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  • Writer's pictureAnnie Frisoli

Be the Weakest Performer: Leadership Tips from the Gym

Updated: Mar 27

As many of you have seen, I am really enjoying the new City of Goodyear Recreation Campus that has opened in my hometown of Goodyear, Arizona. I am especially enjoying the cardio style classes as a shake up to my normal lifting weights routine. With that, I want you to know, as I am expending my blood, sweat, and tears in the new fitness classes offered at this gorgeous facility, my mind drifts to work and what lesson could I be learning in this moment. Thus, here is a quick leadership lesson I reflected on during my Spin class this week.

Be the weakest performer. Why in the world would this be a leadership tip?!! As I sat on the Spin bike, which those of you that take Spin know, I shouldn’t be sitting – but as I sat on the Spin bike and did not keep up with the leader, couldn’t mimic her movements, couldn’t stand while pedaling, couldn’t coordinate the upper body movements while pedaling, couldn’t go as fast as my “team member” beside me, eased up on my tension when everyone else was turning up the tension - I also realized, I was trying my hardest and THIS WAS MY BEST.

As we become epic leaders and continue to gain more knowledge and experience, we sometimes forget what it’s like to be the person who knows the least in the room, has the least amount of skill, is new to a job, or maybe the person who is young and still gaining knowledge. As we gain such strength in our leadership and gain new ranks within our organizations, we can forget what it is like to be the weakest performer.

Thus, this made me think….How are we as leaders interacting with those who cannot meet the expectations we have set for them? Do we assume they are weak, lazy, or uninterested OR could it be they are still building new muscles?

The leader of this class took the time to: provide different options for all ability levels, she gave words of encouragement to everyone - not just the strong ones, she checked in with me afterwards to see how I felt or if I had any questions, AND personally invited me to come back – seriously this meant a lot as I had a step aerobics instructor in the 90s tell me step aerobics just “might not be for me.” - Her leadership skills – meaning her kind words, her continued encouragement, her acknowledgement of me as a person, etc. inspired me to want to come back and develop new muscles and stamina to become a stronger performer amongst the team.

Therefore, I leave you with three questions:

  • How are you interacting with the team member, the employee, the friend, the family member that performs like me in a Spin class?

  • What will you go out and try where you may be the weakest performer but will become a stronger leader?

  • How are you growing your leadership skills?


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