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Entries in Lessons in Fitness Leadership (19)

Thursday
Feb232017

Lessons in Fitness Leadership: Give More Details and Direction

The Lessons in Fitness Leadership series highlights IHRSA’s industry leaders and thanks them for their continued commitment to growing, promoting, and protecting the health club industry. By sharing their business expertise, we hope that you will get to know them, what they've learned along the way, and how they view leadership. 

Karen Raisch-Siegel
LifeWorks of Southwest General
Middleburg Heights, OH


What is the most fulfilling part of being a business leader in the fitness industry?

The most fulfilling part for me is that I have the privilege to make a positive difference in the lives of my employees, members, and community. It is quite humbling and surreal how the decisions I make affect so many lives.

If you were able to go back in time, what is one piece of leadership advice you would have given your younger-self about working in the fitness industry?

I would tell myself to calm down, slow down, and that everyone is doing the best they can. I’ve learned that people don’t operate in the same ways I do—and that’s okay, and that I need to provide them with more details and direction. 

What prompted you to join the Industry Leadership Council (ILC)?

I attended the ILC meeting at IHRSA 2016 in Orlando. I was very moved by the advocacy initiatives that IHRSA pursues and all that the Industry Leadership Council does for our industry. I didn’t even know it existed in the past, I’ve been so busy in my world that I feel like I’ve been living in my own small bubble.

What has been your most memorable experience as part of the ILC?

I am very new to the ILC so my most memorable experience so far was listening to the 2016 ILC Summit keynote speaker, Ann Handley. She spoke about how our story is what makes us different, and that we need to find a way to tell bolder, bigger and braver stories. It was an excellent session on marketing and very useful. I’m looking forward to taking advantage of the ILC sessions once again this year.

Thursday
Feb092017

Lessons in Fitness Leadership: Advocate for One of the Best Products Being ‘Sold’

The Lessons in Fitness Leadership series highlights IHRSA’s industry leaders and thanks them for their continued commitment to growing, promoting, and protecting the health club industry. By sharing their business expertise, we hope that you will get to know them, what they've learned along the way, and how they view leadership. 

Paula Neubert
Greenwood Athletic and Tennis Club
Greenwood Village, CO 


What is the most fulfilling part of being a business leader in the fitness industry?

You get to be a leader and advocate for one of the best products being “sold.” Think about it…how many businesses allow you to spend your days talking to people, helping them reach goals that make them healthier and happier, and give you the opportunity to be energized and motivated just by stepping out of your office door and taking a walk around the club? I am proud and honored to be part of this industry!

If you were able to go back in time, what is one piece of leadership advice you would have given your younger-self about working in the fitness industry?

Listen and observe. Learn something every day!

What prompted you to join the Industry Leadership Council (ILC)?

A phone call from IHRSA Board members. I didn’t know a lot about the ILC, but they helped me understand more about this group of leaders and the advocacy work they do to help our industry. As a brand new ILC member, I’m looking forward to learning more and experiencing ILC member benefits.

Thursday
Jan262017

Lessons in Fitness Leadership: Focus on Being Rather Than Doing

The Lessons in Fitness Leadership series highlights IHRSA’s industry leaders and thanks them for their continued commitment to growing, promoting, and protecting the health club industry. By sharing their business expertise, we hope that you will get to know them, what they've learned along the way, and how they view leadership. 

Scott Draper
Club Northwest
Grants Pass, OR 


What is the most fulfilling part of being a business leader in the fitness industry?

The opportunity of serving others in wellness.

We see hundreds of examples of how we do this each day. It is truly about being present. I enjoy the day-to-day and the moment-to-moment experiences I have with others. Wellness doesn’t happen in the past or in the future. It happens in the moment. Those moment-to-moment conversations create wellness for not only those we are serving, but also for ourselves.

Continue reading "Lessons in Fitness Leadership: Focus on Being Rather Than Doing."

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Thursday
Jan122017

Lessons in Fitness Leadership: It’s Okay to Not Have All the Answers

The Lessons in Fitness Leadership series highlights IHRSA’s industry leaders and thanks them for their continued commitment to growing, promoting, and protecting the health club industry. By sharing their business expertise, we hope that you will get to know them, what they've learned along the way, and how they view leadership.

Bill McBride
Active Wellness
San Francisco, CA


What is the most fulfilling part of being a business leader in the fitness industry?

Helping people learn and grow.  I really enjoy helping operators and staffs get better at how we approach our industry through training, development, standards, and excellence.  Supporting people in their professional and personal growth is very fulfilling. 

It’s all about the people—this industry is such a community. Competitors are friendly with each other. A lot of us believe in the concept of a rising tide floats all boats. It’s about building something bigger than you and your own company, but in helping grow the industry. It is very important and critical when working towards industry goals not to insert any personal agendas. Collaboration for the industry’s progress is very fulfilling to me on a deep level.

Continue reading "Lessons in Fitness Leadership: It’s Okay to Not Have All the Answers."

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Thursday
Dec292016

Lessons in Fitness Leadership: Share Best Practices and Discuss Challenges

The Lessons in Fitness Leadership series highlights IHRSA’s industry leaders and thanks them for their continued commitment to growing, promoting, and protecting the health club industry. By sharing their business expertise, we hope that you will get to know them, what they've learned along the way, and how they view leadership. 

Jeremy and Lori Lowell
Gold’s Gym Lake Ridge
Woodbridge, VA


What is the most fulfilling part of being a business leader in the fitness industry? 

Jeremy: I would have to say that the most fulfilling part of being a leader in the industry is the networking that I involve myself in with my peers to share best practices and discuss challenges. 

If you were able to go back in time, what is one piece of leadership advice you would have given your younger-self about working in the fitness industry? 

Jeremy: Focus on cost containment even when times are fabulous. 

What prompted you to join the Industry Leadership Council (ILC)? 

Jeremy: My dear friend Meredith Poppler! 

Lori: We are proud members of the ILC and value it's cause and contributions to the industry. 

And we love the great experience you’ve created for ILC Members at the annual convention. IHRSA is our annual opportunity to have meetings with fitness professionals and vendors; it's our time to brainstorm, reconnect with our colleagues, and learn about new ideas and products. 

Having the opportunity to meet with keynote presenters, have lunch, and attend private sessions has enhanced our IHRSA experience immensely. 

And having use of the Industry Leadership Club has taken our IHRSA experience to another level. This welcoming room and environment not only makes us feel special, but it provides an amazing meeting space to conduct our business.

Thursday
Dec152016

Lessons in Fitness Leadership: Be Sure to Ask Questions 

The Lessons in Fitness Leadership series highlights IHRSA’s industry leaders and thanks them for their continued commitment to growing, promoting, and protecting the health club industry. By sharing their business expertise, we hope that you will get to know them, what they've learned along the way, and how they view leadership. 

Bill Beck
Club Fit
Briarcliff, NY


What is the most fulfilling part of being a business leader in the fitness industry? 

Far and away the best part of being a leader in this industry is knowing that the work we do every day helps make people’s lives better. We’re responsible for motivating people to live healthier lives, which, in turn, helps them spend more quality time with the people in their lives that matter most to them. 

I’ve always been a big advocate for IHRSA but after having a leadership position on the Board of Directors, I am able to truly recognize and appreciate the great work that we do in the world. I can’t say thank you enough to the Board for this opportunity and for always caring about our members, our people, and the work that we do.  I would encourage anyone looking to take on a more active leadership role to apply. 

Continue reading "Lessons in Fitness Leadership: Be Sure to Ask Questions."

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Thursday
Dec012016

Lessons in Fitness Leadership: Treat Customers and Employees Well

The Lessons in Fitness Leadership series highlights IHRSA’s industry leaders and thanks them for their continued commitment to growing, promoting, and protecting the health club industry. By sharing their business expertise, we hope that you will get to know them, what they've learned along the way, and how they view leadership. 

Phil Wendel
ACAC
Charlottesville, VA


What is the most fulfilling part of being a business leader in the fitness industry? 

This is a feel good way to make a living. At ACAC, we say that we help people “live their best.” We’re part of the solution to America’s healthcare crisis. So, while we’re making a living we’re also helping other people live.

If you were able to go back in time, what is one piece of leadership advice you would have given your younger-self about working in the fitness industry?

1. Focus on sales, sales, sales. I’ve had two jobs. The first was at a student travel company, and the second was in this industry. I started a fitness center (ACAC) in 1984. When we started, we focused on tremendously building the top line. I had a piece of advice I would always give to anyone that put a great idea on my desk; I would ask them—do you have someone that can sell this?

2. If your business is based heavily in sales, make sure there are an equal number of people working to manage the expense side of your business.

3. Treat your customers and your employees extremely well.

What prompted you to join the Industry Leadership Council (ILC)?

Any industry is far more effective if it has somebody that represents your common interests. IHRSA’s most effective tool and their best work—other than providing an A+ convention every year—is their work on fighting sales tax battles.

One of the best IHRSA member benefits is allowing individual club operators to contribute to legislative outcomes. Collectively we are stronger. Together we have a broader and more effective voice than any of us can have individually. 

Thursday
Nov102016

Lessons in Fitness Leadership: Create a Compelling Story to ‘Sell’ Exercise 

The Lessons in Fitness Leadership series highlights IHRSA’s industry leaders and thanks them for their continued commitment to growing, promoting, and protecting the health club industry. By sharing their business expertise, we hope that you will get to know them, what they've learned along the way, and how they view leadership. 

Lloyd Gainsboro
Dedham Health & Athletic Complex
Dedham, MA 


What is the most fulfilling part of being a business leader in the fitness industry? 

Being successful in business is fulfilling. We are successful in the financial part of the health club business and we are successful in delivering medical wellness and physical therapy. This success allows us to benchmark our successes, and these benchmarks enable us to be leaders in the industry around how we deliver services.

We started out as a tennis club. Then in the late ‘70s interest rates went to 19% and inflation was at 12 %. As more women left their homes to join the workforce, we lost a good percentage of our membership base. That became our challenge. We took that challenge and morphed our business. We evolved from a tennis facility, to a full service facility, to a medically integrated facility—thus creating an opportunity to succeed. Challenges open new doors and lead us in new directions.

If you were able to go back in time, what is one piece of leadership advice you would have given your younger-self about working in the fitness industry?

If you analyze the adult population of the USA, only 15% wants what we sell, “exercise.”

Another 15% use the product “exercise” without buying from us. That leaves 70% available to buy our product and they need our product. So my advice is to create a compelling story to show that 70% that you have what they need. And then deliver exercise in a way that satisfies them.

The book Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborge talks about two different strategies, “Red Ocean” versus “Blue Ocean.” Red Ocean delivers a commodity that is in demand, Blue Ocean is creating a temporary monopoly. So you want to create a Blue Ocean product that gives you a temporary monopoly. Red Ocean has sharks, Blue Ocean does not.

What prompted you to join the Industry Leadership Council (ILC)?

Everyone who is in our industry should be involved in the Industry Leadership Council. If you are not, in my opinion, you are part of the problem. We joined the ILC because we truly believe this group can make our industry better today than it was yesterday.

Our industry has a potential to grow 450% (from 15% to 70%) and IHRSA’s efforts will help get us there, but it will take the support of the ILC.

Thursday
Oct272016

Lessons in Fitness Leadership: Get Involved and Share Your Voice

The Lessons in Fitness Leadership series highlights IHRSA’s industry leaders and thanks them for their continued commitment to growing, promoting, and protecting the health club industry. By sharing their business expertise, we hope that you will get to know them, what they've learned along the way, and how they view leadership. 

Lynne Brick
Brick Bodies
Baltimore, MD 


What is the most fulfilling part of being a business leader in the fitness industry? 

The most fulfilling part [of being a leader] is three-fold:  

  1. To connect with other industry leaders and learn from them.
  2. To inspire rising stars and other rising leaders to exert their leadership skills and give back to the industry.
  3. To inspire our staff to discover their greatness.  

If you were able to go back in time, what is one piece of leadership advice you would have given your younger-self about working in the fitness industry? 

I have two pieces of advice. They are: 

  1. Don't be afraid to fail.
  2. Begin with the end in mind. 

What prompted you to join the Industry Leadership Council (ILC)? 

I joined the ILC because it is one of the best ways that our industry can contribute to IHRSA's mission to protect the industry. It is best to be involved, contribute, and share one’s voice to avoid negative legislation as opposed to sitting on the sidelines and wondering what's happening. 

What has been your most memorable experience as part of the ILC? 

My most memorable experience was when we defeated the expansion of the sales tax in Maryland. We recruited bus loads of members and staff in addition to other clubs in our region and stormed the capital of Annapolis, Maryland. We starting chanting “Don’t tax health” and doing push-ups in front of the building where the hearings transpired, called “Lawyers Mall.”

Later when there was an opportunity to speak in front of the committee hearing on behalf of our industry, along with our lobbyist, I simply asked each legislator to do some seated shoulder rolls and explained that sitting is the “new smoking” and as a state we need to encourage citizens to move, not inhibit or create barriers by including health club memberships under the expansion of the sales tax.   

Bottom line: We won!

Thursday
Oct132016

Lessons in Fitness Leadership: People Make the Difference

The Lessons in Fitness Leadership series highlights IHRSA’s industry leaders and thanks them for their continued commitment to growing, promoting, and protecting the health club industry. By sharing their business expertise, we hope that you will get to know them, what they've learned along the way, and how they view leadership.

Steve Capezzone
Healthtrax International
Glastonbury, CT


What is the most fulfilling part of being a business leader in the fitness industry?

Being in a leadership position and having the opportunity to be a change agent is so important. To me, leadership means being directly involved in influencing public policy initiatives, having access to other operators to learn from and network with, and having the ability to call upon other leaders to help make an impact on the industry.

If you were able to go back in time, what is one piece of leadership advice you would have given your younger-self about working in the fitness industry?

I can’t just pick one piece of advice because I have found that there are many strategies that—if implemented correctly—can help a person improve their leadership abilities.

First, people make the difference! A lot of people talk about new clubs and equipment and that’s important, but what really makes a difference in this business is the people. They create the stickiness for our members and create the environment that can make or break your work.

So, surround yourself with the best people you can. It makes work more enjoyable and has a huge impact on your bottom line. 

Continue reading "Lessons in Fitness Leadership: People Make the Difference."

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