A lot has transpired these last few month, new opportunities seen me take on the COO role of the Fit Body Franchise, a new home purchase in sunny Southern California, a lot of flying, and all kinds of new challenges and responsibilities.
It’s like over night I went from owning my two locations and coaching a few dozen other fitness pros to acquiring a few hundred new clients overnight.
It really puts in perspective the idea of “systems” and “working on the business.”
Fast forward I’ve now been away from my Red Deer location for nearly four months, and to this day I’ve still only been to my Edmonton location physically six times since we opened last March (and only twice while we were actually open for business.)
What many of you don’t know is in the last month and a half I’ve had a wholesale staff change at that location…while I was in a different country.
My Red Deer location has continued to perform on par without me, what an amazing feeling that is. My Edmonton location, well massive momentum is stalled for a moment as the team is rebuilt and stabilized but it wouldn’t have been that long ago that I think this recent experience (like it would for many young entrepreneurs) have caused me a nervous breakdown.
There’s two things that have really seen me through this transition, they’ve each provided valuable lessons and I’m convinced they will both be the top elements of future and yet to come much greater success.
Read on; give it some thought I wonder will you agree when you consider each in relation to your own business.
Did I mention that Thanksgiving is my favourite holiday? One that’s not fully consumerized, but about family and reflection of thanks.
It’s this first one that I am truly so thankful for.
I now find myself part of 3 very dynamic teams. Two of the three communicate regularly and assist one another, the third is charged with the mission to shape this whole industry under the brand of Fit Body.
Being part of a team, and not being able to be in the trenches with them every day changes things. Further trying to develop a team that you haven’t spent any face-to-face time with is a really big challenge.
But how do you build an effective team? I’ve certainly learned a few do’s and don’ts.
Steer performance by making hard demands.
Don’t mistake as a leader who your first responsibility is to, your employees.
Make assumptions without hearing both sides first.
Let emotion lead to rash decisions that cause more harm than good.
Assume that everyone has the same vision or views your vision the same as you do.
Have multiple lines of communication, the closer to how we communicate commonly the better.
Team Facebook groups can be highly productive, I suspect mass texts will work very well as well.
Ensure there are measureable means of performance and review and discuss them at regular intervals. (ex. Testimonials and completed assessments.)
Be sure to find ways to try spend time together on a non-work activities.
Foster growth by facilitating and encouraging opportunity to professional development (ie. Send them to learning opportunities and regularly set action plans.) This is a much for skills development as it is to reignite the inspiration of loving what you do.
Create as much flexibility and autonomy as possible.
Consider your team to be a family and treat them the same.
Be willing to give selflessly, but demand loyalty to one another at all costs.
Make time to spend with your team even if it requires travel, see them face-to-face and be present as often as you can. (Ideally at least once per week.)
And finally (which is the second thing) repeatedly ask “why?”
“It Begins with Why”
I was recently selected for something I consider an honour, to give an 18 minute speech to a small audience of a few hundred people at a locally organized TED event.
In my research and review of a few TED Talks considering just how my presentation might go I cam across a TEDx talk by Simon Sinek.
Here’s the link and I highly recommend you watch it.
This has become one of the most profound career points in every aspect of my business. I can look back and reflect that every single success I’ve had has always been when I pursued opportunity for no other reason than why it was important to me.
For example my personal training career actual began a few years before I ever made my first dollar personal training; truly it began when I began helping people at the local gym and I didn’t take their money because “It was stuff that I just thought everyone should know.”
When offered my latest position the negotiation didn’t start with discussion of compensation, it began with discussing the role and it’s responsibilities because I wanted to know if it matched up to my why. I wanted to know that if I took the role could I steer the business in the way I wished for what I believe will best help more people than I could have ever helped before, not much else really mattered to be honest.
We now make a point to begin our team meetings with questions surrounding “why.”
Why do we exist?
Why are we doing what we are doing?
Why do “you” want to be a part of this?
Why is it important we succeed?
Why is it important that we grow?
There’s no sense talking about anything else until this is understood by all, as how and what to do come pretty naturally after (you’ll see that I mean if you watch Simon’s video.)
Hopefully you’ve found this helpful, I leave you with this final question, what’s your why?