Play to your strengths

Lessons from the Fed – Work on Strengths to Achieve Greatness

30 January 2023



What a fabulous weekend of tennis. It was particularly satisfying to see two such powerful women compete in the final. As a player myself, I find the talent and discipline of these young professionals so inspiring.

But something impressed me even more than Sabalenka’s serve. That’s her acknowledgement of her team. “We’ve been through a lot of downs last year. We worked so hard. You guys deserve this trophy; it’s more about you than about me,” she said.

It’s tempting to think of singles tennis as purely individual success. But we’re getting increased exposure to the teams behind the greats (with a little help from Netflix). So, what lessons can we take from the courts to the workplace?

Tip #1: Play to Your Strengths

“Working on your weaknesses may make you a complete player, but it will never make you dangerous,” says “the Fed”. I took this photo of the great Roger Federer in 2020. Watching him live is an experience I’ll cherish forever. And his advice to play to one’s strengths is top of my list.

When we apply this subtle shift in focus within our organizations, we benefit enormously. First, allow employees to develop their strengths instead of focusing on their weaknesses. And soon, your teams will be comprised of members who bring diversity and passion to their work.

Tip #2: Natural Strengths Give You Energy

Marcus Buckingham defines strengths as those things that give us strength. And not what others tell us we’re good at. This approach means we’re the only ones who can decide our strengths. And better yet, we all have strengths.

I’ve found my strength and passion in helping organizations and individuals realize their full potential. It’s what gets me up in the morning. And it gives me as much pleasure as my (recreational) tennis. So contact me if you want to know how we can inject some strengths-based thinking into your company.