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Inside the C-Suite of CrossFit

CrossFit Greg Glassman CSuiteThis week on C-Suite with Jeffrey Hayzlett I took you inside the fitness phenomenon known as CrossFit. If you missed the full episode, check it out here.

What are the 3 big takeaways from CrossFit?

1. Not all c-suites look the same. I’m talking about that in 2 ways. One is aesthetically, where they might hold c-suites. For example, when I was with a Fortune 100 Company we had a big round table that could seat 15 people. We would have our executives meetings in that room, almost like the Knights of the Round Table. Not all c-suites are like that; in fact, for some the culture of the company wouldn’t allow it. Some c-suites meetings could be done over a BBQ or a jog.

2. C-Suites don’t have to always have a certain feel of command and control. They can be done in a much more informal ways, almost like how a secret language develops.

3. Raise questions on how to do things as you grow. For them, I think one of the key things that they have to learn or do with their growth is how they keep the intimacy of what they do. Then they need to take that intimacy and step and repeat that with new CrossFit centers or with new employees that join their team.

What do you think the leading reasons are behind why CrossFit has become so successful?

I think it’s really around the core of what they do. It’s not for everyone! It’s really, truly a lifestyle and a practice. To me it’s amazing to see the number of Navy SEALS, military, law enforcement, and other characters come in. They’re people who embrace that difference, which is commendable and part of their real success. This is only for the hard core. When you have a mascot that is Pukey the Clown, it sets the standard. When people describe the business to you, they say “it’s not like your normal gym. It’s dirty and grimy and sweaty and there’s no showers and it’s hard to find.” When they say that, you know you’re in for something.

Most interesting moment from interviewing the CEO of CrossFit

I found him to be extremely intelligent and engaging and someone who I want to have longer conversation with. He would be the kind of guy who would challenge me and I would be intellectually stimulated from the conversation. But it would be one of those kinds of conversations that would be deep, rich, and meaningful over a beer. When he showed up to the TV interview wearing a shirt that had a naked Picasso woman on the front of it, I knew it wasn’t going to be your normal interview. I think that says a lot for his status as a rebel, like some visionary leaders who are true to their core and aren’t wavered by criticism or by conventional standards. Some would call him crazy, some would call him brilliant. I’ve always found that with great leaders, there’s a little mix of both.

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