By Brett Jones, Chief SFG
“Growth is never by mere chance; it is the result of forces working together.”
James Cash Penney
The force behind StrongFirst Girya (SFG) is our people. And our people have been working together (sometimes for far longer than the 11/1/2012 beginning of StrongFirst) building our School of Strength and making the world a stronger place!
As most of you are aware, there are three leadership ranks within SFG. Team Leaders, Seniors, and Masters form a group of instructors trusted to teach the SFG curriculum at workshops and certifications. They lead teams and assist the Master SFG running that workshop or certification with making sure the candidates learn, teach, and demonstrate not just the techniques to the SFG standard, but also an understanding of our principles.
It is a position of trust and responsibility within our organization and community, and it is my honor to present to you the SFGs that will be stepping into or moving up in leadership roles within SFG.
Many of you may be wondering: What does it take to be considered for promotion?
This is a common question: people want to know what they have to do, to earn a place in the SFG Leadership. While no set formula exists, many factors are taken into consideration—and here are a few of them.
A person who earns the SFG Level II title is already exceptional. And so, it takes even greater excellence to really impress the higher ranks. The new Team Leaders below have achieved some astonishing feats of strength. We could list them for you and you would be impressed… but we want to avoid the presumption that merely possessing awesome strength (as cool as that is) is alone sufficient for earning consideration for Team Leader. The men and women below are wickedly strong, yes. But it is a collection of qualities that an Instructor must possess to be considered for leadership. The ability to demonstrate an understanding of the skill of strength is a necessary and important one, but it is just one.
We need to know that you can confidently articulate our strength principles, and be able to teach and apply them in a time-constrained environment. You must be able to make smart decisions, quickly. The SFG Certification is much different than time spent with a student, where you have an unlimited number of sessions to tackle issues and answer questions. An Instructor must be experienced enough to be able to make the greatest amount of difference while sticking to the curriculum for each of the candidates on their team.
We have to know that you care about helping others more than you care about your own self-promotion. We are very proud of the environment and vibe we have cultivated at the SFG Certification, where each candidate understands that every instructor and assistant there is authentically invested in their success. Our leadership must also care about maintaining our standards and the integrity of the StrongFirst experience. And care about safety, and care about details… we could go on and on. “I don’t care how much you know until I know how much you care.” We take this to heart.
Strength skill development does not have an end-date. It is a skillset that we expect our Leadership to continually seek and refine. You demonstrate an unrelenting practice and development of your skill, both in performing as well as in instructing.
You are always respectful of others, and you can deal with a crisis or a sensitive situation without escalating the drama. We seek kind, calm, and professionally-minded individuals here, and you should also be someone that we would want to spend a weekend hanging out with. A poor attitude or immature demeanor is spotted a mile away, and will not earn you further consideration.
How are these qualities evaluated?
We at StrongFirst Headquarters maintain a list of Level II Instructors who we think have the potential to become a Team Leader someday. The crucial step at this point is that they assist at an SFG Certification (I or II), so that we can see over the course of the event how well they perform the skills, teach the skills, and how well they articulate our principles and curriculum, among the other things mentioned above. Most Instructors assist a number of times (often as many as eight or more) before earning a promotion. It is quite a long process, typically. Assisting is the best (really, only) way to get yourself in front of the other Leadership and HQ and (hopefully) knock our socks off.
Being promoted to Team Leader is a big deal. It is the first rank achievable by invitation only, and many of these Instructors have been with us for a great number of years. We are very happy to be able to recognize these individuals and welcome them to the StrongFirst Leadership.
Jimmy Yuan Jody Beasley
Dustin Rippetoe is welcomed back as a Team Leader, after a personal leave of absence. Good to have you back, brother!
A Senior SFG is entrusted with the responsibility for instructing at our SFG I and II events along with our Masters, and each of these Instructors have proven their ability to perform this to the high standard maintained here at StrongFirst. We are proud of the excellence each of these Instructors demonstrate, time and time again.
The Master level is of course the highest leadership rank under the Chief SFG, Brett Jones. Master SFGs are responsible for ensuring an informative and successful SFG experience for all candidates, and they know the curriculum inside and out. It is an honor to welcome Jason Marshall to the rank of Master SFG!
Congratulations to all!