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George Foreman’s right hook

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in Leaders & Managers,Workplace Communication

After George Foreman lost a fight to Jimmy Young in 1977, Foreman developed a strong religious belief. He left the ring for a decade because he believed it was immoral to try to harm another human being.

During that time, he founded youth centers where he trained young boxers. “I’d try to show them they didn’t need anger,” Foreman states. “They didn’t need all that killing instinct they’d read about.”

That discovery allowed Foreman to compete again, but without hatred. He determined that it would be immoral to “throw a punch to someone who wasn’t a boxer, who wasn’t in the ring, and who didn’t have on a pair of boxing gloves and who hadn’t been trained.”

But when training with a willing boxer, “we’d get in the ring and hit one another in the eye and laugh, ‘I got you that time!’ And they’d just say, ‘I’ll get you next time.’ There was never a punch in anger. We’d hug before the fight and afterward.”

Lesson: Experiment with Foreman’s mindset. Compete aggressively, yet positively.

— Adapted from “George Foreman’s Second Chance,” an interview available online at

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