Being eager to provide details speaks to leadership, expertise and many other impressive and valuable qualities.
Something I always like to hear when collecting information for an article is “This is probably more than you need.” Because it never is. And not only because it means I’ll have more to choose from, or may end up with extra material that would be good to have on hand if we find we have more space in our magazine or on our website.
What I really like about getting loaded up with information is what it tells me about the source who provides it. It speaks to enthusiasm, leadership, inquisitiveness, expertise and many other impressive and valuable qualities. And especially in the club business, it’s no secret that those who immerse themselves in the details related to their jobs are far more likely to be successful and innovative than those who don’t sweat them.
These details don’t have to have relevant limits, either. When one General Manager set up an interview schedule for me with all of the department heads at his club, he sent me an advance briefing sheet that not only filled me in on every staff member’s current role and professional background, but also included personal information such as spouses and children’s names, outside interests, work they’ve done in the community, athletic accomplishments, etc.
I certainly didn’t need this for anything I would put in an article, but I was impressed to first see that he knew so many of these additional details about all of his staff members, and secondly that he thought they were important to include, as part of giving me a picture of who these people were. It told me a lot about him as a manager and about what kind of workplace and service culture existed in the club—maybe even more than what I learned through the interviews themselves.
I also don’t mind, and actually enjoy, getting tours of clubhouses with managers who like to explain the intricate details of their HVAC systems, or riding golf courses with superintendents who want to frequently stop and point to a lot of apparently different spots on the greens that all look pretty much the same to me, or sitting in kitchens with chefs who go on and on about ingredients and flavor profiles, not realizing they’re talking to someone who can barely toast a Pop-Tart.
Of course, providing me with details is really not a very critical part of your job. But providing members, guests and staff with them can be. And if it impresses me when you provide “probably more than I need,” and makes me think you’re someone who really knows and loves his/her job, chances are it will have an even better effect for you on those who really matter.