'Thought Tank': Lessons Learned from the 2018 Think Tank Education Summit

  I came into last week with two primary goals, I wanted to leave this year's education summit a better teacher and I wanted to feel that I had advanced my career from a networking perspective...
March 29, 2018
- with Cameron Cox
Going into this year's Think Tank I was anticipating, and looking forward to, it being very teaching and coaching focused. This year's summit was going to be about getting to spend some serious quality time with influential people and the inspired types that are trying to make a difference in the industry. I came into last week with two primary goals, I wanted to leave this year's education summit a better teacher and I wanted to feel that I had advanced my career from a networking perspective. 
When I got there I was immediately reminded of the caliber of professional Think Tank attracts and it wasn't going to be just for teaching but we were going to be focusing on every facet of the golf industry.  I'd be hearing from proven golf-related strategic planners to working with some of the countries best coaches as well. 
I was really excited to see James Cronk speak. He is internationally known, a really influential guy, and brings with him a wealth of great experience and thought-provoking content that drove some really stimulating conversation. On the other side of the coin, Adnan Darr was speaking about increasing revenue in the Pro Shop and really opened my eyes to the possibilities and benefits of possessing, cultivating and utilizing our business savvy. 
The biggest lesson that I took away from Think Tank 2018 was that there is always an area in your life whether it be managing staff, coaching and attracting clients, running a golf shop or something in your personal life that needs attention. There are new skills to learn and it doesn't matter what avenue it is in, just learn something new. Like I said, I went into the summit thinking it was going to be more teaching oriented but I think I took away just as much from a business and leadership perspective as well. I learned a lot more about self-assessing myself, we talked in length about building our career goals, where you want to be and how to get there. There were great sessions about mentorship and we saw first-hand how these influential people were able to excel in our industry. 
One of the reasons I love conferences or summits like this is that, for a lot of us, our core fundamentals, whether it is our teaching style or how we want to run a golf shop can change or shift. When I was sitting in Laird White's presentation on his 'Train Your Game' teaching system I was shocked at the impact it has had at the club level. He's really changing his member's experience and the results are undeniable. Laird's session, and many of the sessions at this year's Think Tank, have definitely had an impact on me on a fundamental level. Not to mention some of the ways that I look at the club as a whole have shifted, from an influence stand point, from a successes stand point, to a strategic path forward. There were so many valuable and tangible messages to take away. It's been a week and as I reflect on lessons learned, I can confidently say that I'm a better golf professional today than I was before Think Tank.
Now that I have been to two Think Tanks the one theme that I'm reminded of time-and-time again is that there is always more to learn and there is going to be new content available, new perspectives to learn from, and there are always people thinking differently who can have a positive impact on the trajectory of your career path. There were people there who are trying to make influential change and I'm not just talking about the speakers. I want to tap into THAT network of golf professionals. The most underrated part of the whole Think Tank experience is what happens between the sessions. The introductions and networking I've experienced have been paramount in the early stages of building my career and I'm very confident that these Think Tank conferences have contributed to the accelerated progression of my goal of becoming a more well-rounded golf professional.
Hope to see everyone next year!
Cameron Cox
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