My daughter Sophia just turned three years old. After a fully potty-trained summer she’s begging us to let her sleep through the night without her pull-up on. I keep telling her, “No, not yet, baby, you’re not ready.” But she insists that she is.
You know, the truth of the matter is, I didn’t really know if she could make it through the night or not? I just wasn’t sure if I wanted to take the risk to find out because I didn’t want to be stuck cleaning up the mess!
Then I remembered the first time I left the gym in the care of my staff.
After 18 months of owning our affiliate – which included 70 hour work weeks, double shifts, close-open shifts that all paid zero dollars – my husband and I decided we wanted to take some time away, but stay productive business owners at the same time. So we booked a trip to LA to attend The BIZ Seminar, which back then was a 2 day/20 hour sit-in with John and Andy at CFLA.
Although I didn’t know it at the time, I had left our box unprepared and ill-equipped to handle the day-to-day comings and goings of running a business. What I didn’t realize until I attended The BIZ Seminar is that I never should have left with the mediocre staff we had at the time. I had pulled out too soon – a case of “premature delegation,” as Burch would say. And, if I had the chance to go back, I wouldn’t change things. I still would have attended the seminar. At the time, I just didn’t know what I didn’t know.
Fast forward 3 ½ years. Whenever I leave the box I now measure the team’s performance in much more detailed ways: How many Intros are on the books this week? What was our closing percentage? Did the business grow? How were the classes and what was the average attendance? How were the WODs; did people PR like crazy? Who had breakthroughs? How was the weekly staff meeting?
At one time or another, I was the ONLY person who monitored these trends. I carried that load for years until I finally committed to finding the right people to get on the bus with me and go where I’m going. (Ever read Good To Great? If you haven’t, it’s a must read!).
For me, developing a great team started with finding my first duplicate – who was, incidentally, my younger sister, Katie. She lived with us at the time so there was no escaping my development plan for her. I quizzed her at dinner, required her to Zone her food and gave her a strict guideline for her social life. (It’s seriously a miracle we’re still related. I would hate me if I were her.)
After months of training Katie and preparing her for her first class, when the time came for her to coach, I still wasn’t sure she was ready. I sensed it was time for me to push her towards that ledge of independence so she could fly on her own, but it required me to pull back on my own reins and support her in the role as my successor (rather than do every thing for her and make every decision for her).
In the past years of developing a highly capable and functioning team of associates, I have had to make every decision based on what is best for our team, which was (NEWS FLASH!) not always what felt best for me at the time. But, if you have the fortunate experience of working with highly motivated, passionate associates who will close the gym down at 9pm and open it at 5am the following day at a moments notice, then you must know and believe that they deserve the best of what we as leaders have to offer.
What do we as affiliate owners care about the most? Our own personal glory? Or ALL the glory of a successful team working together to run a successful business?
I currently have 3 full time associates on my staff. Although we all have our individual strengths and development plans, we are all on the bus and it’s now moving in the right direction.
When I think about my daughter and the question of, “Is she ready?” …Well I’m still not quite sure. But is she the one who’s not ready or is it me? Hard to say, but maybe I should take this girl at her word and give her a shot. Maybe all the training we’ve done this summer has prepared her for the ultimate test? Regardless, whenever she succeeds, I’m ready to share in ALL the glory with her as she grows!
To avoid premature delegation with your staff, be sure to sign up for our Mastermind Seminar: STAFF 2.0 taking place Saturday November 3rd in Woodbridge, VA.