Former World No. 1 Serena Williams recently announced that she will retire after the 2022 US Open. This has led many professionals, including corporate executives and former coaches, to look at the player's accomplishments, both on and off the court, and draw inspiration from her skills as a leader.
In an article in Forbes, Matt Doherty, a former head coach at the University of North Carolina, stated that in the early phases of her career, the 23-time Grand Slam winner often took a backseat to her then more established older sister, Venus Williams.
"She had to play second fiddle to her more established and famous sister, Venus," Doherty said. "Venus got to play in a lot of good events, while Serena served as her warmup partner and then had to watch but, that helped Serena."
Doherty noted how Serena Williams "turned a negative into a positive" by using the experience to work harder and become the champion she is today.
"It drove her to work harder while getting to study the best players in the world compete at the game she loved. She turned a negative into a positive. That is the winner’s mindset," Doherty added.
As fans gear up to bid goodbye to the great champion, Williams continues to inspire with her grace and tenacity, both on and off the court.
Business leaders take imprortant lessons from Serena Williams
In the same article in Forbes, Andrew Rosen, president of financial planning firm Diversified, analyzed Serena Williams' resiliency and opined that professionals in the business world can take important lessons from it.
"Serena was incredibly resilient in her career, coming back from injuries and setbacks, and that's an important lesson in business as well, to be resilient when deals and projects don't necessarily work out your way," Rosen stated.
Another successful leader, Aron Solomon, pointed out that Williams' decision to retire on her own terms was an important lesson for leaders in any field.
"Serena always made it clear that the ultimate decisions would be hers," Solomon said. "This is a remarkably important lesson for any leader.Whether in business or sport, there can only be one person who ultimately sets your course and determines your own trajectory for success."