What We Fear Most

What we fear doing most is usually what we most need to do. As I have heard said, a person’s success in life can usually be measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations he or she is willing to have.

Tim Ferriss, 4-Hour Workweek

Sometimes life just gets in the way.

It will, inevitably, for one of your coaches. Maybe it’s divorce or an illness in the family or a job loss. Something’s going to happen - despite everybody’s hope it doesn’t - that starts to affect things in the gym negatively. Classes need to be covered at the last minute, energy is muted, vibe is all off.

The easy option is to hope the ship rights itself.

The right option is to pull the boat out of the water altogether.

Not because it’s the best thing to do for the business & for your members (though often it is), but because it’s the best thing to do for the relationship you’ve spent so much time & energy on building with your coach.

Nobody likes disappointing those we care about & want to make proud. Likewise, nobody likes feeling disappointed by those we’ve entrusted.

If the anxiety & stress created by these emotions aren’t faced head-on, they’ll embitter both parties. They’ll erode the trust that’s taken months & years to earn.

Better to acknowledge the mutual anxieties & the feelings of disappointment resulting from them. Better to recognize that the kindest thing you can do for your coach is to temporarily pull him off the schedule so the gym is no longer a source of yet more stress in his life. Better to show him you care so much about him that you’re willing to take the short-term challenge of adjusting the schedule to preserve the long-term strength of the relationship.

Trust is hard to get back once it’s been broken. It’s incredibly difficult to recognize - even when it’s our own trust being threatened - that we have some responsibility to do whatever we can to preserve it.

Sometimes that’s precisely the definition of leadership.

Patrick Cummings