Lying in bed before starting my day, I thought about past events in my life and how I got to where I am. Two movies popped into my head: the 1998 film "Sliding Doors" featuring Gwyneth Paltrow depicting how a woman’s life would be altered if she missed or made her train and the 2004 movie "The Butterfly Effect" with Ashton Kutcher. The concept of the butterfly effect is that something as small as a butterfly flapping its wings in one part of the world can have a bigger effect on larger system like the weather in another part of the world.
I am confident that we have all had "sliding door" moments in our lives and careers. Think about when you chose to make being a superintendent your career path. You passed through those sliding doors and set in motion the events in your career that you have already experienced and will experience. On a daily basis, we make decisions or pass through sliding doors that can have minimal or major consequences on the way we live our lives or make a living.
Bringing this into a GCSAA-related thought, there are a variety of services and programs that GCSAA offers that will undoubtedly help you as you work through your career opportunities. Your involvement within your local GCSAA chapter offers a number of interactions with others and educational offerings that can impact you and your career. Your decision to become active locally can enhance opportunities that may become available to you. Board service or committee participation can illustrate that you are a leader within the industry and set you on a different path.
On a national level, GCSAA education and career services are great tools to assist you as you progress in your profession. The opportunities your association provides are sliding door moments of which you can choose to take advantage. Those that do take the time to act on these services enhance themselves and grow their career.
Once you become active within the association, there are myriads of possible butterfly effects that you can initiate and from which you may benefit. I think of the opportunity to be a role model and the impact that may have on other individuals and their careers. Great leadership inspires me to want to be better at what I do. There are so many people in our industry both locally and nationally that evoke a positive desire to achieve more than previously imagined. You are the leader at your facility and your actions have daily impacts on those that work for you and those for whom you work. Your involvement within the association broadens the impacts you may have beyond the facility level. This is probably the aspect that is most rewarding to me as I moved from being a superintendent to GCSAA field staff and I was able to increase the amount of influence I may have. I love the interactions I am able to have around my region with so many great individuals with whom I share the same passion.
Our GCSAA Grassroots Ambassador program is another example of the butterfly effect. As we attempt to connect a GCSAA A, SM, or C member with a congressional representative we are hopeful that these relationships at the local level will be impactful when it comes to big-picture issues that have consequences industry wide. If you have not already done so, I would strongly urge you to consider our Grassroots Ambassador program and see if you can help influence the decisions that ultimately determine how you are able to perform your job.
As you pass through the sliding doors of your career, you can take advantage of the services and programs GCSAA has to offer and allow your association to help advance your profession. At the same time, through your involvement, you can provide the start to a butterfly effect that has dramatic, positive consequences for the industry for which we all share a passion.