Bedros Keuilian, founder and CEO of Fit Body Boot Camp, spoke with lifestyle entrepreneur Lewis Howes about transforming himself from a “have to” to a “want to” leader”. Basically a “have to” manager is one whom others must follow due to the manager’s authority. The reality is they rather not follow and, therefore, do the minimum of work to get by and eventuality quit the team. The “want to” manager, as the name implies, inspires people to not just follow but contribute to improve organization or brand performance. The “have to” manager presides over a dysfunctional team s/he has created, whereas the “want to” manager leads a high-performance team.
This past weekend I accompanied my wife to a memorial for her late rowing coach, Michael O’Gorman, which was held following the Head of the Schuylkill Regatta in Philadelphia. Michael passed away at age 53 of a massive heart attack. To honor him, several members of his former Chicago Rowing Club (CRC) women’s team entered the regatta and won silver medals. Michael would undoubtedly have been proud of them.
The reason I’m thinking about this is because he was a “want to” coach. The women he coached didn’t have to follow him, particularly for such a demanding sport. Instead, they wanted to follow his coaching and perform to the best of their abilities. His teams trained hard, often twice a day. The first session had them on the water at 4:40am. The second session was held at 6:30pm. The team that entered this regatta were among his earliest masters’ rowers and came back to train in the few remaining weeks following his death to the start of the regatta. And because they came from different parts of the US, they had only one session in the boat, the day before the race. They recommitted themselves to honor Michael’s memory, and each other, to have a good showing at the regatta.
One of the women told me that when the coxswain called out “1500-meters to go”, as each of the women pulled with her back, pushed off with her legs, labored with her lungs and gave all of her heart, she yelled “for Michael”. They wanted to win for him. I asked these winners, some whom have joined new teams in other cities, about their rowing experiences. They told me it hasn’t been the same. They no longer had “want to” coaches. They said, “You wanted to do your best for Michael because he treated everyone fairly and you knew where you stood with him. If the boat went faster with you in it then you were in the boat. If not, then you were out”. Also, they shared that Michael was “selfless”. He was out there twice a day, every day, and he wasn’t even being paid. He did it for the love of the sport, to enable these women to develop to their full potential, and for the sweet smell of the victories they would achieve.
His legacy is impressive. In addition to taking silver at this regatta, his CRC teams medaled in all the major regattas they entered over the years of his leadership. Additionally, the Head of the Schuylkill Regatta has created a legacy trophy in the name of Michael O’Gorman for freshmen men and women crew winners.
Do your brand teammates feel like they “have to” or “want to” follow you? Make your marketing matter more; become a “want to” marketing manager.