What managers can learn from Boxers
When you stat learning boxing, one of the first lessons you have to learn, is that you don’t have to block all the punches. Most of them are flinches, and they have the only one goal — to distract you focus and attention from the real punch.
Amateurs boxers have difficulties to see the difference between a flinch and a punch, and the are trying to block everything. The result is predictable, after some time, they are missing the real punch because they already lost too many power, speed and attention.
On a way to become a pro, boxers have to learn to distinguish a flinch from a punch — it is the critical skill to becoming a champion.
In real management, we have a situation, that is very close to the real boxing. Every minute managers receive a flow of punches from bosses, colleagues, clients, emails, phones, Skype etc. And like in a real boxing, most of that punches are flinches. But, If a manager, like an amateur boxer, will try to block (e.g. react/fix) all of them, he, like an amateur boxer will lose his time, energy and attention. And when the real punch comes — he would have not enough resources to block and fix it. Knockdown.
For a boxer, to become a champion, we have to teach him to recognize the difference between flinches and punches. And we have to teach and train our managers with the same skill.
Maybe, boxing should be a necessary part of a standard management training program (I am joking).
But, at least, we need to create a “boxing training equivalent” for managers — with flinches, real punches and the real pain (not necessarily physical) if you missed the punch. A real manager, just like a real boxer, has to fill the pain from a real punch. He has to train and fight a lot to learn the difference between a flinch and a punch to become a manager-pro.
And if we want to grow managers-champions, we need to train and teach them how to wake up after the hardest knockdowns.
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