Be Willing To Take a Punch And Learn From It

Posted: August 14, 2013 by thoughtsfrommyshelf in Leadership
Tags: , , ,

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I’ll admit that at first glance boxing, Muay Thai, and MMA doesn’t look like much of an art or a science. It looks likes the kind of fist fight that tends to happen on the play ground, men’s locker room, or at a bar. Truth is, the more you know about the actual technique, precision, range, and speed that is takes to successfully land a punch the more you appreciate any form of fighting as a sport. I like to describe fighting as a chess match with punches. But in order to play the game you have to be willing to take a punch.

I encourage students and fighters to ask their training partner why they were such an easy target. I have been taught to ask people to help point out why a particular punch was landing. Was I dropping my hands? Am I opening myself up for counters when I launch an attack? Is my technique flawed? Or is my timing or footwork off?

It could be so many things that lead to why you get hit. You have to be okay with that. It is part of the sport. If you don’t want to get hit, maybe boxing isn’t your sport and the closest you will get to fighting is a couple of Wii nun chucks. But when you get hit you should have the humility and teachability to ask what went wrong.

The same happens in any position of leadership. You are going to do something wrong and a lot of times it feels like catching an overhand from a heavy handed heavyweight. As a leader you can’t just shake it off and act as if making mistakes is okay. You can’t keep fighting a fight where you are letting your opponent land strikes consistently without being able to recover from it.

The best fighters and some of the best rematches and trilogies of all times have involved fighters who have gone back, studied their tapes, and corrected their weaknesses and worked on executing their strengths.

Leaders, you are going to make mistakes. You are going to make decisions that you shouldn’t have made. You are going to fail someone. Are you going to learn from it? Are you going to shrug it off and keep making the same mistake? Or are you going to ask your staff, friends, family, and those closest to you for input so that you can lead better?

Fighters who test their chin by repeatedly taking heavy hits don’t last long. Leaders who repeatedly make poor decisions quickly lose the respect of those under them. Take a punch, but learn from it. Acknowledge a weakness, but seek to strengthen it.

What is one weakness that if changed would have significant impact on those you are leading?

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