Wednesday, July 8, 2009

It's What You Take Away, Not What You Add

I am associated with one of the best golf courses in the nation, Sycamore Hills Golf Club, in Fort Wayne, Indiana. From about the mid-90s through the early 2000s, it had been in the Golf Digest Top 100 Golf Courses in America, but had fallen out of the rankings for the past four years. A group of us decided to acquire the course after the founder had passed away and it came up for sale.

The course, while still a masterpiece, had stumbled, and the general consensus was that it may never attain Top 100 status again due to all the new courses coming on to the scene.

I spoke with the course superintendent - a great, hard-working guy - and asked him to focus on the basics: making sure the weeds were pulled, that the greens were not burning out, and that there were no dead trees in the streams. He looked at me, clearly uncomfortable, and told me, "That all sounds good, but what about all the projects I have to tend to - building a wall over here or draining a lake over there?" He went on to list a dozen projects that he had been given to work on over the years. It was an overwhelming list, yet none of the projects were as important as taking care of the basics. So I told him that. He agreed to focus on the important stuff, but was not happy about it.

A week later he approached me and said, "At first what you told me was unsettling, but now I feel like I have the weight of the world off my shoulders. I can finally focus on what's most important and not be tempted to get lost in all those other jobs." And that's just what he did.

The course quickly began to regain its beautiful look and, miraculously, attained Golf Digest Top 100 status within months.

Sometimes it's not what you add, it's the stuff you get out of the way that makes a difference. Forget about what else you need or want - what is in your way?

Barry LaBov
LaBov & Beyond

No comments:

Post a Comment