Making Work More Like the Gym

Why do I love my daily CrossFit class so much? Why? And why does regular day to day enterprise technology related sales not carry the same level of joy? I’ve been strategizing with myself about how to parlay my early day gym experience into my regular work life. The conclusion I come to is that culture is what makes for great experience; and that work life could very much mirror my gym life.

  1. Great gyms unite their communities around improved individual and collective performance.
  2. Great gyms have leaders who offer options so that athletes of different skills levels can workout together.
  3. Great gyms play great music.
  4. Great gyms make laughter a part of the daily experience.
  5. Great gyms keep you moving. Striving every day to give you the best 60 minutes of the morning.

Improving Corporate Life

Ok, so great music is likely not a part of corporate life. At least not in my corporate life of selling software. But every other item I listed above is easily transferrable to corporate life. Maybe it is OKR’s (objectives, key results) that can feel like mastering a box jump or rope climb or doubleunder or personal best in lifting. Maybe it is the comradery and fist pumps and smiles that boost you up when you know you have worked hard. Maybe it is the great colleagues that make you laugh by stating the obvious. But why isn’t work more like the gym every day?

I’ll tell you why. Because insecure people wreak havoc on such joy. If you have a manager who feels you are outshining her; or a colleague who doesn’t want to keep up with you, these people may attempt to derail you. If you feel blocked, embarassed, unsure by questions you ask and responses you get, you may be working in a corporate culture that stops you from thriving and growing and reaching. And, just like a gym that doesn’t boost up your strength, energy, and capacity, it may be time to change.

Numbers will come

My experience is that great performers are always striving to be better. They will always rise higher because of their sheer desire, determination and know-how to reach their goals. Whether the goal is to run an 8 minute mile, or sign 10 new clients in 6 months, a true performer or cleaner in the words of Tim Grover’s Relentless, will find a way. You find a way by showing up every day striving to get 1% better. And you need a culture/gym that pushes you forward. You need a corporate experience that resembles your gym experience.

Ellen Sasson is a Vice President of Sales for Ashling Partners, a leader in hyperautomation enablement with UiPath and other AI and RPA technologies.

Detroit-based automotive industry mom turned on by startups and experienced in large enterprise. A believer in people and the power of connection.