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.
The Fitness Industry Needs to Begin with the End in Mind
Starting your journey with the end in mind isn’t the only advice Lynne Brick of Brick Bodies has, but it’s one everyone in the fitness industry needs to remember.
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.
The first is to connect with other industry leaders and learn from them. The second is to inspire rising stars and other rising leaders to exert their leadership skills and give back to the industry. Finally, the third is 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. The first is don't be afraid to fail. The second is always 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 in the early 2000s.
An ad ran during the push to stop the expansion of the sales tax in Maryland.
We recruited busloads of members and staff in addition to other clubs in our region and stormed the capital of Annapolis, MD. We started 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. Explaining 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!
Kaitee Anderson Fernandez previously served as IHRSA's Director of Creative Content—a position that created digital, print, and video content to help tell the story behind IHRSA's advocacy and public policy efforts.