August 10, 2017 Taylor Scott

Personal Training and Leadership

Leaders in any industry, business, sport, or even in communities can learn from friendly neighborhood Personal Trainers.

Personal Trainers are not only a wealth of fitness knowledge, but they also give us almost a perfect blueprint for how to be an effective, impactful leader.

A Quick Fitness Trainer Story

Last week, during my workout, our trainer dropped a dead lift into the circuit training session. Nothing crazy. Moderate weight. Two sets of 10. I was on rep number three when our Personal Trainer, Ben, came up next to me as I set the bar down on the floor.

Keep your chest high, back straight, and push those hips back…use your glutes and hamstrings as you go straight back up…

I finished the set, making the movements exactly how Ben explained and demonstrated.

It had been a minute since I’d routinely knocked out sets of dead lifts, so I needed that coaching. When it came time for the second set, he came up next to me again. This time, as he watched, he gave me a, “there it is…nice.” I rattled off ten straight reps, with the form he was looking for – chest high, hips back, etc.

I’m now more confident in my ability to execute that exercise correctly, and I’m even more confident that my desired results will follow. The bonus – I respect and appreciate Ben because of his genuine, intentional coaching in helping me achieve my goals.  All it took was a slight tweak, and all I needed was a little coaching.

 Think About Your Role Today, as a Leader of Your Team

How is your team executing the most important “exercises” in your business this week, or this month?  Are they delivering the results you or your senior executives are expecting?  If not, maybe they need a slight tweak to their execution.  They may need a coach.

You’re that coach.

Coaching, at it’s core

Every leader, at any level, and in any industry should take note of how consistently a Personal Trainer executes their day-to-day activities with their clients. At its core, their process is precisely what every leader should be thinking about, and most importantly doing, as often as possible with “their own clients”, which are the people on their teams.

Think about the approach of a Personal Trainer or a Fitness Coach:

  • First, Personal Trainers EXPLAIN, in detail, the exercise they’re about to give you, and they also explain how to do it; the great ones go one more step, and tell you why the exercise is important.


  • Next, Trainers almost always physically DEMONSTRATE exactly how the exercise should be executed. They literally get on the machine, floor, treadmill, or TRX and demonstrate how it should be done.


  • Then, Personal Trainers and Fitness Coaches OBSERVE their clients doing the exercise. It’s undoubtedly hard to do sometimes, especially if their clients are doing it really bad, awfully wrong! However, they keep their hands off, just long enough to observe and assess where and how they need to coach for improvement or course correction. (Just like Ben did with my dead lift form.)


  • Finally, then and only then, once they’ve clearly explained the exercise, physically demonstrated it, and observed the client, they do the most important part, which often comes so naturally to them. They COACH. They give very specific coaching which aligns with the why they shared in the explanation and the form they taught us when they demonstrated it.

                                    …and btw Personal Trainers HAVE FUN…Leaders should do the same…

If you’re a leader of people, a leader among your peers, or simply looking for ways to lead, inspire, or motivate more effectively, just model the process of a Personal Trainer or Fitness Coach. After all, their role is to help and coach their clients toward achieving specific goals or results.

And isn’t that the role of a leader?

That’s what all leaders can learn from Personal Trainers and Fitness Coaches.





Have a great day.


A Quick Conversation For the Road…

Results are important, it’s true.  No doubt the Personal Trainer process and approach to leadership outlined above will drive results, for any individual, on any team, in any business or industry.

But here’s the thing.  Human beings work in companies.  Human beings, with feelings, worries, doubts, anxieties, and fears make up all the teams we lead.  So results are important, but so are relationships.

Relationships take time to grow.  They’re just like a garden.  We can plant a new leader in the captain’s chair, and we can hire everyone to fully staff our departments, “planting a bunch of humans among one another” in order to go meet the goals and drive those ever-important results. We can’t stop there.  That’s only the beginning.

Just like a garden needs water, sunlight, and the right soil to grow into a beautiful, flourishing thing of beauty, people need good, ol’ fashioned conversations with each other in order for valued, meaningful relationships to grow into a thing of beauty as well.

So, sure leaders should emulate Personal Trainers, and explain, demonstrate, observe, and especially coach all day long.  To be great, and to make the kind of impact people go home and tell their spouses, friends, families, and even their bar tenders and waitresses about, leaders should take every opportunity to engage in genuine dialogue with the individuals on their teams.

They’re not “headcount, staffing levels, or bodies”.  They’re people.  They’re human beings, just like you and me.  (…and so are our Guests, Customers, Clients, and Members…)

Results are great.  But the combination of Results AND lasting, meaningful Relationships fostered along the way is what people really want.  It’s also what corporate America needs.


Send this post to a Leader, Coach, Personal Trainer, or an Executive who does it the right way, making the RELATIONSHIPS as important as the RESULTS.  One without the other leaves every company, every team member, and every Guest, Customer, or Client unfulfilled.

Speaking of fulfillment.  For ideas, stories, and perspective on how to turn your menial job into the meaningful leadership journey you had in mind, you may like my new book, launching AUGUST 15th. 

Available for PRE-ORDER on HERE.