Peloton Leadership: Here’s What Happens When We Lead Like Ally Love

I haven’t purchased one of my own, but when I’m on the road visiting clients, and my hotel fitness center has a Peloton bike, I take advantage of it.

Each Peloton ride is inspiring, challenging, rewarding, and always fun; every single time.  

I’m up to 11 rides, which doesn’t sound like many. However, considering I only get to do Peloton workouts when I’m on the road; and my first ride was in late December, it’s not a bad “cadence”, as Peloton instructor, Ally Love, would say.

I’ve only worked out with Ally Love, as the instructor.  Why? The workouts themselves are awesome, but Ally turns what may sound like a boring, mundane 45-minute stationary bike cardio session into an incredibly moving experience. 

Just last week, I realized what every leader can learn from Ally.

A Warm Welcome

As you first strap into the pedals and enter into the session, Ally’s right there waiting on you with a smile to genuinely welcome you back into the saddle. Immediately you feel like you’ve just seen an old friend who’s happy to see you.

Clear Expectations

Ally then starts right away, sharing very clear expectations for the type of ride you’ve selected, what you’ll experience, how many intervals, hills, songs, and sometimes she even tells you why she loves the songs she’s chosen for the session.  She lets you know, right up front, how to get the most out of the workout. 

Within minutes, you know exactly what’s ahead of you, which allows you to prepare mentally so you can get the most out of it physically.  

Encouragement

Usually about five or six minutes into the warmup, if not before, Ally will pump you up.  She likes to remind you how awesome you are.  She tells you what a remarkable step you continue to take, challenging yourself mentally and physically, by getting back in the gym or on your bike.  

She likes to call you, “Boss”.  She says she only rides with bosses, and often says, “…that’s you…”

“Drop your elbows and drop your baggage.  Whatever’s weighing on your heart or mind today, let it go.  It’s just us.  Let’s ride…”

You can’t help but be encouraged with her positivity.  Plus, you know she’s there for you, supporting you from start to finish.

Tough Conversations

Inevitably, every workout gets challenging, yet Ally Love is a pro.  She knows just the right times during each workout when people may want to relax, give in to the temptation to slow down, sit down, or even stop altogether.  Ally simply won’t let you.  

Those of us on Peloton bikes all over the world see her on a screen, but every ride is filmed in an actual studio, with actual humans riding along with her.  Ally is not afraid, nor is she shy when it comes to having tough conversations with people.

She wastes no time, coaching when she needs to coach.  

“Don’t touch that resistance knob.  Keep your cadence, back in the saddle; don’t let up.  Keep your speed!”

“Yes, you can,” she’ll remind us.  Over and over again.  

She also pushes us.  

“For those of you who are not that tired yet, feel free to add some resistance or pick up your leg speed.” 

Then she looks right at the camera and she looks right at certain individuals in her class, and says, “Yes, that’s you.”

Congratulations

At the end of every ride, Ally recaps precisely what you’ve just accomplished.  She congratulates you and recognizes specific people who’ve just completed a “milestone ride”.  She calls out people by name, congratulating them on their 100th, 400th, or 500th ride.  

She always says thank you, and she always leaves you with a positive thought for the day.  And 100% of the time she reminds you how great you are and how much you can accomplish if you’ll just keep working.

Every session ends with Ally saying, “Get out there and be the boss that you are.  Peace and love, Peloton.  I. Am.  Ally. Love.”

I not only feel great after each session, I genuinely enjoy the ride, every single time.

What does this have to do with leadership?

Everything.

In our own lives, we can follow Ally’s lead:

  1. We can give each person on our team a warm welcome every single day they “get back into the saddle” at work.
  2. We can set crystal clear expectations for where we’re headed, how we’re getting there, and how those on our teams can get the most of their “ride”
  3. We can give our teams encouragement, reminding them how far they’ve come as well as their potential for achieving and experiencing success in the future.
  4. We can have tough conversations which may be difficult in the short term.  However, if we’re playing the long game of leadership, devoted to inspiring and motivating other people to become their absolute best, a conversation we have with someone today may positively change the trajectory of their career or even their life.
  5. We can congratulate our teams, celebrating short-term wins along the way, to keep them inspired and motivated.

Leadership is about giving love.  So, it’s fitting that we can all learn a thing or two about leadership from Peloton’s Ally Love. Ally makes us feel welcome, comfortable, and important; which gives us the energy, motivation, and enthusiasm to do more and become our absolute best.

She leads with hospitality.

When we lead like Ally Love, something tells me we’ll enjoy the ride, every single time; and so will those we lead.

Have a great day.  

Peace and love!

Taylor

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