Being a leader has nothing to do with power. It’s not about having someone report to you, being in a high-level position or making a certain amount of money. Leaders inspire others and motivate people to do more than they ever thought possible.

If you want to grow a successful fitness business, you must establish yourself as a leader because your clients and employees are looking for someone to inspire and motivate them. But working with people can be tough. Sometimes they disappoint us. And sometimes, we want more for them than they want for themselves.

As a fitness professional or business owner, it’s your responsibility to continue developing yourself as a leader to grow and inspire others. Not only is leadership development some of the most personally rewarding work you will ever do, but it’s essential for growing and keeping others around you.

Use these five tips to establish yourself as a leader and help more people achieve their goals and dreams.

1. Know WHAT you stand for, WHY it matters, and WHERE you want to go.

In order to build the framework for sustainable success, you have to understand your personal “why,” define your core values, build a purpose, and define a mission. Think of these as your foundation – you need them set in order to grow. Let’s break these down:

Your “Why” – What are the driving factors in your life? Why do you do the things you do? What drives you to be successful?

Your Core Values – These are broad statements that define the “should” and the “should not” that govern your underlying decisions. Think of these as your commandments.

Your Purpose – This gives your company heart and should be what inspires you to go to work each day and build a business.

Your Mission – What are you committing to? Make it specific!

Answering these questions and building a framework for success is a massive step in your development and will give you direction to lead others.

2. Be an example.

Actions speak louder than words. And as a leader, you have clients, employees, partners, etc. all listening to what you say and watching what you do. It’s easy to set a good example when things are going well, but the true test of your leadership is when you’re hit with challenges and setbacks. As a leader, your words and behavior trickle down to those you lead. If you get frustrated and stressed when a challenge comes up, that’s ok… but remember others will also mirror your feelings.

Good leaders don’t focus on the negatives when something goes wrong. They look for solutions to overcome the obstacle and move forward.

3. Meet people where they are.

When you’re working with someone, you likely have a vision and plan for how they’re going to move forward. But your plan is meaningless if it’s out of touch with those who you want to serve. If a client came to you who has never lifted weights before and said they wanted to get in shape, you wouldn’t just give them a workout plan and send them to figure it out on their own, right?

You must be willing to slow down. Take a few steps back, and start at the beginning. If you just jump to the advanced pieces, without covering the basics, you’re just wasting other people’s time – and yours. It might seem frustrating to slow down, but if that’s what someone needs to get onboard with your vision and plan and be successful, your time will be well worth the investment.

4. Define the “big rocks.”

Managing time and priorities is a challenge for anyone – and it can be especially tough for a busy leader with lots of responsibility. Maybe you have so much on your plate that you don’t know where to start. Or maybe you try to accomplish everything but can’t give anything your best effort.

Can you imagine if you saw someone jog for five minutes, lift dumbbells a few times, get in a couple of crunches, and then hit the squat machine for one set? This is not efficient.

And it’s not the way leaders work.

You need to define your “big rocks” – two or three priorities that you’re committed to achieving in the next 60 – 90 days. This forces you to be intentional and plan where you’re going to invest your time (since you can’t do everything at once).

Once you define your big rocks, block time on your calendar to get them done. Make a commitment you’re unwilling to break. This is an appointment with yourself so you can accomplish your goals and continue developing to inspire others around you.

5. Fall in love with the work to be done.

Goals are exciting, but the real work of growing personally and professionally as a leader is tough. It’s challenging and stretches us. Doing the same thing over and over will get you the same results. If you keep working out with the same weight week after week, you don’t get stronger.

It’s the tough workouts that challenge your will and push you beyond your limits that help you grow. The same goes for your dreams and goals.

Fall in love with the process and work. You must get comfortable with being uncomfortable because that is where the real growth happens. And when others see you keep hammering away at your goals, you’ll undoubtedly motivate them to follow in your footsteps by the example you set.

Being a leader isn’t about telling people what to do – it’s about a personal commitment to growth and development. And when you do that, you inspire others through your own action.

Set an example that people will follow and you’ll help more people achieve their goals and dreams than you ever thought possible!