I don’t know about you, but the sight of the world’s best tennis players donning their whites to battle it out on Centre Court at Wimbledon, can’t fail but inspire me to keep raising my game.
Whether it’s Federer’s bid to achieve a record eighth Wimbledon title, Murray’s determination to defend last year’s crown or Nadal’s desire to show that he still has what it takes to win on grass – all of them display inspirational levels of ambition, commitment and resilience – qualities just as important in the world of business as they are on the courts of SW19.
So as we tuck in to our strawberries and cream and sit back to enjoy the delights of the Wimbledon fortnight, let’s learn by example and follow these three steps to help us get match-fit and ready to face our next commercial challenge.
3 Steps To Help You Get Match-Fit
1. Set Your Sights High
Whether you’re a world-class tennis player or a sales or marketing manager, you need to aim high and believe in yourself if you want to achieve the extraordinary. The ability to adopt a winning mind-set is key to driving your performance, as shown by Andy Murray, when he said, “I don’t play any tournaments to come second best.” By setting ambitious goals, you will reap the rewards of improved business results, which in turn will boost your self-confidence. A great tool to help you build this winning mind-set is to visualise what success looks like – for Andy Murray this could be holding the trophy on Finals Day, for you it could be signing a major contract on the dotted line.
2. Put In The Practice Hours
As Roger Federer wisely said, “There is no way around the hard work. Embrace it.” Practice really does make perfect when it comes to tennis… and this holds equally true in the world of business. You can’t learn commercial skills over night – it takes hard work and commitment to be the very best that you can be. So whether you’re presenting at a conference or negotiating a new deal, make sure you take the time to prepare and practise beforehand. This could be role-playing with a colleague or rehearsing your presentation out loud in front of a mirror. By putting in the hours and taking the time to hone your skills in this way, you will be well on your way to becoming a true commercial athlete.
3. Pick Yourself Up When Times Are Tough
Champions have the ability to bounce-back from setbacks, take the learnings and move forwards, for as Serena Williams said, “When you lose, you get up, you make it better. You try again.” In the case of Andy Murray, he needs to draw on his resilience to deal with the disappointment of this year’s surprise defeat at Queen’s, together with his ongoing hip injury, so that he can stay positive about his chances of winning Wimbledon. Commercial athletes need to harness their EQ in a similar way, and adopt a glass half-full approach that helps them be solution-orientated so they can compete in today’s uncertain and challenging business world.
Whatever field you work in, you clearly need ambition, commitment and resilience to help you play to your advantage so you can achieve your personal best. Let’s be thankful that for most of us, we can hone these skills out of the glare of the public eye, rather than in front of an estimated global audience of 1 billion people! Strawberries anyone?