Mindfulness is deeply needed in one particular area of life - at work. As a team, we’re curating leading experts in mindful work to gather at our series “Work Mindfully.” This week we had the pleasure of meeting with George Foreman III. George combines his experience as a professional boxer, boxing trainer, business manager for his father George Foreman Sr, as the founder of EverybodyFights boxing club, and a number of incredible entrepreneurial endeavors. See George’s full bio below.
I had the pleasure of working for George when he led EverybodyFights. George is such an incredible example of a mindful leader. He takes the time to sit down with every employee, find out how happy you are working for his organization, and dig into the big picture questions.
George shared some incredible takeaways during our conversation that we thought you might enjoy taking with you throughout your career:
1. Conflict is an opportunity for growth. George and I discussed an example of a difficult email exchange the two of us had a little over a year ago. He shared some incredible advice about facing conflict in the workplace. Any time you are facing resistance of any kind, you have the opportunity to better understand your colleagues. Stay curious about their perspective, and try to understand the why behind your disagreement. If you stay open minded, you can actually learn to create even more mutual respect, and a stronger, more open dialogue during future conversations.
2. Mindfulness and meditation can look different for everyone. Growing up, George’s mom had a meditation room in their home. She opened up her children to mindfulness, meditation, mantra, and spirituality as young kids. This sparked in George a curiosity about mindset, performance, and how everyone can work in different ways to achieve their highest potential. Although George said his meditation isn’t a “typical” seated practice, he still remembers and practices the mantra he received when he was only 5 years old from the guru that his mother introduced him to.
3. Rejection can lead you to new areas of expansion. During our discussion, we talked extensively about rejection and hearing “no.” I loved one particular point that George brought up - “if someone tells you your idea/company isn’t great, there’s a chance it may not be.” This is so honest. George mentioned that your determination to bring this idea to life will carry you through the hardest moments of work and or entrepreneurship. If you can extract once piece of feedback from every conversation that involves rejection or negative feedback, you can turn a weak idea into an incredibly strong one with patience and determination.
4. Preparation is key. When asked about what boxing taught George about being a leader, he said, without hesitation, “I learned how important it is to be prepared.” Someone will always have more experience than you. Someone will always have more knowledge than you. If you can be the most prepared in the room, you can continue to surprise folks throughout your career and earn trust in a professional setting.
5. Listen more than you talk. We have two ears and one mouth for a reason. George talked about the importance of asking questions, and taking the time to listen carefully in any particular situation at work. When we understand one another, we can better support each other as colleagues.
Which one’s your favorite?
George Foreman III
A consumer products executive turned undefeated pro boxer, George retired early in 2012 to start EverybodyFights (EBF) boxing gyms. In just six years EBF grew to 12 locations across 5 states, winning best luxury gym in Boston five years in a row and amassing more registered USA amatuer boxers than any single gym in the country. EBF was a luxury group fitness club that strived to unite people through boxing, fitness, and giving back to the community by supporting fighters and charities in need. Before starting EBF, George trained 30+ amateur boxers and multiple Golden Glove champions out of the George Foreman Youth Center. He learned first hand from his father, George Foreman Sr. who is a two-time world heavyweight champion and Olympic gold medalist.
Still in stealth mode, George’s newest venture launches in May 2021 and is the culmination of all his past experiences giving him the opportunity to fully leverage his passion, expertise, and relationships in boxing, fitness, tech, and consumer goods. Broadly his vision is to deliver an authentic and transformational training experience, while developing & growing a global digital community focused on supporting people on their journey to optimal emotional health and self-actualization.