Week 104 (26 September - 2 October 2015)
The International Tennis Federation (ITF) entered a new era of leadership this week after David Haggerty succeeded Francesco Ricci Bitti as its President following his election at the International Federation's Annual General Meeting in Santiago, Chile, last Friday.
With American Haggerty at the helm of tennis' world governing body, the sport has a humble and down-to-earth leader who is committed to enhancing its position as one of the most popular sports in the world through collaboration with key stakeholders and member nations.
Haggerty, who recently served as the Chairman and President of the United States Tennis Association and US Open, brings a wealth of experience to the role and aims to strengthen the ITF's relationship with the ATP, WTA and Grand Slams. He believes a closer collaboration with these partners will facilitate the promotion of the sport and the dissemination of its values worldwide.
And Haggerty recognises the importance of communications to achieving his aims. So much so that communications will become the fundamental driving force behind Haggerty's collaborative approach over the next four years of his presidency. As his manifesto stated:
"Communications are vital not only to our existence but, more importantly, to our success."
And throughout his campaign Haggerty practised what he preached, meeting and speaking with member nations and demonstrating his unassuming but also persuasive communications skills.
Furthermore, Haggerty displayed that vital ingredient which all truly effective communicators possess: the ability to listen. His promise to "listen, learn and lead" was an effective soundbite and a powerful message which resonated with the member nations who voted for him ahead of the other presidential candidates: Anil Khanna, René Stammbach and Juan Margets.
Following the result, Haggerty spoke of what his election as ITF President meant to him:
"It is a privilege and an honour to be elected president of the ITF. Tennis is the common language that binds all our member nations. It is important that we continue to listen to each other and work together to keep the ITF strong."
Now, the hard work (and communicating) can really begin.