Postcards

How the power players do it - by Fortune senior editor at large Patricia Sellers

Champ to Facebook exec's kids: how to win

July 8, 2013: 10:56 AM ET

Billie Jean King won the first of her 20 Wimbledon titles in 1961, at age 17, and has returned to the ivy-covered club every year since. These days, King's passion is business, running World TeamTennis with her partner, Ilana Kloss. King took a break from this year's Wimbledon to come to Fortune Most Powerful Women: London—and scored a point about how to win by calling the daughters of Facebook (FB) VP Carolyn Everson to the stage. I had interviewed Everson, who oversees Facebook's global ad sales (and had relocated to London for six months to shore up the European business) earlier in the day, and her twin girls came to see their mom on stage. Here are 10-year-old Kennedy and Taylor Everson learning  a bit about teamwork from an icon who knows the game of success in business and sports:

And here's more advice from King on how to win--edited from our on-stage conversation at Fortune MPW: London:

Every decision we make, there's a consequence. Every single one in your life. The ball's coming towards me, I have to accept responsibility for it.

I have to decide where I'm going to hit it, the spin, how hard I'm going to hit it, all those things. If I'm returning a serve, I have less than 1/10th of a second to make those decisions, OK?

When it goes out, you take in the information. I call it, not failure, I call it feedback. Because that's really what life is.
When we fail, it's really feedback, right? When we win, it's feedback.

I try to get people to concentrate more on why they win. Here's what I'll ask a young person when they come off the court: "Why did you win?"

I will spend a lot more time on that than when they lose. Because it starts to build up the self-confidence that you need to start to understand your strengths--and understand, you know, what makes you tick.

It makes you allow yourself to be the best you can be.

If you keep harping and spending your time on why you lose (sometimes you have to do a deep dive and analyze why), but if I can get someone to understand why they win and understand what makes them tick, their chances of winning are so much greater.

75% of the time in a match, you're not hitting a tennis ball. The champions use that 75% of the time better than anybody else. And they're stronger emotionally.

  • Facebook exec's three lessons in brandbuilding

    FORTUNE -- Facebook's Carolyn Everson followed the advice of Sheryl Sandberg, her mentor, when she moved her family from New Jersey to London and took a job in Facebook's international business that needed filling.

    Everson leaned in. And so, for the past six months, she's been leading Facebook (FB) Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) in addition to doing her main  job as Facebook's VP of Global Marketing Solutions.Nothing is easy MORE

    - Jun 26, 2013 4:18 PM ET
  • Best advice from a Facebook star

    When Carolyn Everson, Facebook's (FB) VP of global marketing solutions, confronted a management void in Europe, she opted to fix the problem herself. She moved her family--husband Doug and twin daughters--from New Jersey to London.

    Now Everson is on the ground for six months, fortifying the European business, visiting international advertisers, and helping in the hunt for a new leader for the region. Last evening, during a quick trip home (she's MORE

    - Mar 28, 2013 2:55 PM ET
Fortune's Most Powerful Women
Fortune's Most Powerful Women For the latest on the most influential women in business, philanthropy, government, and the arts, like us on Facebook.
Guest Posts
Fortune Most Powerful Women Fortune Most Powerful Women The rolodex that redefined power
Profile in The Washington Post
Sheryl Sandberg: Sheryl Sandberg: Don't leave before you leave
COO of Facebook
Wendy Clark Wendy Clark Exec learns firsthand how the homeless live
SVP of the Global Sparkling Brand Center at Coca-Cola
Video
Marissa Mayer's 3 biggest decisions as Yahoo CEO With company stock up over 100% since she began running the company 16 months ago, Mayer reflects on her choices to date. Watch
Chelsea Clinton on running for office: 'I don't know' The vice chairman of the Clinton Foundation talks about her diverse career path and growing up in the spotlight. Watch
MPWomen go Global

The Fortune/U.S. State Department Global Women Leaders Mentoring Partnership brings rising-star women from countries around the world to the U.S. for three-week mentorships with participants of the annual Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit - among them Ursula Burns of Xerox, Laura Lang of Time Inc., Marissa Mayer of Yahoo, and Tory Burch.

Read more

Current Issue
  • Give the gift of Fortune
  • Get the Fortune app
  • Subscribe
Powered by WordPress.com VIP.