How Rocky Balboa Handles A Crisis

In the first four Rocky movies, he fights three different opponents. While, admittedly, the narrative arcs of the movies follow similar lines, the training plans differ significantly from one movie to the next. 

In each film, he has different strengths and weaknesses. Most notably, a hit to the eye damages his peripheral vision for the second movie. 

His opponents have different fighting methods and strengths. Adjusting from fighting Apollo Creed, to confronting Clubber Lang in Rocky III requires an adjustment to his preparation, both for his approach and how he can defend against “the pain.” (movie reference). 

Perhaps most famously, in Rocky IV our protagonist finds himself in a remote hut surrounded by snow and farmland and must adjust his training methods to what he has at his disposal. 

Adapt, keep going

Rocky’s fights are a good analogy to how problems confront a business. The next crisis will not look like this one. 

I have been writing about how a solution to today’s problems will serve you well long term. This is because you will be better equipped to adapt to new needs. 

It’s not that each hurdle you will face in the future will be the same as today’s. It won’t. And it is impossible to predict exactly what will come next. 

But everything you put in place now will give you more experience and better tools, making the next adaptation that much easier. 

Rocky was a good fighter from the start, we are told that early in the first film. His main development in that movie is learning to use and control his talent for a given situation.

Use and control your basic strengths. When you don’t have to worry about the fundamentals — because those are already working well for you — you can focus on what needs to change. 

What would Rocky do

Confronting challenges is not about getting it right or wrong, and it’s not about immediate success or failure. 

It is about moving forward using what you have at that moment. Find your resources, find your strengths and find the people that will make a difference. Rocky relied heavily on Adrien, Mickey, Apollo. You too have partners, employees, connections, groups. Your available resources include your trusted partners, don’t navigate change all alone. 

Look at today as a new day, with a new challenge, and start by doing just one thing — the next step — and only then tackle the step after that.