But truly, joining was one of my best decisions this summer. This particular gym opened just six months ago under the leadership of Zac Wilson, a Marine who has a great mix of being gentle yet bad ass at the same time.
That’s part of what makes him a fabulous coach. He’s also compassionate, patient, observant, and flexible in his approach, and he knows his stuff. Which means that, as an untrained, out-of-shape, 40-something woman, I never fear going to the gym, and I never leave the workout feeling beaten or ashamed or somehow lacking. And I’m eager to return and abuse my body (in a good way!) again.
I attribute my endearment to CrossFit for the sense of pride I’ve gotten from succeeding at something I thought was crazy impossible. And I attribute it to Zac and his coaching—rare finds in much of this life.
In the business world, we have many managers, some supervisors, and an unfortunate lack of coaches. Employees who could otherwise shine given the right environment and leadership instead wither on the corporate vine, unable, under-equipped, and uninspired to grow, which can lead to a cycle of turnover and employee unrest.
Part of what’s lacking in much of corporate leadership is a willingness to feel—or to admit to feeling—compassion. Focused on efficacy and speed, leadership skips patience. Many in corporate leadership do more assuming than observing. And, as they hurtle headlong toward numbers or revenue or results goals, much of corporate leadership plops a one-size-fits-all style to a workforce that's increasingly diverse, culturally blended, experientially disparate, and just plain not one size. And eventually, that just won’t work and will need to change.
To reverse the cycle of employee turnover—or even just improve the existing staff (and thereby the overall growth of the business), many companies would do well to follow the coaching approach. Remove fear, increase safe learning opportunities, and inspire good employees to shine should be on every company's to-do list.
The back of Zac's CrossFit T-shirt sports the motto “Stronger than the day before.” And he genuinely strives to get each of his gym members to feel that way—I know I sure have. Wouldn’t it be amazing if corporate leadership operated the same way?