Employee Tuesday – What does a Managing Director do?

by Marie Terhechte

You describe yourself as a Life Enthusiast – what does that mean to you?

I believe in ‘living life lightly’ and the power of finding fun, play and humour in our day-to-day lives. We all go through challenging times (at work, at home and in our relationships) and to counter the negative effect of stress I try to adopt a positive and playful perspective on life. So a “Life Enthusiast” is someone who focuses on showing gratitude for their journey so far, tries to find happiness in the present moment and who leans forward and gets excited about what’s to come. 

What are your main tasks as a Managing Director for Spain and Portugal?

The most important part of my job is leading a team, and that’s what gives me the greatest return on my time. The aim is to try and find alignment between the career aspirations of my team and the future needs of the business. As an MD it’s my responsibility to ensure that every team member recognises the importance of their contribution to the region’s performance and understands that their efforts play a big part in our wider story. Although I have exceptionally strong senior managers leading all departments, I like to be involved in some way in all parts of the local business including finance, marketing, human resources, sales and service. My main goal is to ensure the financial and commercial success of the Iberian region by leading the team, managing the strategy and empowering our people. 

One of your main drivers is to empower people and unlock their full potential – how do you do that?

It all starts with a strong selection process in recruitment. I believe in hiring on attitude, cultural fit and ambition. I work closely with my HR manager and senior team to hire purpose-driven people who share similar values and have potential for growth. Empowering people is about listening, being attentive to their individual needs, recognising personal strengths and identifying opportunities to grow. I believe in helping people progress in their careers and see it as a privilege to be part of their professional journey. No matter how long people are with us, every team member should feel that their contribution counts, is valued and that they acquired new skills and experiences along the way.

When it comes to your role, what is your “why”?

I’ve worked in the fitness industry for more than 20 years, in all kinds of positions from personal trainer to managing director. But my WHY has always remained the same: to inspire people to move more. I strongly believe that together and individually, alongside governments, federations and companies, we need to be the catalyst for change and lower the barriers to exercise. We want to give everyone access to physical activity opportunities and programmes that help people become more active. In my experience the enjoyment factor turns a unique exercise experience into a healthy habit and has the potential to improve someone’s life. Working at Urban Sports Club perfectly aligns with my personal mission as we offer members a flexible and affordable solution to try new activities and help them find exercise they love.    

Which Urban Sports Club value do you feel most connected to and why?

I feel most connected to “Take Ownership’ because it’s a value that applies to all walks of life. I believe that with the right mindset we have control and choice in every situation, and it’s our perspective on things that determines whether we’re masters or victims of our circumstances. Identifying things within our sphere of influence and taking responsibility for our actions (whether they lead to success or failure) is essential to making progress. Taking ownership urges us to ask the important questions such as “how did I contribute to this outcome?” “what can I learn from this?” and “how can I do better?” Being accountable means taking control of our reality, being in charge of the outcome of our actions and ultimately being able to achieve anything we set our minds to. 

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