Guest Post: Champions adjust

August 25, 2008, 8:50 PM UTC

Times are tough these days, and from where I sit this is not a moment to do anything halfway. As my good friend Holly Hunter once said to me, we are now faced with situations where we have to “bring all of ourselves to everything we do.”

Regardless of the instability of the economy, the flatness of the housing market, the rising price of gas, and the current value of the dollar, we have to step up. These are things we have faced before, and in times like these champions adjust.

Just because sales may be down at your company doesn’t mean productivity — specifically your personal work ethic — should take a break. This is your chance to shine — to be better at what you do and, above all, your chance to bring all of yourself to the situation.

We all approach things differently. But completely committing ourselves to the task at hand is absolutely essential. And it often is the difference between success and failure. I have always found it easier to break an assignment down into manageable pieces and prioritize. Using this approach keeps the situation from getting overwhelming and paves the way for a successful ending. Like we say in tennis, you can only play one ball at a time.

I’ve always found it’s better to live in the moment and not get too far ahead of yourself. There are times to let things happen and times to make them happen. You decide what’s best for you. But always remember, you are much better off when you bring all of yourself to everything you do.

Billie Jean King dominated women’s tennis in the 1960s and 70s — winning 39 Grand Slam titles, including a record 20 championships at Wimbledon — and famously beat Bobby Riggs in a 1973 match dubbed “The Battle of the Sexes.” The USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, N.Y. is the annual host of the U.S. Open Tennis tournament, which runs through September 7. Her new book, Pressure is a Privilege, is in stores now.