Like a punch in the face

leadership mindset Jun 28, 2021

Like a punch in the face. 

That’s what the pandemic has felt like at times yes? And I would know. I’ve been punched in the face. 

I used to be a boxer (first kick-boxing, then boxing for more than a decade).  As things start to re-open, I feel like we have ducked another punch (for now).  

I also turned another corner on Friday - After two consecutive terms, it was my last day as a Director on the Board of Boxing Canada.  Amateur boxing has so many things to offer people of all ages. The sport has taught me many valuable lessons that I have carried with me into my professional career.  In looking back, I sum it up into these top seven: 

  1. Fight your fight.  The real competition is yourself. Aim to be better than you were yesterday.  Be aware and adapt to external forces but always follow your own game plan.   
  2. It’s ok to lick your wounds after a defeat. There is no shame in failure. Review the tale of the tape and understand what you need to improve next time. 
  3. Conversely, be gracious in victory. Today was your day. Tomorrow might not be. No one is as hungry as the wolf climbing the hill. 
  4. Sometimes your game plan doesn’t go as planned. Like Mike Tyson famously said, “We all have a strategy until we get punched in the face”.  Adapt on the fly. Don’t stick to something that’s not working. 
  5. Sometimes you need to plant your feet (to throw and absorb big punches) and other times you need to be nimble and on your toes.  In business, this taught me to think long-term (plant my feet when it matters) but know that I might need to pivot a few times on the way there. 
  6. You must deflect a few jabs in order to land the counter punch. Be patient. Not every opportunity is worth pursuing. Plan your punches. 
  7. Most importantly, I learned that I can step into any ring with the right mix of preparedness and guts.   

My hats off to the trailblazing elite female coaches and officials and our warrior female athletes on the National team heading to the Olympics.  I will continue to be in your corner and a champion for women stepping into any ring of their choosing. 



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