Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Burned Out or Moment of Clarity?

Few frustrations get the goat of superintendents more than fickle boards that tighten budgets without telling members to expect some changes.

You’re not alone. Many superintendents voice concerns about the pressures of meeting expectations with less money each year.

“It’s a love/hate thing. I love the job and love the property and all that, but to go through all the struggles again (with the board) and have them never really figure it out is like beating my head against the wall,” says Dan Williams, who resigned as superintendent of Riverview Country Club this month.

After 27 years, Williams says he’ll miss the profession, but he’s emotionally exhausted from trying to educate 27 different boards about what it takes to maintain a golf course. As negotiations begin this year, he’s bowing out.

“There are too many cuts, and I’m tired of taking the brunt of it,” he says, “And it’s never good enough. You strive to make it the best it can be, but I don’t think people understand that.”

Career changes require gumption, confidence, passion and drive. Once the thrill is gone, it’s difficult to be successful. I admire anyone with the self-awareness and courage to sail into uncharted territory to rediscover professional passion.

In Williams’ case, he’s sailing without a map. He doesn’t have a job lined up, and he’s not really sure what profession he wants to try next, although he says sales has piqued his interest.

But he does know one thing: “I’m looking forward to sleeping in on Saturdays.”

I’m sure Williams would appreciate any job leads you might have heard about in the industry. But please, wait until a decent hour to give him a ring.

How do you rekindle the passion for your work?

— David Frabotta, Senior Editor


Anonymous said...

This profession really drives you physically and emotionally. What gets me going again in the winter is project work. So much time is spent mowing and trimming in the 8-9 month season we have in Virginia. I truly enjoy getting to drainage projects, tree removal/planting projects and the like. I am able to get in touch with my crew again since we barely pass each during the day mowing and such. I find that we come closer as a crew when we all work on projects and such during the winter, and that fuels my drive for the next year.

Anonymous said...

Hopefully Mr. Williams is thinking of sales outside the golf industry - you know, where budgets haven't been cut and he might actually be able to sell something.
Unfortunately, sales is a commission position, not a guaranteed check like his old profession.