Trends in leadership and management in 2019 are being driven by trends in technology, consumer preference and changing market demographics.

  1. Advances in technology coupled with increasing heath consciousness (who doesn’t wish they were a little lighter, leaner, stronger, more energetic or flexible?) are driving the “Fitness Anywhere” movement… Apps, wearables, class streaming, fitness on demand, digital communities, coaching online and healthy meal delivery are just a few examples. All bode well for consumers in an environment of increasingly accessible resources for healthy lifestyle options. Not so well for health clubs if they are not somehow part of that supply chain.
  2. Consumers, pressured by competing priorities and a dizzying array of choices, are craving ease, convenience and success.
  3. Changes in demographics are forcing us to reconcile the evolving needs and wants of Boomers with the preferences and tendencies of Millennials. Millennials, age 23-38 in 2019, are expected to overtake Boomers in population in 2019 as their numbers swell to 73 million and Boomers decline to 72 million.

Leadership and management will evolve into one of two tracks. Those who embrace and adapt to these market trends and those who don’t.

  • Those who do will develop changes in strategy and tactics for positioning, marketing, programming, hiring, training, and pricing that enhance the consumer experience.
  • Those who don’t will struggle and perhaps even fail.

Consumer preferences range from ‘leave me alone’ to ‘show me the way’. Savvy leaders will tailor their service models to suit the needs and preferences of consumers using new technologies to improve member’s health on their terms and also beyond the four walls of the club. Managers will learn to attract and retain millennials independent from or successfully alongside of boomers and other generations.

Charles Darwin didn’t say that only the strong survive. What he said was that those who survive are the ones who most accurately perceive their environment and successfully adapt to it. Nimble, open-minded leaders and managers will acknowledge the inevitability of these changes and adapt – shaping the customer experience to offer increasing ease, convenience and success.