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Leadership: You Can’t Pour from an Empty Cup


In order to continue to grow and develop your business, your team and your leadership skill — you need to take time to recharge. Here’s how.

“Don’t live the same day over and over again and call that a life. Life is about evolving mentally, spiritually and emotionally.”

This quote by journalist Germany Kent is what inspires Julian Barnes, the co-founder and CEO of Boutique Fitness Solutions and panelist on the latest Thought Leaders roundtable, to continue to foster a growth mindset both personally and in the culture of his business.

To put it simply, Barnes said everything changes, and nothing remains stagnant on earth. Without growing and changing your mindset, you’re going to fall behind.

For most fitness industry experts, the key to developing a growth mindset inside the facility is through leading by example.

“You’re a leader in the club so there is a spotlight on you,” said Assaf Gal, the franchisee of Crunch Fitness in Brooklyn, Bronx and Queens and panelist. “If we’re doing the right thing, it’s getting multiplied which is great, but if we’re making mistakes or if we have a fixed mindset, that’s getting spread around too. Acknowledging the need for growth is acknowledging that right now we’re not perfect and that’s OK.”

Acknowledging that as a leader you’re still learning and growing is just one way to show your team you’re similar despite your job titles. Another way is through vulnerability.

“How do you lead with positivity? There’s a lot of time I don’t,” said Jessica Yarmey, the CEO of KickHouse. “Are there times I could fake it to my team? Absolutely. But would there be value to my team if I mask and just show? Things are hard right now. Tell your team what you’re working through. Having that level with your senior leaders is important because it shows them, you’re working through it too. So, if they feel it one day it’s OK and they can come to you and share that vulnerability. It’s hard to be always on.”

In the new normal of Zoom meetings and digital connectivity, you as a leader may feel the pressure of “always being on” now more than ever before. However, in order to continue to grow and develop your business, your team and your leadership skill, you need to take time to recharge. As the saying goes — you can’t pour from an empty cup.

Joe Cirulli, the owner of Gainesville Health & Fitness Centers, said on the panel that it’s important to find different ways to recharge aside from exercising, meditating and getting fresh air. “I’m inside the club a lot, you have to be able to recharge in that environment,” he explained. “How do I do that? I talk to my staff and members on a regular basis. Doing this, you find out how much they love being there and that’s helpful.”

Cirulli also takes two weeks away each year to step away, read the books he hasn’t had the chance to read and create space to come up with new ideas. Gaining a different perspective allows him to solve problems he’s been struggling with.

Barnes agreed with the importance of stepping away. “Your brain forms connections when it’s not in constant use,’ he explained. “We have to give the brain time for connections to occur. You have to learn how to go slow, before you go fast.”

Learn more on how to grow your business, how to identify critical thinkers in the interview process and more by watching the full roundtable below.

Taylor Brown

Taylor Brown is the assistant editor for Club Solutions Magazine. She can be reached at taylor@peakemedia.com

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