A Strong Relationship Between the Club General Manager and Board is Established Through “Beginning with The End In Mind”

Young modern men in smart casual wear shaking hands and smiling while working in the creative office
Young modern men in smart casual wear shaking hands and smiling while working in the creative office

Do you, as General Manager, know or feel your club could be performing better? Do you hear grumblings from some Board members that your club is not achieving or executing at its best? Do you want to do more, and you hear some of your members want the club to be more? Could the financial bottom line be better, or the daily member experience be better or delivered more consistently? If any part of the aforementioned is true, what is standing in your way of achieving at your highest level? Why aren’t you, as the ‘thought leader’ and enabler of progress at your club, achieving at the highest levels? Is it because you are frustrated that in order to achieve at the highest levels and maximize your members’ satisfaction, it is not solely up to you? Is it because you feel you and your Board are, at times, at odds and there is not a firm and clear picture of what ‘better’ looks like?

In reality, the only true lonely decision you have to make is to decide to take action and engage others in the pursuit of achieving ‘better or best.’ Once that decision is made, your job transitions to educate, enlighten, collaborate, inspire and mentor.    

Stephen Covey, author of “The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People.” taught us to begin with the end in mind, envisioning what the future looks like and work a plan towards achieving it. His book talks about first establishing independence in understanding we, as General Managers, are responsible for ourselves, and for achieving our personal life goals. He then teaches that success is best achieved when we move to a position of interdependence thinking; a ‘win-win’ for all is best achieved through collaboration with others, our Boards, our Management teams and most importantly our front-line employees. 

Many clubs are not achieving their best today because there is not a close collaborative, interdependent relationship between the club’s Board and the General Manager. McMahon Group says this relationship is best driven from a shared understanding of a clearly defined club Mission and Vision statement; where all stakeholders have identified and agreed upon, ‘The End in Mind.’ 

If establishing a closer bond between you and your Board is critical to your club achieving at its highest level, McMahon Group has a strategic process to help you and your club identify and document what your club’s ‘End in Mind’ is; a.k.a. your club’s Mission and Vision. Once established, it would become the cement that bonds the close relationship between your club’s governance and management teams, enabling all of you to work in concert to consistently and reliably achieve highly satisfied members. Remember, great clubs don’t happen by accident. They require a true partnership with Board and manager working together.

Please contact Alison McMahon Duffy at aduffy@mcmahongroup.com if you would like to ask McMahon Group for help in consistently achieving highly satisfied members. 



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About Richard Lareau

Director of Member Experience

Richard has worked in private club management since 1992. His more than 24 years of experience as a Club Manager and Chief Operating Officer, achieving the highest levels of success in Board relations and as an operations specialist has garnered him well-earned acclaim in the industry. Successful management systems in team building, food and beverage, human resources, communications, marketing, golf, fitness, aquatics, and youth programming are all in the tool bag he carries with him when visiting clubs seeking help.

He has proven success in developing and implementing strategic plans along with master facility planning, kitchen and dining room design development, and construction management.

Richard is a Certified Club Manager (CCM) and Certified Chief Executive (CCE). He is the winner of the 2009 Mel Rex Award from the Excellence in Club Management® Awards (ECM); and, was awarded Club Manager of the Year by the Texas Lone Star Chapter in 2013 for his achievements and contributions to the private club industry. Richard is an active member of Les Amis des Escoffier, Chaine des Rotisserie, The International Wine Society and a lifetime honorary member of the Catering Executives Club of America.

More articles by Richard Lareau
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