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Become a Better Leader ‘Boxer and his FIGHT’

Become a Better Leader  ‘Boxer and his FIGHT’
Malakai Marama beats Robin Hazelman in the Kiran Boxing Promotions at Tilak High School in Lautoka early this year Photo: Waisea Nasokia.
July 15
11:00 2017

Today’s leaders must be like the best boxers such as Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson and others like them and I say this because in the game of boxing what matters is “NOT THE BOXER INSIDE THE FIGHT but THE ‘FIGHT’ INSIDE THE BOXER.

A great boxer is someone who does not give up easily and will still stand up fearlessly to his opponent despite being ‘KNOCKED DOWN’ more than even once.

It is that ‘FIGHT’ or what one would also call the DETERMINATION as well as PERSEVERANCE to NEVER GIVE UP that has seen some of the greatest boxers eventually win the boxing match despite losing the initial rounds.

Similarly, as a global corporate trainer and leadership coach for various senior management teams across many and different sized organisations I have, in many of my Training and Leadership Seminars, seen and have also met the those leaders from the corporate world who have demonstrated the same attitude of determination and ‘FIGHT’ inside them whenever they faced failures, tough challenges or crisis situations!

For all my friends and readers of this column please understand that the act of failure as well as the accomplishment of success is an integral part of professional as well as personal growth.

Having said this it is in the specific times of failures when your managerial abilities and leadership competencies will be truly and thoroughly tested.

If you get bogged down and depressed by failures and decide to give up easily then that itself could slow down the rise in your career and may also become a stumbling block in your future success.

I therefore believe that if you are presently working as an executive or a new recruit in any organisation and have aspirations to rise and become a team leader or even a successful manager then it is vital that you develop the mental strength and positive attitude especially to deal with situations of Pitfalls and failures namely situations when you may not achieve your targets or objectives set by yourself or by your boss!

Whenever you face a failure or a challenging scenario I would like to present to you a few actions that you should remember and execute to help you successfully handle the failure and even learn from it.


I have stated these actions below:-

n First and foremost you must develop the strength in your attitude to boldly accept and not deny that the failure has actually happened. I say this because there are many who try to avoid accepting the reality of a failure.

n Avoid blaming others and take responsibility for the failure or mistake if you know that you have been at fault. Great leaders don’t play the ‘blame game’ and do not waste their time in shirking their responsibilities. A good leader takes the blame and immediately focusses on resolving the failure or crisis.

n You must swiftly begin the process of ROOT-CAUSE- ANALYSIS. This means that you must start finding the “TRUE REASONS’ for why the failure has happened. In this process of identifying and recognizing the causes or reasons for the failure you could and even should invite the cooperation from your colleagues whenever you feel the need for it.

n Be ‘OPEN’ to receiving Criticism and Negative feedback. Many employees do not like being criticised or being given negative feedback even if it is justified or done with the right and honest intention and hence they never learn from the mistakes. Remember although there may be a multitude of negative and even demoralising comments or feedback related to your failure what is important to note is that among all those comments there will a few comments or observations that could be constructive and helpful for you to improve for your future. Hence please be open to receiving criticism or negative feedback. All that you will have to do is become smart and learn to learn from what others have to say!

n ‘PLAN B’ Activation. Always be prepared for a failure even though you may be extremely confident that the failure will never happen. As part of the ‘preparation’ it is therefore extremely necessary for creating a contingency plan or what I would like to call as the PLAN B.

The Plan B needs to be activated if and when the PLAN A unfortunately fails.

I could explain this with a concise example. Ravin was a sales executive with a biscuit manufacturing company and was looking after a particular region in terms of selling the biscuits.

Initially he was able to sell biscuits more than the targets that were set for him but gradually he realized that some of the other competitors started selling more and his sale very quickly began declining.


However he had his plan B ready.

He first did the Root-Cause-Analysis and found out why the biscuits of his competitors were selling more and subsequently realized that the reason was that their prices had been reduced considerably.

Ravin knew that he was not in the position to take decisions about price reduction and his bosses had also told him that price reduction was not possible as it would substantially bring down their NET PROFITS.

Ravin therefore activated his own PLAN B and this was to offer a small toy for kids along with every biscuit packet.

He knew of a company which was keen on selling small but good quality toys and were looking for some sort of a partner to sell their products.

Ravin negotiated with the toy company and reached an agreement.

His bosses were pleased at this and gave him a Go –Ahead.

Within just two weeks of this unique offer to the customers not only did the sales steadily pick up but eventually rose much beyond the expected targets.

Ravin could have chosen to get depressed and demotivated looking at the declining sale of the biscuits but he made a different choice which was to ‘awaken the FIGHT within him and stand up to present a tough fight to his competitors and eventually win it too.

From Ravin’s example we also understand that leaders need to awaken the qualities of Innovation and Creativity in their attitude so that it helps them to develop new and positive IDEAS!

Remember my friends, the real test of a successful leader is the way and manner in which he RESPONDS and FIGHTS off his failure rather than buckle under it.

The TEAM LEADER hence must develop the attitude of Courage and Fortitude and also the strength to accept the fact that failure is an excellent stepping stone to success.

Initial disappointments after a failure or a pitfall are extremely natural and part of human nature.

However what is important is that we develop the attitude to rise up again and continue our journey towards accomplishing our professional goals and targets.

That’s what the great boxers do inside the ring, they awaken the FIGHT inside them and that is what we should also do outside the ring!!!


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