Delegating and Setting the Example
As a leader, there are two important concepts to master: delegating, and setting the example.
Let’s start with delegating. Many club operators have control issues, which may be inevitable but unsustainable, especially if you are growing your business. A smart approach is to hire well and delegate what you’re not great at to those who are and let them flourish. Don’t waste time being average at something you’re not good at.
John C. Maxwell said, “If you want to do a few small things right, do them yourself. If you want to do great things and make a big impact, learn to delegate.”
Allowing your management team to make decisions is a great idea as long as they can justify their decision-making process for accountability, even if the ultimate outcome didn’t work out. Otherwise, you’re in micro-management territory. Every decision is a learning curve.
The second important concept to master is setting the example. To start, what’s important to you and your clubs?
If cleanliness is your unique selling proposition, then crush the basics and lead by example. Don’t ask your team members to do what you’re not willing to do. This prevents any pushback from staff when you delegate less glamorous jobs, and shows members their monthly dues are a great value.
After all, first impressions count. If gum needs to be picked up off the floor outside as you walk in, then pick it up and make sure the internal culture is to do the same regardless of your position. Nobody buys gym memberships in a dirty gym.
Ultimately, all gyms are private member clubs. Members pay to be there and all employees of that gym, from front desk to the owner/operator, are paid to be there. It’s nice to feel welcomed. If, as a club operator, you spend time at the front desk and do not greet and say goodbye to members, the front desk associate may feel they can do the same.
Lastly, another important lesson I personally learned in the last year was to make sure you are using the gyms you operate and encourage your team members to do the same. After all, how can you ask members for money for a service you are not using yourself?