Club Insider

About Herb Lipsman

Herb LipsmanHerb Lipsman

Herb Lipsman is a veteran of the club industry, having managed some of the most prestigious athletic clubs and golf/country clubs in the Houston, Texas market over the past 30 years, most notably The Houstonian Hotel, Club and Spa. Lipsman has served on the Board of Directors for IHRSA. He was appointed by Mayor Bill White to serve as Chairman of the Mayor's Wellness Council for the City of Houston. Lipsman has also been invited to speak at numerous industry conferences and conventions around the world, including the U.S., UK, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Italy, Russia and Mexico. Most recently, Lipsman authored and published his book Caring (The Sequel): Valuable Insights into Effective Club and Hospitality Management.

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Previous Articles

Showing 1 - 7 of 7 Articles


Effective Hiring
November 2023 - After decades of leading teams in the health club and country club industries, I keep being reminded of how important it is to hire well. Nothing contributes to the success of the organization more than a good or great hire. Conversely, nothing can be more damaging to the enterprise than a bad hire. Why, then, do so many of us mess up this critical leadership responsibility? How do we keep allowing ourselves to make rushed or desperate decisions that come back to haunt us? If you are like most leaders facing various hiring decisions in your organization, here is a quick recipe for success that will result in a better batting average than your prior hiring results... Read Article...

Managing Moments of Truth
February 2023 - A "Moment of Truth," as described in this article, is any interaction between two or more people in our clubs. This could be between co-workers. It could be between a staff person and a member or guest. It could be between a manager and a direct report. It could be between a staff person and a vendor. It could be a simple telephone or email inquiry. It would be impossible to write policy and standard operating procedures for every single potential circumstance among the thousands we face in our clubs each day, although some club chains have tried in vain to do so. A much better approach, with a much higher probability of successful outcomes, is to take a more wholistic approach to "Managing Moments of Truth." Read Article...

Putting Safety First in the Club Business
March 2024 - The Deepwater Horizon (2010) explosion and subsequent loss of life and environmental catastrophe caused an entire industry to make drastic changes in how they conducted business. It moved safety and risk management to the top of company priorities across the globe. This had an impact on my mindset for how I viewed safety protocols in the clubs I managed. Safety had always been a priority for me, but observing how so many companies put safety-first in all company communications, led me to make similar changes in my own management approach. Read Article...

The Lost Art of One-On-One Coaching and Mentoring
September 2023 - We can all recall a private conversation with a teacher, coach, parent, relative, boss or other important figure in our lives that literally changed our lives. It may have been a conversation about where to go to college, a major career choice, whether to get married, how to deal with the loss of a loved one or some other piece of invaluable advice that helped us make a life-changing decision. Read Article...

The Magic of Teaching the Concept of Different Paradigms
May 2023 - My approach to leadership and management in the club business has always been to focus on a few "high leverage" concepts that will influence the conduct and behavior of the vast majority of staff members to do the right thing during the thousands of "Moments of Truth" (See Herb's February 2023 Article) they face during each shift on the job. Read Article...

Turning Members Into Allies
February 2024 - I once overheard a private club owner lamenting, "This would be a great business if it were not for all those damn members!" We have all felt this way at one time or another. We all have them, those members who keep reminding us they pay our salaries when they don't get what they want. Long ago, I learned a valuable lesson that has shaped my approach in dealing with both difficult members and members in general. I call it turning members into allies. In this sense, an ally is a member who is both a friend and supporter of the club. The problem with most clubs is that members never become allies. Instead, members view their relationship with club ownership and management from an "us against them" mentality. They don't trust the club leadership, whether deserved or not. Read Article...

What If All of Your Members Were Raving Fans?
July 2023 - Imagine how successful your club would be if all of your members were Raving Fans... A Raving Fan is a member who loves the club so much they feel compelled to brag about their club to friends and acquaintances regularly. What produces a Raving Fan? This is the easy part. Raving Fans love the club because... Read Article...

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