What you probably didn’t expect back then was how much sharing would come into play later on, especially within your Box.
Sharing responsibility can be a tough thing. When your Box is your baby, it can be scary to hand over the teaching of a class or to leave your gym for a well-deserved vacation. “The biggest reason that [sharing responsibility is] important is that the owner can free themselves up to be able to concentrate on higher level problems,” said Travis Weaver, co-owner of CrossFit Avalanche and CrossFit Blizzard in California. “And those higher level problems really affect the foundation of the business and how the business runs and what the philosophy of the business is.”
Weaver explained that more often than not, athletes become trainers who become owners. While athletes do CrossFit and Coaches translate CrossFit, owners do business. “Owners don’t necessarily have the business expertise that maybe business people have,” said Weaver. “Being able to delegate responsibility, it allows the owner to focus on business. If they can focus on business, they can focus on providing a better product and service to the community.”
In the beginning of his role as CrossFit owner, Weaver said that him and the other owner, Myles Lewis, delegated responsibility but without any sort of system in place. So, they would check in on each other, but that was about it. “It was more like, if the garbage is full, we need to take it out,” said Weaver. “So the systems were really loose. It was based on passion.”
Even as delegation of responsibility has begun to happen more and more, Weaver has not forgotten about that passion. He said they look for personality when it comes to the right people to share responsibility with. “We pick the people that have the right personality to start with; they’ve got to want to do it,” said Weaver. “They’ve shown initiative to want more responsibility within the organization … We can’t teach personality, but we can teach values and we can teach our system.”
With proper systems and documentation, Weaver said they can better keep track of who does what. Clear expectations are set, whether for the two owners, five Coaches, the person in charge of marketing, the guy who cleans the gyms, or for the five gals in charge of events and charity work.
Plus, by sharing responsibility, the needs of the community are met. For example, both Lewis and Weaver had at first attempted to be in charge of the event planning. But, that didn’t last long. “The community started going, ‘man we’re not doing as many community events anymore,’” said Weaver. “And it’s like, yeah, because I’m so frickin’ busy.”
This is perhaps the most important aspect for Weaver: By delegating, the needs of the members are met. In the end, that’s who it’s all about. “We’re going to make this more about the client,” he said.