Often times businesses fail to grow, not because of products or systems, but because the leader stops growing. So, what is the number 1 thing Gym owners are missing when it comes to leadership?
While there are a lot of great leadership models, it is hard to overlook the leadership model of the United States Army. It is simple, yet brutally effective, a lot like good programming at your gym.
From the official leadership manual of the U.S. Army
- Direct—direct leaders use face-to-face continuous contact with those under their command.
- Organizational—organizational leaders influence a team of sub-teams, without direct contact with the majority of their down-line employees.
- Strategic—strategic leaders must influence a team of organizations, often geographically dispersed, with little direct contact with most team members.
As the micro gym market evolves, many gym owners find themselves moving into higher value roles. This is a key concept of the TwoBrain Mentoring Process. With high value roles, often comes less direct contact with team members.
Lets quickly define these levels as they relate to our business model.
Direct – This is the customer service level of our business, at this level of leadership, the business owner is coaching most classes and has constant day to day contact with all members and employees.
Organizational – At this stage of leadership, the business owner is spending more time developing coaches and working on basic systems like their website, client retention software, Facebook groups, and other marketing.
Strategic – At this level of leadership, the owner is developing new ideas to move the business forward. New programs, new revenue streams, new marketing engagements, partnerships, continuing education, and developing strategic relationships within the community. A General Manager and/or Head Coach is in place as the organizational leader, developing the staff to deliver on the direct leadership level.
A good friend of mine recently identified that a lot of gym owners who have had success at the organizational level, are finding themselves missing one key element that will help them make the leap to successful Strategic Leadership, and continue to influence their teams to perform while they spend their time working in higher value roles.
That key element is the ability to cast vision. With out a clear, concise vision that captivates and inspires, a team will always regress when the key leaders take on new tasks.
How to cast a vision for your team…
Vision should be clear, concise, convicting, compelling, courageous and the list of C words goes on. But what does it look like to actually put that vision in front of others.
1. Have visual aids – Few people can verbally cast something that is in its very nature visual! Pictures of buildings, land, groups of people, equipment, and websites, etc. will help people SEE the vision.
2. Practice – You should practice casting your vision to individuals that have little or no association with your business. Find mentors and friends from other areas of your life and tell them what you want to achieve. Hold nothing back! “The empires of the future, are empires of the mind” – Winston Churchill
If the people you have chosen love and respect you, they will identify holes and weak areas of your vision – do NOT be defensive, invite them into the conversation. You will need to be an expert at massaging these knots out each time you cast your vision.
3. Remain open minded – Through these conversations, your vision will begin to take shape as something that people can see and understand, your vision should be agile and easily shaped, but your convictions should remain strong.
4. Create buy in – Meet with key individuals on your team and invite them to share the vision with you. Ask for their input, tell them what their role will be. Let them contribute!
5. Team meeting – Invite your team to a meeting, be sure to set it apart from other meetings. You can do this by changing the location, having an agenda with your logo, buying lunch, or doing a fun team building activity.
In this final step, it is key that you listen to understand. It sounds simple but it is not, often we listen to answer, we feel attacked when people can’t see the vision clearly! Listen to understand, and invite your team to contribute!
Finally, create a strategy, and empower your organizational leaders to make decisions and execute. If you need help refining your vision, or creating systems and strategy, check out The TwoBrain Incubator, it is hands down the best tool I have seen to help gym owners implement systems and strategies that are customized to the each individual business owners unique needs and vision.