Kevin MacDonald is a principal in this Vancouver based practice.
Clubs face limiting factors, circumstances and beliefs that get in the way of being what they can be.  Some limits originate outside of the organization, some from inside the organization and others from inside the individuals in the organization.

When I work with Club Managers or people with other roles in clubs we focus on the limits that come from within the individuals in the organization.  We do this for a few reasons.  One is that we have more control over them, secondly that they have more impact and thirdly that if we understand the limits that we create we will soon see, that  limits from outside and inside our organizations are driven by individuals as well.

I mentioned that we start by looking at the limits that come from within.  That doesn't mean people I work with want to start there, in fact it is much easier to look at things that limit us that are beyond our control.  If it is caused by something or someone else then it is not caused by me.  The exercise of looking at what limits us is not about making anyone right or wrong, it is about realizing that anything we do or believe serves us but, can also limit us.

During the session in San Antonio managers were asked to explore what limits Managers, Employees, Members and ultimately their Clubs.  They looked at shifts in thinking or strategies to get past limits, enabling them to vision the possibilities beyond limits.

We can be limited by real limitations and we can be limited by what we believe are real limitations.  How often have you heard stories or know of individuals with real handicaps or limitations that refuse to be limited?  How many people do you know with amazing gifts or opportunities that always seem to fall short of realizing their potential?

Here are limiting beliefs that have been held by some of the Managers that I have worked with:

That is the way we have always done it.
I have to have all of the answers.
Scarcity vs. Abundance
There is never enough time.
There is never enough money.
We can't afford it.
I can't afford it.
We can't find good people in this market.
I can't afford to lose this job.
I need to take the job because it is available, even though I know it is not the right one.
I am too old.
I am too young.
Somebody is always gunning for me.
I am a victim.
I can't remember names.
I am unorganized.
I am not educated.
I need to please everyone.
I need to be what they want me to be.
I am comfortable.

During the session we came up with many more limits than this, but I am sure that if you look at this list you will see a belief that you or someone you know has held onto.  My experience with people is that when faced with a limit or a problem they jump right into the doing mode.  If the action is working in opposition with the belief they are seldom successful.

One of my jobs as a coach is to help people to shift their beliefs.  What would be possible beyond those limits?

I am too old?  Last week I met a man who's father is the oldest active sky diving instructor in Canada.  The 82 year old recently went to the U.S. to jump out of an airplane with the oldest active American sky diving instructor.  He was also 82.  Our Canadian example who chose not to buy into the belief that he was too old, was 70 when he jumped out of an airplane for the first time.

I was recently working with a golf professional that had not played well in recent tournaments.  I listened to him explain what was happening while he was playing.  He told me that he had lost confidence in his swing.  I asked him a question and challenged him to shift three beliefs.  He did and he won his next tournament. 

I challenge you to write down what would be possible for you, your people and your club beyond limits.

What would you do, have or be if money was not an issue?

What would you do, have or be if time was not an issue?

What would be possible if age didn't matter?

What would be possible for your club if limits imposed by external sources didn't exist?

What would be possible for your club if limits imposed by internal sources didn't exist?

As you are doing this are you allowing your thinking to be limited?  What if you weren't?

What would it be like if you didn't have to have all the answers?

You get the idea, you could ask this question in respect to whatever limits you, your people or your club.  Don't worry if the things on your list seem outrageous, unlikely or impossible, in fact if they don't you have been limiting your thinking.  Get outside of what your limits have allowed you to believe is possible.

Once you have your list go back to shift those beliefs that are in the way.
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By Kevin MacDonald