Most of the world has probably never heard of Carli Lloyd. Even after she scored the game winning goal in the US Women’s National Soccer team’s victory over China this week, to help the team advance to the semifinal of the World Cup, her name draws mostly blank stares. Yet, scoring game winning goals is nothing new for Lloyd; the two-time Olympic gold medalist scored the game winning goal in both of her gold medal contests.
There was a time, however, that Lloyd thought none of this would be possible. In 2003, Lloyd was cut from the under 21 national team. She was told she was not good enough to play at the elite level. It was a heartbreaking defeat for Carli Lloyd, and certainly one that appeared to diminish her chances of playing on the national team.
But rather than give up the game she loved, Lloyd decided to chase her dream of playing with the national team. She trained for longer hours and with more intensity than she had ever trained before, and eventually achieved her goal. Not only did Carli Lloyd make the team, but she has now played in over 200 matches for the US Women’s National team. She has been a starting central midfielder and one of the critical players to the team’s success on the world stage.
Adversity is a part of life; unfortunately, we all face it. At times, it will be so severe that we’ll want to give up. As leaders, we must display the resilience of Carli Lloyd if we want our teams to achieve their goals. Rather than give up, we must “dig in,” work harder, be more committed, and perform with more intensity than ever before.
These qualities helped Carli Lloyd overcome a significant hurdle and become one of the most accomplished players in women’s soccer history. If you display these same qualities when your organization faces adversity, I am sure you will help your team to achieve even greater levels of success.
Thanks for reading,
P.S. – Check out my website at http://www.jvearle.com and keep me in mind if you hear of any opportunities to share my thoughts on leadership.