I have asked you this before? For 2019, how is your professional development coming along? Or said differently, how is the “investment in you” going?  All too often, we find ourselves overwhelmed by the “urgent items” of the day, followed closely by the “important items” of the week or so. Unfortunately, this leaves the “priority items” not completed.

What is the difference between “important” and “priority”? In my mind, the “important items” are typically defined by our employer. Conversely, “priority items” are items that are about our career, like getting started in the PGA Lifelong Learning Pathway, completing an update on your PGA CareerLinks Profile, or completing the PGA Compensation Survey. Each of these need specific focus, with purpose and accountability, or they won’t get done. Yet, it is these “priority items” that can lead to greater career opportunities, more compensation and/or more job satisfaction.

As an aid to drive this, I’ve developed this PDF. If you would like an excel spreadsheet that you can edit/customize, please email me and I’ll be happy to share it with you.

In the January 2019 issue of the Foreword Press, I focused on the The Five Laws of Stratospheric Success from the book, The Go-Giver by Bob Burg & John David Mann. In the article, I sought to provide a 3,000’ view of the book, whose story focuses on a professed “go-getter” named Joe. In his story, Joe’s “go-getter” ways have only gotten him so far, and that is not far enough. (If you haven’t read the previous article, may I suggest you go back to it here for context?)

Assuming you have the context, I’d like to focus a litter deeper on one of the Five Laws of Stratospheric Success, specifically “The Law of Value.”

“The Law of Value — Your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value than you take in payment.” We can see this law applied in compensation. And, in general, we haven’t done the best job of proving our value to our employers. (Certainly, some PGA professionals have done this well, but as an industry the opposite is true.) Please understand, I’m not trying to blame anyone; I’m pointing to a solution, a way to get compensation “trending up” (like we need it to.) For us as PGA professionals, we create value for two distinct groups that are “intertwined.”

CONSUMERS (customers and members): I place them first, because it’s their “demand decision” and what they get from doing business with our facility/our member club, etc. that matters to them. If we can provide more value to our consumers, (remember: their individual definition of what enjoyment means is up to them,) they will give our facility the topline revenue our facility needs to grow, make capital improvements and more.

One key understanding about the demand decision is this: If your facility value delivers on the “enjoyment side” of the equation, the “investment side” doesn’t matter (think about it, the amount of time or the cost becomes less important or doesn’t matter at all.) For some, the combination of performance and social may not be their score, it may be how much fun they had shooting 110!

In the light of the Demand Decision concept, let’s consider what your professional Value Proposition is. What is the Value Proposition? It’s what makes you unique, it’s your combined set of strengths, skills and energy; especially when it’s applied on an individual basis to customers, members and students. Your innovation can also be a difference maker in light of the Demand Decision concept because “customers know what they want, but they don’t always know what it possible.” In that light, please ask yourself the same question (as last month): Do you regularly enhance the value in your customer’s demand decision?

EMPLOYERS (owners, club boards and facility managers): I place them second. Not because they are second, but because their ability to stay in business, capitalize and maintain their facility and provide for their employees, etc. is directly credited to how consumers view, patronize and support their facility. (Hint: this is a great thing. PGA professionals actually have the most significant influence in how this happens. Certainly, it can be challenging, but it’s also a big opportunity. With that in mind, here’s what goes into the “Employer’s Demand Decision.” (Note: the formula is the same, it’s still “Performance/Value >=< Investment” in the eyes of the employer. If their Return on the Investment is higher than their investment, the employee/golf professional in question is going to be much better off, be more valued, etc.)

So, how do we deliver more performance (top line financial performance to be specific,) more value and similar in the eyes of our employer?  (In other words, this is what employers have been telling us about what a “priority item” is for them.)

  1. Player Development Programs (Creating newly inspired, newly motivated golfers, more family units who play golf together is the best niche we can have in the golf business. It’s what makes PGA professionals special and unique to other careers at our golf facilities.)
    1. Merchandise Profitability (This is the perfect balance of higher gross sales, while maintaining a good COGS, while turning over product relatively often. Striking this balance for all three areas is where PGA professionals truly shine.)
    1. Mentoring, Coaching and Training Staff – Equipping and developing our front-line staff so they can be nimble, and correct in their responses with customers and members will enhance both customer activation and retention; plus, it will create more engaged, more loyal employees resulting in less turnover.
    1. Development of New Revenue Streams – Creating new ways to monetize the facility with a small investment, or a clever change of the existing “physical plant” can be huge
    1. Development / Recruitment / Management of Outside Events
    1. Increased Member Participation (Engagement through Activation) – Creating ways to get a couple extra rounds over prior year, a few more purchases from the golf shop, playing in one more event, etc. are all outcomes that are driven by an engaged PGA professional; each leads to greater activity and greater spend.
    1. Member Generation / Retention / Integration – These three are all important, but they feed off each other. If a new member is oriented well, and integrated with other members early-on, they will be more likely to feel like “they belong.” And, if they feel they belong, they are less likely to be unhappy and be “lapsed as a member.” Further, if they are happy, they will often be our best “member recruitment salespeople.”

True worth: In light of the above list of “priority items” for employers, where do you honestly see yourself in terms of the “true worth” you bring to the facility for the employer?  Value: to reiterate, is a part of your employer’s “demand decision” for you, for how they value you and how they choose to compensate you or similar. Question: Do you regularly enhance the performance/value side of the equation in your employer’s demand decision?

Are you still trying to be “Go-Getter?” Do you focusing on what you can go and get, go and take out of the golf business? Or would you like to be a “Go-Giver PGA professional” instead? If you’d like to get together with me to consider these questions, I’m in. When can we can make it happen? I appreciate the opportunity to help you (or those you lead) with your career and I hope you’ll give me the opportunity to partner with you on it soon.

Monte Koch, PGA Certified Professional/Player Development | Career Consultant
PGA Career Services | PGA of America
Serving PGA professionals, employers in the Pacific NW & Rocky Mountain PGA Sections
Email: Mkoch@pgahq.com Cell: 206/335-5260