If Not Now, When?

 Permanent link


As coaches we have the opportunity to work with our clients at many stages of their lives and their careers. Some people are in a stage of repair when they are working on efforts to make a segment of their life better or to fix a problem. Some are in a stage of foundation where they are making sure that everything is in place to set them up for a more effortlessly successful life. Some are in a stage of reserves where things are in place and they have more than enough of the important things in life. Some come to us in a stage of mastery where they are thriving and they are living the life they have designed. 


Regardless of the stage that a person is in, there is an opportunity to look at something in their life and create an awareness of what is not working the way they want it, why, and then identify what they can do to change it. 


They also have a chance to dream about things they would like to do, places they would like go to and things they would like to be.


They can design and create the blueprint for the life, the adventures and the transformation they want to make.


But after all that is done the key to success comes in this little word: Decide.


Change can happen after 28 days, change can happen after 21 days, change can happen in a nanosecond. The change that happens in a nanosecond is what happens when you shift from “I am going to be” to “I am” or “one day I would like to go there” to “I just booked the trip”. 


There is no doubt that we make hundreds of decisions every day. Many of the decisions are to do today what we did yesterday. If that is what you truly choose to do that is great, but it might be time to decide on something that is really important to you instead on deciding on what is familiar and comfortable. You don’t have to decide, but you get to decide.


You can decide what you want to do, you can decide what you want to have, you can decide what you want to be. 


But let’s be clear – If you don’t decide then someone else will probably decide for you. When you have other people deciding for you don’t be surprised if you are not passionate and excited about their decision. 


I love these lyrics from the John Mellencamp’s song “Your Life is Now”:


Your life is now, your life is now, your life is now!


In this undiscovered moment, get your head up above the crowd. We could shake this world, If you would only show us how.


Your life is now!


Would you teach your children to tell the truth? Would you take the high road if you could choose? Do you believe you are a victim of a great compromise? ‘Cause I believe you change your mind and change our lives!


When you decide you can change your life. If you are a leader, when you decide, you can change many lives.


If not now, when?

  • When will you decide on how healthy you will be?
  • When will you decide to go where you always wanted to go?
  • When will you decide to do what you were meant to do?
  • When will you decide to step past your comfort zone?
  • When will you decide who you are going to be?
  • When will you decide to ask for what you deserve?
  • When will you decide to call and ask for support?
  • When will you take time to design the rest of your life?
  • When will you decide to get rid of that thing you have been tolerating?

I have a few challenges for you:

The first is to organize your bedroom closet. If by chance you have a very organized bedroom closet then consider organizing your office. I challenge you to decide to either have your bedroom closet organized by the end of today or one week from today. Your bedroom closet is often a great example of one of those things you plan to do one day. If not now, when? You will probably find that you have a lot of things in there that you never use. Let them go! You will probably find that they just take up space in your closet and in your mind. They make it difficult or at least a little more challenging to find the things you really need. Instead of taking two minutes to find what you are looking for you can find it in ten seconds in your organized closet. If you have a number of those moments per day you are leaking energy. What percentage of what you have, will you let go of? When you have an organized closet, enjoy it, and then notice how it parallels your life. You may have accumulated a lot of stuff, habits and people that are not working for you anymore. It may be time to decide! If not now, when? 

The second challenge is to decide what you would like to be, and then decide today to think, feel, and act like you already are that thing. If you want to be happy, healthy or wealthy, a photographer, a scuba diver, an eight handicap, or a rock star, decide today to think, feel, and act like you already are that. 

It is time to decide! Perhaps you decide on a theme or focus for this day or this week. Perhaps you decide to call that person who just came into your thoughts. Perhaps you decide to sign up for that course you have been passionate about taking. Perhaps you decide to take a day when you are absolutely disconnected from the world. 

You get to decide whatever you want to decide, but if not now, when? 

Kevin Let’s stay connected! Kevin MacDonald and  Shelley MacDougall are the coaches for CMAA 1-866-822-3481! 

Let’s Stay Connected!

 Permanent link


I think it was just after the Olympics when we got to spend a day with the Kueblers in Vancouver. We had a wonderful day with so many great experiences and conversations. I remember them telling us about two great restaurants in the Jupiter area. One was called “Leftovers” and the other was called “Harry and the Natives.”  I had been to the first one a few times and loved it. Yesterday I woke up in Hobe Sound Florida. I knew that is where Harry and the Natives hang out. I punched it into my GPS System and it was a mile and a half away. It was 11:20 a.m. when I got there. The parking lot was pretty full but I got a spot. I opened the door and it was busy but it seemed that they had been waiting all of these years for me to arrive. I watched in amazement as people walked in and multiple people on staff would call them by name. The food was hearty and good! But this place was truly serving love and connection. Every staff member seemed to be consistent in their joy and friendliness. Especially Harry! Yes there is a Harry! It was clear that everyone loved Harry as much as he loved them.

When I went back to the club, I met Cathy. I told her where I had been. She asked if I got to meet Harry. I told her that I saw him but didn’t meet him. She told me that her Mom who is in her 90’s has been going to that restaurant for about forty years. She said that once a week she goes 20 miles out of her way to have a Sunday meal there. 

Many people who read this might be in the service industry and think they have experienced places like this or have heard of places like this or even be leaders in places like this. It might not seem that special or conversely it might seem so rare and refreshing.

As I write this article about staying connected I am not going to focus on how many friends or connections you have on various social media platforms but rather how connected are you?

I am not asking that in terms of quantity but rather quality.

Who are the people who need to see you once a week? Who are the people who receive your version of a shoulder massage? Who are the people that you need to be connected to? How connected are you to you? How connected are you to the closest people in your life!

Being connected or not is a choice. What kind of choices are you making? If you are a person that doesn’t need connection with others and is comfortable with your own company that is great! If the only connection you need is with your higher power that is your choice. If you want to be connected to one million people by social media that is great. An important question to ask is “How are my choices supporting me or working against me?”

How connected are you to the people you work with? Some people spend more time with the people they work with than they do with the people they would choose to be most connected to. Some of these connections will be professional, some will be personal and some may turn into lifelong friendships. You certainly will have time to get to know people’s values, traits, and the level of trust you have with them.

How connected are you to the people in your family? There are times when we might tell ourselves that we value these people more than anyone else in the world and our schedules or our level of presence with them when we are together might indicate something else.

How connected are you to your best friends? How long has it been? What do you do to keep the connection strong? Are you the one who makes sure you stay connected or is it your friend’s role?

How connected are you to yourself? Sometimes we can get so disconnected to who we are and what is important to us that we lose and the important people to us lose.

How connected are you to the people who just come into your life! Some people may just come into our lives for a few moments, a few hours or a few days, yet they might be significant connections that change our course.

It is up to you to decide how you look at your connections. 

Here are some of my thoughts:

Value your Connections
Take some time to realize the value of the important people in your life and take some time to decide on who the important people in your life are! Make a list that you can review from time to time to remind you of how you are doing with them.

Don’t take them for Granted  
Sometimes we assume that they will always be there. Sometimes we assume that we will always be here. Sometimes those assumptions are not correct. Sometimes if they don’t feel connection they may just connect with someone else. Last year a dear friend’s husband passed away. He was younger than me and he left his wife and a five year old son behind. It prompted me to write a love letter to each of my three children. The intent was for them to receive it if something were to happen to me. I decided to give them the letters right away rather than wait.

Act Upon Your Thoughts
If someone comes into your thoughts or memory reach out in some way immediately. You may find that they needed you to do so.

Be an Extraordinary Connection! 


KevinLet’s stay connected! 
Kevin MacDonald and  Shelley MacDougall are the coaches for CMAA 1-866-822-3481! 

Thoughts for the Young… and the Formerly Young

 Permanent link

Friendship Stock Image
I get the opportunity to coach extraordinary people. I get to coach people at various stages of their careers and their lives. Recently I have been thinking a lot about the ones that are in their late teens and early twenties. I hear so many people talking about how this group is so different, difficult, entitled, and inferior in some measure. I am not sure if the ones who seek coaching are vastly different from the rest, or if maybe I am not looking for evidence that those stereotypes are true, but I truly love working with these young people. In many ways I wish people in their fifties and sixties would have the chance to sit and listen to these young people with an open mind.

I find them to be curious, open, energized, and excited about what is in front of them and courageous about asking questions. These qualities would serve anyone well at any age.

Here are some thoughts I have to support the future success of these young people, but it is possible that these thoughts could also be supportive for someone entering their retirement years or beyond.

Take Accountability 
This is your life, this is your career. You are accountable! You are accountable for your happiness, your education, your wealth, your health, your relationships, your success in any way you measure it. If you are looking for someone or something to blame for not having what you want in life, you are playing the victim. You are not a victim you are a privileged player in the game of life regardless of your circumstances. Play it well, take it on, and be accountable! Think of a mistake as a discovery. Discoveries will move you toward the success you desire. Make lots of discoveries. Be accountable!

Design Your Life 
Become a designer, not necessarily a fashion designer, an interior designer or an architect, but a designer of you. You have a chance to design a life. You have a chance to design a year. You have a chance to design a vacation. You have a chance to design a day or design a date. Just get comfortable with designing it. Life may not always go exactly like your design – something will be better than you design and some things will be worse and some things will just be different. Don’t let that keep you from designing.

Get to Know Yourself Really Well 
Learn how you operate. Learn how to get the best out of you. Learn what gets in the way of getting the best out of you! Learn about your blind spots! Learn about the thinking that moves you forward the thinking that keeps you small. Learn what happiness and success is for you vs. what it is for others. Find out what others see in you. Find out the best fuel for you. 

Be Present
This simply means be where you are. If you are at work, be there not at home or with someone somewhere else. If you are with your friends, don’t be at home or at work. If you are at home with family, be with them. You may find that the idea of being three places at once is really productive and efficiency is actually an illusion. Become brilliant at being present and focused in a conversation. Watch a movie without going somewhere else during it. Don’t make the person you are with or the thing you are doing less important than someone you are not with or something that is less important. Be present!

Be the Person that Attracts the Kind of People You Want in Your Life 
Beyond the design of your life, the people you invite in are going to make a big difference to it. They will all be great teachers. There will be those who by example will teach things you will want to adopt into your life and those who will teach you things you will want no part of. After a while you will realize that who you are has a way of attracting people. Who you are might be attracting stars or it might attract bullies. Who you are might attract great thinkers or dark thinkers. Be aware and decide who to be.

Find and Own Your Genius 
If everyone has a genius what is yours? It might be something that seems easy to you or even insignificant but when you can discover it and then continually work on making it better you may be opening a door that you didn’t know existed. It may be the guitar, or working with numbers or making people feel important, or running, or cutting grass, but whatever it is become brilliant at it. If you encounter people who don’t value your genius, find the ones who do!

Make a Lot of Time for What You Love 
Many people live their lives dreaming about how one day they are going to do what they love. The people I admire figure out what they love and make time constantly for the things and the people they love. The more time you spend with the things you love, the better you will be. This is where passion resides. The real goal is to fill your days with the things you love. 

Build Deep Friendships
As you age the value of the friendships you have developed throughout your life will go up. Your family is important, but so are your friends. Be a brilliant friend. Be a great friend when things are great and when things are not great. You friends will be a safety net that you will fall into when you need it and being part of someone else’s safety net will be one of the biggest privileges of your life!

KevinNow go out and make us proud! If you would like to talk to me or Shelley about any of these things, call 1-866-822-3481 toll free. Make a difference in the world, no matter what your birth certificate says. Kevin MacDonald and  Shelley MacDougall are the coaches for CMAA! 


 Permanent link


It happened on July 26, 2017. In terms of days it had been 21,915. In terms of years it had been 60. In terms of decades it had been six.

I officially got older!

It was definitely a time for celebration and as I write this, we continue to celebrate. I am a big fan of celebration and although I know people who don’t like to celebrate birthdays, I love the energy, the smiles and fun that come with a celebration. I am thrilled with the connection and reconnection and am humbled by the number of people who take time out to celebrate me.

I have always loved having a summer birthday. The weather is usually beautiful, the world seems a little more relaxed and through the years I have tried my best to play golf on my birthday.

It seems that throughout my life a birthday has also been a time to slow down and reflect. I don’t do it to dwell on the past, but rather look into the virtual mirror and notice what I see. I guess in essence it is a virtual rear view mirror. I don’t want to take my eyes off the virtual road for too long, but I do see value in reflecting on the present and the past, in order to create my future.

I will start with the bigger number. 21,915 days! To some that will seem like a lot of days. Some people we have known and loved were not fortunate enough to live that many days.  Many have lived one and a half times that many days. There are no guarantees of how many days we will get to live. I have found over the years that when you have a lot of something you may diminish the value of one unit of it. If you have a million dollars then one dollar is pretty insignificant. If you have ten dollars, one dollar is pretty important. Those who know me well know that each day I write down 10 things I am grateful for. Today is the 1,357th day of this daily habit. It is an effort that I make to ensure that I don’t take any single day for granted. 

Each day has so many moments, so many minutes and seconds and so many opportunities to create something. The completion of 6 decades gave me a chance to take some time to reflect, but so does each day.

My questions for you are:

  • Do you take time to reflect?
  • Do you take time to look back on what you have done or said and reflect on it?
  • Are you as willing to evaluate and give feedback on your behaviour and results as you are with others?
  • Are you too busy to reflect?
  • Do you understand what refection can do for you?

So I started to reflect on six decades of life. I wondered if I summarized each decade what themes would come to mind. As I wrote the six themes I thought they might also reflect stages of a career or a job within a career.

Decade One: Discovery

The first decade was a time to discover. We learn to walk and talk, feed and dress ourselves. We learn from our parents and siblings. We go to school. We learn the basics and we learn to go beyond the basics. We learn what we like and what we don’t like. We learn games and sports and how to sing. We learn our relationship with the world and other people. We are building a foundation!

Decade Two: Independence

In this decade it is time begin to learn to think, feel and act independently. We take the basic skills and knowledge that we have to a new level. We go out into the world more. We stay out in the world more. We build new kinds of relationships and perhaps deeper relationships. We learn to drive and we learn what we love. We may leave our homes in this decade and our independence helps us to see ourselves and that world differently. We learn new kinds and new levels of fun.

Decade Three: Responsibility

This was the decade for me when I started a career. It was the decade when one would become two and before the end of the decade, two would become five. In this decade two homes and three cars were purchased.  A whole lot of diapers were purchased and Rose and I were responsible for the care, feeding and development of three extraordinary children. We moved a family across the country to start a new west coast life.

Decade Four: Development

This decade was about moving to new positions, new titles and a new industry. Each time there was a new learning curve.  It meant there was a chance to develop new skills, face new challenges and lead more people. We were learning and developing as our kids were discovering and gaining independence. Our network started to grow dramatically.

Decade Five: Reinvention

It was in this decade that I changed careers and in many ways changed myself. The loss of my parents and a career change gave me reason to reflect. I decided to re-invent myself. I realized in my early 40s that I had spent a lot of my life trying to be what others thought I should be, or more accurately what I thought others wanted me to be. It was time to decide what “me” I would choose to be. I moved from thinking this would be a selfish act to seeing it as a gift to the important people in my life and to the world.

Decade Six: Authenticity

This decade was spent refining, practicing and doing the best at being the most authentic me I could be. There was a wonderful freedom and feeling of peace in not worrying about whether or not someone else agreed with the “me” I chose to be. If I lost touch with the people who were not fans of the version of me I had chosen, I was ok with that. It felt that I was very attractive to the people who liked the “me” I was being. Most important I was enjoying myself. I was doing what I was meant to do. I was meeting the people I was meant to meet.

Now for me it is time to reflect! What will the theme for decade seven be? What difference will I make? I will have to reflect on that!

Is it time for you to reflect?

 KevinTo reach Kevin and Shelley, you can call (866) 822-3481 toll free or by e-mail at kmacdonald@dccnet.com or newreality@telus.net. We believe you could have your best year yet!

Philosophy Over Service Methods, and Other Important Mentoring Lessons

 Permanent link


There are very few aspects of our industry, or any industry for that matter, that allow us to further educate ourselves by reading or sitting in classes. There is really no education that can compare to learning from a mentor who has gained valuable experience throughout their career and is willing to pass those lessons on to the next generation of leaders. That willingness is a fundamental attribute that mentees look for in a mentor. 

There are several ways that each situation we encounter at work can be handled and sometimes all we can do is put together past experiences, an understanding of current private club politics and our gut intuition to make a decision and move forward. However, the invaluable conversations we have had with our mentors will help guide us to what we think is the appropriate decision and understand how to handle the impact of the decision. Nobody fully knows the right move all the time, however one goal we can hope to achieve, especially in private club management, is to say the right thing, in the right way, in front of the right people, at the right time. If that wasn’t enough to deal with, we also have a full operation to run simultaneously. Which is why surrounding yourself with capable individuals that are open to a mentor/mentee relationship is crucial to running a successful operation.

The most important lessons I’ve received from a mentor is how to operate in the “gray”. Earlier in my career, I was a very “black and white” person. I managed by checklists and operating procedures. Even when the operation was in my face that an operating procedure was not the right approach, I would push it through because I knew I would be able to explain it later when questioned, instead of following my gut. Training is another part of the job where operating in the “gray” is so crucial. It is very difficult to train your staff to be flexible on their approach based on the situation. This flexibility is likely only feasible at a small club (i.e., fewer than 500 members) as larger clubs required a more formal training as flexibility could create chaos in the eyes of the membership and could result in the operation spiraling out of control.

When I brought up training with my mentor and how I was struggling with how to train empowerment to the employee so they can take a situation and run with it without asking permission, his response to me was to focus more on philosophy, not service methods. Yes, of course it’s important to train the staff on methods like serve from the left with the left and clear from the right with the right for F&B or make sure there is a new cold water bottle in the golf cart prior to a member using it. But don’t make that the true measure of success, because it’s more important that the staff understands the underlying philosophy in which the membership would like the club to operate than the formality of the service procedures. Ultimately, we are judged on how the membership perceives the management and whether they are happy with the operation of the club. The membership will more likely remember the emotion they felt while experiencing the interaction rather than whether the table was cleared to five-star, five-diamond specifications. To be clear, the focus on philosophy and the training of technique are not mutually exclusive. However we should focus on balancing the two and ensure that the staff, and consequently the membership, understands the importance of having both.

Another valuable lesson my mentors have instilled in me is managing expectations. We always hear that it’s better to under-promise and over deliver. That statement speaks directly to managing expectations. This is an incredibly important message with staff and membership. If we can keep expectations reasonable, there is a better chance of us being successful. There will come a time when you face a board member or staff member that has unrealistic expectations. You can either tell them what they want to hear, or you can tell them what they should hear. Developing the ability to articulate and present a rationale and reasonable approach in the face of scrutiny is important to progressing in your career and being seen as a leader who delivers on commitments. Many of our board members are titans of industry, high-powered professionals or leaders in their own right so this can be challenging given that they may be accustomed to hearing what they want to hear, and not what they should hear. 

We encounter these challenges and many others on a daily basis in our industry so it’s paramount that we leverage the advice of our mentors. The luxury of having the support to guide us through these experiences until we are ready to take the reins on our own should not go underappreciated. Showing your mentor that you value their time and their mentorship is impactful and will help foster mutual respect and further development of this important relationship. 

There is an underappreciated challenge in mentorships and that’s how generational difference can affect the ability for the mentor and mentee to relate. The baby boomer generation looks at generation Y (i.e., Millenials, though most millennials hate to be referred to as such because of the hugely negative connotation the term has) and mainly sees a generation that does not want to put in the time or work to get to the top of the mountain. Simon Sinek, an author and motivational speaker who has studied Generation Y, looks at this from a different perspective. He believes that millennials grew up in a time when instant gratification was an expectation, not a luxury. For example, having the access to the internet and e-commerce has created a belief that any want can be satisfied instantaneously. This has arguably carried over to career expectations. There was also coddling by parents to make Generation Y believe that they could be “anything” they wanted, and millennials believed it. Having a strong mentor can help you navigate through these negative perceptions about Generation Y and make the relationship stronger in the end. 

A trend in our industry that is not usually spoken about is that younger millennial managers are faced with opportunities to take on higher positions in clubs than in the past. This could mainly be due to the fact that many private clubs are still trying to rebound from the recession and we are seeing fewer tenured managers that survived the cuts, which means lower supply and higher demand for mentors. It is incredibly important that we continue to see the value of mentorship in order to see our profession continue to have a strong network in the future. We must not forget to pay it forward when the time is right!

Miller HeadshotJason Miller is currently the clubhouse manager of the Muttontown Club in Long Island, New York. He is a graduate of the hospitality program at the University of Delaware having also studied at the Swiss school of hospitality and tourism. Jason’s career spans over 10 years, with experience in the hotel and club industry.

Inspiration—an Inspiring or Animating Idea, Action or Influence

 Permanent link


I have been inspired to write an article about inspiration. Maybe it’s because I hang out with, study, coach, observe, interview, listen to and play with inspiring people. Maybe it’s because I just left an extraordinary vacation destination, drove on one of the most beautiful, scenic drives I have ever taken and come home to a home by the ocean. Maybe it’s because I know people who are building things, writing things, dreaming things and recording things. Maybe it’s because I just watched a fireworks display to celebrate my country’s birthday and I thought about all of the dreams, inspiration, work and determination that went into what makes it so special. Maybe it’s because I just celebrated a significant wedding anniversary with the girl of my dreams. Maybe it’s because my kids seem to be living the lives of their individual designs. Maybe it’s because I have a long-time business partner who inspires me. 

Whatever the reason is that I am inspired; I am pleased to say that I am!

Many of the people who read my articles are leaders. Whether you are a leader or not, I have some questions for you: Are you inspired? What inspires you? Who inspires you? What happens when you get inspired? Are people inspired by you? What happens when you inspire them? What happens to energy? What happens to creativity? What happens to possibility?

I was invited to go and play golf with a friend I know and two friends I was about to know. I met a very successful entrepreneur and a world class athletic champion. I met some very successful people, who were so friendly, welcoming and fun. I stayed in an extraordinary home. Before others got up, I had an hour or so alone with our host to talk about his life, his passions and his dreams. He had literally been instrumental in the building of a small city. He is now passionate about rebuilding the homes, the businesses and the people’s spirits after a devastating fire ripped through the city. Did you catch it? The “spirits” of the people need to be rebuilt.

Inspiration! In spirit! It is not about what is happening to us on the outside. It is about what is happening to us on the inside. 

What inspired me about my host was not what he has done, but rather who he is.

He and his wife welcomed me into their home. He was kind, thoughtful, thought provoking, bright, caring, generous, curious, active, fit, devoted, grateful and inspiring.

He is older than me but I was inspired by his energy. He seemed to be leading a lot of initiatives. He had ideas to change things for people and he puts them into place.

As I drove down the Sea to Sky Highway, my mind was racing. Why did I meet him? Why did we have those conversations? Was it orchestrated to help him or help me? What am I going to do? Who am I going to be? How will I think differently?

A few years ago Dick Kopplin gave me a book called “The One Thing”. Shelley and I love this book and we talk about it a lot in our Extraordinary Leader Program. This past week we had the chance to interview one of the co-authors for our “Conversation with the Masters” call. 

We had so many people reach out after the call to say they were inspired by the author’s message. We can be inspired by many things and perhaps that can diminish the power, the energy and the impact of the inspiration. When we are inspired about our one thing something very powerful happens. 


Kevin MacDonald headshot To reach Kevin and Shelley, you can call (866) 822-3481 toll free or by e-mail at kmacdonald@dccnet.com or newreality@telus.net. We believe you could have your best year yet!

Congratulations! You’ve Lost Your Job!

 Permanent link


In 2003 CMAA asked me to start a coaching program to support its members. This is one of the first articles I ever submitted. It seems like I have been sending it out to a lot of people lately. If you have recently lost a job please read it, if you haven’t recently lost a job, please read it so you don’t.

Okay MacDonald, this time you have gone too far!
  How can you say congratulations about something that has so much pain and stress associated with it? Don’t you understand what it is like to go through this process? Yes I do! I have gone through it with colleagues and coaching clients on many occasions and I have experienced it personally. In fact, in the year 2000, my wife and I lost our jobs on the same day. You can imagine the stimulating conversations that those events inspired and if I remember correctly, I think our sleep patterns were altered somewhat. I hope the provocative title of this article doesn’t make you think for a moment that I don’t empathize with you if this is the challenge that you are currently facing. If it has happened to you, you can’t help but have empathy. It is my hope that this article will help you to position yourself for what is next.

We can see losing a job as tragedy or opportunity. There are two very different levels of energy that come from each of those two perspectives. When you’ve just lost your job you need your energy to come up with a solution. Managing our energy is critical and the thoughts we choose to focus on have a direct impact on our energy level. 

Let’s focus on the opportunities.

You now have time. Do you remember what that is? You have been busy dealing with a myriad of issues and problems. One of the first realizations is that they don’t belong to you anymore. Take time! Relax. Read. Record your thoughts… decompress, learn, play, plan and be!

In his book “The Pursuit of Wow!”, Tom Peters talks about “little-r and Big-R Renewal”. He suggests that little-r renewal can be done by activities like reading, listening to tapes, working with a coach, taking a course, attending a seminar etc. When talking about Big-R Renewal, Peters recommends that executives leave their jobs and take six months to a year to work in the inner-city or move to a third-world country. His belief is that this will give the executive the ability to be a completely different thinker, leader and human being. Whether you have a year or a weekend, take as much time as you can to renew.

You can design the rest of your life. Assess how it has gone so far. What has worked? What could be better? Take a look at the various parts of your life and decide what you would like them to look like. Look at your health, relationships, family, recreation, spirituality, physical environment, career and money. Make a list of what you would like to do, have or be. Design what you want it to look like, not what you think it can look like. Don’t be limited by what you think is possible today. I am sure that you have heard the saying “Ask and you shall receive.” This is a powerful message. When we built the new clubhouse at one of the clubs I managed it was amazing how much the finished product was like the design. Do you have a design for your life?

Get a clear picture of you. Take time to understand your values, your needs and the way you operate. Do some assessments or review the ones you have done in the past. Ask your friends or coach to give you feedback about your strengths. Often as a job has come to a conclusion it is easy to start focusing on weaknesses or “what is wrong with me”. Do a S.W.O.T. analyses. What are your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats? You have the opportunity to gain clarity about who you are, your passions and your competencies. Your ability to articulate this information will be key in moving you toward the right fit on the next step in your career.

See what you don’t see now. In other words you have an opportunity to go beyond limited thinking. When I lost my job I became a Club Manager looking for a job. I read a book called “Work Less Make More” by Jennifer White. I read something that has been substantiated many times in my role as a coach. If you ask someone to tell you who they are, they will tell you what they do. When I looked at who I believed I was I found that Club Management was good fit for me in many ways, but there were other opportunities. I found a career where I could do the things I liked the best about my previous career and still stay in the geographical area that I lived in. You may be a great Club Manager or a great Yacht Club Manager or a great Small Club Manager, but you are much more than just that.

Opportunities Galore! Here are some opportunities for you. You can have more balance, make more money, manage a bigger club, manage a smaller club, manage a different kind of club, manage a club with a different form of governance. You can discover a new city, state, country or continent. You can use your skills in a different industry. You can create multiple income streams. You can start a business. You can write a book. You can work less. You can devote more time and energy to your kids, your significant other or your friends. You can find out who your friends are and if one of your friends loses their job you can show them how a true friend reacts. You can have more fun, more joy and more fulfillment. 

Two more opportunities!  I would like to end with two opportunities that are available to unemployed and employed managers alike. They are more evident for the person who has just lost their job but can benefit all of us. 

The first one is that we can get past hate, anger and resentment. It is easy to hold on to one of these emotions when we experience job loss. We think holding on to them somehow punishes the object of our disdain but clearly it is hurting us. It can change who we are, and it sucks the energy that we need for things that matter. 

The second opportunity is to be accountable for all that you have in your life, the good and the bad. If you have lost your job don’t be a victim of it. Take ownership for what happened. Take ownership of how you handled or didn’t handle things. Take ownership for not paying attention to the signs you saw. Take ownership for tolerating some of the things you tolerated. There is weakness in being the victim and power in being accountable. It is my hope for you that you take on this personal power. The last thing that I want for the people I work with is that they recycle the same behavior in the next opportunity. Own what happened and be in control.

I would like to share with you a lesson I learned when I lost my job as a club manager. One of my colleagues, whom I admired and held up as role model, called me to say that if I needed anything I shouldn’t hesitate to call. I truly needed his help and didn’t ask for it because I didn’t want him to know I needed it. Please don’t let your ego get in the way of getting what you deserve in life. Asking for help can be a display of strength as opposed to being seen as a weakness.

There is no doubt that a job loss will change your life. If you focus on the opportunities that you have I believe your life will be changed for the better. And to that I say, “Congratulations!”

If I can help you get through this exciting challenge, ask!

Kevin MacDonald headshot To reach Kevin and Shelley, you can call (866) 822-3481 toll free or by e-mail at kmacdonald@dccnet.com or newreality@telus.net. We believe you could have your best year yet!


Risk Management Update – Drones and the Club Industry

 Permanent link


As clubs continue to seek new ways to market their products and amenities, and to gain efficiency in the services they provide, more and more they are relying on innovative technologies such as drones. Drones or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) have gained in popularity in a variety of industries over the past several years and have developed some very useful applications for the club industry.

Many clubs now utilize drones to enhance the impact of their real estate marketing via aerial videography of their grounds, amenities, home sites, real estate inventory and the club’s proximity to surrounding points of interest. Clubs have also begun to use drones in monitoring and assessing course conditions such as areas of high stress, wet areas, patterns of disease, and a variety of other golf course maintenance applications. 

While the benefits of drone usage are easy to see, from a risk management standpoint the use of UAVs brings into question a few key areas of concern: the insurance, legal, regulatory and ethical considerations of drone usage. Listed below are a few things to review and discuss with your risk manager to determine if the use of a drone or a drone service provider is right for your club:

  • Regulatory requirements - The FAA has oversight of UAV operations and requires any pilot of a drone weighing less than 55 pounds to be licensed and to have passed a written examination. Drones cannot be operated at an elevation greater than 400 feet and must not be used in any airspace within 5 miles of an airport.
  • Legal concerns – In addition to the FAA requirements, many local and state governments have ordinances in place which may prohibit the use of drones in your area. These local ordinances do not always coincide with the FAA requirements and, in some cases, may be more restrictive.
  • Ethical considerations – Potential areas of concern from the operation of UAVs include neighbor’s rights of privacy, potential for unintentional trespassing, and allegations of harassment.
  • Insurance coverage – Most commercial general liability (CGL) policies contain an absolute exclusion for aircraft operations, even for unmanned aircraft such as drones. The insurance marketplace has developed several “drone specific” policies which can be purchased to cover the hazards of bodily injury and property damage resulting from UAV operations. If your club chooses to operate the UAV, please check with your carrier to ensure that workers compensation coverage will apply in the event of an injury to an employee. Should your club choose to engage the services of a drone or UAV contractor, a certificate of insurance showing coverage for aviation liability and workers compensation should be obtained prior to commencing work on behalf of the club. The club should also be named as an Additional Insured on the subcontractor’s insurance policy.  

The emergence of drones and their benefits to club operations is exciting and new. While the benefits will most certainly outweigh the risks involved, conduct a little homework with your risk manager and your local authorities to make sure your exposures are addressed in advance.


Todd Perdue, PWCA, is Risk Advisor, SIA Group, in Jacksonville, NC. He can be reached at (800) 682-7741 or tperdue@siagroup.com.


This information is provided for informational purposes only. The contents are presented with no warranty, either expressed or implied by the Club Managers Association of America. No legal responsibility is assumed for the outcome of decisions, commitments or obligations made on the basis of this information. If your club is faced with a question concerning legal issues, you should contact the club’s legal counsel for the specific application of the law to your situation.