The late, great Arthur Ashe was by all accounts a legend, having overcome a heap of disadvantages to reach the peak of global tennis, only to succumb a couple of decades later to a demise as a result of the cruellest luck.

He is still a role model for many people, and as a native of Richmond, VA in the USA, where I spent a few great months in 2001, he is for me an important figurehead.

He is famous for many things, not least of which are a few quotations which I think apply to work as well as they do to sport. Here are two of my favourites:

“You are never really playing an opponent. You are playing yourself, and when you reach your limits, that is real joy.”

This for me is especially true in the cut and thrust of competitive business. If we can do the best we can for our company, and not worry too much about what the competition are doing, then we can do no more. This, of course, is linked to how well we execute.

“The ideal attitude is to be physically loose and mentally tight.”

Have there ever been better words of advice for how to conduct yourself in an organisation?