Leadership Lessons from Head Coach Jill Ellis

Last week I wrote about Carli Lloyd and her great story of resiliency and hard work.  This week, we now know that Lloyd’s hard work paid off as she and her teammates are World Cup Champions. This is the ultimate prize for anyone playing soccer.  The United States national team certainly put on an outstanding display in the final game against Japan.  They avenged a 2011 loss to Japan in a game that was decided by penalty kicks.  But as impressive as our players were, head coach Jill Ellis may have been the real star of this squad.

Known for her open communication and attention to detail, Ellis made some great decisions in the quest for the World Cup. Not the least of which was her handling of Abby Wambach, the world’s leading international goal scorer (male or female).  Even though Wambach lost her starting role midway through the championship, she remained a positive member of the team and continued to praise her coach and support her teammates.  The Wall Street Journal quoted Wambach, “The intangible this year is our coaching staff focuses on the minor details that make all the differences.” In addition to this attention to detail, it is clear that Ellis is a skilled communicator.  How else do you bench one of the most famous players in the world and not have her complain about it?

In that same WSJ article, Ellis said she tries to be honest with her players.  “I try to give them a voice.  I try to ask them, ‘What do you need from me?'” Honest, open communication and attention to detail. These are two keys to the success of Jill Ellis and the women’s national soccer team.

How are you doing in these areas? Could you put your star player on the sideline and still have him or her contribute positively to the team?  Is your communication open and honest? Do you pay attention to the details to help your team strategically?

These are some of the things Jill Ellis practices every day; and the result is a World Cup Championship! Give them a try this week and lead your team to World Cup performances.

Thanks for reading,

Jim

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.

Ways to follow Dr. Jim Earle:
Twitter – @jvearle
Blog – http://www.jvearle.wordpress.com
Facebook – JVEarleConsulting
Website – http://www.jvearle.com

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