'You have to taste a culture to understand it'
A Leadership Lesson
An overwhelming feeling came across me as I realised I didn’t have to bring anything to the ‘DJ and Deadlift Party.’ The Ultra Culture had opened their arms and offered to bring something to the party to help out, it came to the point where I had to decline a few people as we had every type of food and drink to create a great party.
The party was to celebrate Ultra’s 2nd Birthday and Christmas. Like I said, I had to bring nothing! Not because I ordered people around to bring things, but because they wanted to help out! I shock wave rattled me as I thought to myself “Now if all my learning about culture, communities and leadership is correct, this is exactly what they said would happen.” We are doing it! It is the start to something powerful beyond measure! #TheUltraCulture
‘Leaders don’t create followers they create more leaders.’ This is a quote thrown around by a few highly successful people. I thought of this quote after the party, If I had ordered people to bring things, that is creating a follower aka ‘management of people.’ I barely said anything and I had people taking charge of their own personal role of bringing something in, a mini leader taking charge of their role. By no means am I trying to sound like an egotistical ‘Ultra Overlord,’ I just found this experience fascinating and want to understand it further. As an introvert when it comes to this stuff writing it down in a blog really helps.
From my short experience and knowledge from reading/watching successful leaders here is something that seems to be a common factor: Managers micro-manage people and tell them what to do, leaders tell people the outcome they are looking for and empower them to find a way to make it happen. We all learn and think differently, how the hell do people expect to have a task done the exact same way if it is done by different minds, it just doesn’t make sense. There is a million ways to get something done, as long as the outcome is the same, let the individuals great mind do it their way.
Anyway, I am not trying to preach or come across as some great leader. I do however aspire to be a great leader one day and am very inspired and curious about the topic of leadership.
Culture and Community
The party is coming to an end so I turn around to start putting weights away and *poof* It had already been done! I was to busy rushing around with other things to notice that the lovely folk involved with ‘The Ultra Culture’ had already put everything away. Everybody had lent a helping hand so it was done in a matter of minutes! Again, I didn’t ask anybody to help, they had just done it! This is the power of a great culture and community, I was very overwhelmed and grateful!
One thing we stand for at Ultra Fitness and Strength and will stick for a long time is that ‘We work from the inside out.’ Here is an example: I had my bank call me and say “Congratulations for being with us for 10 years. Oh and by the way your bank fee’s have gone up a little bit.” Are you freaking kidding me!? The irony in what was just said destroyed me. I am sure you have experienced this many times as well, a lot of businesses forget to actually look after their existing customers!! Not the best way to create a good culture....
SO, working from the inside out to us means making sure every Ultratarians experience at the gym is the freaking best!! Not just the value for membership, also their experience. ‘AN EXPERIENCE CREATES AN EMOTION, AN EMOTION CREATES A MEMORY.’ If you have great memories about a place then you are going to come back! The best part about this is it isn’t sleazy, it isn’t corrupt, it is purely a WIN WIN situation. The Ultra Culture is freaking loving it, the business makes enough money to run, everybody is simply having a great time! In my short time, THIS contributes to a great culture.
Great people refer more great people. If you look after your great people they will tell their friends! So to create a great culture, doesn't it just make sense to work from the inside out and look after your amazing existing customers!?? Again, it is a WIN WIN, great people are mixing with more great people, everybody is having a good time!
I have NEVER put on a special deal to drop our membership prices for new joiners, it is not fair on the existing members. I don’t understand how it is fair that someone that has been here 2 years doesn’t get looked after but the newbie gets a discount…. A lot of businesses do it, it doesn’t make sense and it spells out that their morals are to far inline with money not building something that can influence the world in a positive way!
One thing I feel slightly guilty for is doing a social media competition and the winner received a free month membership at Ultra, it was a great way to introduce the person to the gym but again, it contradicts looking after existing members. So when I do something like this I try make sure I give something back in return… Like a super freaking awesome deadlift party with a DJ, a 'King Ape' supp store stand, a bbq and great vibes haha!
Anyway, I feel like this blog post was more to empty my mind than anything. Maybe there is something you can take away about leadership, culture or community, or maybe not? Either way, thank you very much for reading it is much appreciated!!
- Jake Fisher