There have been several events to occur that last few weeks that could be described by this phrase. However, it was the Rhonda Rousey headline that got my attention. I mean, there is the French tragedy, the issues of free speech on our campuses, and the upcoming Presidential election; all of which is worthy of comment and I am sure I will eventually tackle them. But for now, I want to discuss the Rousey event.
I have to admit I pay little if any attention to UFC. I think it is a barbaric sport, and I find it uncomfortable to watch. However, there are some who enjoy it, and I am not criticizing those folks, just stating my own preference. I exercise my power of choice to turn it off, or not watch it. This is my philosophy about a lot of things. I make my own decisions on what I buy or watch on TV or in the movies.
However, I am always interested when someone is described as dominant, because they are heading for a great fall, especially if they begin to believe what the press writes about them. There is always someone faster and stronger. That may have been what happened with Rousey.
Jason Gay in the WSJ made a comment that I think is very true, “Her aura will be different now –she is no longer indestructible – but this also means we should get to see the good stuff, the fortitude and will you don’t always see when everything’s fun and shiny and the planet seems to spin for you. Now we get to find out what’s really there. Now we learn more about Ronda Rousey and the UFC.”
I agree with Jason Gay’s statement because it is a universal truth. It is not what we are like when things are going well that demonstrates our true character; it is what we do when we fail, or when something bad happens to us that defines us.
In the world of entrepreneurs failure is a reality. Entrepreneurs are like baseball players. In baseball, a batting average of .300 is a good number. Have you ever thought about what that means? That means that 2/3 of the time the batter has failed. However, the batter comes back and tries again. Entrepreneurs are like that they fail but keep on going, at least the entrepreneurs with a sustainable track record.
Therefore, the lesson from Ronda is not that she failed and turned out not to be as dominant as once thought, but coming back and trying harder next time. Maybe! Maybe the lesson is with all of her other endeavors, movies, books, etc., that she has done her job in the UFC arena, and now can go on and raise awareness for something else? I don’t know Ronda Rousey, so I can’t answer that question for her. Only she can!
Now we watch. Obviously if she chooses to pursue a rematch, there will be a lot of money involved. And, other fighters have lost and come back to win, so there is precedence. It is her choice and not ours. Personally, I think she will fight again, and she will be victorious. We’ll see!
Now lets apply this to leadership. Good leaders are like this; they get knocked down, but keep their wits about them, get up and keep moving forward. There may be adjustment, new direction, but they will always move forward. There is a quote from Teddy Roosevelt that I think illustrates this well:
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself for a worthy cause; who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory not defeat.
So Ronda, I hope you rise up and defeat your foes. This will be a great example to the many young people who look up to you. Your foes may be UFC fighters, or it may be new foes in other arenas, but rise up and be victorious. Quiet those “cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat.”
Personally, I want to be one of those folks that tried, failed, tried, but kept on moving forward. Ronda and Teddy thank you for some great lessons. I hope we all get it, and stop the tendency in our society to choose the easy road that is wide and leading to destruction.
And that is my thought for the day!