Michael John Mally – CAO of The Carriage Club

I understand that it is best to take a detailed approach that ensures things are done correctly right from the start and do not have to be revisited again in the future.

Michael John Mally is the general manager and CAO of The Carriage Club, where he is responsible for the oversight of day-to-day operations as well as the creation of a vibrant and welcoming social atmosphere for club members. With expansive recreation facilities, Mr. Mally’s club is able to offer tennis, hockey, figure skating, swimming, and diving, as well as a number of other additional recreational activities. Drawing on well over 20 years of experience in club management, Mr. Mally understands the importance of his role with The Carriage Club and his efforts as general manager and CAO have been universally praised. 
Mr. Mally holds a degree in business administration, which he earned while attending the Opus College of Business at St. Thomas University. He is actively involved in the Club Managers Association of America (CMAA), where he is a Certified Chief Executive and an Honors Society Member, and has earned the Mid-America Chapter of CMAA’s Richard Aubin Memorial Grant. Before accepting his current role as the general manager and CAO of The Carriage Club, Mr. Mally held leadership positions with several other country clubs, including St. Joseph Country Club, The Club at Porto Cima, Milburn Golf and Country Club and Liberty Hills Country Club.

Where did the idea for The Carriage Club come from?

The clubhouse was the original site for Mission Hills Country Club. In the mid-1950’s a real estate investor purchased in hopes of building new residences. When the zoning for such was not approved, a group of local businessmen established The Carriage Club, a private social club.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

The bulk of my responsibility relates to the oversight of daily operations, but there is also a need to analyze operational data in order to ensure our day-to-day work is addressing the most critically important issues.

How do you bring ideas to life?

I believe in taking the time to reflect before making an attempt to implement any idea. Fortunately, the ambiance at The Carriage Club is especially ideal for deep reflection.

What’s one trend that really excites you?

It seems that more people are turning to the recreation and leisure industry to foster a greater sense of goodwill and community.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

I understand that it is best to take a detailed approach that ensures things are done correctly right from the start and do not have to be revisited again in the future.

What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?

In college, I sold learning books door to door. I learned I didn’t like rejection very much, but that also when one door closes, another opens.

If you were to start again, what would you do differently?

I would try to take on a greater degree of responsibility in training employees and then delegate responsibility than I did on an initial basis.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

I do a lot of data analysis, but I find that the most fundamentally beneficial task is instilling a sense of community among those you work with.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.

Our facilities are often used for events, and we have found that coverage of those events has generated greater interest in membership as well as future facility use.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

I tried to be overly pragmatic early in my career, and I believe I missed out on a number of opportunities that would have been very rewarding despite carrying some level of risk.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

There are many areas lacking clubs like The Carriage Club, so I would suggest making an attempt to locate an ideal market to find a similar type of country club.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why? 

I bought a pair of tickets to Game 2 of the World Series in Kansas City. The next time I got to see the team was at the championship parade, so I was happy to get to see them in person during the championship run.

What software and web services do you use? What do you love about them?

I am responsible for data analytics, so I rely heavily on highly functional software for operational use.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

“Tribal Leadership: Leveraging Natural Groups to Build a Thriving Organization.” It affirmed many of my existing strategies and expanded my ability to lead by a significant degree.

What people have influenced your thinking and might be of interest to others?

My family and friends have been most influential, but I have always admired Jamie Dimon’s business principles and have applied them on a number of occasions.