"It's true that the generation of Djokovic, Murray, and Nadal has made me a better player. But I wouldn't say I needed that generation to keep me going. I am here because I love to play the game."- Roger Federer, 17 time Grand Slam Singles Tennis Champion
High achievers value the quick start. Entrepreneurs. Coaches. Sales Managers. Elite Athletes. Business Leaders across industries. Who wouldn't like to "get out of the gate" quickly, demonstrate success, and build confidence early?
Yet, as a former NCAA championship coach, I've determined that whereas a fast, positive start is commendable, it's not enough to realise one's true potential. I remember an "off the charts" talented Chilean athlete who, once he reached #1 in the world, dropped from the sports world faster than you can say "Ace." This is not our objective.
Indeed, building momentum rapidly and producing quick wins doesn't guarantee sustained success and "success that lasts" is a long-term goal of the true professional.
The purpose of this article is to provide you with a few insights, that when applied, will not only help you "go further faster," but help you "stay there longer." Our conversations and work with corporate top performers reveal three secrets to continued success and growth over time.
1. Do more of what you do well
In 2014, Swiss tennis champion Roger Federer played more events than years past. At the recommendation of his private coach Stefan Edberg, Federer competed more and reaped the results. He found that the constancy of competition improved his rhythm.
Application (Complete this sentence): 'One of things I do really well that I can do more of is...'
2. Compete against yourself
"You are never really playing an opponent. You are playing yourself and your own high standards," said Arthur Ashe, tennis great and winner of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. In our new book, Play Smart to Win in Business: Leadership Lessons from Center Court to Corner Office, we show the reader how "the toughest opponent you'll ever face will always be yourself." In business and in life, cycles come and go. YOU, my ambitious friend, ARE THE CONSTANT.
Application (True or False): 'I find myself overly concerned with the competition.'
3. Simply have fun. In the city of St. Louis resides one of the most successful entrepreneurs of our time. His name is Michael Staenberg. In 1991, Staenberg founded THF Realty, a company that has grown into one of the largest commercial real estate firms in the United States. By the way, have you figured out what THF stands for? How's this: TO HAVE FUN.
Application (Yes or No): 'I love what I do.'
To close, while U.S. President Barrack Obama was leading his campaign for office in 2008, it was not he but his wife Michelle whom I believe delivered the greatest line. She simply stated, "We're going to run through the finish line." It's not how well you start. It's how great you finish.
To your continued success.
By René Vidal, is chairman and CEO of René Vidal Companies, a business specialising in the training and development of leaders, teams, and organisations. He is co-author of Play Smart to Win in Business: Leadership Lessons from Center Court to Corner Office.