Ronda Rousey illustrates three aspiring personal characteristics


If you are needing some inspiration in your job hunt, your career, or life in general, then soak up some inspiration from the best female and number one pound-for-pound female mixed martial arts (“MMA”) fighter in the world – Ronda Rousey.  Yet, aside from pure and outstanding athletic prowess and performance, Ronda owns mental expertise that you can see in her fights.  The mental part, outside the octagon, provides even more inspiration because in witnessing the mental characteristics, one can emulate the same for one’s own success.


Most, if not all, of Rousey’s fights last only seconds and end in a submission.  And, most of them are online.  Insofar as the fighting, she is highly skilled having won an Olympic medal in judo.  She also trains very hard.  Watching her bouts, it becomes apparent that she is a determined fighter.  She overwhelms her opponents in the first few seconds of the opening round.  Resolute, she meets her opponent head on and immediately consumes her foe.  She either spots an opening or lets her opponent make a mistake and she steps in, envelops her, grapples to an arm bar (with strikes and occasional knees along the way) and the fight is over.  Studying her fight films, while typically only seconds in length, the visual cues provide strikingly obvious conclusions regarding her mental mastery.




First, the ground floor in Ronda’s success is prodigious preparation, and that is an understatement.  At first, one of her trainers did not notice her in the gymnasium.  Over time, he noticed that she was the first one there in the morning and the last one to leave every single, sweat-soaked, combative, aching day.  This is inspiration one – the ability to prepare oneself in the highest levels for performance.  Competition is fierce everywhere.  Image yourself seeking new opportunity in your career.  Over preparation breeds confidence and rockets you to dominate the competition.  A deep and powerful commitment to preparation positions the front-runner.




Second, the absolute, unrestrained, and dominant determination Rousey brings to her matches wills her to victory.  Outside the octagon, she is an actress and fun loving, even playful interviewee.  But when it comes to business, watch her as she walks to the octagon and study her face as she readies to overpower her adversary.  The focused, direct, sheer determination is clearly obvious in her.  Not the slightest hint of doubt is anywhere in her vicinity.  If determination propels winning, Rousey has it in spades.  Once prepared, mental determination is power.  The grasp of this power is further impelled by resolute endurance.




And finally the third mental mastery – fortitude.  Fortitude:  “mental and emotional strength in facing difficulty, adversity, danger, or temptation courageously” (, 2015).  The unrelenting and straightforward pursuit of the goal – leading to supremacy.  This trait is strikingly apparent in Ronda’s demeanor.  Perhaps the most important of these three traits, it is easy to recognize how a strong mental and emotional state leads to the ultimate attainment of any goal.


Master these mental qualities.  Spend more time preparing and no time procrastinating.  Focus on determination and lean out wasteful actions.  Practice fortitude and be strong, never giving up on your objective.



©  Neal Huffman 2015 all rights reserved.

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President Lincoln: Vision


Lincoln (1858) said, “If we could first know where we are, and whither we are tending, we could then better judge what to do, and how to do it”. Even more than his essential trait and skill competencies, Lincoln carefully practiced diversity through his great vision. During the war, Lincoln delegated many policy initiatives to his Cabinet. However, he led the nation and resolutely achieved many goals from the Republican platform. Through his economic leadership, the United States passed the Legal Tender Act, a National Banking Act, a transcontinental railroad via the Pacific Railroad Act, Homestead Acts, and a Land Grant College Act. While leading the nation to the end of a great Civil War, Lincoln shepherded the great vision he always believed in from his early rise in politics to the Presidency. He transformed the nation from subsistence farming to the beginnings of an economic dynamo, all with great care in furthering the common person and providing a chance, an opportunity to better oneself. (Gienapp, 2002)


Tichy (1986) wrote about transformational leadership and a quote seems to speak almost directly on Lincoln when he said, “This vision of the future must be formulated in such a way that it will make the pain of changing worth the effort” (p. 122). As Gienapp (2002) reiterated about Lincoln, “…his leadership demonstrated the combination of resolute ends and flexible means that would be the hallmark of his presidency” (p. 92). Reinforced by Tichy (1986):

The essence of transformational leadership is the capacity to adapt means to ends—to shape and reshape institutions and structures to achieve broad human purposes and moral aspirations…the secret of transforming leadership is the capacity of leaders to have their goals clearly and firmly in mind, to fashion new institutions relevant to those goals, to stand back from immediate events and day-to-day routines and understand the potential and consequences of change. (p. 187)

At the height of his political life (Abe was cut short on leading the nation through the Reconstruction) Abraham Lincoln was stopped by an assassin’s bullet. Nevertheless, Lincoln’s leadership, morals, values, vision, and immense skill saved the United States from certain disaster. In preserving the Union and abolishing the abhorrent practice of slavery, Abraham Lincoln guided the country to a noble place in history.




Galbraith, J.K. (1977). In The age of uncertainty. In R. Andrews, M. Biggs, & M. Seidel, et al. (1996). The Columbia World of Quotations. Search by “leadership.” Number: 24326. Retrieved November 2, 2004, from

Gienapp, W.E. (2002). Abraham lincoln and civil war america a biography. New York: Oxford.

Keneally, T. (2003). Abraham lincoln. New York: Penguin.

Lincoln, A. (n.d.). In Six months at the white house (Carpenter, 1867). In Respectfully quoted: A dictionary of quotations requested from the congressional research service. Platt, S., (ed.) (1989). Search by “Abraham Lincoln.” Number: 110. Retrieved November 8, 2004, from

Lincoln, A. (1858). In The collected works of abraham lincoln. (Basler, 1953). In Respectfully quoted: A dictionary of quotations requested from the congressional research service. Platt, S., (ed.) (1989). Search by “Abraham Lincoln.” Number: 936. Retrieved November 8, 2004, from

Tichy, N.M., & DeVanna, M.A. (1986). The transformational leader. New York: John Wiley.



© Neal Huffman 2015 all rights reserved



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Political Acumen

Lincoln was not afraid of politics. In fact he was aggressive in politics. Much of Abe’s style depended on politics. As Gienapp (2002) stated about Lincoln and the political system, “he adopted its premises, formed his identity in conjunction with it, molded his outlook and behavior accordingly…” (p. 29). In turmoil over slavery, banking, and war the Republicans depended on Abe and he managed to hold the party together even winning elections in war time.

Abraham recognized the different aspects of leadership in politics. He knew when to use different supporting, delegating, directing, and coaching styles to accomplish objectives. (Gienapp, 2002) Ultimately, Abraham knew the limits of his power, yet the importance of his character. Lincoln said, “I do the very best I know how—the very best I can; and I mean to keep doing so until the end” (Lincoln, n.d., n.p.).

In politics, Lincoln was adroit in the use of power. Equally deft in using coercive and reward power, he would tactfully reward devotees with government positions and loyal mentoring. However, Abe never hesitated to use persuasion in speeches, directives, and personal will in confronting obstacles to his goals. In 1800’s politics, Abraham cultivated connection power in Whig and later Republican platform goals. However, Abe relied most on his expertness, personal reference, and the ability to dispose accurate and reliable information on positions. (Gienapp, 2002)



© Neal Huffman 2015 all rights reserved


dog on a hydrant

dog on a hydrant

Not Constantly Learning and Unlearning

Once the critical steps of awareness that change happens, monitoring change, and anticipating change are realized, then another core principle is far easier to deal with. Adaptation is the primary means of dealing with change. The adaptation stage means taking new actions to fulfill new objectives. Outflanking fear with planning, action, and positive vision, change can be used to advantage. (Johnson, 1998)

In order to better manage change, knowledge and behaviors must be weighed for their positive and negative effects. Those behaviors and actions that positively influence adaptation to change must be retained. While those behaviors and actions that negatively affect adaptation must be forgotten, unlearned, and released. To learn, to accept new successful knowledge and behaviors is important. However, at least as equally as important is the ability to recognize bad behaviors and unlearn hindering or detrimental actions. (de Holan, 2004)

© 2013 Neal Huffman all rights reserved