Leadership and Management Success: What We Can Learn From Our Gym Workouts

While doing one of my regular sessions at the gym recently it occurred to me that there were many things that we can learn about leading and managing from the way we approach and what we do when it comes to working out.


So what are the key things that we can learn about leadership and management success from our gym workouts?


We need to have a goal


Most of us decided to join the gym for a specific reason.  It might have been to lose weight, build our stamina, help manage our stress levels, fun or just to maintain good health.  If we want to achieve success as a leader or manager we need to have clear goals.


Start small and build from that point


I can remember when I first ever went to the gym about 10 years ago.  The training plan I had was focused on doing a little bit on a range of exercises.  I did not try and jump straight to wild challenges in terms of times on the cardio machines and the weights I was lifting.  When new in post as a leader or manager, don’t try to go for glory from the outset, focus on achieving some easy wins.


It’s a long term project


When you start something new, especially exercise, you tend to find that you get pretty dramatic improvement initially, you plateau and then seem to struggle to get up to the next level.  As a leader or manager chances are that you will make some quick improvements and during the first couple of months it can feel like you are on the crest of a wave.  However, what you are really looking for is sustained success over the long term, so view leading and managing as a long term project.


We all need to do maintenance


When working out we know that it is important to do our stretching if we are to avoid injury or damage.  Most managers and leaders started in a particular professional discipline.  Even if you have a broader role now, it is vital that you maintain your knowledge and keep your skills up to date through continuing professional development.



Bottom Line – Just like working out, your aim as a manager or leader is to achieve long term sustained success.  So what do you need to start focusing on to achieve more success?


Duncan Brodie of Goals and Achievements helps accountants and health professionals to be successful managers and leaders.  For more information about his Services and Programmes click here

About the Author Duncan Brodie

Since 2006 I’ve worked with in excess of 8,000 accountants and professionals in workshops, seminars and one to one helping them land their next jobs and become better leaders, presenters and business partners. Before that I spent 25 years in accountancy climbing the career ladder from Payments Clerk to FD. I’m a CIMA Fellow, Certified Professional Coach and Team Coach Facilitator.

Leave a Comment:

Janice Robertson says 16 December 2009

Hi Duncan,

You have raised some good points in this article.I especially like the ‘long term project’ one. I think the people you are managing need to feel that you are thinking ahead and not just making quick fixes. Great post.

shaun t insanity workout says 14 June 2010

Great write-up with lots of useful information. My exercise program is made up mainly of high intense interval training. I find that I am most productive I exercise inside the morning.

shaun t says 17 August 2010

Good article, quite interesting information. I found your internet site on bing. I am going to suggest it to loved ones and close friends.

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