Rise Performance Group

What Leaders Can Learn from the Fitness Tracker Craze



Do you own a fitness tracker?  Whether it’s a Fitbit, a Garmin or an Apple Watch, odds are that you do.  The fitness tracker industry topped $1.15 billion in 2014 and is expected to explode to $5 billion by 2019.  Fitbit reportedly holds 80% market share among the more than 33 million fitness tracker users.

What is it about these tracking devices that have made them wildly popular?  Most people buy a Fitbit because they want to take control of their health.  They want to be healthier, live longer, feel better.   And devices like Fitbit make it easier by tracking simple things – like the number of steps you take in a day.  At the very basic level that’s all they do – simply and visibly track steps.  Of course they have other bells and whistles, but I want to focus on this one piece because it’s something we can learn from and apply to leading our teams.

How can we apply this to leading teams? 

These five steps can help you apply the same principles to inspire your team to take control of the things that lead to meaningful change and innovation:

  1. Ask: What is “that goal” in your organization?  What’s the weight-loss-like goal, the improved fitness-like goal in your organization?  Is it revenue, profitability, net income, number of calls taken, number of widgets developed, number of projects done?   What is that one big goal you track for your organization?  Identify it and write it down.
  2. Define: What are the leading predictive indicators that tell you whether or not you will achieve that goal?  Fitbit uses number of steps because steps are a predictive indicator of improved fitness.  If we move every day, we’re going to become more physically fit.  Our energy will increase, we may lose weight, we’ll be in better shape.  More steps = better health.  What is your “number of steps taken”?  This may take some time to identify.  Ask your team for their input.  I challenge you to identify one to three daily activities that, when completed consistently give you a higher probability of hitting your goal.  Here’s an example:  I ran sales teams for years, and for those teams, our top predictive indicator was first meetings.  Things might happen during or at the end of the sales cycle that could disrupt a deal, but if we were disciplined and continued to stay focused on first meetings we always ended up hitting our numbers.  What are the predictive indicator for your goal?
  3. Define: Establish a baseline.  Once you have identified the predictive indicators, establish a base line for each one.  Start with a goal that’s just a little higher than your current activity.  If your team is averaging 75 calls a day, set your baseline at 80 calls per day.  I coach my clients to set goals where 70% of their team is succeeding.   One of the reasons Fitbit is so popular is that it makes it easier to achieve a goal – to get a win.  People love to feel like they are wining.  Sometimes, as leaders we set very high goals and people disconnect from them because they can’t see delivering on that goal consistently.  Develop the energy and excitement of winning and then gradually work those goals up as you develop new systems, as people get more comfortable with them and feel more confident. [bctt tweet=”I coach my clients to set goals where 70% of their team is succeeding because people love to feel like they are wining. “]
  4. Report: What’s the score?  You’ve set a goal, identified the predictive indicators, and established the base line.  Now it’s time to start measuring against the base line and letting your team know how they are doing.  Your team needs to know how they’re doing.  Fitbit does this really well; it’s very easy to see how you’re doing against your goal with a simple tap on the device.  If it’s 11:00 a.m. and you aren’t on track for your daily goal, you can get in some extra steps.  And you can get immediate feedback and see the impact of that extra effort.  Create a simple scorecard to track your predictive indicators.  Make it easy to update, easy to read, make it personal and make it public.  It doesn’t have to be fancy – it can be a spreadsheet, a whiteboard or a handwritten poster.  If you’d like the template my team uses, email me and I’ll be glad to share it.
  5. Feedback: How are we doing?  The scorecard is one facet of feedback, but make the feedback process part of your meeting cadence.  Build feedback into your individual 1×1 meetings.  Put it on the agenda regularly, whether it’s during your Daily Huddle or your Weekly Team Meeting.  And look for opportunities for immediate feedback.  Reward wins and encourage your team when obstacles stand in the way.  The more quickly you can give people feedback, the more quickly they can respond.  [bctt tweet=”Reward wins and encourage your team when obstacles stand in the way. The more quickly you can give people feedback, the more quickly they can respond.”]

When you implement these five steps with your team, you will empower them to take control of your team’s health – to make it stronger, healthier, faster, more productive, more innovative.   What is your big goal for this quarter or this year?  You still have time to make major progress, but you have to start now.  Take the first step and see where it leads.  Then let me know – I’d love to hear what fitness tracker you love, how it’s changed your approach to fitness and which of these steps you can apply to your team this week.

If you’re ready to create a culture of accountability, productivity and innovation, learn more about our Building Leadership Momentum through Leadership Rhythm workshop. Leaders must constantly focus on maximizing resources and inspiring their team to reach its true potential.  They do this by creating an appropriate structure of rhythm, cadence and measurement that inspires their team members to set higher standards of performance and willing accept increased responsibility and accountability. If you’re ready to take your team to the next level, find out how to bring this powerful workshop to your organization.

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