My Journey from Boxing Ring to Boardroom: 5 Virtues for Life and Leadership

Far more than a business memoir, From Boxing Ring to Boardroom follows Héctor Colón from his challenging childhood through his international boxing success to his current position as CEO of one of the Midwest’s largest nonprofit organizations. A true servant leader, Héctor shares the lessons and virtues he learned from his boxing career, his business career and his strong connection with God:

  • Magnanimity – striving for greatness
  • Humility – putting others first
  • Courage – willing to take risks
  • Perseverance – never giving up
  • Temperance – practicing restraint

Learn about Héctor’s actionable and powerful approach to living and leading. His compelling story will resonate with young people, as well as entrepreneurs, leaders, and those looking for hope in an ever-changing and challenging world.

Book excerpt from early childhood:

I can still picture Adam’s father. Tall and intimidating, he did his best to avoid looking in my direction. If he did happen to catch sight of me, his face always rearranged into the same expression, his lip curling in a look of disgust. It was hard to imagine he would be very receptive to anything so banal as reason or morality.
My father returned home with a stony expression.

“The next time you see Adam, you will defend yourself. Then he’ll leave you alone.”

Book excerpt from the boxing ring:

Boxing may seem brutal, violent, and physically abusive: bloody noses, broken ribs, and in the very worst cases, death. I learned to admire the ‘Sweet Science,’ and I loved boxing. I saw its joy and woes from inside the ring. My mother did not attend my fights, but she was always supportive, taking me to the gym to train. She knew that boxing, along with Shorty’s attention, were positive for me. Naturally, she was worried about me, but when I kept winning matches, she felt better. She believed I had a special talent in boxing. At age eleven, I won my first National Title, and I was number one in the country for my weight class. I was eighty-five pounds at the time and a little short, but I was strong with a heavy punch. I took home three Silver Glove National Championships, two Junior Olympic National Championships, one U.S. National Championship, and a Muhammad Ali Invitational National Championship. I felt unstoppable.

Book excerpt from the boardroom:

My focus on earning trust throughout the organization began to pay off. After the first few months at LSS, I was becoming more knowledgeable about some of the challenges confronting us as an organization. While I had some familiarity coming in, having picked up information during the hiring process, I hadn’t quite absorbed the magnitude of what we were facing. The organization had only met their budget twice in the previous ten years, losing over $10 million during that time. When I was hired, LSS of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan was over $13 million in debt with deferred maintenance totaling over $1 million. Fundraising was – and still is – a big challenge for LSS. At the time, less than three percent of our revenue came from charitable organizations. There was no reason, with an organization of this size, reputation, credibility, results, and history, that we should not be raising millions of dollars through our development efforts.

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