Adena Friedman, President and Chief Executive Officer of the New York-based Nasdaq - world's second-largest stock exchange, is a black belt in Korean martial art form taekwondo. The 51-year-old, who got the top job at Nasdaq in January 2017, took up the martial art form more than a decade ago after making her two sons sign up for taekwondo classes at a young age. She then decided to make it a family activity.
It's not just about being a black belt, taekwondo taught her valuable lessons in leadership as well. The lessons in self-reliance that taekwondo provides teaches you to use your strength for defence rather than offence, she believes. It also provides lessons that can be applied in business.
Friedman, who started as an unpaid intern at Nasdaq in 1993, has over the years risen steadily all the way to the corner office. For three years, from 2011 to 2014, she was CFO and managing director at the Carlyle Group, one of the world's largest private investment companies.
Among the benefits that taekwondo provides are better self-esteem, improved agility and reflexes, discipline, improved leadership skills and greater strength and stamina. All this is essential to run the world's second-largest stock exchange.