Here, Josh Cote owner of EAW Consulting gives 3 alternative business lessons to be learnt from Serena Williams, Wayne Gretzky and Lebron James that transcend industry.
Serena Williams – the comeback queen
Serena is by far the most decorated female athlete in World sport, and she is the only tennis player – man or woman – to win 23 Grand Slam singles titles in the Open Era. Her success, however, has not been straight forward. From growing up in tough surroundings to persistent injuries, setbacks and incidents – her career has withstood every challenge with aplomb. She was once ‘on her death bed’ back in 2011 after suffering a pulmonary embolism on her lung, which she thankfully survived, but resulted in a mass of speculation as to whether she would ever compete at the highest level again. Surviving such an ordeal could be considered a comeback in itself, but perhaps her most impressive revival was her victory in 2007 at the Australian Open. She turned up at the tournament overweight, out of practice, and ranked just 81 in the World, having spent a few years away from tennis after her older sister Yetunde was murdered in 2003.
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“There are so many life and business lessons to be learnt from Serena Williams, but if business owners could take just one thing I think it would be channelling her true grit and determination in the face of a potential defeat. This woman just finds a way to win, regardless of the odds stacked against her,” stated Josh Cote, owner of EAW Consulting.
Wayne Gretzky – the importance of giving back
Wayne changed the face of ice hockey when he kick-started a lengthy era of speed, skill, and prolific scoring into the game. Retiring back in 1991, he’s almost known as much these days for his philanthropic endeavours as much as his past athleticism on the ice. It would be too lengthy to list off all of his charity involvements to date, and this speaks volumes for Wayne as a person. We should look to him as a role model within our own pursuits of ‘giving back’ to communities in any of the various forms it may take.
Innovation is great – all businesses need it to thrive in increasingly competitive markets. Wayne’s passing technique was one of the best of all time, an innovation in itself that allowed him to excel in the sport. Combining this with his post-career charitable contributions truly ensures he leaves behind a legacy that will do well to be rivalled – a lesson for all business owners that how we chose to live our business and personal lives is just as, if not more important, as how we enable others to live theirs.
Lebron James – the adaptable powerhouse
Lebron James is a four-time NBA MVP and 13-time All Star, and has been basketball’s best player throughout his late 20’s and into his early 30’s. A study conducted by Harvard Kennedy School professor Daniel Shoag and American Enterprise Institute resident scholar Stan Veuger traced the effect of Lebron’s career path from Cleveland to Miami (and back). The study concluded that Lebron had a “statistically and economically significant positive effect” on the number of restaurants and bars near his city’s stadium, as well as employment in the industry. His impact on the teams and cities he’s played for has been truly remarkable. However, while it is no secret that the NBA player has always loved the sport of American football, few realise he only stopped playing in high school because a broken wrist stopped him playing the sport in his senior season at St. Vincent-St. Mary’s. You would imagine, given Lebron’s nature, that he would’ve become an NFL professional too without such an injury, but would he have matched his success on the basketball court? Josh Cote believes he probably would, and that adapting to change big or small in life, sport and business all require the same mental strength and willpower that Lebron has in abundance.
As a consultant specialising in business development, team building, motivational speaking, and sales & acquisitions, Mr. Cote believes he has a lot to offer budding entrepreneurs across many different industries. The EAW Consulting owner has been looking up to Wayne Gretzky as a role model of late, as he looks to add to his current list of philanthropic commitments.
As a business consultant, Josh Cote works with clients on strategy, planning and problem solving, and helps clients develop business skills and knowledge. Follow him on Twitter.
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