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Bates: Golfers must follow the rules to win business

Published: Tuesday, May 6, 2014 5:30 a.m. CDT

“Wanted – General Manager – Must Play Golf.” 

That’s what my father read between the lines as he applied for a position with Wesleyan University Press. The unwritten rule of this organization was that managers, officers and middle management were expected to play golf.

The years have come and gone since then and many organizations have relaxed this unwritten rule. Yet the ability to golf for both men and women provides the best seasonal networking  for those moving forward. The Economist in 2011 had an article titled “Why Golfers Get Ahead.” In a nutshell, it suggested those who play golf tend to earn more and be more successful than their counterparts. Why? Because golfing provides a relaxed opportunity to connect on another level with clients and work associates.

But, to make this networking successful, one must remember a few tips:

Dress attire should be according to the course: While you can dress like one of the three stooges with buddies, organizational golf outings aren’t the time to stand out and costumes should be left for Halloween, not a networking outing.

No dawdling: Keep moving at golf outings. Should your group hold up other foursomes, you won’t be remembered in a good way.   

Don’t advise: Unless you are asked, don’t. I repeat, don’t advise your fellow golfers. Bite that tongue. 

Watch the language: Unless your client or boss swears like a sailor, nothing stronger should be said than “Oh Skeededeldap!”

Don’t over imbibe: This should be obvious. You know your tolerance level.

Don’t use a caddie with a client or associate: You want to use this time for networking and caddies will inhibit sensitive discussion of business matters.

Don’t cheat: Please don’t cheat. It has always surprised me that people kick their golf balls. Why? Play with the integrity of Bobby Jones. You want to build others confidence in you.

Don’t clobber the client in your intensity to win: You will lose the account by the end of the game! I don’t pretend to understand golf, but I do understand networking and know that golf outings offer opportunities to develop long-term relationships with those whose respect we need.

• • •

The McHenry Area Chamber’s Golf Outing is May 21. At this point, we almost are sold out as we expect a great day in the sun at McHenry Country Club. We do have a few sponsorships left and those interested should call the office at 815-385-4300. Thank you to our “Top Tier Sponsors”: McHenry Savings Bank, the lunch provider; Imagetec, the dinner sponsor; and our new presenting sponsor, General Mitchell Airport.

The WINGs “Tables of Interest” luncheon is May 28. At the event, women will move to two different tables featuring lunch and dessert and a topic discussion specially designed for them. Topics include wine, travel, self care/fitness, scrapbooking, dogs and pets, gardening, social meeting and decorating.  

Our next Never Eat Alone Luncheon is May 9 at Hidden Pearl Café, 1208 N. Green St. Try to arrive by 11:45 a.m.  

Upcoming mixers include tonight’s at McHenry Harley-Davidson, May 13 at the Raue Center, a grand-opening event May 15 at Firstlight Homecare and on May 20 at Gary Lang Auto Group.

• • •

Welcome to new members SCA Hair Salon, Soleil Dance Studio, Lighthouse Health and Wellness, All Insurance Services, Door Service Inc., House Shampoo and Kinzie Floor Covering.

• Kay Rial Bates is president of the McHenry Area Chamber of Commerce. Reach her at 815-385-4300 or visit mchenrychamber com.

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