How succession succeeds in the Spirit 4 Club

Successful generation management: The owner of the SPIRIT4 studios in Lower Franconia, Michael Klein, has found a suitable candidate in Felix Voigt, who is now passionate about the task of management. In the interview they talk about the benefits of working together, short lines of communication, unconditional trust, the courage to make mistakes and the same perspectives.

Interview with Michael Klein and Felix Voigt, Spirit 4 Clubs, on generation management

fMi: Mr. Klein, when did you start dealing with the Regulation of his successor in managementAnd what was the reason for this consideration?

Michael Klein: From the moment in my life that an illness made me realize that it was important to use my resources, such as my own strength and energy, in a conscious way. It was clear to me that I am responsible for my company, my employees and all partners and that I need someone to run the company in my interest. If you are no longer capable of doing it yourself, nothing better than the certainty that your life’s work will be continued by a person you trust.

What was your ideal succession solution and what alternatives would you have considered?

My dream solution was to appoint a managing director who, like me, is always willing to take that extra step towards the common goal. Felix Voigt showed it to me from his first day at SPIRIT4 and walked the path with me. There was no alternative to this desired solution.

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How did the decision to include your employee Felix Voigt in the management of SPIRIT4 in Bergtheim come about and what factors were decisive for you?

Felix was my ideal candidate for this position in the medium and long term. The fact that this decision was made earlier was due to my illness.

Mr. Voigt, what made you decide? change management?

Felix Voigt: My decision to take this step was primarily due to the trust I had in Michael and SPIRIT4, which has grown significantly over the 13 years I’ve been with the company. With due respect for Michael, I can say that the relationship between the employee and the boss has developed into a friendship where both can trust each other.


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What training, knowledge and experience have you found particularly valuable in your work as CEO?

Looking back, it paid off for me to always stay interested and curious. One should never stop being open to new and unknown things and content.

I can recommend dual courses of study for training. Important contents of business and personnel management, economics and business are taught, as well as training theory with medical-therapeutic reference, which can be directly applied in practice, as is done with SPIRIT4.

The combination of theory and practice is just good. You grow in the company with the extensive knowledge of your studies and can extract the content that advances you and the company in the daily life of the study.

I am of the opinion that training and higher education are essential, although it is perhaps only the last ten percent that can move you forward decisively and give you the competitive advantage that is so important.

Mr. Klein, what were the first steps you took have taken to implement the succession plan And when did you get to the successor on the way?

  1. A long and detailed conversation with my wife.
  2. An honest yes to this decision.
  3. All legal and insurance issues clarified to have security for Felix and myself.
  4. He discussed the proposal with Felix.
  5. The documents are prepared with our confidants: lawyer, tax advisor and notary.
  6. He discussed these documents with Felix.
  7. He arranged the notarial appointment for August 19, 2021 and signed the management contract with Félix, which is effective on July 1, 2021.

How did you surrender and take control? Organized responsibility and leadership in the study?

Felix has been running and managing his club solo for the last twelve months. His team and the guests really appreciated his commitment. So the information that Félix Voigt will become or is CEO was very positive news for everyone and did not need any organization.

Mr. Klein, Mr. Voigt: different approaches, different perspectives: Are there or were there points of friction, differences of opinion or even conflicts in the course of this transfer? If so, how do you handle it or how did you resolve it?

Michael Klein: I don’t remember those situations. Maybe different perspectives, then we take some time and find a solution that works for both of us. Each of us is willing to go that extra step for the other.

Felix Voigt: I grew up with the Mike and SPIRIT4 philosophy in this industry and know how to do things in a SPIRIT4 spirit. If there were different perspectives, we just sat down and quickly found a common path. In fact, we haven’t had any disagreements or sticking points in 13 years.

Mr. Klein, what advice do you give to entrepreneurs, Who is planning a succession plan with an employee?

Michael Klein: First of all, it is important to evaluate and verify the personal relationship of trust with this person. It is also important to remember that business understanding and corresponding soft skills are important prerequisites for successfully running a business.


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Mr. Voigt, what advice would you give to gym employees of your generation who are toying with the idea of ​​taking over the employer’s business?

Felix Voigt: If you have the opportunity and confidence in the company and the employer and are passionate about the company and this future-oriented industry, Michael previously said, “If you’re willing to go the extra mile,” then you should go down this path. even if you have doubts. The fact that Mike is available to advise me in the future gives me security and it’s good.

Finally, a question for Michael Klein: How did it feel to let him go?

Michael Klein: It really wasn’t easy at first. It took me a while to get an honest yes for myself. That was due to my convalescence. During this time, my most important goal was to get back to full health and Felix helped me a lot because he lost an incredible amount of weight. Once I realized that, letting go was finally easy.

About interview partners

Michael “Mike” Klein is the owner of SPIRIT4 GmbH & Co. KG. He was born in Vienna. He studied sports science at the Karl-Franzens University of Graz and graduated in 1997 with a diploma. He got his first experiences in the fitness industry as a trainer and studio director in the former fitness paradise at what was then the Arnold Schwarzenegger Stadium in Graz. From 1997 to 2001, Mike Klein gained hosting experience as a school director skiing at the ROBINSON Club Arosa in Switzerland. From 2001 to 2005 he worked in the hotel industry as a consultant in the field of sports, fitness and wellness. In 2003, Mike Klein began developing his own studio concept, the “Spirit4 Vision”. In 2004 he opened his first SPIRIT4 Fitness & Wellness Club in Arnstein, Lower Franconia. In 2008 he founded SPIRIT4 GmbH & Co. KG as part of the opening of his second club, SPIRIT4 in Werneck. In 2017 he founded adlantis Marketing + Consulting GmbH with his son and in 2018 he opened SPIRIT4 in Bergtheim.

Felix Voigt is managing director of the SPIRIT4 Club Bergtheim. After training as a hospitality specialist, he worked in a hotel in Würzburg until 2009. From 2009 to 2012 he completed a double degree in health management at SPIRIT4. From 2013 he was deputy club studio manager in Arnstein and then studio manager there before taking over as studio manager in 2019 and then in July 2021 the management of the SPIRIT4 Club Bergtheim.

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