Fiddlesticks CC’s Executive Chef Ryan Daniels discusses how the strongest clubs are staffed with team-minded individuals working toward the same goal.
During my years of military service, it was instilled in us from day one that it is imperative to embrace the culture of “TEAM.” There was a responsibility in putting your life in the hands of the person to left or right of you—and vice versa—regardless of the task or mission. I had the opportunity to hear an amazing story that has stuck with me over the years. It has helped me focus on the importance of the team culture.
A young man had an opportunity to tour a ship with the admiral in charge. He saw every aspect of the boat, learning the incredible daily tasks and visiting with the enormous amount sailors it took to ensure the safety of the boat and the success of the missions. During the tour, he met many people from many walks of life. He met the janitor as he was mopping a floor. When the admiral asked him what his job was, he didn’t say anything about ensuring the cleanliness of the ship. He simply said, “To drop bombs on target.” Next, the young man met a cook. The admiral asked the same question. The cook didn’t say anything about cooking the food, or prepping the mess hall. She simply said, “To drop bombs on target.” Last, the young man met the sailor steering the ship. Can you guess what his answer was to the same question? “To drop bombs on the target,” he said.
When the young man was asked by the admiral his thoughts on the operations, the ship, and the sailors, he responded excitedly saying how incredible it was. He then said, “I have one questions for you sir. How is it possible for a person mopping a floor, or cooking the food, or steering the ship to have the ability to drop bombs on target?”
The admiral replied, “We all have a common mission. Everyone believes in this team and understands the importance of each job on the ship. If the pilot, who was just briefed on a secret mission, is the one who is supposed to actually drop the bomb, but happens to slip and fall and is unable to complete their mission, we have failed. Not just the person who failed to properly mop, or the person who failed to prepare the food safely and in a timely manner, but the boat as a whole. And the consequences of that are unknown.”
This story has stuck with me for many years. I understand some readers will scoff at the notion that I am relating the united states military to a country club but, on some level we are similar. A culture is created from the top brass. If the culture is consistent, it becomes habit. If the habit becomes consistent, it becomes a personality. So, if from the mission or culture is to deliver an amazing experience to our members and guests, it takes an entire team to believe in what has been created and it takes an entire team to carry that responsibility and hold themselves accountable for every element of the day.
If the golf course conditions are mediocre or not up to standards, the rest of the individuals experience will be just that regardless of how amazing the facility is, or the immense attentiveness of the service staff, or the amazing food that has been prepared. We all must trust that our general managers are creating a culture with the board to ensure that the club is moving in a forward direction collectively. We must trust the individuals in the trenches and on the line with us, day in and day out. But we also must trust all the individuals on the team, even the ones we don’t directly interact with, to ensure each aspect of the club is in impeccable working order and delivering service that is unforgettable and makes our members and guests proud to call their club home.