There’s a principle in boxing that timing beats speed and speed beats power. Whenever I’m up against my sparing partner and I feel less power, and I “try harder” to be more powerful it never ends well. It weakens my power, decreases my speed, and throws my timing way off.
I’ll never outpower someone who is stronger than me. All I can do is back it up and work on my timing and speed (which, to say the least, is tough at my age).
This is how boxing is similar to leadership. Leaders who don’t acknowledge their weakness or insecurity or fear will “try” to be more powerful by using their positional authority. Like in the boxing ring, this won’t end well. As Margaret Thatcher said once, “Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you, you aren’t.”
Leadership, like boxing, is much more about timing than power. When you get promoted, after all, you don’t get more power. You get more accountability.
Like in boxing, work on your timing, your connections, your balance, the fundamentals – and power will naturally follow – through your presence, not your position. “Trying” to be powerful will only weaken you.
My questions for the day:
- What does “timing” mean in your world?
- What would you describe as your fundamentals – that increase your ability to influence?
- How is leadership for you about presence rather than position?