What 'Shark Tank' investor Robert Herjavec learned from legendary UFC fighter Georges St. Pierre
"Beyond the Tank"/ABC
It's why he often finds parallels between sports and business, using lessons from one to benefit the other.
Herjavec once learned a particularly valuable lesson after meeting Georges St. Pierre, the semi-retired, three-time UFC mixed martial arts champion, according to his 2014 book "The Will To Win."
Herjavec says St. Pierre is one of the most interesting people he's ever met, and St. Pierre's approach to training taught him about priorities.
"Power is efficiency," St. Pierre told Herjavec. "It is not necessarily strength or endurance."
St. Pierre competed in the welterweight class, meaning he's not that big of a guy, at about 5 feet 10 inches and 170 pounds. It's not hard to find an athlete who can lift more weight or run further than he can. But it is hard to find someone who could beat him in a fight.
"Georges and other UFC fighters need enough strength to last just five rounds, but more than anything else, they need to draw upon sudden strength at key moments," Herjavec writes. "UFC fighters need training to develop 'fast-twitch' muscles, powerful responses from the body that occur almost before they realize they're needed."
Herjavec saw a useful metaphor in this insight.
Stephen R. Sylvanie/Reuters
An entrepreneur or a veteran business executive can become so focused on developing or maintaining their business that they lose sight of the competition. They may think their product or service is so exceptional that it's all they need to continue growing.
But if they don't also take into account how quickly their competitors can react, they'll be defeated.
"If you have the endurance to reject mediocrity and reach the highest goals you set for yourself, congratulations," Herjavec writes. "And if you develop enough strength for yourself, your team, and your organization to exert the power to get things done, you have achieved a good deal."
"But if," he continues, "you lack the response of fast-twitch muscles, the ability to turn on the power as soon as it's needed instead of mulling over the situation while the opportunity fades, you're handicapping yourself."
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