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To ensure the success of a service organization, leaders must have skills and abilities to shape service systems and guide employees to deliver the service experience. So far, however, we have yet to see a set of leadership competencies required for service businesses—let alone those needed for the club business. As a result, we cannot provide new managers with the competencies they need to develop in their careers. To address this issue, we conducted a survey of 596 club managers to examine the leadership competencies required for general managers of private clubs. The club industry has the classic characteristics of other types of service businesses, meaning that managers are guiding staff members in relatively low-skilled jobs to fulfill guests’ wants and needs. However, clubs are distinguished from other service organizations by the presence of their members, who are long-term clients that have a strong connection with their clubs. Given that club general managers must report to the members’ board of directors, the interactions between club members and managers create a distinctive dynamic, which likely makes skills related to guest needs’ and interactions even more salient.


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