Many Sides

Joe Barks, Editor, Club & Resort Business

Emphasizing the value of recognizing and considering “many sides” should be an important aspect of staff training and development.

Donald Trump certainly deserved all the grief he got for the clumsy way he tried to articulate his point about “many sides” bearing some responsibility for how the tragic recent events in Charlottesville, Va., unfolded.

At the same time, the President did merit some credit for at least trying (I think) to point out how in today’s world of overheated, snap reactions and bullrushes to judgment, the value of trying to take the time to recognize and understand all aspects of a story or situation has been rendered meaningless, be it as a journalistic practice or as a part of everyone’s daily existence.

(I’ll get to how this relates to our business in a minute, but I am still puzzled, in the wake of the Charlottesville fallout, why I never saw any coverage that addressed the question of why groups that took it upon themselves to pull down statues didn’t seem to be subject to vandalism or civil-disobedience charges.)

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Closer to our world, there’s also been a lot of piling-on since Trump became President that’s been directed at his company’s club operations. After our recent news posting about the cancellation of events at the Mar-a-Lago Club because of Trump’s Charlottesville remarks, a club manager posted a comment to highlight a “many sides” argument for that issue, pointing out the value of Trump enterprises as an economic stimulus and employment vehicle.

Beyond the political realm, we’ve recently received “many sides” reactions to items we’ve published about changing dress-code rules in club settings, and about some of the alternative approaches (Board members as temporary GMs, rotating interim GMs) to traditional General Manager structures that have started to take hold within the industry.

While it may seem clear-cut on the surface why all clubs would be wise to embrace or at least now consider more casual dress rules, or why efforts to explore new ways to manage clubs may be misguided, the additional contributions we’ve received to present other viewpoints for those debates have been well-reasoned and thought-provoking, and certainly worth adding to the conversation.

Despite the negative connotations that are now attached to the phrase, emphasizing the value of recognizing and considering “many sides” should also be an important aspect of staff training and development, be it with regard to member/guest relations or for how managers should interact with their colleagues and those under their supervision.

So while I’m sure it will now forever be an albatross for President Trump and quite possibly a main cause of his ultimate demise, the truth about his bungled “many sides” performance might just be that underneath his poor delivery of those words was actually a good choice of them.