Leadership and tennis.
People who know me, even a little, know I am passionate about tennis and about leadership. And this is about leadership in tennis.
When a young player loses from the world number 1, it is part of the game, most would say.
Not to Naomi Osaka from Japan. She paid tribute to her young opponent by comforting her personally. And more special, inviting her to join in the on-court interview at the US OPEN.
Coco Gauff is 15 years old, she is a fierce tennis player from the USA, who made her name earlier this year at Wimbledon against veteran Venus Williams. She offers attractive and versatile tennis from first to last ball in all of her matches.
Naomi Osaka is 21 years old and currently world number 1. She won last year at the US OPEN against Serena Williams, in an eventful and much discussed match. Naomi is the openminded, friendly and fair play person with a great sense of humor. And with her 21 years she showed the best leadership possible, to both Coco as the American spectators. Naomi simply invited her American opponent to join her in the on-court interview. “They are here for you”, so she said to Coco.
True leaders bring forward others, show their appreciation and celebrate their strengths. This is what Naomi did last night. Warm hearted, intense, and honest, and so preventing Coco from fleeing to the showers to cry her eyes out.
True leadership is shown, and you do not have to be a CEO or manager to show it.
Want to see what happened for yourself? Please go to the BBC; https://www.bbc.com/sport/tennis/49539902