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Shark V Tiger

Published: Sep 07 , 2017
Author: Alan Smith

You may remember, or have kids that do, the magnificent game Top Trumps. It was a card game popular with kids’ in the 1970s and 1980s, especially amongst pre-teens, for whom it was a widespread playground pastime. The subjects covered included military hardware, modes of transport, racing cars and predators. The packs of cards tended to be priced so that children could collect out of their pocket money.

They also played to kids' fascination with competition. My own son was particularly fascinated with the predator cards. One memorable imagined battle was who would win in a fight between a shark and a tiger.

This came back into my mind as I watched the big money fight between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor in one of the most eagerly awaited and highest earning fights in boxing history. Not sure which was the tiger and which the shark, but in their own fields they are both significant predators.

Floyd Mayweather beat Conor McGregor in Las Vegas, on Sunday morning claiming his 50th victory and maintaining his unbeaten record.

McGregor had been written off before the fight, but the Irishman surprised many of his critics with a largely professional display, taking the fight to 10 rounds.

Whilst McGregor got off to a flying start, throwing a series of punches at the 40-year-old and scoring a few early points, he was perhaps inevitably beaten by a technical knockout in the 10th round.

McGregor is a champion at Mixed Martial Arts, the largely brutal, anything-goes (except gouging and small joint manipulation!!!) sport, but he was outclassed in the ring by the much more disciplined and canny Mayweather.

I am occasionally asked the question about who would ‘win’ in a negotiation between a professional negotiator or a gifted amateur. Whilst the concept of a “win” in negotiation is different (an ideal situation, unlike in a fight is where both parties can at least claim some degree of victory) and the relative power and alternatives of the two parties have a lot to play in the outcome.

The reality is that the more comfortable that the negotiator is in that environment and the greater the skill set, honed by focused preparation, correct practice and repetition, the more likely they are to achieve their objectives.

Coached training and practice is the best way of achieving this.

Best not to get into the ring without it.


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Alan Smith

About the author:

Alan Smith
My background is marketing and advertising. After graduating in Economics I entered the agency world to become, at 28, MD of London's largest independent below-the-line marketing provider.

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“When it comes to the qualifications we demand of our president, to start with, we need someone who will take the job seriously.” Michelle Obama. Don’t stop reading - this blog is not about Donald Trump. In the run up to the election of a new Labour Party Leader 4 years ago, the four candidates were invited by LBC radio to quiz each other. You can see the questions to Jeremy Corbyn here. There are two points of note. Firstly, when asked if he wants to be Prime Minister he ducks the question several times, instead referring to the ideological changes he wants to make within the Labour Party. Secondly when asked about his qualifications and experience to be leader of a major political party his answer is objectively underwhelming – before being an MP, he says, he had been a local councillor for 10 years. I don’t think it is difficult to relate those answers in 2015 to the current divided state of the Labour Party.

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