Repair, Foundation, Reserve, Mastery

      by Kevin MacDonald
I feel very fortunate to be able to say that for the past year I have working with the Executive Career Services Department of CMAA to support the Professional Development of Club Managers by introducing them to Coaching. From the outset we envisioned a process of education and delivery that would take many forms. I have been delivering the coaching message through articles, the website, answering coaching questions in the Coaches Corner, presentations at Conference, live coaching at Conferences, presentations to chapters, just in time coaching, one on one coaching via telephone and in New Orleans we are going to introduce some group coaching.

There are many ways to communicate a program to a large organization like CMAA but I can tell you that from my experience working in other organizations that the thing that most powerfully ignites and inspires people to raise the bar is the example that is set by the organization’s leadership. That is why I love communicating through the Chapter Digest because I know that I am communicating to not only leaders of the chapter but the current and future leaders of the organization.

I have asked chapter leaders in the past to book a coaching session with me to experience it and have a better understanding of how it might support the members of their chapter. Many have taken me up on my suggestion and the result I find is that I start to get calls from their chapter colleagues. I obviously want to support as many people in CMAA as I can and to help you understand how I can support you and your colleagues I would like to give you an idea of who can benefit and how they benefit from working with a coach.

Who can benefit from working with a coach?

The short answer is almost everyone. It isn’t for everyone, some people can’t build the trust it takes to have someone in their corner, some don’t want look at what might be getting in the way of their success, some don’t want to take accountability and trust me a big part of my job is to make sure my clients are taking accountability. The type of people who are continually learning, who are looking for an edge, who are committed to bring out their best and the best of their people are drawn to coaching.

Four Levels.

To better understand how coaching can support you or someone in your chapter it might help to understand that clients come to me with a variety of issues that are important to them and they usually fit into one of these levels.


There is a distinction that needs to be made here. In the past I have said that as a coach I don’t work with broken people and yet here I am talking about repair. Here is the distinction. A person that is suffering from a severe trauma, an illness, an addiction may have trouble working with a coach because the focus is on moving forward and they may not be equipped to do that. Fixing the broken person is the realm of the therapist and is not what my coaching is about. Yet people that aren’t broken may have issues that need repair. An obvious one might be that they have lost their job, another might be a challenge they are having with someone on their board. Many of the clients that start working with a coach may have had one of these issues that motivated them to do something. One of the beliefs that some people hold is that if they get support from a coach people with think there is something wrong with them. In fact a small percentage of the issues I work on with Managers fall into this level.


I have been doing a series of articles in Outlook about building a Personal Foundation. The July issue describes the 10 areas that we work on to ensure the Manager has a strong foundation. Long term success can be diminished if these foundational elements are not in place.


Once a manager has repaired an issue that was getting in the way and has worked on establishing a solid foundation we work on building reserves. They may be building a reserve of money, or energy, or time or relationships but beyond having enough to get by in any area of our lives reserves give us the security and peace of mind to focus on the next level.


At this level Managers can work on brilliance or a high level of competence. In mastery you take something to a level of competence that it truly is who you are and becomes almost effortless. There are a small number of members of CMAA who have attained the MCM certification. Achieving mastery is not for everyone, but I love working with the Managers who care about it.

I have a game that I lead with some coaching clients called the Happy Healthy Wealthy Game. In the game the players work on three goals over three months.
It is possible that one goal might in the level of mastery, one might be in reserve and another might be in repair. My point is that anyone one person isn’t necessarily in one level.

As a former Club Manager I recall seeing a similar set of levels that a club might go through. For a Club Manager that is starting at a new club he or she might have the goal of taking the club to a level of mastery or excellence but to do so without repairing the issues that are holding the club back, building a foundation with vision, mission, values, systems, standards etc. and then building some reserves of money or talent they are not likely to succeed.

The coaching that CMAA is offering you and your colleagues is not just about repairing an issue that needs to be fixed, it is there for anyone who wants to use it to enhance their professionalism and raise the bar for the industry. I would love to work with you!

As a leader of your Chapter or as a leader of your Club I would love to help you see what it is like to be coached and how making coaching a part of your leadership style can support you, your fellow club managers and your staff.
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