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Culture Club – The power of modelling

“Would you like me to show you around?” Phil had just taken over as club manager of a newly acquired health club and I had visited him for a training review meeting. I have known Phil for the 5 last years as training manager for Mosaic Spa and Health Clubs, and so I knew he was ideal to help this newly acquired health club gain the standards of Mosaic.

“Oh, excuse me one moment, I’ve just spotted a customer who is waiting at the desk. I just need to make sure they have what they need.” Phil had spotted that the reception member of staff was dealing with another customer and with no other staff member available, Phil modelled the ‘spot the customer, respond to the customer’ that he expected from his staff. Before long, he was alongside me as we headed off to the Gym. Rows of fitness machines, free weights and equipment all seemingly standing to attention to the boss as he entered. Gym members were greeted by Phil, as he explained the room to me.

As we worked our way across the room, he lowered to pick up the smallest of pieces of paper towels, dropped from someone sanitising the equipment surfaces. As he placed it in the waste bin, he noticed the sanitisers needed swapping over and so spoke to the duty staff member on his way out about following that up. ‘Spot the problem, respond to the problem’, another standard modelled to his staff.

My mind turned back to 3 years earlier, when I had toured Mosaic’s club in Shrewsbury with Dave, the Managing Director of Mosaic. He had stooped and picked up litter and had greeted club members by name and highlighted items for the duty staff. It was if I had been in Doctor Who’s Tardis with the timelord himself. What had been passed onto Phil, he was now modelling to the next generation.


When we want a culture, then explaining it clearly is the first step. But this, like hot water in a bath, will soon turn cold and stagnant if not topped up and refreshed on a regular basis. We keep the culture fresh and alive when we model it. One of the best ways to do this is to apprentice others in the culture club. There is a clear and simple process to this:

I do, you watch

I do, you help

You do, I help

You do, I watch

You do. . . . and then the cycle begins again as they begin to apprentice others too.

A key part of apprenticing is to model what you expect and how you behave in the situation. It is about being purposeful in that. The ancient Greek philosophers had this principle. Spending time with their apprentices, known as disciples, talking, explaining and modelling the principles.

Creating & maintaining your culture club

Maybe, these blogs have got you thinking about the culture club that you want. How do you go about starting that?

  1. Decide on the culture that you want

  2. Model it at every opportunity. What is equally important is how you maintain that. The best way is to ensure that you create more culture leaders.

  3. Identify those people who really share your perspective

  4. Purposefully mentor and apprentice them so that they in turn can mentor others. This duplicates leadership of the culture.

You’ll notice that the last one has the potential to develop the culture exponentially. You apprentice one. They start to apprentice now too, alongside the next one you apprentice. One became two. Two then becomes four. Those four, then become eight. 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64 . . . That is how the culture club not only starts but is maintained as it is not just you looking out for the culture. As a leader, you are not developing followers but more leaders.

The great thing about mentoring & apprenticing, is that it is really not extra. It is just about working with them alongside what you are doing. Explaining the principles, discussing what is happening and how you are processing it. It’s about being infectious about what you believe and how you act it out.

Have you discovered the power of modelling?

Would you like to be a Culture Club? We can help you in a range of ways. Maybe, you would like us to help you assess with fresh eyes what you have but what is missing. Maybe you would like some coaching to help examine this yourself? Maybe you would like training for your staff in areas that will help you become a Culture Club.

Everyday Leader is here to empower, inspire and equip you to do that If we can help you find a way forward, through coaching, training or consultancy. Do let us know if we can be of help to you by contacting us on


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