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The long tail of Frederick Taylor: it’s about service, not science

The long tail of Frederick Taylor: it’s about service, not science

No matter the industry many in business are still trying to figure out this thing called leadership. It continues to play out when management is on one side of the field, while the staff hangs far away, over on the other side of play. Over decades and decades, over many tries, working to address service with one voice and strategy has been a challenge. Why is this still an issue in the modern age? While leadership still finds blind spots, we realize that golf is in a fantastic place. A new place, where it seems there is this factory pumping out new golfers of every age and size almost daily. To borrow a line from Charles Dickens, “These are the best of times.”

As operators look to satisfy their growing base, hoping for more and more talent to walk through the door, many struggle with ways to lead this new workforce. Post-COVID, this is a group of men and women who want more, who want it now, while having no fear of simply picking up and moving to where they might find their better place. As you think about new ways to pay or incentivize your staff, know that although the pay & perks certainly matter, these are just two legs of the stool. The third leg is the place: the leadership, the team, and the opportunity. In this time, where musical chairs seem to be the game, how will you and your managers take care of the people taking care of your members?

At the turn of the 20th century, a mechanical engineer by the name of Frederick Taylor was widely regarded as the father of scientific management. He worked to optimize work processes, eliminating waste through analysis and study. He looked for the one best way to perform tasks. His practices over time made manufacturing and business more productive while taking the individual out of the equation. He aimed to be more and more efficient while disregarding the worker. Although he passed away in 1915, it feels as if some of the effects of this top-down management style continue to exist in some form even to this day. Although I am not saying leaders have a plan to disregard the wishes of their people, I believe there can still be clashes between that old world style and this modern-day workforce. Here in this In My Opinion post are three thoughts about leading, a century after Mr. Taylor passed on:

Involve the team: In the old days managers worked and planned behind closed doors, revealing details only when it mattered to the work. Today, it is important to invite your team into the conversation, looking for…


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