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Additionally, leaders are easily identifiable. Leaders are not born, but created. Leaders emerge though crisis, handle adversity, quiet storms and bring people to common ground. They get people on task and help others to see what they don’t see in themselves. We all need leadership. My definition for leadership today is simple, “getting people to where they want to go.”
Many would say that leaders are confident, good at creating plans, able to communicate exceptionally and are able to get others to follow. All of these things are true, but leaders also have compassion, tremendous vision and unbelievable belief. Leaders won’t accept defeat. They keep planning and keep going until the job gets done — they have a lock-and-reload mentality.
Are you a leader? Do have all of these intangibles? If someone has called you a leader, then you should be proud. You clearly have led someone to where they want to go. You have made a difference in someone’s life, you have made a difference in a company or a community, and something is better because you were involved.
When I see a successful business or health club, I know right away there is great leadership going on within the walls. It can’t happen without leadership — there must always be someone to guide the ship, there must always be someone who is calm under scrutiny, and there must always be someone that others look to. Leaders simply take people to where they want to go.
Employees of the club do well when direction is coming from one source. If employees are getting conflicting reports, but feel that the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing, then chaos begins to occur amongst the troops.
Find a model that works and someone who is having success. Study the successful clubs across the country, learn how they lead, how they communicate, how they market, how they present themselves and see how the employees feel about working there.
You are going to find that there will be a pleasant arrogance amongst that group. Not a group that boasts, but one that is proud of what they’ve accomplished and what they represent. Leadership starts from within.
Become accountable, know what you want, know what you need to do and know what others need from you. Have compassion for the team, but also understand that goals must be met.
Zig Ziglar said, “you will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.” You should focus on helping others have success, on a team approach, not a “me” approach, and you will get others to follow.
Lay out a game plan, identify the obstacles, share with each person their role, talk about expectations over a time, meet daily to monitor progress, reinvent the plan throughout the process and celebrate others’ victories. If you can do that, you have mastered leadership and you will be able to lead others to where they want to go.
Chuck Hall is the executive director of Big Vanilla Athletic Clubs in Maryland. He can be reached at Chall@bigvanilla.com.