A Letter from Tom Walsh – April Newsletter 2023

Dear GreatLIFE Members, Team Members & Support Team,

It is difficult to believe that winter conditions are still haunting us even as Spring has officially begun! On a positive note, our Yankton GreatLIFE Fox Run Golf Course was open for a few days this past week. Hopefully we can start the golf season soon!

This past week, I turned 75 with surprise celebrations with kids, grandkids, siblings and their spouses – never thought I would see 50 much less 75! Here at GreatLIFE, we are going fairly strong with caring, committed leadership while focusing on our mission “TO ENRICH THE LIVES OF FAMILIES AND INDIVIDUALS THROUGH GOLF, FITNESS AND HEALTHY LIFESTYLES”.

So, it is time that I pass on some of my responsibilities at GreatLIFE including doing this monthly newsletter article. Our GreatLIFE President, and the face of GreatLIFE, Nick Ovenden has agreed to take over this responsibility. Nick has been with GreatLIFE pretty much since day one as a Trainer, Director of Fitness and as President for several years. I am sure he will do an outstanding job with it! Periodically, I may do an occasional article.

With this being formally my last article, I thought I would pass on some lessons that I have learned coming from being the oldest of 8 kids, over 50 years in business and leadership roles in both charitable and civic organizations, many of which I have learned the hard way from mistakes that I have made. So here goes:



Most importantly, my definition of success: “Success, when the ones closest to you, love and respect you the most”.

My one rule: “Think before you act, do what is right & take care of one another”.

Focus on all the good things in your life. Write them down, update and review them frequently. Post them everywhere to remind yourself of your blessings.”

Have “Whatever it takes Attitude”. It starts with your heart and a passion for life. Enthusiasm and success seem to go hand and hand.

Do a one year, three year and five year plan for all aspects of your life. Review and update it frequently.

Look for the good in everyone.

Have fun, smile a lot, use “please and thank yous” often.

Introduce people with a sincere compliment, it helps build stronger relationships.

Lead by example, show the right way to do things and bring others along.

Develop mission statements for yourself, your marriage, your family and organizations you lead.

When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.

Change is inevitable, adapt and grow with it.

Become a life long learner, when you stop learning, you put a lid on your Team and organization.

Get involved with a charity that touches your heart and get your family and organization involved in it. Catch people doing things right and make a big deal of it.

Develop a culture of caring, committed People based upon your vision and mission.

You get one chance for a first impression.

Own a dog, they give unconditional love – if a dogs and kids like someone, usually I do too.

Your two most important days are first, the day you are born and second, the day you discover WHY you were born.

Your greatest assets are your family, your friends, your attitude and your word.

Listen, listen, listen – there is a reason God gave you two ears and one mouth.

In giving, I have found that I receive more than the recipient, it makes me and everyone around me better.

I have found that God won’t be outdone in generosity and kindness.

I have found that everyone wants two things – be treated with respect and appreciated.

All long-term success is founded upon long term win/win relationships.

Secret to success: Give People more than they expected and do it cheerfully.

No one is promised tomorrow so show and tell the ones you care for and love, how important they are to you.

Character is like the medal of a sword, it is tested and defined in fire.

Live by the 3 R’s: Respect for yourself, Respect for others & Responsibility for your actions.

ATTITUDE is everything! Hire for attitude, train for skills.

Key to Servant Leadership: put others first and help them become successful.

Success is a “me” thing, Significance is a “we” thing. Study, learn an practice etiquette and manners if you really want to advance your career and life.

Write and mail personal “thank you’s”. Order personalized note cards and envelopes.

It is the journey that brings you true happiness, not the destination.

Importantly, have an “Attitude of Gratitude” in every part of your life.


I am so grateful and appreciate you for being a GreatLIFE Member, Team Member and Support Team Member. It is a blessing and honor being a part of our GreatLIFE Family. Back in 1993 as one of the owners of the Sioux Falls Skyforce, I was interviewed by the Argus Leader. The final question I was asked was “How would you like to be remembered after you are gone?”. My answer today would be the same “That I cared and made a difference”. Wishing each of you a “significant and meaningful life”. Lastly, the Lou Holtz video is on target, enjoy! Gratefully, Tom Sr