MON: “Improve the Circle”

I have written and spoken about what I perceive to be the misguided notion of leadership hierarchy many times before. We have always been taught that leadership is a ladder that we climb, and every person that is underneath is someone that we lead. We have also always been taught that you have to be in position of rank to lead.

Both of those conventional views can do better. Leadership is not a straight line based on the pursuit of conquest. It is a circle based on very essential collaboration.

Take the context of our environment here at the gym. From where tradition sits, there are a few pieces that could be viewed as conventional leadership. The obvious first group sitting up top the highest rung with no one above them would be the owners. Then of course, on the next rung down the head coach. After that, the coaches, and then, the assistant coaches.

This is how a traditional ladder structure would paint the picture of our organization (and many others). So, tell me. Is this correct? Or can it do better? From where you sit, where is the glaring omission in this linear system?

I’ll tell you.

Consumers. In our case, members.

When you begin to understand that this consumer group is the catalyst for all decisions that are made by providers, you start to understand that those cozy owners sitting at the top of the ladder aren’t so unchecked with leadership after all. Turns out, they must answer to those that consume resources. In our model of circular leadership, these “shareholders” hop right into the mix like a circular Congo line. In this collectively lead organism, the circle is steered together. Perhaps there is a lead figure at the front of the line offering guidance, but if the rest don’t want to follow, they can step out, change direction, or stop, and the circle ends.

There is no such thing as a leader who doesn’t answer to anyone, and the greater your responsibilities, the more people to which you answer.

Emerson once said, “In some way, every man I know is my superior.”

Every man and woman here answers to each other and provides some form of leadership to those around them. Everyone.

I challenge anyone in a position of leadership, or those who might not perceive that they are, to toss out the thought of “climbing the ladder” and instead focus on “improving the circle.”


Monday, 9.17.18

First. For Strength.
5 Back Squats @ 60-80%
5×5” SA Neg. Bicep Curls
Complete 1 set every 4′ for 20′

Then. For Conditioning.
2×5’ Circuits.
A: 1 DB Complex
80m Run

B: 1 KB Complex
80m Run