Watching Novak Djokovic play tennis is a pure delight, but I love listening to him talk about tennis even more. He’s the GOAT – a perfectly tuned machine with a deeply intrinsic sophistication when it comes to the game. I always look forward to watching his post-game commentary. He has become an exemplar of sportsmanship, remarkably gracious when he wins and loses.
Earlier this week he played an incredible match against Jannik Sinner where he lost in three sets. You can watch the highlights here (they’re incredible). What stood out to me more was Djoker’s analysis of the game. Listen to how he talks about it, remembering every critical point and juncture throughout the match, reciting specifically what happened and when.
My favorite part is how he attributes Sinner’s win to the fact that he was “more decisive and courageous in the moments he needed to be.” He also notes, “In these types of matches very few opportunities are presented and if you don’t use them the other player will.”
So much about these comments remind me of company building. When I talk to entrepreneurs and look back on my own journey, so much of the story and outcome is usually attributed to having the courage to be decisive in the most important moments, which are almost always filled with ambiguity at best and more often absolute existential chaos. It’s incredibly frightening to step up in those moments – it’s much easier to let them pass you by. But having the courage to make decisions during these defining times, whether they are right or wrong, is oftentimes the thing that makes or breaks a company. It’s one of the most important hallmarks of entrepreneurship.