Sometimes what we get is life lessons.


Often I am in awe of the things people are able to accomplish personally and professionally. A soldier turned actor, an NFL player turned Congressional Representative, a high school drop out turned doctor, a bartender turned boxer. All possible to accomplish; yet, when someone sees these individuals the initial perception of who they are may only be based upon their job title and the visual image that is presented.

Every employee, every friend, every family has a back story that sometimes is not shared. The back story grows and grows until it becomes public knowledge. This is also true for a group of twelve individual bartenders in New York City (NYC) from a variety of backgrounds with similar goals - to train. These bartenders were picked by the Bartender Boxing Organization to train as part of a three-month intensive training regimen for bartenders across the United States that culminated in boxing matches for the participants on November 19, 2017 in NYC.

The New York bartender team trained at the Gleason Gym in the DUMBO section of Brooklyn, NY. Gleason's was originally founded in the Bronx in 1937 and has changed locations several times since opening. Gleason's has trained world recognized fighters that include Roberto Duran, Jake LaMotta, and Hector Camacho.

The participants of the program learned life skills strategies such as diligence in what they do personally and professionally. The program taught discipline, focus, and the importance of a routine.

Within the routine, one must examine what they are eating physically and mentally. After a two hour workout what is a person to eat? Like many, I would grab a bag of Doritos or Veggie Chips. Yet, is it worth it? After workouts many people are physically hungry. It is easy to go grab a Tasteykake or something from a gas station or corner Bodega in NYC on the way home to temporarily fill your stomach - easy peazy. Yet, is it worth it? Quick carb loads only last so long and you end up back where you started - Hungry.

Eating mentally is about how you feed your soul and spirit. Are you speaking negatively to yourself; boxing with the person in the mirror? Are you overly hard on yourself when you swing and do not connect with your opponent in the business world or in your workout? Eating mentally is a process of business carb. A process that is used to attempt quick fixes to an organization or system. The mental dinner on the table smells like success; yet, is it true success?

In order to create psychological wins for firms, consultants must collaborate with their clients to create individual and organizational resiliency. How we feed our own and client's spirits, train for the next business round of competition, and how we choose to act within personal and professional areas distinctly impacts an organization and the success of the organization long term. External perceptions impact client buy-in to the process of change and how firms compete in their industry. There are no quick fixes.

Quick fixes are when firms write a statement of work that does not include the true issues. Only and overview in the hopes that the consulting firm will buy into the process stated. Yet, what may occur is that firms actually are short changing their own process and opportunities for growth.

Other firms may not look for quality. The firm may attempt to hire "cheap" consultants with the expectation that the consultant will arrive at the organization and perform miracles. Yet, the "cheap" consultant may not have the required education and training to perform anything close to a miracle. Rather, the organizational "miracle" may be only to go into the firm, look around, and leave. Bam!!!! Problem solved!!! Or is it?

The reality is that in life and business there are no quick fixes. It takes development of an agreed upon strategic approach to create individual and systemic change. The key to strategic change is the use of strategies within limits. Just as in boxing there is only so much a fighter can do to win a match. It is all in the preparation and research of the opponent and the coaching received.

Why a boxing metaphor?

Boxing, beyond exercise at a local gym, has distinct lessons for employees of an organization. Boxers review video footage of their competition while developing strategies to counter an opponents typical behaviors in the ring. Just as in business, boxers examine their competitors for their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) in order to overcome and win the boxing matches. Boxing is like a strategic examination of the business competition in your field.

The sport teaches unique life lessons to participants. These include strategic management, determination, drive, understanding and most of all resiliency. Boxers learn to react on the "fly" while making instantaneous decisions during a match and workout. Very similar to some of businesses' own pressure situations.

One of the hardest lessons in business is to give credit to our business rivals when a firm creates a strategic win. It is like getting hit in the eye during a boxing workout. You know you got hit; yet, the reality is that you could get angry and throw a tantrum like a two year old. Or you can learn from the loss and grow your corporation to the next level.

This process of business losses and wins creates a sense of being humble and learning to lose. Anyone can win; when you win you are on the top. Yet, how you lose is just more important. The firm's actions in business loss of a contract, a client, or revenue stream will define how the industry perceive a firm's strengths and prey upon their weaknesses in business. Sometimes, how we lose is like a child on a tantrum. It is about self examination and learning about ourselves that creates a learning experience and forward movement. There are times that a business simply needs to accept loss graciously, learn from the process, and move on to the next opportunity.

The fights.

On November 19, 2017, the bartenders took to the ring at Stage 48 in New York City. The New York City boxers were paired with other boxers from Chicago to determine superiority in the Association. Yet, the overall lesson in the fights was the development of team building skills, leadership, and camaraderie between the various Bartenders from different cities.

It is recommended that you not skip out on your bar tab with these bartenders. They are prepared for the next round with clients. Are you?

To view the fights please copy the link below. All information in the videos is the property of the Bartender's Boxing Association. It is provided as an entertainment link.

#boxing #strategicmanagement #creatingwins #lifelessons #SWOT #resiliency

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