Personal Foundation: Building

      by Kevin MacDonald
Building a Personal Foundation

A few years ago Jim Singerling was addressing a group of Club Managers and he made the statement that in our industry we have some scoundrels.  People who perhaps don’t have all the qualities we would like to see in someone in our profession.  In our professional community we get to know our peers on a social level and yet we may not know how skilled they are as managers or how they operate professionally.  Often when one of our colleagues loses their job we work hard to help him or her find another job and in some instances allow the scoundrel another opportunity.  In this way we often unknowingly shoot our profession in the foot.  Mr. Singerling points out with this example that in addition to the many technical skills we learn as Club Managers we have to look within to ensure that we also have a strong personal foundation.  In this edition of Outlook I would like to discuss this important topic of personal foundation.

The foundation of a building is a great metaphor for the foundation of a person.  As architects and engineers design bigger, better, taller buildings the design of the foundation becomes more critical.  An amazing, tall superstructure built on a poor and weak foundation is doomed.  In personal terms we can rise in our careers, in our lives and in our opportunities but without  a strong personal foundation our lives can quickly come crashing down.  There are many examples in the news that can illustrate this point. 

As a coach my job is to help people to achieve their goals.  I ensure that we do so in a balanced way and therefore often the beginning of the process is to ensure that the personal foundation is intact.  To give you an understanding of what a personal foundation is I would like to briefly describe to you the topics we deal with when creating this personal foundation. 

1.Clearing unresolved matters: here we deal with getting past issues that stay with us and hold us down.  It could be something that we did or didn’t do or that we should have done or did poorly or perhaps something that was done to us.  The strength of this process is letting go of those things from the past that take our energy whether through regret, remorse, shame, anger, denial or sadness.

2.Restoring integrity: to be our best we must be able to do what we say we’re going to do and be who we were meant to be.  Restoring integrity for some may mean speaking truth and for others doing the thing they are meant to do.

3.Getting needs met: when I work with people on getting their needs met they discover what their personal needs are and they begin to see what is possible when they are getting them met.  We can also clearly identify how much more difficult life can be when their needs are not being met.  People who don’t have an understanding of this process can often find themselves doing things that may work against the goals they are trying to achieve.

4.Extending boundaries: boundaries are the imaginary lines we establish around ourselves as a way to protect against the unhealthy or damaging behavior of others.  This is a way to ensure you are being treated with the respect that you deserve
5.Raising standards: personal standards refer to the behavior and actions you are willing to hold yourself to.  Much of the process when working with a coach is about continually raising standards in every area of your life.  As these standards are raised people feel better about themselves and they become more attractive to opportunities and the possibility of reaching any goal becomes more realistic
6.Stop tolerating: humans tolerate a lot.  Club managers tolerate a lot.  ‘Tolerations’ can be people in our organization who don’t live up to our standards, people who treat us with disrespect, not taking enough time for ourselves, or a waistline that’s getting too big.  Everything we tolerate takes energy.  As we are giving energy to our tolerations we are not putting it towards our goals

7.Seeing the positive side: it’s pretty easy to get into the mode that life is not treating us well.  Or that our plight is not easy.  But there is a great power in realizing how much we have to be grateful for and seeing the opportunities that are available when this shift in perspective is made

8.Strengthen the family: part of a great foundation is about being part of a family, whether it is biological or chosen.  Creating a structure where you can support others and benefit from their support when you need it strengthens the person you can be

9.Strong community: this is similar to building a strong family.  Our opportunities to build a community, whether geographical, interest based, industry based or global, ensures we have others to support and that their support gives us strength.

10.Reorienting on values: once we have a clear understanding of our values are we can be very powerfully focused on the goals we set, which are clearly consistent with those values.

In the space I have here I wanted to help you to understand the types of things that make up a strong personal foundation.  I can go into more detail in future issues of Outlook but if any of these points have struck a chord with you or if you are interested in ensuring that you have a strong personal foundation please take advantage of the coaching sessions that are open to you as a member of CMAA, through the Executive Career Services of the web site.

Kevin MacDonald
Clarity Success Coaching
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