Ever wanted to give up on somebody — an employee, a co-worker, a friend and even a family member because you concluded that they were basically losers?

Yeah, I’m with you. Can’t tell you how many times I’ve written people off for one reason or another and just assumed that they didn’t have what it took to get something done. I didn’t necessarily think I was a better person than the person I might be questioning … well, maybe I did.

I also have to admit that there have been times when people could have given up on me but didn’t. I guess I should be thankful for that.

I was reminded a few weeks ago about but the importance of not giving up on someone when I visited Mark Kuhns at Baltusrol Golf Club in Springfield, New Jersey. Kuhns is the club’s director of grounds and will host the PGA Championship on the club’s Lower Course next month.

Cruising the Lower Course in his utility vehicle, the 61-year-old Kuhns was talking about how he has become a changed person during his tenure at Baltusrol, which has lasted 17 years. Kuhns told me he has concentrated on becoming a more patient, understanding and compassionate superintendent to his employees and others. Not that he was a grumpy, ol’ superintendent before, but he admits he could sometimes be unfairly tough on others and a bit self-centered.

In the past, Kuhns says he might have fired a troubled employee who showed up late to work, didn’t work hard or was difficult to get along with. Not now, though. Instead, Kuhns will try to learn if something outside of work is effecting that employee’s performance. He wants to help his employees through their personal issues, not give up on them.

“I want to help them become stronger,” he says.

God knows the world needs more patient, understanding and compassionate people. It’s great to see Kuhns bringing that to Baltusrol and the golf course industry.

We can all learn a lesson from Kuhns about not giving up on others. I know I have.


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