I spent last week in London where I had the pleasure of attending Wimbledon with my wife and some close friends of ours. Wimbledon is the world’s oldest tennis tournament played every year on the grass courts of the All England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London.
I have been fortunate to attend many great sporting events over the years but for me Wimbledon is one of the best. As soon as you step through the gates it is an awesome sensory experience. From the perfectly arranged fresh flowers in Wimbledon colors, (white, purple and green) to the strawberries and cream, and of course the sound of multiple different tennis matches happening at the same time. There are the two show courts, Center Court and No1 Court, which are the ones normally seen on TV and another 16 championship courts where you can get very close to the action with the world’s best players showing off their incredible skills.
The thing that struck me, apart from a near miss with a fast first serve, was the precision and power of these athletes. I could barely see some of the balls being hit yet alone think about being able to return them within the lines of a small court. This in turn got me thinking about the one thing all of these players have in common. They all have a coach.
Undoubtedly, they are gifted athletes. But without the guidance of a good coach would they make the changes necessary to reach the top? It is the same in business – when I work with CEOs and their leadership teams I am not telling them what their plan should be but rather helping draw out of them where they want their business to be in 3 years’ time and in 5 years’ time; and then working to hold them accountable for getting there. Some want to grow a business they can sell and others want to pass it on to the next generation of family ownership. Whatever the desired goal the best way to have success is through building a cohesive team, setting a clear direction and being consistent with the time and effort required to get there. Just like in tennis, really.