Venus Williams, CEO | The Players’ Tribune


– Tennis is a individual sport, but before you’re out there on your own, you do have this whole
team that helps you. No one person can build an empire. You gotta have lots of different people with lots of different specialties. I started both my companies,
V Starr and EleVen, because I wanted to continue my life during and after tennis doing things that I love. And I love fashion and
I love interior design. So at V Starr Interiors we
do design for institutions, so that could be like
colleges, hotels or spa, and things like that. At EleVen we focus on
making people’s dreams real and come alive through being active and doing something healthy for yourself. People need help and inspiration, and you never know where
that’s gonna come from, and hopefully we can provide that. We’re on the set of Spring
Summer ’19 EleVen, by me. Our photo shoot. For a long time I was looking
for my leadership style. I like to be told exactly
what to do anyway, so I’m looking for a book to tell me this is exactly how you do it. After a while it dawned on me. I was like, “I actually know my style.” And I’m like, “I’m a coach,” I’m like … and I knew exactly who I was. I just really do use everything that I have learned on the court. And it’s just that excellence, it’s that whole zone thing and being engaged and absorbed. Being able to use that in
your style of doing business but also leadership and management styles. O.K., let’s talk about
what we want to accomplish in these meetings. – Right. – I want us to still put
fashion in the forefront and still make sure that we’re, we’re staying, you know, stylistic in kind of our own voice. Honestly, brands are playing,
I think, a larger role in bringing positivity in people’s lives. Everything is changed. Everything is about being purpose-driven. And when you’re
purpose-driven as a business it really makes the impact that you can have on
people so much greater. It’s also exciting for employees that they know, O.K., we’re working toward this
mission on a daily basis, and every single decision that we make is going to lead us to that North Star. People really do matter. Every single person makes a contribution. If I can make people happy in their jobs and they feel happy
about what they’re doing, and you can really give
them that recognition, I like that.

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