Imagination and creativity play an important role in bringing our passion to life. They give us the ability to be life-long learners and approach every aspect of our lives, personal and professional, from a standpoint that something can be learned. One of the most important things to understand is that PEOPLE are your best resource. It is amazing what you can learn from others if you take the time to build relationships and communicate.
There is a concept called triumphant intelligence. This concept focuses on not just having the right ideas, but having the right ideas at the right time. Today’s golf course superintendent must wear many hats to provide the best possible playing conditions for the club’s golf clientele with the resources available. To do this we must be a multidisciplinary and self-disciplinary agronomist in charge of managing the most valuable assets of clubs, a multilingual staff manager, therapist, accountant, electrical technician, politician, expert in hydraulics, trencher excavator, plumber, arborist, environmentalist, integrated pest management specialist, lawn pathologist, entomologist, irrigation expert, and mechanical expert. One need only look at the abundant seminars and educational programs for superintendents that focus on topics in addition to agronomy to see the evolving role of the superintendent of the golf course.
So, how can we make sure that we stay at the top of our game? My opinion is that the answer to this question lies within two concepts: leadership and collaboration. Have a passion for what you do and translate that passion into tangible results. Use your knowledge and leadership skills to create other leaders within your team to assist in carrying out your department and/or organization’s vision. The biggest asset in any leader’s toolkit is a strong team of people who are ready, willing and able to take initiative within a department. If our employees are well equipped to handle unexpected situations, they will positively affect customers and produce customers who are well-cared for and happy. A leader must know how to recognize the attitude and aptitude of those they work with. The ability to recognize, acknowledge, and foster talent within your department or organization is an invaluable asset.
You must face adversity head on, take responsibility, own your triumphs and mistakes, and learn from them. Always being open and willing to make new connections, share knowledge and learn from every situation will equate into positive results.