#043: Selecting the Right Staff Using the Special Warfare Model w/ Rick Alexander

#043: Selecting the Right Staff Using the Special Warfare Model w/ Rick Alexander

Solid team dynamics can help realign your business’ direction and get everyone on the same page. As a leader, it is up to you to make sure that your team stays cohesive and focused; a dysfunctional team dynamic can often be traced back to bad leadership.

That’s why it’s so important to remember that good leadership reaps tangible benefits! We’re thrilled to have Rick Alexander on this Friday’s Gymwright LIVE to discuss the art of leadership and teamwork dynamics from a military special ops perspective. He is the author of Burn Your Couch, a speaker, and entrepreneur. He’s also an ultra-endurance athlete, active duty special forces military member and host
of the active lifestyle podcast, LionHeart Radio.

Join us every Friday at 10 a.m. PT on The Network where we’ll be airing live. Be sure to stick around for the live Q&A session at the end of the show so we can answer any questions you have.

This show was recorded live in The Network on Friday, Aug 3, 2018. Click the video to watch. 

In this article:


rick alexander

Image Credit: RickAlexander.com

3:45 Why should a gym owner care about selecting their team based on culture fit?

To keep everyone focused and moving in the same direction. Coaches who aren’t the right culture fit (or haven’t been trained on the business’ culture) can bring members with them who aren’t a good fit for the gym or they themselves can cause havoc on your delicate culture. Too many gym owners hire staff who are just willing and capable enough to coach a class. The business is built on coaches and your members’ experiences with them which is why it’s so important for people to hire based on culture fit first and hard skills second.

Creating a sense of mission that’s built into the culture of an organization creates an opportunity for buy-in while increasing the job satisfaction of those that are bought in.

rick alexanderImage Credit: RickAlexander.com

6:00 Culture happens no matter what so be proactive about its creation

The first rule of company culture used to be that you didn’t talk about it. Culture should just happen. Talking about your company’s DNA might taint it. Or worse, ruin it. But that’s changed. Today, everybody talks about culture. In fact, the first rule of Culture Club is that you do talk about culture. — Dharmesh Shah (Hubspot)

Your gym’s culture will be made regardless of your intention; whether you proactively go about defining and refining your culture or if you just let it happen on it’s own. Culture will happen no matter what – don’t let the culture poo hit the fan.

A deep culture has been in creation for decades in the military and it’s something that new recruits are highly aware of even prior to starting their first day on the job. This is something that other businesses don’t usually have and is a great lesson for us on the outside. Start with “why”. Define it for your team and really live it. Without that, you’re hiring for talent only and the intersection of coach and member is just a crap shoot which is a scary thought.

A simple way to figure out your culture is to imagine if everything were to go right for you right now, what would everything look like? How many members would you have? What would the vibe be? What would the coaches be like?

You can do the same for someone you’re looking to hire to see if they’d be the right fit. Rick asks his potential hires, “if you don’t end up working here and I were to run into you at an airport in 5 years, what would your perfect life look like at that time?” You can then see if their vision aligns with yours.

rick alexander

Image Credit: RickAlexander.com

11:00 Use the Whole Man Concept to hire the right staff based on your values

You’re looking for values. You want to see if their values align with your values. You also want to quantify emotional intelligence which can be a difficult thing to do.

  1. Create a graph with an X and Y axis.
  2. Define the “hard skill” that you are hiring for along with supporting metrics. (I.e. The perfect candidate would possess a CF level 2 cert. ) This would be plotted on the Y axis.
  3. Define “soft skills” that you would want in an ideal candidate. (i.e. sales, integrity, personable, trustworthy) plot these on the X axis.
  4. Throughout the interview process, plot potential candidates on the graph according to their skill level in each category and you have an unbiased way of comparing and contrasting potential hires.

With this graph, you can get a feel for what aspects you which aspects are non-negotiables (Do they love being in front of people? Do they have good communication skills? Do they really care about helping people?) and which skills can be trained. As a gym owner, you’re much more positioned to train more for hard skills rather than the soft.

rick alexanderImage Credit: RickAlexander.com

About Rick Alexander

  • Speaker and Author of Burn Your Couch; A manifesto for the average averse, where he takes all of the lessons learned in the business world as well as the military special operations world and combines them. Learn more at RickAlexander.com
  • 10 years – military, in a special operations community to include 2 years spent with the special warfare human performance department
  • Endurance Coach
  • Podcast host of Lion Heart Radio
  •  Follow him on IG at @rickalexander_

Newsletter for gym owners

Jessica Depatie About the author

Jessica is the marketing maven here at Gymwright. She's a business consultant and holistic marketer for fitness businesses. She specializes in the decision-making psychology of what makes everyday people want to optimize themselves. She dives deep into how people seek out growth in the pursuit of living happier and healthier.

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