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Management Lessons to Learn From Roger Federer

“There’s no way around hard work. Embrace it. You have to put in the hours because there is always something which you can improve” – Roger Federer.

The above quote very rightly describes the tennis czar Roger Federer who literally weaves magic with his racket. Long slender hands, deft volleys, a spot-on accuracy of an ace, and a calm demeanor; you will run out of adjectives to describe his charisma on the court. To see him perform with sheer class and skill on court, is a sheer delight. His rhythmic body movements unfold like poetry in motion, which onlookers lap it up.

But, have you ever wondered that there is lot behind that mere swinging of a racket?

His victory is not just merely due to pure tennis skills but conviction, mental strength, grit and determination. If you delve deeper, the Swiss maestro has taught us many a lesson which we can imbibe to be successful in life and achieve satisfaction in what we do.

Here are some management lessons from the Tennis King –

Never fear the Failure

Federer started his tennis journey in the year 1998 and won his first Grand Slam Title in the year 2003. In the 5 years of his journey, he did taste success but partly. The Grand Slam wins eluded him for the longest time. But he did not give up. He persistently worked hard with a positive mindset and turned the tables in his favor, thus winning his first Grand Slam in the year 2003. And the rest we know is history.

As a manager-

Similarly if you are an aspiring manager in any field never fear the failure. It is but obvious that there will be roadblocks in your path to success. There will be people who will try to pull you down, tasks which will seem difficult or alien to you. So what’s the solution? There are actually two; one- leave the task altogether and forget about it. Two-Take it up as a challenge with a positive mindset and go for it. While the first solution will seem as a pretty easier option, will it help you in the long term? It will only show your surrendering attitude and not persistence. Be fearless and take the leap. You will surprise yourself pleasantly!

Adopt Flexibility

There are three different surfaces on which a tennis sportsman plays in his career to maintain his rankings. They are the hard court, clay and grass. Federer put his winning stamp on the hard court and grass. It was on the clay one where he found it a little tough to win the trophy. Flexibility and adaptability is the key to success. You cannot have a rigid approach in your life or your work. Get out of your comfort zone. Federer silenced his critics by winning on the clay court which was not his forte, thus paving a way for earning the title of a multi-talented sportsman.

As a manager-

You cannot work in a vacuum. Handling different projects, different tasks and most importantly different people will help you to develop a variety of skills and strengthen you as a professional.

Update and advance

‘Change is the only constant’

When faced with challenges with the younger players, particularly Rafael Nadal, Federer worked up his way proactively by switching to a bigger racket which helped him to hit more with a strong back hand returns, a clever tactic against the left-handed Nadal.

As a manager

With the advent of newer technologies in everyday life, you cannot use the same strategies that you applied as you started out. It is very important for managers to upgrade their knowledge and learn new technologies according to the needs of the times otherwise there is a risk of becoming stagnant in your professional lives.

Respect your opponents

This is perhaps the most important rule on field. No matter how much your opponent tries to score over you, you have to keep your calm and respect the person. That is what sportsmanship is all about. Federer is known to show respect towards his adversaries and bring to light the best of their qualities when on court.

In Federer’s own words, “I fear no one, but respect everyone”.

The same rule applies in your work life. No matter how much you disagree with your fellow colleagues on a certain issue, you should always respect them and maintain a professional decorum. That’s the way to a healthy relationship with your fellow workers.

Practice humility to achieve respect

When Federer was young, he found it difficult to keep his emotions in control. He would often throw his racket around and react very strongly when things didn’t go his way. At this stage, it is said that it was his parents who groomed him to be a calmer person and handle setbacks with a peaceful mind. Today, Federer is known for his calm demeanor and humility and the panache with which he conducts himself on the court. Success is a double-edged sword. If not handled properly it can lead to disastrous consequences.

Picture this

You are the star performer of your team. All your strategies hit the bull’s eye, clients are happy with you and eventually you climb the success ladder with élan in your organization. But your team is not happy. Why? Well there is a thin line between pompousness and confidence and if you are on the side on being pompous you are in deep waters mate! NO one likes a snob, even if you are good at your work. Managers who are truly idolized are the ones who practice humility and emotional intelligence. Humility will always act as an incentive along with your hard work.

Being a winner requires hard work.NO one has ever achieved anything only by merely thinking about it. 14 years after winning the First Grand slam title, Federer has become the oldest man ever to win the Wimbledon. His feat clearly proves the never-ending determination to achieve the best in life.

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