Monday, June 20, 2005

Leadership - Are You and Your Company Gym Fighters?


Attended another local fight card Friday night with my son and brother. We had ringside seats compliments of one our local mayor’s.

Most of the fights were competitive but there was one that was just plain boring. I turned to my son and brother and told them “Gym Fighters.” Why are they labeled gym fighters, because of too much cooperation?

Gym Fighters are two boxers from the same club who "only" know each other’s style and don’t really want to show each other up so they go out and box without really trying to win. A “Solo Gym Fighter is one of the best boxer’s in your gym but can’t seem to win any fights outside of the home gym because he concentrates too much on internal competition.

Years ago I tried to explain the concept of “cooperation before competition” as it applies to the business world. Most things in life go wrong because the balance is off too much too one side. As they say “too much of good thing can be a bad thing.”

If your employees are concentrating on battling each other because of ratings and rankings you have destroyed cooperation. If your company functional department heads battle each other over year-end bonuses you have destroyed cooperation.

One VP responded to my comments by telling me that his troops need to be battle ready and if it takes beating the hell out of each other to get in shape, that is what needs to be done. Thanks for the feedback Comrade Stalin.

When you have too much internal competition everyone takes their eye off the target and is “beating the hell out of each other instead of the competition, your competitors. The company has implemented a system with no aim and it won’t allow the employees to compete because they don’t know how and they don’t know who the enemy is; the system has set up their co-workers as the enemy because of the numerical games and goals that are inherent in the system set up by management.

Cooperation is a pre-requisite before competition can take place. Do you want to win the fight or would you rather help your “Team” win the tournament? Chances of you winning your fight increases if you are a good teammate and help your team win the Trophy.

When too much internal competition is allowed to exist in your company or in the boxing ring you will only learn to beat the style of the person sitting next to you, and you will hurt the teams overall effort. By understanding your opponents weaknesses by getting out in the market or watching your competition fight you take that back and move your team in the direction to win, everyone needs to be on the same page striving for the same goals. If the leaders of the company or the gym have no aim or purpose then you might win a few fights, but you will never win the prize.

Team Trophy & Individual Trophy


Anonymous said...

qualityg - interesting how you use boxing to get some of your concepts acrossed to the reader. Unfortunately my company are gym fighters, can I send them to your gym.


qualityg says said...


I have a small gym in my basement, send them over one or two at a time.


Anonymous said...


who is that in the picture?


qualityg says said...



That is qg jr.