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The Power of On

By James Cronk

Each and every day that you wake up, you have the opportunity, on that day, to deliver the most amazing performance of your life! You know it, your significant other knows it, your staff knows it… and even your dog knows it! Each day we all have the opportunity to deliver exceptional performances that inspires ourselves, our staff and our guests. We know that if we come to the golf course with a smile on our face, a spring in our step and a commitment to motivating each and every employee we come in contact with, that our business will be more successful tomorrow than it is today. It’s a proven fact – if we give the performance of our life each and every day, we will be more successful, more happy and ultimately, more wealthy!

But do we? Each day do we give the performance of our life? Do we remind ourselves as we drive into the staff parking lot each morning that, as leaders, we are the shining example for which all of our employees look for inspiration?

The answer most likely is… sometimes.

Sometimes we are definitely at our best, and sometimes we are doing our best, and sometimes we are going through the motions, and sometimes, although we hate to admit it, we are not even making an effort. We are barely just ‘doing’. Our performance would be booed off the stage!

What’s most likely is that all of us fall somewhere within this range depending on the day and what is happening in our lives. Most probably, if you are like every other human on the planet, your ‘performance’ is greatly impacted by your environment. Is it a rainy Tuesday in October? Did we just get the fourth voicemail message from our bank? Did Billy not show up this morning to open the back-shop? Or conversely, did we just land that $200 dollar per plate wedding? Did we just experience our most profitable July in history? Did the six courses within 12 miles of us just go out of business?

The reality is that it’s not easy to give the performance of our lives! And if it’s not easy for us, who are 100% committed to our business and to the satisfaction of our customers and members, imagine how difficult it is for our staff. The people that are on the frontlines, who are responsible for the first and last impressions of your facility and who probably care more about the newest app for their smart phone than they do about your silly problem of  ‘a shortage of water’.


If you look at around at all of your team, you will see people at various stages of being powered on. By using the completely scientific measure of “on a scale of one to ten”, we can all quite easily identify those employees who love working with us, or who simply love life no matter what their circumstances. Luckily there are always glass half full people, but unfortunately, more often we meet people who think the glass is half empty, not fully cleaned and has a chip in it! Your job, if you choose to accept it, is to make sure that you have more staff who are powered up, then you have who are powered out!

(See Table one)

It’s critical that we assess all aspects of our business and in every way possible. It’s amazing that we can have systems and software and key performance indicators on everything such as how many toothpicks we used last month to how much we spent on mouthwash, when we often don’t have effective processes for measuring the engagement of our most important and expensive asset – our people! No matter what tools you use – staff surveys, silent shoppers, outside consultants, an in-house HR person – you must use something that gives you an effective assessment of your people. Most important, these assessments must be impartial. You know how you act when you are spending time with your in-laws? Respectful, attentive, engaged. That is how your staff acts when you see them at work. For the other 90% of the time they are being ‘real’. Every once in a while we need to take off our rose colored glasses to see what’s happening in our own reality show.

(See Table Two)

Our job as owners, managers and leaders is to create an environment where our staff can be as powered on as possible. So… how do we get our people (and ourselves) POWERED ON?

There are three very important elements that are needed for our staff to be powered on!

First, we need to be plugged in. We all want and need to know the what, who, when, how and most importantly, why!

Second, we need power tools. Great staff, fantastic service, motivated people, increased profits – these things don’t just happen because we try really, really hard to smile at our staff! It takes systems and processes and follow-up systems and hard work.

Finally, we need a great power play. The golf business is the entertainment business, and entertainment is about having fun. Our people need to love coming to work!


Do your people have a clear vision of what your business is about, who are your customers, what do they want and how they as employees can help the business succeed – both in the quality of the customer experience and in achieving fiscal objectives?


Have you provided your team members with the necessary tools to deliver powerful performances? Do they have job descriptions, regular and effective evaluations, clear incentives and rewards? Most importantly, is there an effective system for them to share their ideas and concerns in a trusting and empowering environment?


Do your people have fun? Truly laugh out loud, love to come to work, promote your business to their thousands of Facebook friends’ kind of fun? If so, what are you doing right and how do you do more of it? If not, what are ways that you can get your people so powered up that calling in sick to play hooky is never an option?


It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to show us the benefits of being powered on. There are millions of parents out there at this moment wishing that they were more fully engaged in the moment while raising their kids. There are customers walking out your door right now that may not have been engaged by your staff. A welcome smile and a simple “hello”? A “thank you for coming”? A “what can do better for you next time Mrs. Smith”?

It’s not easy to be powered on, and even Tony Robbins must have a bad day or two. We don’t need to be perfect, or energized every day, or constantly thinking about what our people ‘need’ to be happy. But if we can do these things more often than we are currently doing, and if we can put systems in place that increase the likelihood of our people being powered on, then slowly, over time, we will see our business improve. Our staff will be more engaged and this will be noticed by our customers and members. Our customer service will improve, the quality of our products will strengthen and our costs will decrease because we will be more efficient. Ultimately our facility will be better and all of these factors will increase our revenues and in the long run, our profitability.

(See Box Three)

There is nothing new or unique about why we should, or how we can, get powered on. But maybe we should remember what has been proven in almost every other industry. When you are facing rising costs, increased competition, declining sales and challenges to the very culture of your product…it will be the quality of your people and the passion they have for your business, and the loyalty and relationships that you have earned with your clientele, that will separate you from the competition. It’s not just the ‘strong’ who will survive, but the strong, the smart and the empowered!

(Table One)


SET SMART GOALS Goals that are – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timeline
POSITIVE They look at their strengths and think of all the reasons things can be done
RESILIENT They understand failure happens and they learn and move on
CONTROL DESTINY They understand that where they are is where they really want to be
HONEST They are honest with themselves and with others
POSSIBILITY THINKING They make decisions, take action and accept the consequences


MEANDERING LIFE They are procedure motivated and directed by what others think
NEGATIVE They think poorly of themselves and see reasons why things can’t be done
FEAR FAILURE They want a safe life with no risk (and therefore no growth)
UNLUCKY? They believe that success is more determined by luck than hard work
DISHONEST They are dishonest with themselves and with others
PROCRASTINATE They are indecisive, look backwards at life and relive past failures

(Table Two)_

Take this simple test to determine the ‘powered on’ score for your facility?

What is the returning rate of your employees? 10 (great)…            1 (poor)
What is the level of your member/customer satisfaction? 10 (awesome)…    1(poor)
When is the last time you dismissed/fired an employee for poor attitude? 10 (last week)..1(last year)
How would you rate the ‘attention to detail’ of your team? 10(perfect)….       1 (brutal)
How much social interaction does your team have when not at work? 10 (lots)…..              1 (little)
How much time do you spend dealing with people issues? 10 (little)….               1 (lots)
TOTAL SCORE ________
50-60 Full Speed Ahead You and your team are powered on baby!
40-50 Cruisin Keep it going… you are heading in the right direction!
30-40 Stuck in Neutral At least you are not going backward!
20-30 In Reverse YOU are going backward
0-20 Give Up Have you thought about a career in accounting?

(Box Three)


In a study of 900 organizations that conducted annual engagement studies (employee morale, confidence in the organization, career opportunities, rewards and recognition programs, and trust in leadership), those organizations with high levels of engagement (where 65 percent or more of employees are engaged) outperformed the total stock market index by 19 percent higher than the average, while those companies with low engagement (where less than 40 percent of employees are engaged) had a total shareholder return that was 44 percent lower than the average.

2010 Study – HEWITT& Associates

3750 St. Paul’s Avenue, North Vancouver, BC V7N 1T3

O) 604.986.1824 C) 604.889.4707 E) james@cronkgroup.com




Download and apply these 10 ‘POWER ON’ principles and see immediate improvements in the satisfaction of your staff, your guests and your bottom line!

James Cronk

For the past twenty-five years James Cronk has been helping business owners get themselves, their people and their customers powered on. He uses a unique blend of creativity, experience and proven systems to help golf clubs achieve their goals and increase their profits by improving their systems, their service and their people!
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