Coco Gauff beat world number one Sabalenka to win her first Grand Slam title at Flushing Meadows on a historical night for American tennis. She is the first American teenager to win the US Open since Serena Williams in 1999. It seems only fitting her first social media post with the trophy was captioned “concrete jungles where dreams are made of…”
Coco burst onto the world scene at just 15 years old and has overcome massive hurdles to fulfil the destiny many believed her to achieve.
As pointedly said in her winning speech, she had to prove those who doubted her wrong. She said, “I try my best to carry on with grace but honestly, to those who thought you were putting water on my fire, you were really adding gas to it; I’m burning so bright right now.”
We should never have to apologise for being who we are.
Full of ambition and belief, she showed her potential and exceeded expectations to win the US Open at just 19 years of age. Her triumph is a testimony to believing in yourself, something that seems to set the younger generation apart. Today, young people are not afraid to speak up, make their voice heard, and accelerate change.
We should not knock this ambition and confidence, especially if one can learn along the way from their mistakes and their mentors. Older doesn’t always mean better.
The best teams have an inclusive culture where people from different ages and backgrounds can come together to achieve something special. It’s the blend of youth, wisdom, and above all else, attitude, that creates that winning environment. Everyone on the team has each other’s backs; they lose together, they win together.
Coco role models inclusion. With her platform, she ensures everyone has a voice and a fair chance to participate. She has used her voice powerfully to speak out about racial injustice in the United States. Her engaging personality is infectious and unwavering. She has a very bright future ahead of her.
Most importantly, she brought all the New Yorkers together to raise the roof at the US Open final. A fabulous image of inclusion.
Don’t let anyone ever tell you that your difference is an issue.
Thought for the Week:
Continue to create excitement about the next generation.
Top Tips for Becoming an A Player:
- Find a bright young mentee and listen to them.
- Inclusive Leadership is not a rehearsal.
- Inclusion is not a spectator sport.
- Leadership is about being positive, optimistic, and uplifting.
- If you’re capable, you’re qualified.