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Lead Where Others Dare Follow: Highlights From the IHRSA Convention

Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA

Kymberly leading a session at Rancho la Puerta

I’m going to lead now…. if that’s ok with you.

Do you strive to be a better leader as you advance in life? Perhaps you prefer working with strong leaders. As a group fitness leader myself, I am always looking to learn more about positive, effective leadership. As a baby boomer woman, I particularly appreciate and focus on successful, high profile females. (Some of them are in my exercise classes, cleverly disguised as “retired.”)

Leadership: High Performance Peaks and Pitfalls

So on my last day attending the IHRSA International Trade Show and Convention, I eagerly toodled off to a session led by club owner and fitness pro,  Trina Gray, entitled Leadership: High Performance Peaks and Pitfalls (IHRSA is the primary trade association serving the health and fitness club industry). Up to then, I had been a little frustrated to see so few females selected by IHRSA for sessions, panels, and roundtables. Finally, here was a woman who was surpassing her own business and financial goals, making life-changing differences in her community, and inspiring people to commit to get fit. A youngish woman. In a mini-skirt. With flouncy hair, and a huggy, metaphysical air. Yes, this could be interesting!

Lead Yourself Or A Community

Stat on deaths from IHRSA 2014

Combating such stats needs good leaders!

Trina was a delight and loaded with personality, energy, and insightful comments on ways to improve our leadership abilities. Even if the only person you want to lead is yourself, you will appreciate some of her tips. Trina has the chops to dish the tips too. (Like those food metaphors?) She founded the Bay Athletic Club in Alpena, Michigan, one of the poorest counties in one of the unhealthiest states in America. Fast food, smoking, illness, and obesity were a way of life in this small town until Trina’s efforts helped make more than half her community healthier.

Snippets, Suggestions, and Strategies

Take a stationary bike ride with me through some of her leadership suggestions and quoteables:

“Look for something every day that can make you a better leader.” I am up for the challenge. Are you? (Bossing my husband around doesn’t count as leadership, darn it anyway).

“Don’t look for people to follow you. Look for people to believe in where you are going.” This quote was one of my favorite!

“Do you show people how amazing they are? Or have you focused on how amazing you are?”

“It takes leadership not just to take feedback but to put that feedback into action.”

“Success is not convenient.” I was a little confused by this quote until Trina gave us the example of fast food. It’s convenient, but does it take us where we want to go?

Seth Godin Keynote Speaker for IHRSA

Leaders are Connectors

More High Performance Tips from Trina

  • Stop asking for so much advice. Do more; ask less.
  • Remove people in life who suck your energy. Protect your energy.
  • Money is flowing all around you. Success and money are unlimited. You don’t need permission to succeed. Being successful does not take from anyone else.

Which of the above suggestions resonates with you most? Have your views on leadership changed with time and age? What have you experienced today that can help you become a better leader? Share in the comments below.

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