Dane's Thoughts: Leadership in a Business

I am a fairly competitive individual with various interests. My interests range from crazy underground music to sustainable farming to sports performance and even religious studies (my collegiate degree). My thoughts throughout the day meander in and around all of these fields of study.  From a young age, it was instilled in me to think for myself, question authority and to put forth as much effort into every aspect of life as possible. Ultimately, some of these interests lead to a lack of leadership on my part within my business.

Every field I am interested in leads me down a hole of knowledge.  Is there an awesome new indie band? I want to know who they are and go see them in concert. Is there a new method being used by grass-based farmers? I want to learn about it and try it at my farm. Is there a new recovery method or exercise for performance? I want to experiment with it on my athletes.  Has the next version of the Dead Sea Scrolls been discovered? I want to read them and see what they say! My brain is constantly looking for the next discovery and that is why I suck as a boss. I am stuck inside my brain, consuming information instead of working to create a well oiled machine of a gym!

Recently, I asked a few of my employees to tell me why I stink. I want to know why we have not blown up in the strength world. Our results in athletics are unheard of, our services we provide are incredible and we do a decent job with social media. So, what is holding us back? Me.

The main Issues I stink are:

  1. Communication: This was the number one problem. I don’t express what’s not meeting my expectations, I don’t communicate my weekly schedule, I fail to express my long term vision for the gym on all fronts.
  2. SOP’s/Job Description: This really shows how pathetic I am. I have hired workers based off our need at the gym and our volume.  Basically, my hiring has been completely on the fly. We have grown as a business, we have improved bookkeeping (thanks, Caitlin) and we have improved our system in the gym so much that we were able to purchase a half million dollar building in just nine years of existence.  BUT, I have failed to provide some of my employees with simple standard operating procedures!
  3. My personal clutter: My brain is scattered, I have too many ideas and distractive thoughts.  I am motivated to take over the world but I can’t even put my water bottle in recycling or my dirty laundry in a god damned laundry basket! This is a legit complaint from my employees.  I leave shit all over the place and the problem is that this bleeds into the gym and my workers organization as well.
  4. Future of the business: My employees know I have a plan, but they don’t know the plan. This goes back to poor communication. If they knew the plan, the path would be easier to maintain.
  5. Friendships: My employees become my friends.  I care about them as though they are family. I cry tears of joy when they accomplish something cool and I get frustrated when they make a mistake.  This is great BUT, I fear criticizing them. I don’t want them upset. I want their lives to be comfortable and happy. So instead of grooming them to be workers, I groom them to be my homies hanging out in the gym.

So, what am I going to change? How will I improve our systems, our relationships, our performance and ultimately, our revenue?



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