Let’s Talk Club Management Ep. 39 – Navigating Career Moves

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Kopplin Kuebler & Wallace join us to chat about how best to navigate the landscape of career changes as a club management professional. Kopplin Kuebler & Wallace, a CMAA Business Partner, is a leading recruiting firm assisting with executive level club positions. Further, it offers a full range of consulting services such as Board Retreats, Team Development, Club and Department Assessments, and F&B Training as well as personalized assistance. Well-informed, inquisitive job candidates make better impressions and decisions in the job search. We were so glad to have the KKW team share their collective experience on both sides of the table as club management professionals and recruiters to share with our listeners.

Stay well and remember, you can find us on iTunes! Please be sure to rate, review, and subscribe so you don't miss an episode!

Let’s Talk Club Management Ep. 38 – COVID-Friendly Fall & Winter Events

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As fall has arrived and cooler temperatures are on the way, managers will need to consider how to continue club events safely while the COVID-19 pandemic continues. Moving things inside will present unique challenges and colder temps will mean getting creative if events are held outdoors. Managers have taken to the Best Practices Exchange on CMAA Connect to share their ideas and for this episode, we’re joined by Susan Schenkel, CCM, CCE of the Woodstock Club in Indianapolis, as she shares some of the ways her club is adapting this fall. We also finally get to introduce our listeners to another CMAA new(ish) CMAA team member: Alanna Ross! Alanna joined our team back in January and it’s about time you got to know her! Stay well and remember, you can find us on iTunes! Please be sure to rate, review, and subscribe so you don't miss an episode!

Let’s Talk Club Management Ep. 37 – Coffee Talk with Jeff Bishop of Royal Cup Coffee

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One of the familiar sights at our annual events is the amazing coffee service provided by our friends at Royal Cup Coffee, a CMAA Business Partner. Since we can’t be together in-person, we wanted to have an opportunity to catch up with Jeff Bishop. Here’s a special Coffee Talk edition of the Let’s Talk Club Management podcast from this year’s Virtual Leadership/Legislative Conference. Stay well and remember, you can find us on iTunes! Please be sure to rate, review, and subscribe so you don't miss an episode!

What Are You Hearing?

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I was recently catching up with an old friend. It seems like this year there are lots of opportunities to catch up with old friends because for months seeing them in person hasn’t been an option. He made reference to the fact that I spend most of my days in conversation with people from around North America, and he asked, “What are you hearing?”

As I am writing this just past 5:00 a.m. on a summer morning near the Pacific Ocean, I am hearing silence except for the symphony of seagulls that have decided that the day should begin and they need to continue the flying lessons of their now full sized babies. They all seem oblivious to the concerns that humans are focused on.

Deep down I know that my friend was not interested in my early morning listening. He wanted to know what people are saying to me. I reflected on this and this is what I have been hearing.

First off, I have been hearing more. I have had months where I am having two to three times as many coaching sessions as usual. That may be a function of more people having a need to be heard, people having more time to be heard, or people just having more to say.

I have heard stories of pain and anguish and I have heard stories of joy and jubilation. I have heard problems and I have heard solutions. I have heard pessimism and I have heard optimism. I have heard from people who are bored and have nothing to do and people who have had one day off in the last five months. I have heard from people who have been dealing with the pandemic close to home daily and others who haven’t been impacted and don’t think it is a big deal. I have heard from people who have been dealing with deaths and some who have been celebrating births. I have heard from people who have lost their jobs and I have heard from people who have landed dream jobs. I have heard from young people who are not worried about their own health but don’t want to get their grandmother sick. I have heard from people who are concerned about social injustice and I have heard from people who are concerned about the people who are concerned with social injustice. I have heard fear and I have heard confidence. I have heard from people who see the tragedy in the times we are in and I have heard from people who see the opportunity in the times we are in. I heard from people who are less connected than usual and I have heard from people who have made a point of being more connected than usual.

In some ways I feel like I am hearing everything, and, in some ways, I feel like I am hearing nothing.

I reached out to a dear friend recently. I found that he was very down. He had been going through a lot and he seemed to be going through it alone. I asked him why he didn’t reach out to me and he said that he didn’t want me to experience him in this state.

“Genuine Listening means suspending memory, judgment, and desire and for a moment at least existing entirely for the other person.” - Mike Nichols

My question for you is “What are you hearing?”

One of the greatest gifts you can give to someone is to simply listen.

The challenge for many is to suspend memory, judgment, and desire and for a moment at least exist entirely for the other person.

You may have heard them say it before, you may disagree with what they are saying and you may want to be right or give them the solution, but all of those things get in the way of truly listening.

The quality of our communication affects the quality of our leadership and the quality of our lives! The quality of our communication is greatly impacted by the quality of our listening.

The quality of our listening is impacted by the quality of the questions we ask and how we listen to those answers.

Be aware that we can hear without listening!

Think of a time when you were truly listened to. Think about how that made you feel. Think about how that made you feel about the other person.

Perhaps today will be the day when someone who needs to be listened to will be lucky enough to be heard by you.

In our Extraordinary Leader Program recently we discussed the concept of “A Conversation of Lifetime”.

Most people are involved in hundreds of conversations in any given week. Many of the conversations we have are like the ones we have had before. If we are lucky in our lifetime, we will have one or a dozen conversations that truly stand out. When we ask people about the elements of their conversations of a lifetime here are some of the things they have told us:

  • They were both absolutely present
  • There was absolute trust and respect
  • There was openness and vulnerability
  • There was learning and discovery
  • There was gratitude and appreciation
  • There was sincere interest and curiosity
  • There was a shared feeling that something special had just happened I go back to my previous question.

What are you hearing?

I hope you are hearing that your ability to listen is a gift that you can give to others. I hope you will experience a conversation of a lifetime


Kevin MacDonald and Shelley MacDougall are the coaches for CMAA. To contact them call 1-866-822-3481 toll free.

Let’s Talk Club Management Ep. 36: CMAA Fall Preview

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This week on the podcast we are joined by a few of our CMAA HQ colleagues David McCabe and Kim Pasquale to discuss the upcoming slate of Fall events. From the Leadership/Legislative Conference to the Mid-Management Conference and the Communications Summit, there’s something on the schedule for everyone. Tune in to learn more and see what’s right for you. Stay well and remember, you can find us on iTunes! Please be sure to rate, review, and subscribe so you don't miss an episode! 

Episode 35: Beyond the Classroom

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In this episode designed specifically for our CMAA Student Members, we talk learning beyond the classroom and how students can take advantage of all that the club industry offers for personal growth including internships, mentorship, and leadership opportunities. Student Chapter Alumni Caroline Hollatz, a 2018 graduate of Ohio University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Restaurant, Hotel, and Tourism Management, who served as her Chapter’s President, and now works as the Student Liaison with the Ohio Valley Chapter, shares her passion. Our special correspondent for this episode is the charming and bubbly, Christina Krueger, Manager of Member Communities & Student Development.

Stay well and remember, you can find us on iTunes! Please be sure to rate, review, and subscribe so you don't miss an episode! 

Delegating to Your Environments

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One of the many things we do as coaches is to support people in setting and achieving goals. We find that many people have been encouraged to do this but have often been set up to fall short or not given all the information they need to succeed and then they become discouraged. There are many elements of goal achievement that people may be unware of. The result is that they approach their goals in the same way over and over with similar results. If they don’t achieve the kind of results they are looking for, they become discouraged and either stop setting goals or dread the process.

Here is one element of goal achievement that can dramatically increase the odds of achieving your goals.

Let me start by suggesting that when a lot of us learned to set goals we put a lot of weight on the fact that we would have the willpower or discipline to stay focused to achieve our goals. We may even have personal evidence that willpower has worked for us in achieving some of the goals we have been successful with in our lives. We may also have some evidence of times when it didn’t. Willpower works when you are strong and when it is on. If you don’t want to eat any cookies and your willpower is fully engaged for 23 hours and 45 minutes, you can eat a lot of cookies in 15 minutes.

Willpower is important but here is an idea that you can employ to increase the odds of achieving the goals you set.

You may have heard the concept that we are a product of our environment. That makes sense. We are clearly impacted positively and negatively by the environments that we are in. The awareness that can make a difference is that although we are a product of our environments, our environments are a product of us.

In the Extraordinary Leader Program we show people nine environments that will have an effect on our lives and the attainment of our goals. Our environments can work for us or work against us and we help people to see the opportunity to set them up in a way to support the outcomes they are looking for.

The nine environments that we talk about are memetic, physical, relationships, network, spiritual, body, nature and self.

We start with the Memetic Environment because how we see the other eight environments is impacted by this environment. This environment is made of the beliefs, ideas, knowledge, cultural norms, and frameworks that we have been exposed to. It is possible to change our memetic environment by exposing ourselves to ideas and knowledge that is different than what we have held on to or known to this point in our lives. When we read, when we join classes, when we get a mentor or coach, when we expose ourselves to new ideas and new perspective we can see the world and the environments that we experience in a new way. The ideas and knowledge you expose yourself to can move you toward your goal.

Physical Environment: Your home, your car, your office, your furnishings, your artwork, or your technology are all parts of your physical environment. Whether you know it or not these things can all be enhancing you or working against you. They can either give you energy and focus or take them away. Does your home, your neighborhood, your city energize you. If not how could it? Is your home, your car and your office organized and working for you or against you? If things like your technology are not set up to support you or working properly, how much is that impacting you negatively? Set up your physical environment to work for you.

Relationship Environment: Your family, your friends, your colleagues, and the people you choose to put into your life are all part of an environment that can be working for you or against you. Some people will support you in moving toward your goals and some people will work against you. You may not always have control of who is in your life but you can decide how you will let them impact you and how you will choose people who will enhance it.

Network Environment: Beyond the close personal relationships we experience it is possible to create a network of people who can impact your life. They can come from all over the world, they can come from different interests, they can be part of your organization, your industry, your community, your church, your sports affiliations. Wherever they come from, be conscious of how they are impacting you. Are they moving you toward or away from your goals?

Spiritual Environment: Being connected to a higher power of your choice or an environment that gives you peace and calm and one that restores you is an important environment.

Financial Environment: Our financial environment is one that has a big impact on what we can do and the freedom of our time. When we earn and manage our money well, when we have safety nets like savings, insurance, or investments, we have more freedom to focus on the achievement of our goals.

Body Environment: We all have a physical body. We can’t control the genetics that gave us the body, but

we can control how we treat it. The health, the strength, the energy, and the endurance of our body has an impact on the goals that we set for ourselves.

Nature Environment: The time we spend in nature has a way of calming, restoring and teaching us. The beauty of nature, the cycles of nature, the movement of water, the warmth of the sun and the miracle of watching plants, and animals seemingly effortlessly doing what they were meant to do, can support us in doing and being what we are meant to do and be. How can you design your nature environment to support you?

Self Environment: Self environment is made up of your personality, your gifts, strengths, talents, and your emotions. Taking some time to be aware of how these things can move you toward your goals is a worthy endeavor.

What do you think it would be like if you set up your nine environments in a way that would support whatever goal you are working on? What would it be like if you delegated much of your effort in goal achievement to your environments?


Kevin MacDonald and Shelley MacDougall are the coaches for CMAA. If you would like a copy of the poem “A Friend” that Hugh Alexander Campbell wrote, please e-mail kmacdonald@dccnet.com

Let’s Talk Club Management Ep. 34 – A Beer Garden in Massachusetts

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July is here and we’re joined by Ryan Kenny, CCM, CCE, General Manager/COO of Dedham Country and Polo Club in Dedham, MA. Ryan shares with us Dedham’s fun (and delicious!) response to social distancing safety requirements. The Club repurposed an area into an outdoor dining area that has become a popular spot for members to enjoy local brews and wood-fired pizza, showcasing the creativity and ingenuity that has come to the surface during the pandemic. Take a listen and see how your club could adapt this idea! Stay well and remember, you can find us on iTunes! Please be sure to rate, review, and subscribe so you don't miss an episode!

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.