Larris Hutton is a Major in the US Army, a JAG lawyer, and a box owner. He has a unique model: fewer clients with higher value in a smaller space.

CrossFit Prelude provides full-time careers for his coaches. Larris’ box isn’t one of the most expensive in the area, but his ARM is very high. And he does it all in 1100 square feet.

How? He believes a box owner should behave like a LEADER instead of a COACH. In this interview, he’ll tell us the difference.

In “Critical Questions,” I talk about the difference between seminars, systems and mentoring. Our next seminar is April 16!

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Mentioned in this episode:

Two-Brain Business, by Chris Cooper.

Help First, by Chris Cooper.

The TwoBrain Mentoring Program (in which Larris is a mentor.)

The 5 Levels of Leadership, by John C. Maxwell

Everything You Want, by Derek Sivers

One of the best analogies in this episode is Larris’ lesson of Chimps and Parrots. Many would-be leaders (in every industry) are good at parroting knowledge without understanding the underlying principles. But chimps–like Larris–think about things before they repeat them. In one example, Larris urged the members of his gym community to NOT ask another member about her husband’s death. He chose not to run a “memorial WOD” or write a lengthy blog post about the loss. Those will come later, he says.

Sometimes he still mops the floor. Like me, he thinks best when he’s moving. And he’s ALWAYS moving, always thinking. He’s been in every role at his gym, but has duplicated himself and now sits solely in the CEO chair.

“As a Commander, I still knew how to do the Private’s job. I probably can’t do it as well, but I could step in and do it if I had to. I’ve been in his shoes.”

Larris’ mentors include one of his gym members (Aaron Montgomery), a close friend, his partner Julie, and dozens of leaders from his Army experience. He trains his coaches as leaders (read: Building Coaches, or Leaders?) and expects them to follow his example–even to open their own gyms, if they want.

Larris is available at

Recorded on February 24, 2016.