Why Are You Reading This?

12.01.19-Kwatlen-Hort200“Kwantlen Campus News” -  September 2013

You are a golf course or parks Groundsman at the crew lunchroom table.  Perhaps you are just passing time during your break at the job you are happy doing for the rest of your life....or maybe you are reading this for another reason. You may be experienced at what you do and ready for the next move up. Perhaps you feel you may have the skill-set necessary to move into management.  Is this you in the photo?

13.09.05-IsThisYouIs This You?

Do you really have a passion for going to work each day? Are you genuinely happy doing any job assigned with enthusiasm? Do you embrace early hours and welcome doing whatever long hours are necessary to maintain a perfect product? Are you compatible working with anybody? Can you effectively and respectfully teach and motivate new staff to work efficiently? Do you recognize the needs of those above and below you? Are you ready to put these needs above yours? Do you have the confidence to make hard decisions, the humility to credit those around you for successes and the honesty to accept responsibility for decisions gone wrong? Do you have the technical and business skills required? Are you eager to learn new skills and adapt to new technology? Do your supervisors see you with these characteristics?

If you can answer yes to these questions, maybe you do have what it takes! Think about your short, medium and long-range goals. Discuss your potential future with your supervisors, your partner and your mentors. If they agree you have a chance, go for it! Discover what you need to do to put yourself in position for your first move by modifying your weaknesses. 

Plot out your personal gameplan with help, for example:

2014  Spray tech    
2015  Irrigation tech    
2016  Foreman    
2017  Assistant    
2020  Superintendent

Personal commitments:
Early at work every day  
Get along with everybody and be more sociable  
Work hard with a smile  
Volunteer to learn spraying  
Monthly progress report with supervisors

Educational commitments:  
Get Pest Applicator Certificate  
Learn any new workplace skills  
Begin post-secondary education  
Join Toastmasters

Professional commitments:  
Join WCTA and BCGSA or STMA  
Attend Field Days, meetings, seminars  
Attend WCTA Conference  
Network: meet and perhaps golf with industry professionals

Turf manager positions are not given by entitlement or years of service, they are earned.  Your value as a potential manager to others is driven by observation of your behaviour.  Figure out where you are, where you want to be and roadmap the changes you need to make to get there.  Develop your support team and commit yourself to consistent action. Your future is up to you.

Stan Kazymerchyk
Turfgrass Management Instructor
Kwantlen Polytechnic University

Photo credit: Mitchell Guest