Lessons in Business from the Gym

personal trainer businessI love my personal trainer, Babs. She always amazes me by how much she knows about form, fitness, anatomy, etc. She has an ability to keep on top of trends and incorporate the best parts in a seamless way into her own repertoire to keep it fresh. I’m surprised that no session is ever the same – even though I see her every week and have for years. And along the way, I learn something new every week from her vast wisdom on many topics. In reflecting on what Babs has taught me through our weekly sessions, while focused on fitness, they are great lessons in business.

Set the bar high and push the boundaries

Each week I feel like I’m in a better place than the week before. Over time, Babs has introduced heavier weights or more complicated exercises. Sometimes I’m not sure if I can do it. Her immediate response is that I can and I just need to focus on it and get my mind in the right place. And of course, she is right. She constantly pushes the boundaries on what I think is possible in the effort to make me better.

In business, great leaders do this. They set the vision and keep people focused on it. They know what the team is capable of and push the organization to achieve new heights. They set the bar high and push the boundaries is part of what is possible. All with the end goal in mind.

Get the basics right

Each time we embark on a new exercise or pull one from the repertoire, Babs demonstrates the proper form. Then it is my turn. If I get the form right, we keep going. If not, we start over with appropriate corrections. This is critical for injury prevention and for maximizing the impact of the exercise. All muscles are worked to ensure each is properly strengthened, so that there are no areas out of balance. If some are strong and others are weak, the strong ones pull the weak ones out of alignment and cause problems in the long term. By getting it right from the start, there is balance across the body, setting the foundation for the long-term.

Getting the basics right up front is critical to long-term success. Developing each area of the business equally creates balance across the organization and sets the platform for the long term. You can fix problems later, but it is much more expensive to do it that way than to get the basics right up front.

Have fun and appreciate those around you

Babs has unlimited energy and a positive outlook. It shows up in the form of having fun. People regularly talk about how much fun they have in Babs’ classes or in training with her. I look forward to our time together because we laugh hard and have a great workout. And during each session, she talks about how much she appreciates the people around her and what life has given her.

People want to have fun at work – that doesn’t mean goofing off. It means, enjoying what you do, enjoying the people you work with, working hard and getting satisfaction out of individual and team accomplishments. Business is all about people, so making sure people are having fun and appreciated is key to long-term success.

Lessons in business are everywhere. How do you find your inspiration?

Posted in Leadership, Strategy.

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