Here are 3 lessons from Roland Garros that you can use to energize your business productivity:
- Stay in the game and good things can happen. When Andy Murray was down a set and 1-3 against Neimenen, he looked like he was in severe pain each time he attempted to serve. On changeovers, he called for the trainer and was worked over face down on top of towels on the red clay – a compromising position that is not only uncomfortable, but which broadcasts your weakness to your opponent. He could have said, “Sorry, I’m not at my best today. You win.” Instead, he focused on the shots he could hit (groundstrokes, volleys, returns and lobs didn’t hurt, and his athleticism and foot speed were still strong assets) and prevailed. In business, use your creativity to appeal to your target market; sometimes when you embrace your weakness and don’t try to hide it (i.e. shutting down an unprofitable product line), it allows you to focus your remaining energy on things you do well.
- Come back stronger and more determined. Maria Sharapova completed her comeback from major shoulder surgery 2 years ago, culminating in a triumph over Sara Errani in the women’s finals. It was an especially meaningful victory, accomplished after re-dedicating herself to continuous improvement and accomplishing bigger goals. What ambitions are you pursuing in your business? Do they really excite your team and market? If not, aim higher, like Maria did.
- Connect with your passion to serve. John Isner played another marathon match. Two years ago, it was 70-68 in the fifth set of Wimbledon. This year, Isner showed his tenacity in a 5 hour, 41 minute loss, with an 18-16 score in the fifth of the French Open. Frenchman Paul-Henri Mathieu prevailed, buoyed significantly by the partisan crowd. When you connect with your passion to serve customers in business, the knowledge – and yes, even affection – that they have for you can carry you through rough patches when a big client check hasn’t arrived or a proposal opportunity is lost.
Remember to seek out areas outside of your business life from which you can draw inspiration and strength. Then, bring those qualities back to your business to better serve your clients and lead your team. Playing and watching tennis does that for me. What’s your favorite pastime that energizes you?