To Succeed, Refresh and Pinpoint Your Location

(Photo by Kirill_Savenko/iStock/Getty Images Plus.)

It’s important for executives to maintain accurate perspective on their company and industry, both now and into the future. Ideally, executives would have no delusions and no blind spots. To achieve this clear perspective means knowing where you stand along with how well you are positioned to deal with emerging opportunities and challenges.

Have you ever walked up to the directory at a large shopping center and seen the “You Are Here” symbol? That symbol shows you exactly where you are in the labyrinth of floors and stores. With that knowledge, you can plot your path to your immediate destination and even future destinations.

Wouldn’t it be cool if it were that easy in business? What if an app existed that gave you a bright red “You Are Here” pin indicating where you are in our industry or the larger business community? And from there you could put in your goals and a bright blue line would show you the way to go?

I recently purchased a new GPS unit for my boat to do that on the water. It boasted a “rapid refresh rate,” which is pretty important when navigating around shoals and channels. Your life and safety depend upon having an accurate picture of your current position and what lies ahead. It’s even more important on aircraft.

Most business owners have systems in place to help them know where they are financially this month and year-to-date compared with prior years and budgets. What’s harder to know is how well you’re doing compared with others in the Industry or how your organization is doing compared with its full potential. Harder still is knowing with some measure of certainty which direction to head, what to do next and where to invest to best achieve that full potential.

How and when do you refresh your perspective? For many, refreshing is an ongoing process that evolves with a steady stream of information encountered in the normal course of business – reports, periodicals, meetings and networking. Other great sources of information and inspiration come from conferences and roundtable groups. Some executives even attend conferences in other industries to see what’s emerging beyond the boundaries of their current thinking.

If you engage in any or all of these practices, you and your company are a step ahead of executives who don’t. History’s great leaders share one common thread: They each made it a regular practice to pause and develop a picture of the future they intended to create. Steve Jobs, Abraham Lincoln, Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and Warren Buffet (and even Jimmy Buffet) all dedicate(d) regular time to clarifying their vision and adjusting the course of their focus going forward. That’s good company.

Einstein is often quoted as saying “If I had an hour to solve a problem, I’d spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and five minutes thinking about solutions.” What he meant was that he would gain a clear understanding of the situation, then develop and act on a solution.

I’m pretty sure that if Einstein was in the health club business today, he would say: “If I could do one thing to improve my health club business, I would spend two days at this year’s CEO Summit, then refresh my strategy with my team when I return!”

After that, he would say, “Hey, since we’re in Chicago, let’s get some pizza!”

Speaking of this year’s Club Industry CEO Summit, we have a lineup of activities and topics assembled exclusively for the industry’s top club owners, partners and C-suite executives. It’s coming up in less than three months Oct. 10 at the Chicago Hilton (with pre-event options on Oct. 9). Here’s a summary of the two days:

Wednesday, Oct. 9

  • Guided Club Tours starting at 12:30 p.m. (Fitness Formula, Midtown Athletic Club and East Bank Club)
  • Networking Happy Hour at 6:00 p.m. (meet and greet with colleagues)
  • CEO Dinner at 7:00 p.m. (more networking)

Thursday, Oct. 10


  • Private Breakfast and Networking
  • Industry Panel – Perspectives on the Present and Future from Industry Leaders
  • Harvard Business School Business Development Workshop – Growing Your Market in a Mature Industry
  • NEW This Year! Lunch and Guest Keynote Speaker – Three-Time Navy SEAL Commander on Building Unstoppable Teams (Don’t miss this!)


  • Hot Topic Panel Discussion – A Reality Check on Technology Investments
  • Breakthroughs and CEO Survey Highlights – Best Practices from Your Peers
  • Networking Happy Hour and/or Visit Trade Show – Debrief with Your New Acquaintances

This event is the only one of its kind all year designed specifically to help health and fitness industry executives to refresh their understanding of where things are and where they are going.

You can click HERE to register now and SAVE $200. But don’t delay. Attendance is limited this year to 100 and at the rate we’re going, it will sell out.

When you register, be sure to include the optional guided club tours and the networking cocktail and dinner party on Wednesday, Oct. 9. Club tours are limited to the first 50 registrants, and the CEO Summit Dinner is limited to the first 65. Both are already more than half filled and available only until they are sold out.

To arrange discount lodging at the Chicago Hilton using the Club Industry room block, use this link

I hope to see you there!

P.S. How do YOU refresh? Share in the comment section below. 


Tim Rhode is a fitness industry veteran with more than 30 years of experience, managing, developing, owning, growing and consulting in the health club industry. As an owner and manager beginning in 1986, he has operated health, wellness and racquet sports clubs from 8,000 to 120,000 square feet with teams of 20 to more than 300 people and more than 100 personal trainers. As an industry innovator and consultant, Rhode helps small, large and multi-club operators to visibly improve their businesses with strategy, systems, training and motivation. Email [email protected], or call or text him at 443-324-0580.


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