketing. If you become enough of an expert with a particular system, you will quickly find yourself training others at your golf course and will begin to build authority.

Getting company buy-in

In a rapidly moving golf season, it can be extremely difficult to spend the time to document systems. If you can take the lead in your organization to spend the time to help become a systems expert while documenting it for others to learn, you will quickly gain your golf course’s support. It is important to gain permission and buy-in from upper management first before spending the time to document.

In a larger organization that already has spent the time on documented systems, you will have to work a little harder. With these types of companies, it can be beneficial to find ways to become more efficient in their already established systems and present these as recommended improvements to upper management.

Documenting the “what” and “how” in systems

In Dave Crenshaw’s video on Thought Leadership, he shares a useful diagram to help identify the key parts that make up the what and how of your system you have chosen. This diagram should be completed by first filling out the left side of the page to identify the what of your system. After this is complete you should then complete the right side of the page where you will list all steps on the system.

THought Leader

Formalizing systems

After you have developed your system, the next step is to submit your system to your manager for review. It is here that your system will be fine-tuned to fit the golf course’s needs and brand image. After they make their edits, look back and learn from each one to help you improve your skills in becoming a systems expert.

Building authority in public

Finding your path to authority

By publishing your systems publically through a blog, website, book, or editorial you can instantly build authority in your industry and the public. Show your knowledge and let those in your industry know of your expertise.

Climbing the authority ladder

In Dave Crenshaw’s video on Thought Leadership he shares a useful diagram to help break down some examples of moving up the authority ladder. This diagram should be utilized as a tool, however, you don’t have to follow each and every step.

Authority Ladder

Building a library

At this step, you will start to collect all of the publications and videos you have created for others to read and watch. The bigger this library gets the more insight you can share with your audience. By having a large library of valuable content you will showcase your expertise and potentially profit from this expertise.

Building an online network

A great way to develop your perceived authority is to showcase yourself being a leader for other leaders. The easiest way to do this is through social media, for example, if a golf professional is an expert in custom shaft fitting they may create a social media group or account dedicated to sharing that expertise among other leaders. The steps to effectively doing this are:

  1. Create your group about a topic that already has a following
  2. Get people to follow the group
  3. Establish leadership in the group
  4. Share items from your library with the group over time

Building an offline network

After building your online network the next step is to start to establish an offline network of like-minded individuals. By creating a local association in a field of your expertise you can invite others within the same field to get together and discuss ways to make improvements on the selected topic. A great resource for your offline group can be through your established online group and vice-versa for driving traffic to your online network.

Gaining personal publicity

Recognition in the press can be a great way for you to gain exposure to those interested in your knowledge and also can act as a great addition to a resume. Reach out to local experts in media and volunteer as a guest expert to share your expertise.

How I have become a thought leader in my organization

When I joined the golf shop team at the Edmonton Petroleum Golf & Country Club in 2015, I made the effort immediately to find an area I could have the greatest impact in to build authority. I made it my goal to become an expert in golf club technology and fittings and quickly found myself doing the majority of club fitting at our course, and later mentoring other coworkers on club fitting techniques. As I further developed my skills as an authority I sought the assistance of mentors to help develop other skills like retail buying and golf instruction. I found my first mentor in my current workplace – I utilized my head professional Kyle Boyd in the development of my retail buying skills. In the development of my golf instructing abilities, I looked to multiple resources like Master Professionals Bill McDougall and Alan Riley on ways to further develop my teaching methodologies. I believe that by utilizing these mentors I have developed my skills as golf professional very rapidly and will continue to use mentors to further the development of my authority.

Works Cited

Crenshaw, D. (2013, January 3). Thought Leadership [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.lynda.com/Business-Skills-tutorials/Final-thoughts/88535/105359-4.html  

 

 

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