Leadership on Billie Jean King - Essay Sample

Published: 2024-01-11
Leadership on Billie Jean King - Essay Sample
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Leadership analysis United States Sport
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1849 words
16 min read


Billie Jean King is an American tennis player whose impact and playing style raised the position of women's professional tennis at the start of the late 1960s (Terrell, 2019). In the course of her career, she won thirty-nine main titles while competing for singles and doubles. King was actively motivated since she was young and first enticed global attention in 1961 by winning the Wimbledon doubles contest with Karen Hatz (Terrell, 2019). She then proceeded to capture a record of 20 Wimbledon titles constituting of French, U.S., and Australian singles (Terrell, 2019). King's victories in 1967 made her the leading woman since 1938 to take the U.S. and British singles, doubles, and mixed pairs in one year (Terrell, 2019).

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After 1968, King transformed into a professional and became the first woman athlete to win further than $100,000 in one season in 1971(Terrell, 2019). In 1973, she beat the elderly Bobby Riggs in a match that was highly publicized referred to as "Battle of the Sexes (Terrell, 2019)." The match established a record for the primary tennis spectators and prevalent reward bestowed up to that time. King persistently promoted the rights of women players and assisted in establishing a separate women's tour. She also acquired monetary support from marketable benefactors and was one of the creators and paramount leader of the Women's Tennis Association in 1974 (Terrell, 2019).

How She Leads Herself

King is viewed by the public as someone intense and revitalizing. She practically sparks with has an unlimited curiosity about the beliefs of other people. Also, King is one of the most respected athletes and change-makers, who is still marking a mark currently as a champion for social change and equality. To the public eye, King is viewed as a confident person with an intuitive commitment and willpower to achieve goals, break limitations, and overcome stereotypes. She is also seen to be always beginning on a fresh segment of her journey of attachment with comprehension and direction that is not less reflective than her activities (Schnall, 2018). Consequently, King matches her goals with her steps, and this had molded her to be the successful person she is in sports.

King's analysis of how she leads herself and the public's perceptions of her demonstrates a current trend in leadership. It entails accepting all people and emphasizing relational skills. It has been noted that King has an unlimited curiosity about the beliefs of other people, meaning she attaches high value to them despite the rank or position in society. Also, she has respect for different cultures, an element that has enabled her to advocate for social change. As a leader, King is a leader who is open to genuine feedback from those around her and adopts every opportunity to change society (Schnall, 2018). By accepting feedback, she transforms her skills and knowledge concerning how she leads people. King further employs this information to enhance her life and those around her.

Moreover, King believes in self-motivation. She pushes herself to do things, and this has a quest for knowledge that promotes her to identify diverse identities in people and further challenge the status quo. King is also a risk-taker and believes that one has to go beyond their abilities to attain something significant. She has further been demonstrated to be an individual that thinks before acting and continuously planning the long and short-term future. Another unique way that King leads herself is by being able to work efficiently and effectively with other parties in business while at the same time maintaining disciple and control (Schnall, 2018). Thus, this may be one of the reasons that have propelled her to high success levels. King also has strong dynamism and finds herself being intolerant towards monotonous errands.

Discipline and focus are the significant ways that King leads herself and have also enabled her to be successful. Lack of these aspects would result in King having numerous incomplete errands and would not be able to realize the actual results of her capabilities. It is essential to note that discipline and focus are crucial elements of leadership. King's success in personal leadership has been promoted by what she does consistently daily. As a leader, she comprehends the aspects to focus on and the need to be disciplined. For instance, her advocacy for gender equality in tennis has been consistent. It has been observed to bear effective results ("Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative | Leadership and Diversity Nonprofit Organization", 2020).

Critical Thinker

King also leads herself by being a critical thinker. Her journey to rectify women's unequal treatment in sports, the workplace and society was started through thinking. She reports having thought about most of her female colleagues who had careers similar to hers and their challenges. By being a critical thinker, King has managed to solve problems effectively. It is further manifested in her other abilities to evaluate elements, being open-minded, and make crucial decisions (Schnall, 2018).

Leadership is all about the aspects of regularity, dynamism, significance, and people. It is aimed at awakening possibility in people to deliver impressive results. King has been operating with boldness, speed, and simplicity, which has been relevant in making decisions and attaining the goals she established. Furthermore, she has been inspiring action. Purpose has been the central aspect of everything she engages in, and it is crucial to serve and generate a difference. King is also courageous, which inspired her to advocate for gender equality in tennis strongly. She bravely took on the matter, and this shows that it was inspired from within or internal need for change (Schnall, 2018).

How She Leads Others

King leads others through sponsorship and action, awareness and enablement, and research and revolution. Through the Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative, she fights to guarantee that those who hold influential spots in the workplace are a representation of the international world, fresh ideas, comprehensive capacity, and nurture a collaborative work setting. King's leadership is also focused on ensuring people are free to bring their accurate personalities to work daily. Furthermore, King's formation of the Billie Jean King Initiative has enabled her to nurture a program where diverse talent is supported and eminent from the top down to bottom-up ("Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative | Billie Jean King", 2020).

Additionally, King leads people through the authentic leadership approach. She insists on developing sincerity through honest associations with followers which value their input and are constructed on a virtuous groundwork. As a leader, King is self-aware, genuine, and transparent. She further inspires devotion and conviction in her worker by reliably exhibiting who she is as an individual and the way she feels about people's performance. In the end, through the authentic leadership style, people under her obtain maximum satisfaction. It is also relevant to note that King focuses on doing the right thing for the attainment of long-term success. She displays strong ethical standards and honesty (Miao et al., 2018).

One of the essential elements that can be seen in King's way of leading others is empowerment. She gives people and the community that she leads a degree of autonomy and self-determination. In this way, people are able to epitomize their welfares in an accountable and self-determined manner as they operate on their ability (Choi et al., 2016). Furthermore, King has been quite vocal in ensuring that the struggle for women's equality continues. She was influential in making it suitable for American women to use themselves in other searches apart from childbirth. When King was still an enthusiastic tennis player, women players got less money than what men received. Her voice was the loudest in the pursuit of equivalence. She was even professed as radical due to her efforts to attain women's equality.

The quest for equality of women by King is a depiction of her leadership skills based on diversity. She is a diverse leader who understands that every individual is unique. King also recognizes individual differences that are along with the magnitudes of gender, ethnicity, and race, among others("Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative | Leadership and Diversity Nonprofit Organization", 2020). Hence, her leadership of others is based on promoting equality for all people without considering factors such as their gender. Additionally, as an inclusive leader, King is aware of bias, which is why she advocates for gender equality. Also, she employs efficient collaboration by empowering women, concentrating on the element of diversity thinking and psychological safety, and team cohesion. All these are attained through her non-profit organization ("Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative | Billie Jean King", 2020). Consequently, King has demonstrated all the relevant qualities needed for emerging leaders to lead others efficiently.

As a leader, King has created a culture where every person develops excellent concepts to enhance performance and add value. It can be seen in her non-profit organization that advocates for people to be contented to bring their genuine natures to work daily. In this way, King's leadership does not limit people regarding channeling their thoughts and ideas in the workplace or where they are based. Also, she is keen on people utilizing their power and capabilities to develop positive change. When she rose to the limelight while playing tennis, King decided to use her ability to advocate for gender equality in tennis. So, she used her influence to campaign for this change, which initially seemed quite hard to achieve. In the current leadership, collaboration is critical for allowing crucial situations to team success ("Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative | Billie Jean King", 2020). As such, it entails a supportive background that should emerge from fellow workers and leaders. When the environment is supportive, it means that there will be more input from the team, and the leader will have an easy time implementing the ideas and knowledge presented.

How She Leads Her Organization

King employs the strategic leadership style. She portrays passion and commitment to what she does. King is enthusiastic in projects she begins, and this ensures she remains committed up to the end. She also conveys her passion and commitment by example, and this helps to improve the motivation of her entire team. Another crucial element of strategic leadership applied by King is inclusion. Her organization fights to ensure that individuals who are in power in the workplace symbolize the international world, different concepts, and comprehensive talent. They should also nurture a collaborative work setting. The aspect of encouraging the development of a collaborative work environment naturally generates transparency in King's organization. She is genuinely interested in collaborating with her team, which aligns with their thoughts and goals (Rahman et al., 2018). Through collaboration in her organization, she developed trust, and her team highly supports her vision.


Humility is a strategic leadership quality demonstrated by King in her leadership. She is humble and engages in conduct such as apologizing when necessary. In this way, she is more "human" and relatable. Her tea members can easily approach King, and this ensures that any issues the organization may be facing are solved before they escalate. Furthermore, by being humble, she continuously empowers and rewards her team members.

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