What's In It For Me?

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by Leah Bathgate, CMP
 

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(Nov 4, 2015) - In an industry that keeps hammering recession and depression into our heads, it’s easy to do what’s best for you, first.
 
I’ve been thinking a lot about the people that re-ignite my passion for this industry. The ones that have been there all along. The ones that genuinely show interest, respect, and care. The ones that just get it.
 
I bet you are thinking of at least one person in your head like that right now.
 
Then, scrolling Facebook the other night, I read this status that said, “Never forget the people that come through for you.”
 
Sounds simple enough, but in those moments when you really needed some help on a professional or personal level, how many people said they would be there for you, and how many people actually were?
 
I am so lucky to have a group of people who voluntarily help me run the Alberta Golf Tour events week after week. They show up hours early just to help me set up, and stay hours later to help take down. They still pay the entry fee everybody else pays.
 
In turn, I created a Player Advisory Committee for these volunteers to be a part of. If they are going to invest that much of their own time into what I'm doing, they deserve to be a part of it.
 
We communicate by email, because it would be impossible to get us all together at once, being spread out all over the province. I rely on them to help me make decisions for the Tour. We joke that they are “Leah's Minions” but they keep showing up and working away without ever being asked. That is the culture they have created, the collaboration between them (my customers) and myself (the Prez).
 
The new players see it and start helping too. Inside jokes are created from the funny things that happen during these moments, and the family atmosphere is strengthened each and every time. Culture Creates Memorable Experiences.
 
You see, this is not something I can buy. I can’t pay people to have passion. I can’t pay people to enjoy each other’s presence. When I used to go to Kananaskis GC before the flood wiped it out, I couldn’t buy the smile on Bob Paley’s face, it was just always there.
 
When we took our Tour Championship to Copper Point and they gave us their first few holes for multiple evenings in a row, and came to participate in the fun and games themselves, I couldn’t buy Scott McClain not performing his best because he was borrowing a player’s super heavy putter, and the whole group bugging him about it.
 
I couldn’t buy Scott Schell’s driving out to the middle of the 3rd hole with a rangefinder and literally running to every person’s drive to measure it for the long drive competition. I guess I could have bought a round of drinks for everybody at the Awards Dinner, but Freddy Z did that instead.
 
Collaboration and culture is a beautiful thing. Sometimes it seems like those in power are afraid of it. There’s no reason to be. If we all stop looking at our jobs wondering, “What’s in it for me?” and instead said, “How can we make this better?” -  there would be a lot more happy customers and employees.
 
Oh, and business would naturally flourish too.
 
About the Writer:
Leah Bathgate is the President of the Alberta Golf Tour and boasts over 10 years of marketing, communications, and management experience in a variety of industries such as golf, sport, tourism, retail, provincial and municipal government, professional sports, and oil and gas. As she says on her LinkedIn page, "I am a passionate leader, marketer, planner, and communicator in relentless pursuit of perfection in everything I do (though I know it can’t always be achieved, but at least it keeps me working for something)." She can be reached at leah.bathgate@gmail.com
 
 
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