[Leading Minds Academy] Are you ready for this challenge?

Are you ready for this challenge?

Turning everyday executives into corporate warriors! Companies are taking a leaf from martial arts mental conditioning techniques in today’s cut- throat business arena.

Everyday executives are being turned into corporate warriors in the latest techniques to help companies in today’s cut-throat business arena.

Executive coach and martial arts practitioner, Jacob Galea firmly believes that ancient techniques can be taken from the battlefield to the boardroom to train tomorrow’s leaders today. His company is training ‘Unstoppable Corporate Warriors’ to fight battles in the current financial crisis.

“Amid the current economic recession, doing business is like fighting a martial arts bout,” says Jacob, Director of G-Corp Consulting. “As on the battlefield of war, it is survival of the fittest.”

Jacob’s Sydney-based Executive Coaching Practice has been built to ensure that all ambitious executives have the chance to be trained and mentored in key areas, so that everyone can live their lives to the highest standards, with no limits.

“With the help of our amazing mind power techniques, people are being coached to become unstoppable warriors. They learn that they can do anything in their lives. It is powerful and confidence boosting, and is an invaluable asset for senior executives and their teams to help them prepare for the challenges ahead in the coming financial year and onwards.

“Our coaching teaches them to approach life with the same precision as those military commanders and martial arts experts who set the ground rules for the warlords of ancient China,” Jacob explains.

“According to the definitive sixth century book on Chinese military strategies and tactics, The Art of War, teaches that in ‘chaos and confusion, there is opportunity’,” Jacob says. “And there are vast opportunities for alert, aware and appropriately prepared businesses, amid the chaos and confusion of the current financial meltdown.

“The principles laid out by ancient martial arts expert, Sun Tzu 15 centuries ago are still relevant in boardrooms today.”

For executive success in the battlefields of the global financial crisis and the toughest economic conditions Australia has faced in decades, Jacob has a five-point plan.

He firmly believes that a combination of health and fitness, learning how to concentrate your mind to intimidate your opponent, getting to know your competition, perseverance through the pain of setbacks and specialised training and coaching, are the key to ultimate success.

Below, Jacob elaborates on his five-point plan for winning in business.

1] Health and fitness

This is the crucial platform. Can you imagine going into a martial arts contest on the back of three hours’ sleep and a diet of fast food? That spells certain failure – because your opponent will be mentally and physically fitter. It’s exactly the same in business. Too many senior executives spend all day, every day at work with irregular meals and sleep patterns. At best, that leaves them exhausted. At worst, they are heart-attack material.

The first step to business success is to make sure you and your team are fit and healthy. Instead of organising another meeting to fill the gap in the diary, senior executives should take an hour each day for relaxing and where there are no meetings or interruptions. For the rest of the staff, do something that encourages their fitness and well being. Why not put a bowl of fruit at the front desk for everyone? Eating fruit is much healthier than going to the local coffee shop for a sugar-laden muffin a couple of times a day.

2] Concentrate your mind, intimidate your opponent

Martial arts experts teach that before training or an actual conflict, it is necessary to focus on what you really want from the encounter. Set specific, realistic and achievable goals. In the same way, the start of the business year is the ideal opportunity to establish individual and team goals. This way your staff will know exactly what’s expected of them. With such preparation, your opponents can be easily distracted.

Muhammad Ali, one of the greatest boxers of the last 50 years, is a perfect example. He was completely focused on winning his fights, but also made sure he intimidated his opponents. By the time they both entered the ring, Ali knew exactly what he wanted and how he would achieve it. His opponents were agitated and distracted by his antics and dropped their guard. Why don’t we do this in business so we can be outstanding from the others?

3] Know your competition

Armies spend years gathering intelligence about their opponents before they launch an attack. They know how many soldiers, aircraft, artillery and tanks they’re up against. Similarly, before a martial arts bout, you find out everything possible about your opponent. What are their favourite attacking moves and their weaknesses?

You wouldn’t embark on a military campaign or walking onto the martial arts mat without any information regarding your opponent. You’d be beaten before you’d landed a blow. However, I am constantly amazed by the number of senior executives who are actually unable to identify their main competition and haven’t done proper research about the opponent. It is vital to find out everything you can about your opponent – their clients, their products, their sales force, their strategies and tactics. Then, once you’ve got it, attack their weaknesses.

4] Pain control and perseverance

In battle and martial arts, there will be pain and setbacks. But you have to learn to manage the pain and the only way to achieve that is by experiencing the pain. You might get a fierce blow in the ribs, but you learn to soldier on. It is the same in business. There will be setbacks, but you cannot be deterred. Senior executives have to be strong enough to weather the storm of the downturn, learn the lessons and adjust the business to make it stronger.

In sales, few people enjoy cold calling and after a couple of knockbacks, the vast majority are quite happy to turn it in. No one likes that sense of personal rejection. So, what do you do, give up? No, you have to confront the situation and train yourself to persevere even though you’ve taken some pain. Your next blow may be the knockout punch. The next cold call may bring in vital new business.”

5] Training and coaching

“Imagine an army or martial arts expert going into battle without any training or coaching. It would be madness. So why do businesses expect to be successful when they don’t give senior executives adequate training or coaching? Especially during economic downturn, training and coaching is not an expense, but rather an investment in the future success of your business. Executives with finely honed skills and a thirst for the battle are far more likely to lead their business army into a successful campaign.

Preparation, focus, discipline, determination and the will to win, they are all key factors in successful military campaigns, martial arts battles, and most of all, in our daily business arena. Training your executives and staff with the precision and discipline of an army or a martial arts expert will help you create and take the opportunities to build your business, even when economic times are tough.

joseph ferrone