Six leadership lessons from Serena's Wimbledon success
By pa360, Jul 14 2015 07:32PM
Last week, Serena Williams vanquished Garbine Muguruza in straight sets to claim her seventh Wimbledon title and her third Grand Slam tournament in 2015. It was an amazing achievement for the 33 year old who in 2002 won her first Wimbledon title by defeating her elder sister Venus. Some thirteen years later, Serena's dominance of the women's game is more complete and comprehensive than ever before. So what can we learn from all this? Well here are my six key leadership lessons from Sarena's Wimbledon triumph.
1. Adversity is never an excuse for failure - in a number of her matches, Serena had to battle from behind to win. Indeed in her third round match against Heather Watson, Serena actually faced match point and potential exit from the tournament. Yet despite these situational setbacks, Serena dug in and demonstrated sufficient character, resilience and mental toughness to battle through and win.
2. Defy convention and logic - at 33 years old Serena really should be slowing down not speeding up. Not only is Serena the oldest player in the Women's Tennis Association top ten (by some five years), she is also the only one over thirty. In what is essentially a young woman's game, Serena is defying logic, by winning when she ought to be losing and by dominating when she ought to be defeated.
3. Be good to your talent and your talent will be good to you - earlier this year I wrote a blog about Serena following her Australian Open win. It basically underlined how extraordinary her achievements were, considering the circumstances of her early life and that of her sister Venus. However, it also pointed to the commitment shown by Serena to develop her talent and become the best that she can be. As her Wimbledon triumph demonstrated, this commitment continues to produce rich rewards and recognition.
4. Press on to the next challenge - I recently read that Serena has amassed more Grand Slam tittles than all of the other competitors on the women's tour put together. Serena could retire today with her place in history quite literally carved in stone. Yet despite what must be a gruelling schedule, she presses on to her next challenge. Whether this next challenge is a first calendar Grand Slam or perhaps another Olympic gold medal; it is clear that Serena's exceptional success is matched only by her desire to get even better.
5. Show humility in the face of greatness - in her post match speech at Wimbledon, Serena credited Jehovah God with her success. For someone whose grit and determination has become a hallmark of their life, to diminish her personal contribution and put her faith first demonstrates self awareness and humility. Why is this significant? Well in the face of such great success, self-awareness and humility are often the first casualties. To have the good grace to recognise that she could not have achieved success on her own terms, is a very real demonstration of leadership.
6. Be an inspiration to others - specifically: be an inspiration, not just to this generation or to the next, but to generations still to come. Despite Serena's extraordinary personal wealth, the 21 Grand Slam titles and countless other tournament victories, perhaps her greatest achievement is in inspiring innumerable others to believe that they too can overcome adversity and achieve extraordinary success.
So there you have it, six valuable leadership lessons from Serena's latest Grand Slam success.