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.
We've come a long way (baby!) in women's confidence to achieve as well as men.
On the heels of Sheryl Sandberg's best-selling Lean In comes a new study, "Women, Power & Money" that finds 70% of Gen Y women describe themselves as "smart," vs. just 54% of Gen Y men.
That's a stunning level of confidence that young women can take to the bank. Compared to the Baby Boomers and Gen Xers before them, Gen Y MOREPatricia Sellers - Jul 2, 2013 11:16 AM ET
"The Man Who Couldn't Speak," about Intel executive Sean Maloney, is one of the most rewarding stories I've done in my 27 years at Fortune. I met an amazing man, got to know an extraordinary family, and came to understand the heroic feat of recovering from a stroke.
I didn't have enough space in the current issue to tell the full story of this man who had beaten the odds already MOREPatricia Sellers - Sep 26, 2011 1:55 PM ET
Last Monday evening, in the backyard of her Silicon Valley home, Marissa Mayer stood before a crowd of 200 fellow Googlers and their significant others, fed them roast quail and herb-crusted roast bison loin, and feted them for going mobile.
"We walked more than once around the earth at the equator—or 16.7 times around the moon," Mayer declared at the award celebration for the fourth annual "100 Mile Month Challenge."
This is MOREPatricia Sellers - Aug 29, 2011 1:06 PM ET
Besides her 1,071 wins, 18 Final Fours, and eight national championships--the stuff that makes Pat Summitt the winningest coach, male or female, in NCAA basketball history--there is the stuff of her leadership. Measured against anyone else in sports or anywhere, Summitt stands as one of the most formidable and focused leaders you will ever meet.
Last night, after the University of Tennessee Lady Vols coach made the stunning announcement that she MOREPatricia Sellers - Aug 24, 2011 3:03 PM ET
Warren Buffett and Sandra Day O'Connor walk onto a fairway...
Mark Zuckerberg tees off against Biz Stone....
Bill Gates plays Arnold Schwarzenegger.
These are among the 32 fantasy match-ups in the Fab Foursome Bracket Challenge, a new app that Golf Magazine launched on Facebook today.
Golf Magazine publisher Dick Raskopf says that his group came up with the app after actor Will Ferrell, who appeared on the cover of Golf's big fall issue last MOREPatricia Sellers - Jun 13, 2011 3:01 PM ET
by Patricia Sellers
Elizabeth McKee Gore works at Ted Turner's UN Foundation and oversees Global Partnerships there.
She told me the cool story about creating Nothing But Nets five years ago. The UN Foundation wanted to help cure the world of malaria. Her bosses charged her to develop a strategy to build a public campaign.
She came up with a program called the UN Foundation Campaign to End Malaria. And she commissioned a MOREPatricia Sellers - Apr 25, 2011 11:58 AM ET
by Patricia Sellers
In this weekend's New York City Marathon, thousands of runners will be sweating it out for hundreds of causes and charities. One of those diehard do-gooders: Unilever (UL) CEO Paul Polman.
Polman, whose global brands include Lipton and Hellman's and Dove, stopped by Fortune's offices this morning to tell us about his weekend plans. This Saturday night, he'll be hosting a pre-marathon pasta dinner (with his company's MOREPatricia Sellers - Nov 5, 2010 2:36 PM ET
My friend Sam Courtney turns 21 tomorrow. I didn't go to his celebration in Washington this weekend, but I sent some advice--from John Wooden. As I told Sam, the legendary UCLA basketball coach, who died on Friday at age 99, carried these words from his father wherever he went:
"Be true to yourself. Make each day a masterpiece. Help others. Drink deeply from good books. Make friendship a fine art. Build MOREPatricia Sellers - Jun 7, 2010 12:07 PM ET
One of the regulars at Fortune's annual Most Powerful Women Summit is Billie Jean King. Going strong at 66, she and Ilana Kloss, who heads World TeamTennis (Billie Jean's baby), put on a tennis clinic at the Summit each year. Let's just say, it's amusing to see type-A super-competitors of the business world sweating and struggling to ace it on the court.
I thought of King this weekend when I read MOREPatricia Sellers - Mar 29, 2010 3:19 PM ET
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