Every small business that has any level of success hits a tipping point where the fact that business is going “kind of well” becomes the most stressful thing to the founders.

I vividly remember hitting this point with South Loop Strength & Conditioning several years ago.

The gnawing worry that we were missing something or doing something wrong with our business was replaced with a constant feeling of suffocating in emails, meetings, coaching, and duct taping together the cracks splitting apart in seemingly every area of the business.

Every business book says that all you have to do is “systemize and delegate.” Well, what happens when none of the tasks that you delegate get done properly, you find out your employees are doing crazy things when you’re not in the building, and it seems like everyone hates each other?

In the fitness industry, “management” is seen as something for stuffy suits in office jobs.

But, a lack of management results in something much worse taking its place. Sarah Sentes taught the Manager Tools conference that Paul and I attended several years back – and that was a game changer for operations at SLSC.

I wanted to have Sarah on the podcast to talk about practical takeaways in management for people who hate the idea of managing – particularly those in the start-up scene or involved in the fitness industry.

Check out the full conversation with Sarah to learn:

  • What are the tell-tale signs that your organization has reached a size that you need to start seriously thinking about implementing a management structure
  • How can coaches working in the fitness industry implement management principles to get better results for their clients
  • Why adding more meetings to your schedule can improve your productivity and reduce interruptions

Listen Here

Check out more from Sarah and Manager Tools here:

Show Notes:

  • [01:11] Sarah’s background in managing IT professionals – without a technical background. How should managers deal with impostor syndrome?
  • [08:58] People often bristle at management – especially in start-ups or in the fitness industry. What are the costs of not having management structure in place?
  • [16:30] How do organizations know when they are at the tipping point where they should start implementing formal management?
  • [23:59] If you don’t have management structure, something more nefarious and toxic – aka “politics” and “clicqueiness” – will take its place.
  • [28:50] Relationships are the foundation of good management. Without solid relationships, people find negative explanations for decisions.
  • [33:10] Why even people who “hate meetings” should do regular one-on-ones
  • [41:20] What management principles can coaches apply to working with their clients? How can coaches deliver helpful feedback to clients?
  • [48:23] How to prioritize when and where to give feedback. Feedback is for the future, not the past.
  • [54:46] Should people give use the “shit sandwich” to give feedbacK?
  • [59:00] What are the most actionable starting points for people looking to implement management structure?
  • [01:02:57] Where should people start with Manager Tools?

Links and Resources Mentioned