5 leadership lessons from UFC president Dana White

UFC’s Dana White successfully hosted an international event, UFC 251 aka “UFC Fight Island” during a pandemic. If you look through the lens of life, you will see how Dana White showcased everyone how a true leader should act during a crisis.

UFC and Dana White’s journey was not easy to pull off this mega event. It started with many high authority people trying to sabotage Dana’s effort to conduct a sports event during a pandemic. In this article, you will learn five leadership lessons from Dana White and UFC’s massive success.

1. Persistence

Persistence is continuing to try, regardless of how many hurdles you may have to jump over. It is the ability to stick to a task, even when you lose your motivation.

It is because of this persistence that people can achieve their long term goals. Without persistence, a person wouldn’t be successful because he will give up too quickly.

A good leader never gives up on a task and works as hard as possible to achieve a specific goal. Dana White exactly did this; when many sports leagues and high authority people tried to sabotage his plan. Due to Dana’s never-give-up attitude, he just set an example for every sports league worldwide.

2. Problem-Solving

One of the critical qualities of a good leader is to have sound problem-solving skills. When a good leader faces a problem, he must have the capability to assess it from all angles, come up with feasible solutions, and pick the most optimal one that would yield the highest results.

Dana White did this when his talent from the US was getting burned out because international fighters were not allowed to enter the USA. Instead of whining about it, he rented a whole island so that he can put on an international show.  

3. Optimism

Optimism is the ability to have a positive mindset, even after getting knocked down. 

A good leader must always remember that even when it seems like he is stuck, there is still a way out. 

Being optimistic doesn’t mean always being happy. It means that regardless of how bad a situation may seem, a good leader must always look for the silver lining.

UFC fight island would have remained a fantasy if UFC was not optimistic about its success.

4. Integrity

Integrity means staying true to yourself and always following your values. Listen to Dana’s interviews, and you will learn more things about life and leadership than you did in your school and college.

Actions speak louder than words. 

When everyone was hiding in their homes to protect themselves from Coronavirus, Dana could have done the same. He could have comfortably sat in his mansion and told its staff to take pay cuts or fire them. But instead, he was there in the field for every fight event and leading the pack with an example.

In each of his interviews, you can always see that Dana always answers all of the questions honestly irrespective of how difficult the question is. If he says something misleading, he is brave enough to accept the mistake and correct it.

5. Empathy

“Learning to stand in somebody else’s shoes, to see through their eyes, that’s how peace begins. And it’s up to you to make that happen. Empathy is a quality of character that can change the world.” – Barack Obama

An empath is a person who makes conscious efforts to understand what somebody else is going through, without any judgment. An empathetic leader is the one who listens to his team, gives them the freedom to express themselves, is aware of their feelings and emotions, and understands their situation as best as possible. 

There are thousands of examples where you can see Dana White showcased empathy, such as protecting all the staff during COVID job losses. It would have been easier for Dana to sit at his million-dollar mansion and do nothing, but he lead everyone with an example. Dana’s leadership skills are impeccable.

I hope you all will learn these leadership skills and use them in your daily life.

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(Image credits: Dana White )