Our love of martial arts and fighting sports is second only to our frugality (and soccer, but soccer is not a sport, it is as essential as oxygen and food). We compromised our frugality on December 30, 2016 to watch UFC 207. The family is fans of Ronda Rousey. I know some people find her arrogant and cocky. We love her winning attitude and her willingness to promote that attitude to women everywhere. She has truly been a pioneer for all women’s sports, not just mixed martial arts. Women sports are finally being recognized, and Ms. Rousey is one of the pioneers. Thank you Ronda for being an inspiration to my daughter. Despite my gratitude, $59.99 still seemed like a lot of money to watch people fight, especially when you can watch fights free on Friday nights when the campus bars close.
Here are some of my post-fight observations and how they relate to business.
- Prepare “correctly”- Rousey was obviously extremely fit and focused, but it did not appear that she was prepared for the abilities Amanda Nunes brought to the Octagon. As a business owner or a potential borrower, it is so important to track the RIGHT measurable, not just the ones that are most convenient. Ronda looked prepared to run a race or win a “push up” contest. Unfortunately, she seemed woefully unprepared to actually block a punch. Preparing a parachute when you are taking a cruise is not the best strategy for near term survival. It is wise to ensure the life raft floats and the oars are available. Preparation is so important, but a waste of time if you are not preparing for right things. Would you create a speech on automotive repair if the audience was expecting a talk on risk analysis? The right preparation is critical to success.
- Be flexible- It really appeared that the Rousey strategy was “I have always won with judo, why should I learn anything else?” Unfortunately, for judo to work you have to be able to get your hands on the opponent. And continually getting hit in the face can destroy any motivation you might have to get close enough to execute a judo throw. Doing things the way they have always been done does not allow for any adaptations to changes in the environment. Failure to adapt will always lead to overall failure, be it in business or in the fight game. It didn’t seem that Ronda spent any time learning anything new. Everything must, over time, evolve or cease to exist.
- Never lead with your chin- Ronda literally led with her chin. It was proudly jutting out as if she was hoping to hurt Nunes’ fist with her face. This mistake probably originated from both poor preparation and hubris. We discussed preparing correctly above. Overconfidence and poor preparation will always lead to a knock out. Hubris and poor preparation can open the window for an opponent to land the right “punch” and can literally and figuratively “turn the lights” in any endeavor.
- Be wary of people only bearing good news- It appeared that Rousey’s trainers were only telling her what she wanted to hear. Why wouldn’t they? She has made them a lot of money. It can become hard to tell the “Empress” that she is not wearing clothes. If someone would have told Rousey that your striking defense stinks and you need to learn jiu jitsu to supplement your judo, she might very well still be undefeated. It is becomes easy to accuse people of being negative if they don’t immediately support a decision. Often times, brutal honesty is an organization’s best friend. If Ronda Rousey had a few more people in her camp willing to tell her the brutal truth, she might be the new champion. Do not dismiss those that do not immediately “tow the company line.”