Before I get started with this month’s article, I want to give you an update on OGO, aka Oh Great One.
We started our OGO recognition efforts at Aspen Lakes Golf Club in April. We put out flyers in the shop and had discussions with our leadership numerous times. At the end of April, we awarded our first OGO to the entire golf shop staff who made a sizeable three-day event a huge success. Our second OGO was awarded to one of our Player Ambassadors. This award was interesting because the nomination came from a person living on property on the golf course. He saw our Ambassador picking up tees and removing pinecones from a tee box before play started. So, I think it is safe to say the OGO award is working.
As we roll into our busy season, I hope you can take a few moments to consider another “ponderable”. I recently read a book called Turn the Ship Around by L. David Marquet and Stephen R. Covey. He differentiates leadership styles and the impact of those styles on the results achieved.
Most organizations have a vision or mission statement that is used to guide their operations and reflects what the organization is trying to accomplish and how to do it. The author differentiates a “Leader-follower” organizational culture from a “Leader-leader” culture and the impacts each style has on the organization.
The “Leader-follower” driven organization operates from a “top-down” approach where the leader makes the decisions. This approach focuses on control and preventing mistakes. When the leadership focus is on preventing mistakes, the staff members are reluctant to take actions for fear they will lead to errors. Often when a mistake is made, everyone gathers together to determine what went wrong, who did it, and how to prevent it from happening again. Organizations then create a “process” to prevent future mistakes (failure) and start to focus on monitoring the process as opposed to the results. Monitoring the process leads to more oversight and creates a cycle of inefficiency.
The “Leader-Leader” model, he suggests, is one of empowerment where everyone at all levels of the organization takes responsibility for his or her actions, where followers grow to become leaders, and where happier teams drive dramatically better results. When the staff is completely engaged, they contribute their full capabilities every day.
Dr. W. Edwards Deming reinforced this in Out of the Crisis. He noted that when everyone in the organization focuses on organizational excellence and contributes to improving the way business is done, they create a culture that is committed to excellence and achieve extraordinary results.
Think about your organization’s tendency. Are people in your organization reluctant to take action for fear of the consequences? Do they depend on you to make the decisions? Or does everyone take ownership for creating a successful organization and feel empowered to make decisions to ensure that your customers get the best service possible? Are you utilizing your staff’s creativity and ideas who want to be responsible for their work?
If you would like to learn more about focusing and transforming your organization into one of “Leader-Leader,” I suggest you read the book Turn the Ship Around.
Please stay healthy and safe and reach out to someone you have not talked to in a while.
Howie Pruitt, PGA
Director, Golf Operations, Aspen Lakes GC
President, Pacific Northwest Section