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There be DEMONS – by Gregg Patterson

POSTED ON May 1, 2019 @ 10:00 am

You’re a wanna be general manager.  You know G.M.’ing will be different than Assistant Manager-ing—–that there’ll be Demons chasing you, making life miserable, making you sweat, tremble and shout out in anger.  You’ve been told there’ll be traumas aplenty, that you’ll experience wide awake “3 A.M. moments”, that you’ll wear The Crown of Thorns 24/7, that you’ll be bleeding and weeping lots—and because of all this, you’re twitched and need guidance.

Best you know the Demons you’ll be facing………….

These Be—The Demons

Every club manager is chased by—The Demons.  Whether it’s a big club or a small club, old club or new club, member owned or owner owned, the demons are the same, smelling your fear, waiting to pounce.  There are DOZENS “out there” in The Managerial Jungle but there are a handful of BIGGIES that’ll knock you down, wring you out and send you straight to Management Hell.   Consider these Bad Boys…….

Visibility Blackmail: You know you need to be seen, “out there”, on the floor, pressing the flesh, kissing babies and spreading the love.  But The Paperwork needs doing, in the office, out of sight and out of mind.  Can’t be everywhere—and you’ll feel the twitch at 3 a.m.

Going Guilt:  You’ll be on vacation, soaking up the sun, and the entire time you’ll be thinking “I should be at the club, greeting members, answering emails, doing paper, solving problems, hiring people, firing people.”  You groan—25% on vacation and 75% at the club.  Going Guilt will be with you while journeying—and you’ll be brooding about Being Gone at 3 a.m..

Communication Fumbles:  You’ll be asking yourself if you said the right thing or wrote the right thing to the right people in the right way at the right time.  Did you slur your words while talking to The Prez?  Did you grimace when you should have smiled?  Did they misinterpret what you said or what you wrote?  Communication Fumbles will haunt you—and you’ll be re-speaking and re-writing your fumbles at 3 a.m.

Front Page Failures:  Your missteps will be seen by all, on the proverbial “front page”—and those missteps will hurt.  You’ll tell everyone what you’ll be doing.  You’ll do what you told ‘em you’d do.  Then what you did—flops.  And everyone will know it.  You’ll hear the laughter and feel the PAIN—and you’ll re-hash your Front Page Failures at 3 a.m.

Micro Managing Members:  The House Committee Chairman tells you to buy XYZ tea bags, the President tells you to reduce the size of the cocktail napkins and the Buildings and Grounds Committee tells you to use Duro Mold concrete for sidewalk repairs.   Micro managing members will annoy you to the Nth degree—and you’ll be grizzle-ing at 3 a.m.

“In Your Face” Bitches and Moans:  There’s no escaping the members—they’ll be everywhere, every day, up close and personal.  In your face.  No protection. The toilet paper’s too scratchy.  The soup’s too thin.  The beer’s too cold.  And they’ll be hostile—little stuff becomes a BIG DEAL. And you’ve got to take it—because they’re MEMBERS.  And you’ll be reliving The Bitches and The Moans at 3 a.m.

Experts Who Ain’t:  Mr. X is in the mushroom business—and he’ll tell you the ins and outs of riparian law.  Mrs. Y has a splash pool at home—and will tell you which filtration system is a “must have” for the club’s Olympic sized pool. These Experts Who Ain’t will KNOW the answers and will let you—and ALL their friends—know “they know” what they really don’t know.  And you’ll be analyzing why the Experts Ain’t at 3 a.m.

The Fear of Inadequacy:  You’ll be asking yourself if you’re good enough to Do Good as GM.  Can I complete this project, organize this event and hold my own with these uber-rich Ivy Leaguers?  And you’ll be feeling inadequate at 3 a.m.

Second Guessing:  You’ll be doubting your decisions—often.  Did you do The Right Thing the Right Way—decisively?  And the wondering and the second guessing will surface at 3 a.m.

Prioritizing:  You list the 107 Must Do’s that need doing.  Each of these Must Do’s has an advocate who’s shouting and screaming and asking why this Must Do hasn’t been done.  Who’ll bite first?  Who’ll complain louder?  Which will secure your job—and which will get you booted?  And the prioritizing will give you The Sweats at 3 a.m..

Status Anxiety:  You’ll be comparing yourself to—THE OTHERS.  Are the OTHER clubs better than mine?  Are the OTHERS making more than me?  Are the OTHERS driving sexier cars and wearing nicer suits than me?  Status Anxiety will shake you awake at 3 a.m.

The LIKE Factor:  You know Big Like is a big deal in clubdom.  You’ll be asking—Does the staff like me?  Do the members like me?  Does my spouse like me?   You’ll be pondering your Like Factor and twitching at 3 a.m.

Job Insecurity:  Managers lose their jobs—lots.  Great “people-people” get the boot.  Great “numbers guys” get axed.  You’ll be thinking—“Am I next?”   And you’ll be wondering if your time has come—at 3 a.m.

The Rumor Mill:  Rumors will surface. They’ll say you sleep in the office.  They’ll say you work two hours a day.  They’ll say you vacation twelve weeks a year.  You’ll hear the rumors and they’ll hurt.  And you’ll be brooding on the fabrications and falsehoods—at 3 a.m.

Life Balance:  You’ll be asking yourself if you’re spending too much time on the job and too little time with your family, with your passions and with your friends.   You want the job, the spouse, the kids, the friends and the passions—and you’ll be wondering how you’ll have it all if you’re chained to the desk 24/7.  And you’ll be pondering Balance at 3 a.m.

There be Demons.

Best you prepare.

Spanking The Demons

Consider these “paddles” for spanking the Demons.

First——-debrief LOTS and discuss the Demons with your team, with your president and with your spouse.  Lots of “talk-talk” will purge the Demons.

Second—-exercise LOTS and burn out The Demons.  Find an exercise regimen that creates a ‘zone of tranquility’—walk, bike, play tennis, wrestle with bears.  The “sweat escape” will release the demons.

Third—write LOTS and eviscerate The Bad Boys, pen in hand.  Start journaling.  Write White Papers, articles and essays.    Lots of “scribble” will defeat the Demons.

Fourth—read LOTS about others who’ve wrestled with and bruised The Demons.  Be comforted knowing that “you ain’t alone.”  Good “reads” will arm you for combat.

Use The Big Four LOTS and you’ll find yourself spanking The Demons before They spank you.

Cage the Demons

Management is a crown of thorns.  You’ll be “bleeding”—continuously.  You’ll be feeling the pain—endlessly.  You’ll have Demon haunted 3 a.m. moments—wide awake, heart racing, sweating and swearing.

There are dozens of Demons.  Know them.  Discuss them.  Ponder them.  Cage them.  Spank them.  And after you’ve done all that……..

Enjoy the journey!!!

Related Article:

How to communicate change to the “unchangeables” by Gregg Patterson

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