Bobby Jones Links kicked off the 12-month program with a two-day, immersive event. Participants will then be required to complete “homework” assignments over the next 12 months in the various departments at the clubs where they work.
Bobby Jones Links, a boutique management company, launched its annual General Manager in Training (GMIT) program, a yearlong initiative for employees at clubs, nominated by general managers, who have shown leadership potential and interest in career growth.
The immersive program kicked off with a two-day session on Aug. 15 and 16 at Bobby Jones Golf Course in Atlanta, Ga. Bobby Jones Links developed its GMIT program eight years ago to build a stable of future leaders for the company and to further educate employees, preparing them for strategic advancement opportunities. The program gives participants exposure to all departments in the golf and country club world so that they can evaluate which direction they would want to pursue professionally.
“In the eight years we’ve been conducting the Bobby Jones Links GMIT program, we’ve been fortunate to work hands-on with dozens of candidates who were ready to take the next step in the career journeys on key skill sets like leadership, culture, service standards, guest experience, employee experience, and onboarding. We’re excited to motivate and help develop this year’s GMIT group to discover how their talents and passions can help them advance toward rewarding careers in leadership,” said Bobby Jones Links Chief Experience Officer Gautam Patankar.
Topics discussed during the year will range from the operations side – golf, food and beverage, finance, human resources, guest experience and marketing – to the personal and professional side – leadership, public speaking, organization, time management, business acumen and networking.
Following the opening session at Bobby Jones Golf Course, participants will then be required to complete “homework” assignments over the next 12 months in the various departments at the clubs where they work. The final assignment will be a presentation on leadership to the executive team at Bobby Jones Links.
In the previous seven years of the General Manager in Training program, 48 leaders have “graduated” and 18 of those 48 have gone on to become General Managers within the company. Many are department heads, while others have moved on to excel at different opportunities outside the company.
“A country club very frequently takes on the personality of its general manager, so we’re extremely conscientious to learn these candidates’ unique personalities and support them with tools and training that fit their approach and skill set so they’re not running a templated, corporate playbook, they’re empowered to put their personal signature on their work and build culture and develop creative strategies like only they can,” Patankar adds.
To be eligible for the program General Managers must nominate employees at their clubs who show interest in career growth and display core values and commitment that align with the company. Those who are nominated then write a letter to Bobby Jones Links explaining why they want to participate, what their objectives are, and their stated goals for the program and their respective careers.