In a conversation with a dear friend and personal mentor the question was asked, “what book is on your nightstand?” I paused for a moment to consider the fact there are currently no books on my nightstand. And for that matter, no books on my iPad or in my briefcase. This really bothered me because I enjoy reading. Further into our conversation he reminded me again, “readers are leaders!” This is a premise I preach during my ASPIRE Higher career coaching sessions. It is true and I am guilty as charged for not heeding my own advice. Because as much as experience and enthusiasm are vital to your work life journey so is ongoing education.
So, to that end I offer a three-phased strategy for cultivating the quest for knowledge as you venture further into your turf career and life.
Phase One: In an age of information overload and easily accessed “knowledge,” read difficult and challenging material. Don’t be concerned with the consumption of voluminous amounts of “stuff” but rather the value of that stuff! To expand your understanding of our field it is essential you seek new and high-quality sources of information. Learning what is relevant and inspirational gets you out of your comfort zone. Whether it sticks or not I try to read several articles each month from the most intelligent people in our industry. I may not completely grasp their concepts, but it keeps me thinking and stimulated.
Phase Two: Education is not about what you take in through the typical sources, even of your own choice. Education is acquiring information that can shed light on the shortcomings and missteps you have taken along the path to your career goals. In other words, get and accept career feedback for improvement. Your goal is always to go to bed at night smarter than when you woke up that morning. Also, have (like me) a mentor or a “third party” to assist in examining your progress, provide constructive feedback on your shortcomings, and guide on your path of self-improvement. It can be tough to handle this evaluation, but remember “it’s not personal, it’s business!”
Phase Three: The best thing about becoming smarter and acquiring new information for your career and life is that it increases your chances of meeting personal and professional goals. Also, as you become more aware and successful it will allow you to improve and help others achieve their goals too. You can transform from a “reader to a leader!” And, when people under your leadership ask how or what you did to become successful, you can direct them to the resources that helped you. Share knowledge openly and often. Think about the many “leaders” and teachers who have helped you (and me) get to where we are today. Do not miss an opportunity to share your knowledge, life lessons and advice with those around you.
About the Author
Tim Moraghan is the principal of Aspire Golf, a consulting company based out of Hilton Head, South Carolina. Aspire offers guidance in the areas of turfgrass management, tournament consulting, and professional development. In today’s highly competitive—and extremely cost-conscious—golf industry, it is essential to operate at peak potential. Aspire Golf consulting services help your facility be the best it can be by simultaneously enhancing operations and minimizing costs.
Learn more about Aspire Golf by visiting them online at www.aspire-golf.com.