If there’s one thing CrossFitters agree on, it’s the amazing benefits of CrossFit. It goes far beyond the physical transformation though. From the instantaneous comradery to the deep wells of support, CrossFit harnesses the strength of the team to lift up each individual.
And with any team environment, natural leaders emerge. Throughout my time in the box, I have been amazed with the number of “ordinary people” that have proven to be absolutely extraordinary leaders.
Though they may not define or see themselves as such, they are inspiring and influencing people each day. Here’s what CrossFit has taught me about leadership – and life – both inside and outside the box.
Leadership is not…
Leadership tends to take on a stereotypical meaning much of the time. However, there are several ways to be a leader, none of which depend on the following:
Leadership has nothing to do with seniority or one’s position in the hierarchy of a company. Leadership isn’t reserved for those only in senior management. It’s not relegated to the highest pay grade or tied to the number of years you’ve been with a company.
Similar to the point above, just because you have a big, fancy title doesn’t automatically make you a “leader.”
You don’t need a title to lead. People in any position, at any time can rise to the occasion.
Leadership isn’t only for extroverted personalities.
Say the word “leader” and most people think of a domineering, take-charge, charismatic individual. In reality, extroverted personalities may not be the ideal people for this role. Introverts, by their very nature, may actually make the best leaders.
Leadership isn’t management.
Leaders and managers are not the same. There are several key differences, but essentially, managers tend to focus their energies on day-to-day tasks, while leaders develop aspirations for the long haul.
CrossFit, leadership, and life
CrossFit has taught me so much about myself and life in general, but also about others.
It’s reinforced my belief that people are innately good, and that they simply want to find a way to share their unique strengths with the world. Whether you are a mom, an accountant, or a college student, you can serve as an inspiration to those around you. Those few words of encouragement you offer in the gym or in the office can provide the catalyst to change someone’s life, one in which they strive for extraordinary instead of ordinary.
Day in and day out, the coaches and athletes at CrossFit Illumine do just that. They make deep, lasting, and amazing connections with everyone who crosses their path. While this connection may seem miniscule to outsiders, it’s powerful for those they’ve touched. It’s this very connection, plus their passion and daily inspiration, that keeps me coming back for more.
The athletes and coaches at CrossFit Illumine showcase the skills of great leaders every day. They are:
- Compassionate – They are caring and kind and genuinely want to help each other. It’s who they are at their core.
- Authentic – They have their own way, their own style, and know exactly who they are. Even so, they’re always willing to learn from each other.
- Consistently Positive – Having a bad day? Walk into CrossFit Illumine. From the warm welcome to the smiling faces, they stay focused on the positive things in life.
- Honest – CrossFitters tend to lean towards tough love. They know what needs to be said and done even when it is hard. And when you don’t show up or give it your all, they’ll let you know how they feel about that too! It’s one of the reasons I love them the most.
I have always believed that people don’t care what you know, until they know you care. CrossFitters care. They lead by example. And ultimately, they change people’s lives.
And those are the traits we should carry with us every day, at home, at work, and in the box.