Just call Prince Harry the king of problem solving.
On Thursday, the Duke of Sussex appeared on a panel for BetterUp, a company that provides employee coaching and mental health services, alongside CEO Alexi Robichaux and tennis great Serena Williams. The royal, who serves as the company’s chief impact officer, spoke with Williams about facing burnout, setting boundaries and dealing with loss and setbacks in life. Toward the end of the panel, Williams even divulged that Harry is one of her go-to people for solving her life problems.
“It’s hard. I’m a terrible loser,” Williams said.
“When it comes to losing, I even hate that word,” she noted. “Because for me, if I have a loss I actually learn so much from it.” She explained that “some of my best growth has come from a loss.”
“Even when I’m investing in a company, I actually want to know about your losses,” the 23-time Grand Slam winner said. “If you started a company before, how did you do? … Where did you kind of fail at? Because if everything was so good and so clean and so easy, then that doesn’t even build character, you know?”
Harry chimed in and spoke to the idea that people can continue to grow and learn from setbacks.
“If you’re in your 20s, your 30s, your 40s and even your 50s, and you think you’ve got it sorted, then bad stuff’s gonna happen,” Harry said.
“There’s a lesson here. There’s a lesson I’m being schooled by the universe. There’s something in this for me to learn,” the royal said. “So that next time it happens, I become more resilient or better at being able to see a way around it, to be able to achieve the ultimate goal. And if you have that perspective, then every single bad thing that happens ― again, what you perceive to be bad ― actually can be good.”
“We don’t mean to take over ― we always have these crazy discussions,” Williams quipped, as she and Harry continued to talk to each other, something Robichaux didn’t appear to mind a bit.
Toward the end of the talk, Williams said the duke had helped her find a mental coach whom she continues to work with. And beyond that, she said, Harry is “always solving” her “life’s problems.”
“I know I joke a lot, but Harry is actually one of my coaches,” Williams said, laughing. “Whenever I see him, he’s always solving all my life’s problems, so I kind of give that to your BetterUp coach, it’s kind of helped me ― so thank you!”
Williams is longtime friends with Harry’s wife, Meghan Markle, and attended the royal couple’s wedding in 2018 with her husband, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian. Meghan and Ohanian appeared together on a panel for a TIME 100 Talk in October 2020.
Prince Harry joined BetterUp as chief impact officer in March 2021. Robichaux described the Duke of Sussex as a fit for the company because of “his model of inspiration and impact through action.”
Harry said in a statement at the time that he was “excited” to join the company and shared his own ethos about mental health.
“I firmly believe that focusing on and prioritising our mental fitness unlocks potential and opportunity that we never knew we had inside of us,” he said.
“Being attuned with your mind, and having a support structure around you, are critical to finding your own version of peak performance,” the duke added. “What I’ve learned in my own life is the power of transforming pain into purpose.”
The virtual appearance on Thursday is Harry’s first since he and the Duchess of Sussex released a statement over the weekend about Spotify allowing COVID-19 misinformation on its platform.
The couple signed an exclusive, multiyear podcasting partnership with Spotify in December 2020, nearly a year after the two stepped back as working members of the British royal family.
“Since the inception of Archewell, we have worked to address the real-time global misinformation crisis,” a spokesperson for Archewell, Harry and Meghan’s foundation and production company, said in a statement shared with HuffPost on Sunday. “Hundreds of millions of people are affected by the serious harms of rampant mis- and disinformation every day.”
“Last April, our co-founders began expressing concerns to our partners at Spotify about the all too real consequences of COVID-19 misinformation on its platform,” the statement noted. “We have continued to express our concerns to Spotify to ensure changes to its platform are made to help address this public health crisis. We look to Spotify to meet this moment and are committed to continuing our work together as it does.”
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