A coach’s values

Posted on March 13, 2011. Filed under: Misc | Tags: , , |

I’m in a funny mood today.

Maybe cause it’s Sunday, or because I have family visiting today, but I find myself thinking about values.

Currently I coach independently out of a gym, where I pay rent, which works well for me.  But I have been getting that entrepreneurial itch and thinking about having my own gym.

So I did what I always do, I started reading.

A theme I have noticed in business books is the emphasis either one way or the other of core values.  I have heard these mentioned before in fitness seminars as far as coaching philosophies, so it makes sense.  The thing is when I see other places or people mention their core values, there seems to be well . . . a disconnect.

Nothing major, but it just didn’t seem to fit.  I couldn’t put my finger on it.  Then I read an article by Pat Lencioni, an author I have really come to enjoy, and it began to make sense.

The problem with certain companies or gyms core values is . . . they are not their core values.  I will try to explain.

When you talk to somebody about the core values of their business you typically get something along the lines or a variation of:

Integrity

Teamwork

Customer Service

Honesty

Balance

Innovation

Communication

Respect

These words are all wonderful but they don’t really identify anything unique or special.  There is no real connection to them.  Essentially these words get picked as values to represent what we want to be not who we are.

It becomes like that story in the book and now movie ‘Freakonomics.’  Does naming your child Temptress mean she will grow up to have a troublesome and promiscuous life, no.  But the fact that you are the kind of parent who would name your child Temptress, does

This made me think, when I have my own gym I must be careful to choose my business core values based on who I am, and not what I want to be? Maybe you already knew this but it was interesting to me all the same. Because it runs similar to what I heard Martin Rooney talk about (an amazing speaker who I highly recommend). What do I believe in? What would I “fight or die for?” So as I share I just want to say these are the values I have, now. And as time passes on and my fitness family grows I am sure they will evolve. But for now I thought I would lay mine out for any one who may be wondering what kind of coach I am.
Wolf pack
Now this is the Law of the Jungle — as old and as true as the sky;
And the Wolf that shall keep it may prosper, but the Wolf that shall break it must die.
As the creeper that girdles the tree-trunk the Law runneth forward and back;
For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack. – Rudyard Kipling

We are a team. MY client and I are a team.  Just like my coworkers and I are a team.  Once we are on a team I abide by the same rules as with my family. I will disagree with you, and agree with you.  I will challenge and support you. But above all else I will respect and support you as long as I believe your choices work positively with your health.
This means if we have an issue. We have an issue. I’m going to talk about it with you, not my friends, not my family, you. Never outside.
Adapt and Apply from all resources for continuous improvement
I see possible ideas and skills from all resources and I want a company that does the same. Every time I read a successful idea in a business it’s basically by them taking an idea from another industry and applying it to theirs. I always want to be open to that.  So I will use bands, balls, straps, and weights.  I will use elements of cross-training, Yoga, Pilates, martial arts, Olympic lifting, Physical therapy, and anything else I feel will benefit my clients.
Laugh
I just like laughing. And if you don’t. well . . . that’s a shame.  It really is quite good for you.
2-way education
I want to teach and learn constantly. With my clients, my colleagues, my friends, etc. I feel it keeps my mind and body sharp. Plus similar to my previous value. You never know where that next great idea is going to come from. Like they say at 3M, Thou shalt not kill new ideas.

Equality for all
My deepest concern is to be seen as someone who has treated people differently for what they had then who they are.  I couldn’t stand a business that did that. The analogy I use is if I’m a jeweler selling a specific type of diamond. the highest quality. And every diamond I have is identical; color, clarity, etc. And I sell them for we’ll say $1000 a carat.

I know that’s wrong but it’s an analogy, go with me on this.

Now if some one comes in with $500, they get a half carat. 2K, they get 2 carats. They all get the same quality of service. But the amount of service is based on what they pay for. They are all treated equal. This goes for my internal customers (co workers) as well.  You get what you give. In fact in most cases I will give more than you as long as I know you are giving your best.

Holistic Health
I believe you can not discount the mental aspect when it comes to clients. Will I by design be your counselor, no. But I will truly listen to what you have to say to find the best way to help you and accomplish your goals to the best of my ability.

Harmony leads to health
I believe in keeping peace. this does not mean keeping your mouth shut. It means openly working to improve together and each other as well as our surroundings. I feel a health company should take steps to be as green as possible.

I can’t afford to have t-shirts made out of bamboo, or to sell organic whey protein from grass-fed cows just yer. But I can recycle. I can encourage my clients to ditch the bottled water and get a stainless steel bottle with a water filter that attaches to the faucet. And let them know where they can go to recycle batteries, bottles, plastic bags etc.

This is what I value.

Best Health,

Coach W

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