Today I was reading about what’s changed in the world of Jo Konta, the British tennis player who is preparing to play in the French Open semi finals. Her results and performance seemed to have dramatically improved over the last 6-7 months and she has risen up the rankings from @40 in the World to the top 20.
So what has changed and what can we as business owners or leaders in organisations learn from Jo?
- She has a new coach, a new management company and new sponsors all working to support her talent, work ethic and ambition.
- She now has a coach who apparently offers discreet technical advice and then lets Jo absorb his wisdom and figure out how she can best apply that advice to make it work for her. He doesn’t shout orders nor tell her to do this or do that; he simply offers guidance about things she can do differently.
- She has a new practice partner whose relaxed style and personality differs from her coach and with whom a different kind of atmosphere is created.
- She has new sponsors that give her kit and other resources and all the contracts have performance based bonus elements.
In essence she has,
- A coach that matches his approach to her personality and way of learning.
- A buddy to practice with who can challenge her game and with whom she can apply her learning in a safe but relevant environment.
- Champions and sponsors who support her day to day life AND expect her to perform in ways which give back something to them for which she is recognised.
What could leaders in organisations and business owners learn from this in helping themselves and their “players”, at all levels, improve their game?
- When the conditions in which you, your leaders, teams and people are not working or are no longer conducive to peak performance, you need to rethink and reboot.
- That reboot needs to be in the context of the future not the past or the difficulties of the current state of play.
- Create a coaching culture where everyone actively seeks learning and feedback and gives insight and ideas to each other. And most importantly the culture should recognise what’s great, what’s working and highlight progress as well a redirect behaviour if it’s not what‘s needed.
- Build an integrated ecosystem across the organisation/business that supports all individuals so that can show up, do their best work, be advised to adjust if they go off track and recognised for progress and results. This should also address physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing.
- Expect learning, progress and performance and hold people accountability.
- Give people a chance to try stuff out and be experimental. If things don’t go to plan discuss what learning has taken place, then rethink and try something else.
- Be courageous and have real, purposeful conversations that matter, on a frequent basis especially within and across teams, to check how things are going, where mini reboots might be required and to celebrate success.
For leaders in or of businesses who really want to focus their teams so that everyone can be successful might be interested in a new resource that my colleagues at LIW have just launched. It’s called Squadify. Squadify is an open, collaborative online tool for you and every member of your team to use freely. It works to improve a team’s performance by exploring and analysing what’s going on. find out more at https://www.squadify.net
Jo Konta may win the French Open Championships and go on to do well at Wimbledon – I hope so. On the other hand she may not win her semi final. Even if she doesn’t pick up this trophy she has created a better chance that she will have success in the future. I wonder if Squadify might help her and her team:)
What areas of your business or your life could use a rethink or a reboot?