The MiGCSA is dedicated to providing value to our members through programs and services that enhance and promote our profession.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Us and Them

This article was spurned by a post on the Facebook page started by Gary Grigg called Golf Course Maintenance. If you are not a member it is a great group and is really a forum for many things. The topic that lead me to write this was on the GCSAA new classification system where class SM Members will go back to a classification of B. This was voted on at the 2016 GCSAA Annual Meeting after discussion by the chapter delegates and the Board of the MiGCSA did approve it as well.

There was a complaint on this page about the reclassification as feeling like a second-class citizen. It lead to many more comments about the GCSAA and the feeling that the membership dues are not worth it, things about the local chapter has my back but not he National or just flat out it is a waste of money what do they do for me? Now this is not the first time I have heard this, and personally there was a time when perhaps I would have not disagreed with it. If you look at GCSAA or MiGCSA Membership as a service, then it appears to be a terrible value. $375 for a GCSAA Membership and another $100 for the MiGCSA and all you get are a few magazines you don’t usually have time to read. When that is the mind set, I cannot blame someone for not seeing the value.

However, if that is your mindset I am not sure you understand how this all works. The GCSAA and MiGCSA are not a direct service in the traditional sense. These groups are an opportunity and can be as large of an opportunity as you can make of them.

If you sit back and wait for the GCSAA & MiGCSA do things for you it will not work, it is not supposed to work that way. It is like buying a new sprayer parking it in the barn and wondering why you have disease ridden turf, you must use it for it to work! Anything you need or could want is at your fingertips, but you must, under your own power move them. 

When I first started this job, I struggled with trying to come up with the “elevator pitch” to explain why the MiGCSA is important for members. I started listing all the things we do behind the scenes like foster relationships with the State and Local Governments, provide networking and educational opportunities, produce an industry leading magazine and a massive communication network and so on down the line into the minutia of the daily operations. But as I struggled with this I was turned on to a Ted Talk by Simon Sinek on the idea that people do not believe in what you do they believe in why you do it. This resonated with me and has changed my elevator speech completely.

The MiGCSA or GCSAA for that matter is not about doing things for you, even though they both do, a lot. They are about giving you the opportunity to be part of us, not them, just us. We are all Michigan Golf Course Superintendents members or not, it is what we do. Why do we do it? For the giant pay checks or the glory and appreciation? It is because we are passionate about our profession. As a group of people who are passionate about our profession we are unstoppable, when we all believe in why we do it together, we are unstoppable, when we utilize the opportunities by getting involved to whatever level you would like, we are unstoppable. Not us and them, just us. When the GCSAA does well we all do well, when the MiGCSA does well we all do well. It is not they do well, we are they. So, the next time you wonder about paying your dues to either group please think of it not as a service like your cable bill, but as an investment in all of us which absolutely includes YOU!