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When in Rome ….

I wonder, does everyone in the world know the expression “When in Rome, do as the Romans do”?

I guess the answer would be yes.  But does everyone in the world know the origins of the saying?  I found myself wondering; why Rome?  Why not “When in Venice …” or “When in Paris …” or “When in London …”.

Well, let me illuminate …..

St Ambrose (c340 to 4 April 397) was Archbishop of Milan and was influential as one of the original Doctors of the Church.  He believed that religious worship should not be rigid and invariable, rather following local custom and practice.  When he was pressed for guidance by Augustine of Hippo on the rights and wrongs of local differences he said “When I am at Rome, I fast on a Saturday; when I am at Milan I do not.  Follow the custom of the church where you are.”  His advice has remained in the English language as the saying: “When in Rome, do as the Romans do”.

I’m just back from present day Rome where I delivered Day 1 of the 5 day Management Development Programme (MDP) for the Club Managers’ Association of Europe (CMAE) in conjunction with Federazione Italiana Golf (FIG) and Associazione Italiana Tecnici do Golf (AITG).  The course finishes today.

This is the first course of its type in Italy (special thanks to Arnaldo Cocuzza, President of CMAE for his efforts).  It’s nice that these guys are just kicking off just as I have just delivered my last CMAE MDP event outside of Scotland.

This course is now active in Scotland (where it started), Spain, France, England and Italy.  In addition to those host nations, we’ve also had delegates from clubs or industry bodies in Dubai, Ireland, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Morocco, Russia, Serbia, Switzerland, Sweden, Thailand and Wales.  Having first exchanged ideas with Kevin Fish of CMAE and Scottish Golf Union (SGU) on this around eight years ago, it is a delight to see how this initiative has grown and the success it has enjoyed.  I’m proud to have been the “day 1 guy” on every event.

There are too many people to mention and it’s probably unfair to single any one out on what has been such a team effort, but …. Kevin Fish needs recognition for his vision, drive and determination; Jason Koenigsfeld for generously giving his time and guidance, providing a steer from the Club Managers’ Association of America with wisdom way beyond his years; Hamish Grey and Andy Salmon at Scottish Golf for additional impetus just when it was needed.  So many people have made a contribution but without these guys it wouldn’t have happened.

The hosts in Europe have been superb and so welcoming: Daniel Asis in Spain, Marc Bousige in France and Arnaldo in Italy.  Their hospitality shines and their passion for education is exemplary.

So it’s time for a new “day 1 guy” to take this to the next stage.  I hope I have set the bar high and that the CMAE MDP in Europe goes from strength to strength.

If you’re involved in the club industry and you’re not involved with CMAE or this programme then now is a good time to act.  You can click on the Management Development Programme logo on the “Our Clients” page at rrmuk.com or go straight to cmaeurope.org and get involved in the new season which will kick off in Autumn 2014.

Today it’s one thousand, six hundred and seventeen years since the death of St Ambrose.  His words still ring true …. “When in Rome …..”.

About Ronnie Malcolm

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