6 Tips For Women To Beef Up Their Boardroom Game
Making your way up the ranks to boardroom level requires as much commitment, persistence, tenacity and investment in experience as mastering some of the world’s most demanding sports.
Long before Fahmeeda Cassim-Surtee mastered the boardroom game as CEO of DSTV media Sales in South Africa, she made massive headway in the male-dominated world of sport.
In 1994, Cassim-Surtee was the first woman in South Africa to apply for a boxing referee’s licence. Regulations in the country at the time meant Cassim-Surtee was unable to attain the qualification, but she went through all the theory and practice work regardless, earning the respect of her peers and the boxing world as she worked as a commentator for national radio stations.
While many women would shy away from the brute physicality of the boxing ring, Fahmeeda has observed so many bouts that she’s seen some themes that are as relevant for men (and women) in the ring as they are in the boardroom.
1. There’s massive merit in building muscle memory, so that in the heat of a bout, your body knows what to do without you having to think about it. Building muscle memory in business means that you’ll always remember the principles that built your success, and you’ll be able to keep calm in tough times while staying humble in successful ones.
2. Always think one move ahead. Planning your own strategy, and then keeping sight of what the opposition is doing so that you can anticipate their next move is what’s going to win you the round, and the match. Don’t be so focused on what they’re doing that you lose sight of what’s happening in your own corner though!
3. Be on guard! Boxers protect themselves all the time – perhaps even more than they punch – and this is true for pretty much all you do. It doesn’t mean that you should erect a high wall of defence, but is more an encouragement to be aware of what’s going on around you - and taking measures to overcome your own limitations.
4. An accurate shot that finds its mark is better than a heavy shot that misses. This is not just true of boardroom politics – it’s true of every business decision you make. Launching the right product at the right time is so much more powerful than doing so too early or too late, as is making sure that you’ve got all the information you need before you make a decision.
5. Take time for a rest. Every boxing match has breaks between rounds, and boxers take breaks in training too. Taking time out to breathe gives you a chance to stop and regain your perspective in a stressful situation, and gives you the space to plan your strategy for the next bout.
Act with humility. Boxers have to go into the ring knowing they may lose or be embarrassed. It takes guts and humility to set yourself up for failure.
Supplied By: Tribeca Public Relations