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Leading Through Values

In a few years, we will look at the past few months as a case study in leadership. The decisions made today have consequences that will not only determine the life and death of many individuals but also have enormous implications for our future. I find that at the moment, it is easy to be hypercritical of the policies that our decision-makers put in place; however, we truly will not understand the implications of those policies for quite some time.

From a personal perspective, I judge effective leaders not only by the actions they choose to take but by the clarity that they provide in making their decisions. What data are they using the make their choices? What are their motivations?

In every realm of life, whether that be personal, business, or political, people make decisions based on their values. Values that have been cultivated and molded through a lifetime of experience and circumstance. Our values are what drives us as individuals. If we are in a position of leadership, it is our responsibility to not only effectively communicate our values with our team, but also to understand the values that influence the decision-making of our teammates and community.

In doing so, we empower not only ourselves by allowing us to see what we deem essential, but we also empower our team by giving them a clear understanding of how we made our decision. As a small business owner and leader myself, I have often failed to communicate the values that drive my decision-making. Initially, this was meant to be an internal email to our team at Arsenal Strength. Still, given the current climate and the tough decisions that many business owners like myself will be asked to make in the coming weeks and months, I thought it best to give our community of members the same insight into my values.

Simplicity: In everything we do, I strive for lack of complexity or complication. Overcomplicating things leads to breakdown and miscommunication. Neither of which do well in a business that is all about service to others.

Effectiveness: While keeping things simple is excellent, it isn’t significant if it is not effective. Any process that we put in place not only needs to be simplified, but it also needs to deliver better results or a better experience for our members.

Balance: I love how we train at Arsenal because it is truly about balance. There is a balance between intensity and moderation and between work and fun. But also between exercise modalities like weightlifting, gymnastics, and cardio.

Change: We are constantly changing things, and often, we do so on the fly. While the ability to do so is essential, it can admittedly lead to problems if these changes aren’t communicated properly to my team and downstream to our members. Over the years, this has brought to my attention, and it is something that I continue to improve upon today.

Growth: I have the desire to continually push forward, which has been a real struggle for me going through the lockdown. For the past five years, the thing that I have been trying to grow, aside from myself (but I guess you can’t have one without the other), is Arsenal. How can we continue to make things better? How can we improve our service to our members? How can we positively impact more lives? For those who have been with us for an extended period, you know that we have improved massively since 2015. I promise that won’t change. The gym and I will continue to grow and evolve to serve you as best we can.

Becoming clear on my values has been an eye-opening experience for me, and one that I hope provides clarity to my team and those around me. What do you value? Have you defined what drives your own decision making? If not, how has it affected the communication with the people in your life? I would love to continue the discussion with anyone interested, so feel free to send me an email – [email protected]

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