Jul 15, 2013

Kings will fall

Us wannabe-managers get flooded by offers for management-courses all the time. There are wonderful things to be learned: how to manage your time (hey, do you actually have any time left, that you would like to manage? What kind of manager are you?).They teach you negotiation skills (if you don't have them, the guy on the other side of the table will always outsmart you - minutes before you even get a chance to have a glance at your cheat-sheet, because as they say 'either you are at the table or you are on the menu'). Oh, and yes, team-building skills (just accept, that nobody wants to be in your team anyway, let alone have you as the leader, if you are not male, extremly handsome, witty, generous, nonchalant and self-confident). There are hundreds such training-camps every year, every place. And they all promise to help you. The more expensive the better.
But they don't. The best they can do, is open your eyes for your weaknesses, tell you some tricks, give you a brush-up at excel-sheet managment of your work life and hand you a box with nifty rules for pretending to be in control.
One thing you have to master before you even start thinking about leading a team, heading an institute, commanding the world: control your temper. If you can't switch your adrenaline-level on and off at will, you are the wrong person.
And there is no better way learning that than playing chess. Playing chess after a round of boxing, that is. Imagine opening a game of chess with an equally smart mate, interrupt that after two minutes for a round of boxing, get back at the chess board, boxing ring, chess board... until one runs out of time or is set check-mate (in chess) or get's knocked out (in the ring). You will have to switch from cold calculations to fiery bouts and back to an all focused brain again and again.
This sport does exist and it is on the rise. It is called chessboxing and it increasingly draws excited crowds all over the world. Started as a form of art by the Berlin based dutch artist Iepe Rubingh it now is in a phase of professionalization through its World Chessboxing Organization. Iepes goal is to have it as part of the Olympic games 2016. All looks like this is absolutely doable. 
But very short term, the film-maker David Bitton hopes to get the first documentary out. He has filmed a shipload of unique material and has the most comprehensive insider view on the competing Chess-Boxing organizations, the development of which is a thriller by its own. Problem is: he needs funding, fast. So please check out his kickstarter campaign. And contribute madly!
Now.

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