Title Boxing Club Exec Shares Value of Leading With Vulnerability | Franchise News

For Felicia Alexander, portraying an image of perfection was really important. “Or something I thought was really important,” she says. “It was exhausting.”

Recalling the effort she put in through her teenage years to excel at everything and live up to perceived expectations, Alexander says the toll it finally took and what she’s learned since influence how she approaches leading her team at Title Boxing Club, where she’s chief revenue officer .

“In my early 20s I was formally diagnosed with depression,” says Alexander, also the co-founder of fitness concept BoxUnion, which acquired Title Boxing in 2021. “I had a tremendous amount of shame and embarrassment with that.” Taking medication “felt like a weakness,” and she didn’t tell any of her friends until her now-husband “didn’t just run away” when she told him. That helped her open up about the struggles, but it wasn’t until she started being recognized for launching BoxUnion that she decided to publicly share her experience.

“I’d started BoxUnion, left my corporate job, and I felt like I was a poster child” of someone who’d made a big leap to pursue their own business, Alexander recalls. She was getting interview requests and being portrayed as this woman in business who was the picture of success. One day in 2019 she decided to post a photo of her Zoloft bottle on Instagram.

“I felt compelled to debunk this myth that I had everything figured out,” she says. “It was probably the most liberating thing I’d ever done.”

That post sparked conversations among people at BoxUnion and those who took its classes, and to Alexander it “felt like a great gift” she’d given herself. Now as she’s leading a renewed post-acquisition growth effort at 140-unit Title Boxing she isn’t afraid to show vulnerability to her team.

“I’m much more comfortable letting people know I don’t have all the answers—and I don’t need to have everything figured out,” she says. That mentality pushes her to be curious, to “be a learner,” and she encourages those within the company to do the same.

It’s also a mindset that’s helped her surround herself with people she says know more than she does. As a leader, “that’s easy to say and harder to do.”

“My job is to put the best people on the field,” she continues. “To bring smart, curious people together.”

She and BoxUnion co-founder Todd Wadler also brought their Knockout Stigma campaign to Title Boxing. During Mental Health Awareness Month every May, the gyms host special classes and the company donates funds to Bring Change to Mind, a nonprofit founded by actress and activist Glenn Close that offers youth programs and encourages conversations about mental health.

“Mental health is something we talk about 365 days a year,” says Alexander. Coaches in the studios talk about their own struggles with anxiety and depression, and customers are encouraged to do the same.

“Then we work through whatever it is … and leave it all on the bag.”


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