Why Being a Patient Leader Can Yield Better Results

CEO of Little Rock Athletic Club, Frank Lawrence, shares his business expertise and what's been the most fulfilling part of being an industry leader.

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.

Article image

Frank Lawrence 
CEO 
Little Rock Athletic Club

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

Trying to make a difference and trying to be an advocate for our industry by creating a fitter, healthier life for all people.

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?

Be patient. I would say that I tend to be pretty aggressive both in business decisions and how I play sports. Sometimes it can be easy to rush and over play any situation. Like in tennis for instance, if you are too aggressive and try to over play the ball or the point, it could ultimately lead to a mistake. Versus if you are patient and wait for your body to react to the ball, this can lead to better results.

“Anything that takes away barriers for people to lead a healthy lifestyle is beneficial.”

Frank Lawrence, CEO

Little Rock Athletic Club

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

To be an advocate for our industry. If I’m part of this industry, then I want to be a leader that works hard to draw the industry and our efforts into the future.

The Personal Health Investment Today Act, or PHIT, is legislation that would make access to physical activity more affordable. How will passage of this bill help America get PHIT?

Anything that takes away barriers for people to lead a healthy lifestyle is beneficial. Giving someone an incentive that allows them to use tax dollars to pay for club membership wears away at these barriers and is helpful.

IHRSA does a significant amount of advocacy work to Grow, Promote and Protect clubs across the country. How do you feel that work benefits your business or the industry at large?

The IHRSA advocacy team is constantly out in front, leading the industry and the fitness landscape as a whole. They are able to speak on our behalf because of that. IHRSA acts as one collective voice, which is much more powerful than any of our own individual voices.

Author avatar

Shannon Vogler @vogler_shannon

Shannon Vogler is the Communications and Public Relations Coordinator for IHRSA. Shannon writes articles, press releases, and the IHRSA Advocate newsletter to make IHRSA members aware of policy issues that impact health clubs. She also speaks with media influencers about the benefits of working out and joining a gym. When she's not writing, Shannon enjoys running and cheering for the New England Patriots.