Even Stronger: 2017 Leadership Promotions

The true leaders of the StrongFirst Community are the SFG Leadership. They lead from the front and set an example for all other StrongFirst Instructors to follow.

As CEO of StrongFirst, I’ve had the opportunity and privilege to speak with members of the SFG Leadership and see them in action. I’m always impressed. They manage to consistently teach the SF principles and methods on six different continents and in multiple languages. No small feat. And they do so with a level of knowledge, passion, and professionalism that sets them apart.

Being a member of the SFG Leadership is not a responsibility they take lightly. They practice their skills so they can demonstrate them perfectly. More importantly, they continually refine their ability to teach these skills to others. They show up early, stay late, and embody our code:

“I am a Student of Strength”

“I am a Teacher of Strength.”

“I am a Quiet Professional.”

Their ability to lead is what sets StrongFirst apart. Our events are challenging. The standards are high. Only the prepared and committed will succeed. Our Leadership helps others achieve this standard and set for themselves an even higher one. It is their performance as leaders that makes us different from others in this industry.

The Importance of the SFG Leadership

As I’ve mentioned before, I had the opportunity to serve in the military for nearly twelve years. Some of the things you learn in the military apply to the private sector and some do not. Having had my share of both, there are both similarities and differences between business and war. One of those similarities is the need for great leadership.

In the military, there are several layers of leadership, from generals (or admirals) at high levels to the sergeants (or chiefs) leading their teammates on the ground. “The brass” stays back at base or even outside of the enemy compounds while the front-line leaders (leaders of small groups) are in the trenches, fighting alongside and leading their teammates. Too often, the brass gets the credit and the leaders in the trenches get ignored.

Eric Frohardt StrongFirst
Me, on the left, at a StrongFirst event.

While in the SEAL Teams, I served with many great leaders. I learned it was important to have great leaders at the highest level (generals, admirals, colonels, and captains). But I learned it was more important to have great leaders on the ground, in the trenches alongside you. When things got tough, it was those leaders beside or in front of you that carried the team and made sure the job got done. It wasn’t the brass behind their desks back at base.

When you serve as long as I did, you see different leadership styles. The best leaders had a few traits in common:

  • They led from the front and never asked you to do something they themselves wouldn’t or couldn’t do.
  • They thought of their team first and themselves last.
  • They focused on the mission and did what it took to accomplish it.
  • They set higher standards for themselves than they did of others.
  • They were quiet professionals.
  • They were difficult examples to live up to.

The SFG Leadership represents the front-line leadership of StrongFirst. As in the military, our front-line leaders are more important than those of us who sit behind desks. As in the military, they never get enough credit for what they do. They are entrusted with the responsibility of teaching our principles and methods to others. They are in the trenches (gyms). They lead from the front (of those gyms and groups). They lead by example. They are quiet professionals.

All of this means that leadership promotions at StrongFirst are not taken lightly. It’s a lengthy and exhaustive process. This last round of promotions began last fall and is finally complete. Our Director of Education and Chief SFG Brett Jones, along with help from our Master SFGs, has put together a list of instructors who more than live up to the high standards expected from the SFG Leadership.

It is my honor and privilege to announce the following promotions:

SFG II to SFG Team Leader

Granville Mayers
Claire Booth
Anne Casstevens
Tony Gracia
Craig Marker
Scott Iardella
Brian Wright
Brian Myers
Roxanne Myers
Debbie Hayes

SFG Team Leader to Senior SFG

Woochae Yoon
Hector Gutierrez
Michael Rendle
Tim Almond

Senior SFG to Master SFG

Andrea Chang

StrongFirst just got even stronger! Please take a moment to congratulate each of these individuals. They have difficult examples to follow, but have proven to be up to the task.

Eric Frohardt
SFG
Eric Frohardt, SFG, is the Director of Education and Training for the NRA, a veteran US Navy SEAL, and former CEO of StrongFirst. He has been putting our training system to the test for over a decade—first in combat deployments and later in outdoor sports.

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