Posts Tagged ‘Coaching’

Leaders Can Learn A Lot From Boxing

Posted: August 12, 2013 by thoughtsfrommyshelf in Leadership
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There are lessons that we learn in one area of our life that can translate and change the way we act in other areas of our life. Lessons that make and shape who we are. It is my conviction that leaders are not born leaders they are developed. In the same way that I believe that the best fighters who have won belts were not born champions- they worked hard to become the fighters they are in the ring.

As I have been reading books on leadership, I have seen the same character traits in great fighters. As I have read books on coaching leaders, I have seen the same tips applied by hall of fame corner men. As I have read about developing leaders and what to avoid in building them, I have admired the leadership of some coaches and have been able to see the flaws made in the corner of my favorite fighters.

A lot of people want to be leaders. The problem is that not all leaders want to ask the question, “Am I doing all that I can to become the person I need to be in order to be a great leader?” Having been a fighter, a cornerman, and now a director of a campus ministry my hope is not only to share lessons I have learned but to envision leaders to be men and women of conviction, character, and competence.

So what’s the starting point? Well, in order to become a fighter you have to join a gym and surround yourself with people who will get you where you want to go. In the same way, leaders grow in their conviction by listening to others. You become a better fighter when someone comes alongside you and pushes you beyond the limits you set for yourself. My hope is that this becomes a series of blogpost that serves as a form of instruction, encouragement, and correction.

For the next couple of weeks…welcome to the gym!


My Brother, trainer, and corner man- Sergio Cabrera


Reading Andy Stanley’s, Next Generation Leader, was like being with a leaders leader. He knew the challenges, temptations, problems, and decisions that need to be made. What was most encouraging was his tone and humble example. He didn’t write as someone who has it all figured out. He wrote this book as someone who has learned lessons along the way and felt compelled to tell others.

Though this book has 5 strong sections for leadership, I found three to be specifically helpful. I have heard about the competency of the leader and the character that should go with it, but I had never heard someone clearly articulate the need for courage, clarity, and coaching.

Stanley knows that leaders are placed in situations that seem uncertain to everyone. The goal is not creating, or persuading others that you know what to do. The role of a leader is to have clarity in the midst of uncertainty so that everyone knows exactly what he or she is to be doing. Uncertainty is familiar ground to the leader. In places where the path is certain, there is no need for leadership. Unchartered ground is the ground in which a leader is identified or disqualified for being capable of leading. Leaders need to be clear in the direction they give to people who follow them

Being willing to stand in the middle of uncertain ground isn’t that difficult. Leading others with clear direction is. How are you sure that they will get through? How do you know that the course you are taking is the best? Well…you don’t know. That is the reason why leaders need courage. They need the courage to be willing to own up to whatever is the result of their leadership. Leaders need to have the courage to say no to initiatives that seem promising, facing a reality that may be difficult for any organization, and they need the courage to dream big. Leadership not only needs a clear direction, it needs a leader with the courage to take them there.

With clarity, courage, competence, and character there seems to be little missing from a pretty good arsenal of tools to pull from in leadership. Leaders who rely on their own evaluation set themselves up for stagnation. Without a leadership coach a leader will only accomplish what they measure as success. Stanley believes that, “[Leaders] have a tendency to measure ourselves against the people around us. They become our point of reference. A good coach will evaluate your performance against your potential”. A leadership coach will push you to exceed the goals that you set for yourself by pushing your performance capacity.

All of the five characteristics mentioned in this book come together in coaching. You need to have character that makes you teachable. It requires humility and courage to have someone speak into your life. The more eyes on your leadership, the clearer your direction, mission, and vision will become. The clearer your direction becomes, the more competent you will be in leading those who follow you. You will become a leader worth following by the humility displayed in your leadership.

Have you ever thought about getting coaching for your leadership? Have you ever received coaching for your leadership? If you did, have you seen benefits to having someone help you?