Mo Hagan’s Tips for Becoming a Successful Leader
Last week, The Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women in Sport and Physical Activity (CAAWS) released its annual Most Influential Women List featuring women who are senior leaders and influencers in the Canadian sport and fitness industry. They are all women who have made a significant impact on the industry and beyond.
Maureen (Mo) Hagan, the VP of operations and head of fitness training at GoodLife Fitness in London Ontario was one of the women honored.
“It is humbling to be recognized amongst so many great women, whom I admire,” said Hagan. “The recognition certainly edifies that the hard work, commitment, dedication and compromise is worth it and my message is getting out there. It powers up the voice in my mind to say, ‘What I do matters, so keep doing it.’”
Hagan has been a part of the GoodLife team for 30 years, but she shows no sign of slowing down. The recognition by the CAAWS has only inspired her to continue her great work.
“It really fires me up to keep going for it and working hard to be an authentic leader,” explained Hagan. “I feel that now I really have a purpose that I need to get out there and stand up for the recognition that I have been blessed to receive.”
Historically, males have dominated the fitness industry, at least at the ownership level, so how did Hagan climb her way to the top? She gives a few pieces of advice:
Stay on top of fitness trends. You need to be a visionary and stay on the leading edge because the industry does change very quickly. If you relied on your original certification and training, you wouldn’t last. I am always up-skilling.
Lead by example. Show members what it means to live a healthy lifestyle and provide them with tactics to do so. Teach, educate and most importantly, do it yourself. I still teach today and I still train with a personal trainer. I can’t promote a service if I am not a member of that program. I work in the front lines.
Never quit. The only way you fail is if you quit. I have definitely felt like quitting a few times, but I kept showing up. In fact, I was cut from one of the sports teams in high school, but I kept showing up for practice because I figured someone might get injured or sick and they might need someone who knows the sport and has been training. My coach always thought that was commendable, a bit crazy, but commendable. I never gave up even though I wasn’t the best on the team and there were days when I wanted to.
Be active. On the days that I wake up and feel that my confidence is lacking, the first thing I do is go for a run or go to the gym and I get my confidence back within minutes. It is that physical activity of moving my body, getting circulation going that helps me feel strong in both body and mind. Then I can approach that tough day.
Surround yourself with like-minded people who will support you even if they don’t always agree with you. I have divorced myself from a good friend because she was so negative and it brought me down. I felt like I was being sucked into the negativity, so I chose to separate myself. I am really conscious about how I spend my time and whom with. Negativity is contagious, but so is positivity.
Be authentic. The ego can’t be what leads you; it has to be your desire to change the world to become healthier. Have a business model that makes it accessible to the majority, rather than the minority.
By Emily Harbourne