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IHRSA 2012: More Lessons on Leadership  

In the current issue of CBI magazine, in a feature titled “IHRSA 2012! Snapshots of the industry event that surpassed all expectations” (see pg. 46), Executive Editor Patricia Amend and I team up to provide you with a recap of some of the many exciting events, speakers, awards, workouts, and products that we sampled at IHRSA’s 31st Annual International Convention and Trade Show in Los Angeles in March.

Of course, the emphasis here should be on the word “some” because there was so much we weren’t able to report on. After all, it would take at least an entire issue of CBI—literally—to cover all of the sights, sounds, and various happenings that took place during the four-day event.

Thankfully, there’s CBI Unbound.

And so, here, in the first installment of what will be a multipart series, I’d like to offer you more from that amazing week—in the form of highlights from a couple of the instructive and enlightening lectures delivered by some of the industry’s most accomplished leaders. 

Today, in part one, some sage advice on the topic of leadership:

Leadership Tactics that Will Drive Your Team to Respond to Your Vision

Justin Tamsett, Managing Director, Active Management


  • When things don’t go as expected, ask yourself what you can learn from the experience. What’s the take-away lesson?
  • Always be willing to experiment and take risks…and do so even if there’s a chance of failure.
  • Be contagiously enthusiastic and positive about the future.
  • Look for emerging trends. And be sure to look both inside and outside of the industry for new ideas and inspiration.
  • Practice “flawesomeness”—in other words, show humility, and be quick to admit your flaws. Be transparent in all that you do.
  • Model the way. If, for example, you want your staff to smile, then you must smile. People emulate what we do rather than what we say.
  • Help your team to thrive by providing them with decision-making discretion, by freely sharing company related information, and by minimizing incivility (i.e. sarcasm, wit, etc.).


Developing the Leader Within

Bill Manning, Director, Graduate Kinesiology & Graduate Sport Management, Saint Mary’s College of California 


  • The most important part of communication is listening.
  • To have both great human relations and a happy team, there are certain phrases you should keep in mind and use: “I admit I made a mistake”; “You did a good job”; “What’s your opinion”; “Thank you”; “If you please”; and “We.”
  • Leadership is an action—not a position. It’s about getting the job done, while keeping everyone together. It’s also about genuinely caring for the people who choose to follow you.
  • Think with your heart and not just your head.
  • Always give credit. Likewise, always be willing to accept the blame.
  • Being a great leader is a continuous process that requires regularly attending workshops and classes to polish your skills.
  • Leaders should seek mentors to facilitate their own personal growth – and remember that even younger, less experienced individuals can offer valuable lessons.


Next, in part two, pros from two of the industry’s most successful fitness studios will offer tips on how to help your business not only survive, but thrive beyond expectation. So stay tuned to CBI Unbound.

- Patricia Glynn is the associate editor of CBI and can be reached at

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