Rise Leaders Radio

#05. How To: Build a Culture and a Thriving Business

September 5, 2019
Jacqui Bliss and Renee Reed, owners of Anytime Fitness Bishop Arts District share how they’ve built a great culture through relationship-based leadership and continuous learning.  We also talk about how they stay relevant in a changing industry and their experience in growing the business even as their own relationship was tested.
 
Culture eats strategy for lunch
 - Peter Drucker

 

Anytime Fitness Bishop Arts is in the 97th percentile of clubs (of 2,475 clubs) in the Anytime Fitness franchise system and quite easily achieved status as a Platinum Club. Several metrics combine for this designation: member retention, financial results, team member retention, and their PLEASE scores, which are based on the club’s alignment with corporate values.

I have a colleague who likes to say, leaders get the organizations they deserve. Owners Jacqui Bliss and Renee Reed have a lot to be proud of and they are getting exactly what they worked hard for and thus deserve.

A Creative vs Reactive Orientation

Jacqui and Renee articulated over and over what they cared about and what they want to bring into being during our conversation. This way of thinking is called a Creative Orientation. Quite simply, keeping your sights on goals, vision, values, and purpose results in more passion and less drama; more sustainable results and fewer rollercoaster rides. Leaders who lead this way build motivated, inspired and high-achieving organizations.

An Inclusive Environment

Inclusion and diversity are powerful words these days. The AF BAD club is a microcosm of Oak Cliff, with all the shapes, sizes, ages, races, gay, straight, trans, and decorated people you can imagine. If you’re not comfortable with all that, this probably isn’t the place for you. 

Inclusion is good for business and good for humankind.

Staying Relevant

Most industries have experienced significant shifts in the past decade or so – just look at the retail, taxi, and news industries as proof. The fitness industry is no exception. 

Renee and Jacqui stay relevant by:

  • Investing in leadership and organizational development.
  • Committing wholeheartedly to their decisions
  • Updating equipment and renovating the space.
  • Always researching and learning
  • Using Social Media in positive ways to tell good stories.

If you want to make it in today’s world it requires constant evolution.

Navigating Partnerships 

Renee and Jacqui beautifully illustrate a new composition. With the same dedication and commitment with which they seem to run the rest of their life, they have made their way to a very positive and respectful business collaboration. They are also parents to an exceptional son and they’re doing a fantastic job in their shared parenting – vacationing and spending holidays together as a family.

Based on the success Jacqui and Renee have experienced in their situation, here are a few questions to consider if you find yourself in one that is similar:

  • Re-assess your vision for the business. Do you still feel strongly about it and want it to succeed?
  • When the emotional dust particles settle, is your business partner someone who you respect and who you feel has a similar work ethic? Was the business partnership working, even if the life partnership wasn’t? 
  • Are you willing to ‘do your work’ and learn about your contributions to the breakdown and declare to improve in those areas?
  • Can you move past the hurt and work without resentment?

I’m not an expert in this matter, but it seems if you can answer ‘yes’ to these questions you have a good starting point for the next iteration of your evolving business.

 
Links:
Anytime Fitness:
 
Creative Orientation:
 

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