In 1996 I began my career in fitness working weekends at Xercise Incorporated as a floor trainer. My responsibilities included opening the facility at 5 AM, showing members how to use the exercise equipment, personal training any clients I could sign up and closing the facility at 6 PM.

The lessons I learned as a floor trainer have merged with my experiences as a sales manager at NCR to form the prism through which I view the qualities of leadership today as a speaker and coach. Some of the common lessons lead me to believe that your office should be more like my gym:

  1. At the gym, trainers understand what it means to be “open for business,” and their thoughts switch from to home life to fitness. At the office, leaders understand that when the work light is lit, it’s time to shift the transmission into sport mode, show up on time and be ready to rock.
  1. At the gym, trainers develop professionally designed exercise programs and use well-maintained, specialized equipment to get the best results possible for their clients. At the office leaders use best-in-class tools and systems including Skype, high-end smart phones, CRMs, tablets, GoToMeeting and notebooks to maximize their effectiveness.
  1. At the gym, trainers don’t ask their clients to do the hardest exercises at the end of their routines when they are fatigued and are most at risk for injuries. At the office, leaders don’t wait till the end of the day to begin difficult projects.
  1. At the gym trainers check their schedules before going home to see which clients they will train and what classes they will teach the next day. Leaders check their calendars to see what appointments lie ahead, what resources they will need and where they need to be the following day.
  1. At the gym, trainers close up shop by tidying things up for the next day’s members…re-racking, weights, emptying trashcans and stacking exercise mats. At the office, leaders organize their workspace by arranging papers and files, closing their computers and neatening things up for the next day’s challenges.

At the office what techniques, methods or habits have you developed to amp up productivity, effectiveness and profitability?