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Interview with Natasha Swan, Senior Director with Life Time Inc. and Independent Business Coach

Updated: Dec 5, 2018

Natasha Swan is a Senior Director within a Human Capital Division of a multi-billion dollar organization

with over 30,000 team members and a goal of growing by 30% within five years. In this role, her task is

to build a team and division to support the organizational growth needs by locating, identifying and

retaining elite talent.


After working in the health and fitness industry for nearly two decades, and being out of school for the

same length of time, she decided to go back to school and obtain an MBA with concentrations in Human

Resources and Customer Experience Management to go along with her BS in Health and Fitness

Management.


Starting out as a personal trainer satisfied her desire to help other people and it fulfilled her passion and

interests in sports and fitness. Soon after becoming a personal trainer, her natural desire to develop

other team members, manage a business, and lead teams, thrusted her into leadership positions such as

department manager, general manager, regional management and then a director. After spending so

much time dedicated to the operational side of the industry and winning awards and promotions for her

retention abilities, growth in revenue/profit and the development of other leaders, she decided to move

away from the operations of the business and focus on building a division and team that could catapult

her organization through talent.


Sitting down with Natasha was refreshing, entertaining and energizing. Her ability to listen and her

attention to every detail is best in class. It was a pleasure to learn from her and gain perspective on the

importance and growth of Human Capital in organizations.


What is Human Capital and why are so many organizations focused on it today?

In today’s business sectors, individuals define the business and not the business defining the individual. So forward thinking and modern companies are shifting the mindset and structure from Human Resources to Human Capital. With the generation of people leading the workforce today, typically being in the age range of 30-50, having influence and defining the business for them is more important than ever. No longer can an organization have a human resources team in place to protect the company and focus on data. Successful companies gain insight into what employees think and feel. They listen and they understand that their people are the most valuable capital that they have.


What are the top skills needed to attract the best talent into an organization?

It is important to have a nonthreatening approach with strangers. Being diverse in conversation and able to discuss a variety of topics such as Western Movies, Hip-hop music, the weather, current events and then having a deep knowledge about the position of interest is also important. Having the knowledge in a given field is critical. Something that is often overlooked is the ability to negotiate in a pleasant yet firm manner with the organization and the potential candidate. You represent the organization that you work for and in this case it is in the health and fitness industry so being fit and healthy goes a long way.


What is your personal mission in life?

To only take what I need from the world and give all that I have to it.


What type of problems present themselves when dealing with casting and retention for large

organizations?

Sometimes great people do not always fit well and into great organizations. Respecting the culture and values of both are important. For example, our organization is open 365 days per year, therefore our team members work on weekends, holidays’, and in environments that operate 24 hours per day. Some people have personal obligations with religion, family or simply personal that causes conflict. There are also times when the business moves fast and some struggle with the pace or direction.



Over your career, what are you most proud of and why?

The growth of others has always brought me the most joy. Watching a 19 year old grow into a 30 year old with a family, buy a house and plan for retirement with a savings plan is a feeling that I am not able to explain to you. Knowing that I took a chance on someone and it worked out or looking back at so many of my mistakes that I was able to keep others from making brings a feeling of being proud. Personally it would be continuing to learn, grow and change when needed.


If you could change one thing about your current role, what would it be?