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Playbook for Success: A Hall of Famer's Business Tactics for Teamwork and Leadership by Nancy Lieberman

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Chapter 5. Think Like a Champion

If you want to be a champion, you've got to feel like one, you've got to act like one, and you've got to look like one.

Red Auerbach, Legendary Boston Celtics President

The only difference between a good day and a bad day is your attitude, beliefs, and mind-set. Whenever I think things can't get any worse, I remember the first words President Ronald Reagan spoke to his wife, Nancy, after he was shot. There he was, about to go into surgery to have the bullet of a would-be assassin removed and what does he say? "Sorry honey, I forgot to duck." That sense of humor, that ability to see past the negative is critical if you're going to be successful in this play. Your attitude is an absolutely vital tool.

What do I mean when I say that your attitude is a tool? Let me answer that by telling you a story.

After I started to train tennis legend Martina Navratilova back in the early 1980s, she became the number-one ranked women's tennis player in the world. Still, a lot of people kept saying that she could play well only on fast surfaces—indoors on carpet, and outdoors on grass and hard courts. In particular, the naysayers were claiming that Martina would never be able to win the French Open because it was played on the slower surface of red clay.

Her doubters were everywhere—the media and fans alike. Even Navratilova's archrival Chris Evert was quoted as saying, "Martina is a serve-and-volley player." On clay, big servers and serve-and-volley players like Martina ...

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