I heard there was an open position for a group

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I heard there was an open position for a group fitness manager who would be responsible for hiring, creating programming, and signing and managing the fitness instructors at one of the club locations. I saw myself in this role—I also had some new ideas for programming and a theory about why I would excel in the position. There was just one problem: I lacked any of the certifications or experience the position supposedly required. To impress Toni, the director of the department, who had to approve me for the key interview with the vice president of the fitness division, I used my acting training to imagine myself as the perfect group exercise manager with tons of fresh ideas. I chose parts of my backstory to support my theory as to why I would excel in this position. I rehearsed how I’d present my case, and I had strong, clear motivation that I would share with them: I wanted to make group exercise the most profitable and fun division of the company (at the time it was just considered a corporate overhead). I also amped up my motivation to get that job by thinking, If I don’t get this, I won’t be able to pay any of my bills, no self-respecting woman will ever be willing to date me, and I’ll end up a balding, no-prospects punch line! (Turns out I couldn’t really avoid the balding part . . .) I sat down with Toni and asked her to look at what I had done in my acting career. I explained that in the same way actors work to create memorable experiences for the audience, a group exercise class can create experiences for the participating club members. I would use my dramatic skills and theatrical know-how to make the classes more surprising and delightful. I also demonstrated that my experience with theater production was all about project management; that is, I had experience organizing people and budgets against a timeline to produce an event. And finally I told her that my training as an actor and an acting teacher made me good at identifying and developing talent as I went about hiring fitness class leaders, the best of which are natural performers. I also pitched my theory that they were hiring the wrong characters for what the roles actually required. They were hiring top fitness teachers to be managers because of their good records in attracting students, but they weren’t looking for candidates with much in the way of natural management sensibilities. Taking a chance, I told Toni: “I have an abundance of these natural talents.” I should mention that I was nervous the entire time. I don’t want you to think that I just skated through the entire process. There was a lot riding on this interview and I was way outside my comfort zone. Fortunately, my training as an actor gave me the ability to control my breath and body language; a good performer can appear to be at ease in the face of great pressure, even with anxiety flowing through his veins. Toni was impressed and agreed to move me to the next step—an interview with the senior vice president of the whole division. And get this—she gave me the company’s procedures
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