resources > Good to Great - Jim Collins

Good to great a fantastic book by an amazing Author. Reading this book will give you some key points on how successful businesses went from good to great. By using comparison companies that stayed healthy and yet seemed to be in a better position to have grown to be great, this book provides some key aspects of the business to focus on.

This link is to buy the book from Amazon

Here is a summary and how I believe it can work for Personal Trainers –

Level 5 Leadership – Builds enduring greatness through a paradoxical blend of personal humility and professional will.

For Personal Trainers this links into getting results for your clients, and eventually leading a team of trainers who work for your brand.  Exceptional leadership needs someone who is driven professionally to learn from mistakes and keep working to win out.  With clients, this means that you will share with them when you learn and get better at what you do.  When you make mistakes with their program or motivation, you will come back and tackle that with the client.

As you grow, then you will need more trainers.  If you have approached Personal Training as a Level 5 leader, you will have already started mentoring people who could be your successor.

First Who … Then What – Getting the right people into the company, then working out how to use each one.

In Personal Training, this is the skill of both collecting the right clients, to ensure every client also builds your brand.  Additionally applying this skill as a Personal Trainer, would require you to build the right set of professionals around you.  Taking your time and caring who represents you is vital to building a team.

Confront the Brutal Facts – Facing facts about your business every day, no matter how brutal these are, is an essential skill for a successful business.

For a Personal Trainer, this seems to be a seasonal thing.  Looking for the brutal truth in your business, where you might be missing potential clients, or you may have no preparation for times of the year when people drop off. Being able to apply this skill to clients can help them out of a rut, and get them to focus on producing results when required.
The Hedgehog Concept – This is the meeting of three vital aspects that will give you a clear goal. These three components are –

– At what you can be best in the world – where the world can be your local area
– What drives your economic engine – the way you measure your financial success (for example £ per hour, or per square foot, or per client)
– What you are deeply passionate about – without being driven to make a difference then the determination required to be successful is difficult to find.

For a Personal Trainer the hedgehog concept is one of the most important.  Most Personal Trainers do believe that they can make a massive difference and be the best in their world.  Additionally, we are mainly made up of people who want to make a difference and who have a passion around health, fitness, performance or injury recovery.

The toughest part is working out the Economic Engine of our business.

Many Personal Trainers charge per hour and discount with block bookings.  Using blocks of 6 and 12 to allow lowering prices.  Using a 6-12 session sales system conflicts with their bill cycle though which is often monthly or weekly.

Also being limited to a per session economic driver means that income could have a ceiling imposed by how many hours the trainer can work.

A Culture of Discipline – this is about being self-disciplined to complete tasks that are based on the hedgehog effect and to stay away from decisions and tasks that take you off track.

Personal Trainers need to have the discipline to continue to market and sell in the times when they are busy. We work in a seasonal industry, so when you are busy, then you are just a season away from a slow client spell.  It is then that you will be thankful that you have saved money, built marketing ready and have a plan in place to deal with the slow season.
Technology Acceleration – this aspect of the book is talking about taking on the latest technology and using it to give you an advantage over the rest of the industry and your competitors.

For Personal Trainers technology is either something you embrace and work with or something that can replace you. Recently Personal Trainers are facing Instagram Fitness Personalities and so have to embrace social media as well as online programming, to keep their business relevant.

The Flywheel and The Doom Loop – The flywheel analogy is one where the company needs to recognise the fact that the first efforts to get something going can be long and hard, but produce little motion.  However, once the wheel is moving, it requires less attention to keep the speed and increase the speed of the results. The Doom Loop is where the company continually develops and delivers new incentives and initiatives to try and kick start quick results.

For a Personal Trainer, the flywheel process is of particular importance as trainers commence in the industry. Setting high standards and then sticking with them, pre-planning to be financially secure to allow you to sell sessions without compromising on price, is all about pushing the flywheel.  Personal Trainers that crash and burn do not stick with a disciplined plan to promote their product and protect their economic engine, often they do not have one.  The doom loop beckons for them in this scenario.