Career Champion

Education & Experience

Educated to degree or equivalent:

•    BA (Hons) Politics and Industrial Relations, University of Kent at Canterbury

Does your job require vocational qualifications?

•    No

Previous roles that gave you the experience you needed for your current job include:

•    Cluster General Manager, David Lloyd Leisure
•    Sales Development Director, Green King Pub Partners
•    Retail Area Manager, Allied  Domecq
•    Business Development Manager, Whitbread Pub Partnerships

How many years relevant work experiences have you had before your current job:

•    15 years

The Job


 •    Next Generation Clubs Australia

Describe your typical working day:

One of the great things about the job is that every day is different and there isn’t really a typical day.  The nature of the role of General Manager means that there are always lots of different areas of the club that need attention.

However a normal day may be that I get in at about 8am and have a good walk round of the club.  This is an opportunity to say hello to members, catch up with staff in all departments and also to check on member facing operational standards.

At 9 all the Managers and senior staff gather for the ‘morning huddle’ and we go through key priority areas and any upcoming issues.  I gather feedback on any maintenance or cleanliness issues that need to be addressed.  At the meeting we also go through the previous days results in terms of secondary spend income and membership sales and retention data.

I then clear my emails and answer any post that has arrived.  This could include answering member feedback, actioning Head Office requests, reviewing CVs for vacant positions, or reviewing statistical or financial reports.

I see how we are set up for sales for the day by checking the appointments and holding snappy individual meetings with the sales team. This is to get them focused and energized for the day ahead. 

I’ll then have a 1 to 1 with one of my Managers.  It could be with the Health and Fitness Manager to review the financial performance of his department including Personal Training income and labour costs.  We would then review the Group Exercise programme, the kid’s summer camps, and participation in the tennis programme.  A key focus currently is to implement the new products that the company has rolled out that are designed to help increase retention of members.

I may then have a meeting with the club’s Maintenance Manager and review in detail any ongoing maintenance issues and agree priorities for expenditure.

I may then have a coaching session with one of the team.  This could take the form of a role play where one of the sales team tour me around the club and do a price presentation.  I would them give them feedback on what they did well or on how they could improve their style and sales skills. 

I regularly review the club’s strategic and operational plan and compare performance against budget.  This will involve looking at the quarterly sales and marketing plan, reviewing competitor activity, reviewing the monthly profit and loss, reviewing the manpower plan and tracking Key Performance Indicators across the club.

I second interview all new appointments in every department of the club so with over 50 staff there is likely to be an interview to participate in.

Throughout the day I would walk round the club regularly to check on standards, help deal with any incidents and keep the team focused and upbeat.

At the end of the shift I would review the sales team’s performance to review the calls and appointments that have been made so far and check on what results have been achieved. 

We have regular members’ social event so in the evening I may attend one these.  Last month the head chef cooked up a Mediterranean buffet for members to enjoy. 

Why you love what you do:

  • Measurement and tangible signs of success
  • Autonomy
  • Variety
  • Great working environment
  • Leadership role
  • The ability to interact with people at all different levels
  • The ability to leverage a business quickly and effectively

What are the key factors to doing it well?

  • Recruit and retain the right people
  • See the ‘wood for the trees’ by ensuring you focus on the key levers of the business
  • Be a good leader
  • Financial awareness
  • Strategic awareness

Words of wisdom, what have you been told or learnt that will help others aspiring to your job and any top tips:

Learn to get the best out of people.  My results are only as good as those of the team of people working with me.
Focus on those areas that really affect the business performance.
Be the best you can be.

For those that want a job like yours, are there any points that should be seriously considered before embarking to achieve this goal:


The Person

How did you decide to follow this career path, what attracted you:

After ten years in the pubs and bars industry I decided it was time for a change.  The Health and Fitness business allowed me to apply my management skills in a single site.  It is a really varied role requiring a great deal of management disciplines.  It’s a great working environment requiring high energy.  It is a young, dynamic and constantly evolving industry.

What character traits do you have that suit you to this job?

Extrovert and personable
Good leadership skills
The ability to multi task and work under pressure
Motivated by achieving results

Your top professional feel good moments:

Winning Progress Club of the Year whilst GM at DLL Birmingham
Turning round the performance of the Next Generation Club in Sydney

Anything else you want to add:

Making the move from the UK to work with Next Generation Clubs Australia has been a great move.  There are a lot of opportunities and the company is growing and developing all the time.  There are plans to surge ahead with the development and construction of new clubs and it is great to be part of that.  The company is dynamic and entrepreneurial and there is an opportunity to contribute as the company grows and develops. 

Australia is a great place to live.  The weather is fabulous, the people are friendly and there is a lot to explore.  Emigrating with the family was the right move for me.  As well a working for a good company Sydney is a great place to live.