If we are aware, we can often see important life (and business) lessons embedded in everyday activities. When contemplating this blog, it is not that surprising that my recent time on the doubles tennis court afforded me some business insights which I would like to share with you.
Disregarding the obvious difference in skill levels, there are certain styles of doubles play which can illustrate business characteristics. For instance, I am the most effective on a doubles court when I can roam the net area side to side and put away shots using my chip and charge approach, along with using drop and dink angles. Sadly, my full court and service games are modest at best. Relating this to a business acumen, there are those of us who thrive in close-up interactions. As such, we excel when things come at us quickly, as long as we are in our own element. My style is not conducive for playing singles.
In our business of video production, my strength is, similar to my doubles, in the face-to-face interaction with clients. My greatest flexibility is in challenges which present themselves when I am having client interactions or when dealing with staging and props or working with on-camera talent.
As in singles, I am also probably not best suited to be the main player in a company environment. While many small businesses thrive with “singles players,” if you are a business which flourishes within the team interactive, this blog is for you.
While I am good at the “one on one,” my award-winning video partner is excellent on the technicalities of video production. You may see some tennis parallels in your own business, as well. Companies that excel in both the “one to one” personal aspects of business, as well as the far-reaching technical sides, will tend to be successful overall. An organization who favors one or the other will experience an imbalance which will need to be reconciled one way or another.
Now, let’s talk about overall “service” both on the doubles court, and in the business environment. In business, the word “service” impacts not only the service one on one with a client, but the service of delivering the product to the consumer or end-user. On a doubles court, the purpose in my service is to set the stage for me to effectively attack the net and win the point. To me, my best doubles partner is someone who can win a point, set or match directly from his or her serve and/or winning ground strokes.
In business, I have seen companies succeed if their customer, consumer, or end-user effectively sells their product or service, even if their one-on-one relationship with the customer or client is not best. But those organizations which care equally for the personal ongoing relationships and provide successful solutions are optimal.
In summary, a good doubles team in tennis should be equally effective “close up and personal,” as well as succeeding long range. If your business is inclined for teamwork rather than playing “singles, “paring with others who compliment your own skills with their own will be your winning combination. Game, set, match.