Hacienda's Golf Blog

Mindful Leadership Program Produces Measurable Results Amidst Uncertain Times

Posted by Russell Sylte, PGA Master Professional on Aug 11, 2020 9:16:54 AM

Hacienda Golf Club management team earns distinction as the 1st corporate team to be certified as mindful professionals

Source: Prevo Health Solutions

Arroyo Grande, Aug. 04, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Hacienda Golf Club is setting the bar for other private clubs during the pandemic – member tee times are booked solid, takeaway dining is booming, and its entire management team is thriving. Why? When other clubs were more focused on survival in the middle of the Coronavirus pandemic, General manager, Russell Sylte, and his team who had begun Mindful Leadership training months earlier were unknowingly ready for this unprecedented event. All 13 of Russell’s department heads, recently became the first graduating class of an in-depth mindfulness certification program from Mindful "U", which Sylte claims have helped them chart an innovative course, even amidst the unprecedented ongoing challenges.

The progressive Sylte, GM/COO and PGA Master Professional, explains; “Certifying my team leaders as Mindful Professionals has taken all of us to a new level. Our team has never been so collaborative and creative, and we are breaking down departmental silos, focusing on high-level tasks and making our club’s vision a daily reality.”

It seems that mindful practices are paying big dividends in Hacienda’s day-to-day operations. Comptroller Carina Najera says, “My recent mindfulness training could not have come at a better time. I now have the tools I need to be creative rather than reactive. I’ve learned to listen and not judge. I’m not afraid of tomorrow, and instead am looking forward to conquering it, alongside my team of mindful professionals. My personal and professional life will never be the same.”

Mindful Mindshift

In July 2019, Carina and her entire management team embarked on a 26-week Certified Mindful Professional program, sponsored by Mindful “U”, which was co-founded by Craig Marshall and Rick Ladendorf in 2018 and has educated club leaders and staffs throughout the country. The curriculum is based on an integrated platform - the spiritual psychology Craig mastered during his 35-years as a yoga monk (core principles outlined in the 7 Mindful-Living Habits™) plus Rick’s decades of experience of pragmatic business application, both at work and at home. 

Rick Ladendorf explains, “Russell and Hacienda’s management team had already earned the reputation of being the club-of-choice, a great employer and a good neighbor. Nevertheless, the entire Hacienda management team unanimously voted to participate in our 26-Lesson Leadership Engagement Program. Their stellar reputation is a direct result of Russell’s mindful leadership skills and his uncompromising focus on forming a safe learning environment. Combining Russell’s inspired leadership and our mindfulness tools and support, together, I dare say, we have created a world-class culture.”

The Mindful “U” Leadership Engagement Program includes:

  • Hosted & recorded weekly managers’ meeting led by Craig Marshall & Rick Ladendorf
  • Educational platform & personal dashboard
  • Interactive team mindful discussion
  • 3-minute guided meditation
  • Points-based engagement tracking
  • One-on-one personal coaching
  • Buddy system for feedback & accountability

Jonathan Goglia, Head Golf Professional, further explains, “The Mindful “U” leadership engagement program has been one of the most important tools I have been given to become a better leader. The lessons led by the Monk & Mastermind, are priceless and will serve my personal & professional momentum for a lifetime. I am truly proud and grateful to call myself a Certified Mindful Professional.

Now more than ever, mindfulness is a critical leadership skill.


The Club is proud to be celebrating its 100th year in 2020! Hacienda Golf Club was born during the Golden Age of golf course architecture, as a dream of turn-of-the-century oil millionaire Alphonso Bell. Before founding Bel-Air Country Club, which he located within his vast landholdings extending from what is now West Los Angeles to the Pacific Palisades, Bell founded Hacienda Golf Club. Hacienda has a rich history in the world of Southern California golf. Prior to the recent golf course renovation project, the course record was held by Tiger Woods, who carded a 62 in route to winning the SCGA Amateur Championship in 1994. Hacienda’s first course record was held by Gene Sarazen, with a score of 70 in 1923.


The mission of Mindful “U” is to connect mindful professionals through education, coaching, support, and certification programs. Our team consists of industry leaders, educators, health & fitness experts, and workplace wellness professionals. For more information email info@MindfulU.org or call (949) 933-5470.

Topics: Industry Trends, Golf Club Membership, Avid Golfers, Southern California Golf, Championship Golf

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