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Current Issue In Print Leadership The Essentials

Do You Really Care as a Leader?

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If one Googles the word “leadership,” you’ll find millions of results. Yet most people don’t get their first leadership training and development until 12 years after they’ve become a manager. 

The gap in leadership development and management within the fitness industry may be even worse. As individuals move up the ladder from being a successful personal trainer or salesperson to now becoming a manager, we create a situation where leadership is more about learning by trial and error.

Recently at Merritt Clubs, we had all of our managers take a new leadership index so we could continue to fortify their training and educational development. During this one-day workshop, I had a revelation. I really believe success within this industry, and within any job for that matter, comes down to one simple word: care. 

As individuals we only see our side of the beachball. As leaders, we need to be able to see the full beachball and every aspect of it, which means we must be willing to see other perspectives and understand other vantage points. In order to do this, we need to put aside our egos and open our minds. With more competition, disruption and diversification there are more challenges — and yet there are also more opportunities if we do one simple thing: care.

I believe anybody who truly cares about their job and the impact they can have will work hard and be passionate. It’s about caring about doing an exceptional job and not just being a bare-minimum person. It’s about doing and caring about completing what needs to be done versus what one wants to be done. 

Many of us in the industry started off without getting any leadership training. When we began, our training was more task-oriented. We were told what was expected of us as managers, when to turn items in and then were told “best of luck, go get them.”

As a leader, you must be able to take a hard look at yourself, be self-aware and have someone you trust to coach or mentor you. We need to be open to this so we can all truly impact and make a change in this industry. 

Again, it comes down to that simple word: “care.” Do you care? Do you care about the impact you’re making? 

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Mark Miller

Mark Miller is the vice president of Merritt Athletic Clubs. For questions on retention, he can be reached at mmiller@merrittclubs.com.

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