Hi! My name is Fred Layman and I’m a General Manager. I’ll go into what a Blythewood Country Club General Manager is in a bit, but first, a little about me.
I am the senior staff, member, and community success manager at The Blythewood Country Club (BCC). Since I’m in a player/coach role, my day-to-day is always changing and I love the variety my job brings! I manage a team of department head client success managers along with my own client list, called members and guests. Today, my team and I are in growth and branding mode, so I often find myself interviewing BCC’s next top talent or coaching my team on the best solutions for our clients. On top of managing one of South’s most inclusive multi-purpose facilities, I also quarterback many internal, cross-functional decisions to ensure a positive end-user experience.
In a client-facing role, I work with all community business units at BCC, from the Chamber of Commerce to some of the largest school districts in SC. It’s critical that I’m able to meet and adapt to their needs and understand what drives them in order to have the best working relationship. Same goes for my team and clients! Luckily, with my lifestyle sports background, I’m able to communicate effectively with people far different than my newly found Predictive index as a Captain.
My behavioral pattern
Yes, I recently took a Predictive Index (PI) Assessment to help reveal my personality style and to help me recognize how others see me. The PI Behavioral Assessment essentially reveals where one falls on the spectrum of four factors.
1. Dominance: Dominance is the drive to exert one’s influence on people or events.
2. Extraversion: Extraversion is the drive for social interaction with other people.
3. Patience: Patience is the drive for consistency and stability.
4. Formality: Formality is the drive to conform to rules and structure.
Here’s my pattern:
My Reference Profile is Captain
A Captain is a problem solver who likes change and innovation while controlling the big picture.
I first learned about my PI Reference Profile when I was interviewing talent for our club and was blown away by its accuracy! Being a Captain, I am independent and motivated by results. I thrive when I am able to successfully influence others, which is why I wasn’t surprised to learn my highest drive is Dominance, the drive to exert one’s influence on other people or events. Something I always keep top-of-mind is my weakest drive, Patience, the drive for consistency and stability. Overall, a fast-paced, ever-changing work environment, where goals need to be met is my kind of place!
“That’s the beauty of Blythewood Country Club. We aren’t asking others to adapt to us—we can adapt to those around us to make for the best working and playing environment.”
Captain coming through!
Throughout my career, I’ve always found myself happiest and most successful in client-facing roles. My favorite moments in these roles stem from closing a big deal, promoting a team member, or retaining a member. Notice how the common denominator there is results? Results were being generated and goals were being achieved. Job functions that yield results, whether it be with people or a business portfolio, bring me pride and satisfaction.
While Extraversion isn’t my highest drive, as a Captain, it’s still considered high. The Extraversion drive comes in handy for sales. You must be passionate about what you’re selling in the club and hospitality industry. You must be a compelling communicator, influential storyteller, and persistent motivator, which is something of a natural talent for me as an intrinsically motivated contributor and as a manager.
Management positions suit me well, as I’m able to see the big picture, delegate the details, and build a strong team dynamic. Sales is the perfect fit for me too because I love being in front of customers; It scratches my itch for variety and communicative problem-solving. Combine the two and you’ll understand why I love my job so much.
The dark side of being a Captain
As humans, it’s always important to remember that self-awareness is key! As a Captain, there are communication styles that I need to keep top-of-mind and adapt in certain situations. Captains have the instinct to speak to those the way we want to be spoken to—direct and to the point. That doesn’t always sit well with other Predictive Index Profiles who don’t have as much of the Dominance drive as Captains. This is important for me to keep in mind while I’m coaching my team, delivering feedback, or speaking with a client. I’m careful not to let my natural Dominance control situations where gathering input from others might be the key for more beneficial results.
The same goes for recognition. Public recognition makes me feel proud and is a motivator for me, while for others it makes them cringe! But that’s the beauty of BCC. we aren’t asking others to adapt to us—we can adapt to those around us to make for the best hospitality environment. I also must be careful not to let my low amount of the Patience drive get the best of me. One solution I’ve found is to mutually agree to deadlines with co-workers and clients. It’s allowed me to breathe a bit easier, knowing when to expect an answer or result.
As a Captain, the biggest thing my Board of Directors can give me is autonomy. The thought of a long-term project or assignment does appeal to me and can play to my strengths. That said, I’d prefer short term deadlines and goals. Trusting that I’ll get there my own way doesn’t hurt either. Variety in my workday brings me such a sense of fulfillment, so bouncing from an internal meeting to an event call, to an interview is right up my alley.
Asking for our opinion and allowing for our voice to be heard is something that us Captains appreciate from both our co-workers and superiors. Don’t be afraid to confront Captains with the big issues. Challenge us! We like tackling those tough problems.
Through this process, I’ve learned to appreciate those who aren’t like me!
I have a whole new appreciation for being able to balance out a team and work with people who can complement my work and fill in my gaps. I’m far prouder of the work I’ve done with those who possess different behavioral needs and drives than me. This is made clear every day when I’m working with my staff and membership. They chose a completely different career path than I did, so learning from them and understanding how to connect with them has been invaluable. In my previous roles, I was responsible for hiring many people per year. I didn’t use assessment tools and it’s now so clear where I went wrong and why I hired some terrible fits. Self-awareness is invaluable!