The Magazine for spa and wellness in Mexico, the Caribbean and Latin America​

ISPA 2017

ISPA Day One commenced with keynote speaker Amy Cuddy on the main stage. Cuddy showed how power poses can influence behavior and confidence levels.




ISPA Day Two started with an intriguing story of an out-of-body experience by a St. Louis based artist who recently took part in StArt: St Louis Art festival.


Frank Pitsikalis remembered the success of Keynote Speaker on day one, Amy Cuddy and asked the women of the ISPA board to join him on stage in a power pose.


Colin McIlheney presented industry statistics and announced the inaugural spa workforce study including recruitment, retention and engagement. The aim is to get 10000 responses to the study:



Daniel Pink spoke about motivation from a scientific perspective. Every single person in the room is an expert on motivation; all humans have a deep and sophisticated knowledge of motivation. Explicit knowledge is easy to categorize, you know something and you know you know it. Implicit knowledge is harder to explain. We all have implicit knowledge of physics for example; if Daniel took a step from the edge of the stage he would fall, we know this implicitly.

When you reward behavior,you get more of it; when you punish behavior, you get less of it. Or so you might think! It’s not as consistent as you might think. When you reward test subjects with money at three different levels, this works only with mechanical skills. Once the task called for even rudimentary cognitive thinking, a larger reward led to poorer performance. Rewards encourage focused attention without a lateral perspective, complex and long-termtasks require a broader span of attention.


Equality is a factor in motivation, if you reward two people doing the same job differently, there will be a decrease in motivation for the person receiving less. Pay people fairly based on what they do.

Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose

In a study exploring personal gain and purpose against a control group, bothpersonal gain and purpose showed an increase however, purpose was shown to be a more powerful motivator than personal gain. Purpose can be something big and transcendent and life-changing, making a difference. Purpose can also be ‘making a contribution’.

Am I making a difference?

Am I making a contribution?

Both of these questions are relevant in motivation.

Simple, cheap and actionable: HOW / WHY

The WHY is the most cost-effectiveperformance enhancer. The challenge this week: Have 2 fewer conversations about HOW, have 2 more conversations about WHY.

“Making progress in meaningful work” was the single biggest daily motivator, this is only relevant when people receive regular feedback. An annual appraisal does not achievethis. making feedback formal and infrequentdoes not work, making it informal and frequent, serves the purpose.

Autonomy is a great motivator, companies see success when they allow time for employees to work on creative projects which are subsequently presented to their company. Genius hour – one hour a week to think of solutions, ideas, improvements, rules that don’t serve etc.

ISPA Day Three

Todd shaw announced the ISPA dates for next year and the subsequent three years. Next year’s conference will be held in Phoenix Arizona, Sept 24 – 26th 2018.


ISPA Innovate awards were presented to:


Eminence Organics Skin Care

Innovative Spa Management

Kerstin Florian International

Lake Austin Spa Resort

Living Earth Crafts

Milagro Spa & Salon

Noel Asmar Inc.

Remede Spa at St. Regis Aspen Resort


Sanitas Skincare


The Spa at Meadowood

Touch America

2017 Innovation of the year: Zeel


Deborah Szekely talked about the history of ISPA and the investment in health and fitness, having had a heart attack earlier this year and recovered from broken bones, she values the years of health she has had and looks forward to many more.

Our bodies are our greatest gift and responsibility. Deborah shared a quote: “The miracle is not to fly in the air or to walk on water, but to walk on the earth.”

The Alex Szekely humanitarian awardwas presented to Peyton Manning. An American football star, he also works with the Red Cross and various initiatives to help children at risk and children’s hospitals. (Pictures and video of Peyton Manning were prohibited during the talk)

Manning talked about adapting to new realities and pushing ourselves to make a difference and do what we feel called to do. Face challenges by rising above and thinking of new solutions. When the issue of retirement comes up, that has certain connotations to community and family and brings up both challenges and benefits. As leaders, we face new challenges than we ever did before, the goal posts change constantly, adapt and crack the code to succeed.

Results are directly proportional to the effort leaders put into leading their team. Adversity is inevitable and knowing and understanding your team’s motivations and drive. Leadership is not about dictating, it is about mastering the art of persuasion, struggling to collective goals. Master the art of inquiry, ask the right questions of the right people at the right time and listen to the answers. Knowing what your team knows, helps you know how to handle every situation. Be willing to commit to something that will be inherently uncomfortable, leaders will experience anxiety and bravery. Leadership is not handed to someone with a title, it is earned. If you can’t influence a team, you cannot lead that team. Be prepared to pivot at any time, business is ever-changing and a leader must be nimble. Approach setbacks as catalysts for change, drivers to do better. Personal goals should align with the company’s goals, what could move you towards those goals? Set bold goals that stretch the team and be prepared to abandon old routines to attain new goals. Leaders must have the audacity to believe there is something more out there to reach for!

Author: swmc2021sara