by Jeff Burlingame
In January, I was at the end of my rope with one of my coaches. She was calling off classes with short notice; paying attention to only one or two athletes in a class (later determined to be “her crew”); had bombed a nutrition challenge and the New You Program; and overall was dropping the ball.
Six months earlier, she was gung-ho and asking for more responsibility. I was excited for her. Around this time, she also started to get serious about competing at the Regional level in CrossFit. She was even recruited by a top-level coach. I was pumped for her… until she started to fail at her responsibilities at the gym.
Training for competition is very demanding. But my responsibility to my clients and family meant that I had to get her on track with her gym responsibilities.
Finally I met with her and we discussed her Perfect Day. She said she wanted to focus on being an athlete, so we agreed that the best plan of action was to pull her off 70% of her classes, cut back on her nutrition coaching and focus on training. She agreed, and that was the end of it. Or so I thought.
A week later I found out that she was working at another box down the street, a blatant infraction on her non-compete agreement. This time I knew that I had dropped the ball.
Finally I had to make a REAL decision. So I referred to my VISION and CORE VALUES. I asked myself “Am I adding value for my members by keeping this coach?” The answer, of course, was NO. Plain and simple, no gray area, just NO.
The next day I called her in, fired her on the spot, and the weight of the world lifted from my shoulders.
The following week I caught wind that “her crew”, the 7:30 AM class (2 people), were saying some “things” about me. They were upset about the coach being let go and blamed me for her situation.
Again I referred to my VISION and VALUES, and I promptly met with and fired both members, referring them to other gyms that more closely met their goals. Then I cancelled the 7:30 class due to low attendance.
I had asked myself “By keeping these members and a low attendance class, am I adding value to my members and community?” Again the answer was no, so I took action. We even found a Groupon to the other box for them, and now they train with that coach over there. Good.
Your VISION should come from the heart. Start with WHY? Why are we here, what are we here to do? How will we do that? Think of it as you mission statement except far more profound.
Next, your CORE VALUES are a set of values or beliefs that support the infrastructure of your business. These values will support every decision you make. We start our Incubator program with a Values exercise, but non-TwoBrain clients can see also Immutable laws from Mike Michalowicz.
If a member is causing drama; if a coach is showing up late; if members are doing their own programming during open gym time; or your new specialty course is a flop, don’t get down on yourself and mope… HANDLE IT.
Refer to your Vision Statement and Core Values and make a call. If this situation is leading you away from them, and away from your perfect day, then change it.
Jeff Burlingame is owner of Friction CrossFit.