Leadership Communication Lessons for Small Business from the World Cup Champions

The U.S. Women’s national soccer team captured its third World Cup last weekend with a dominating 5-2 win over Japan.

A New York Times feature on coach Jill Ellis described her coaching style as “connecting on a personal level with her players to build trust, though not at the expense of honesty or the collective needs of the team.”

Ellis was quoted as saying, “At my very first meeting I said I will connect with you, but I will always make decisions based on what I think is best for the team,’ ” Ellis said.

The story also noted “Ellis held one-on-one meetings with team leaders during the tournament, asking their opinions.”

Quotes from players in the article mentioned she actually incorporated some of the players suggestions.

A key change some of the players asked for was to play a more aggressive, offensive style as the tournament moved into the Knockout Round after getting their with a very successful, tight defensive approach.

Two keys any small business leader can take from Coach Ellis’ approach to create a championship workplace culture:

  • Ask employees for their opinions
  • Look for ways to incorporate the suggestions

Employees want to feel as if they are contributing to company success and are not just a cog in a machine.

Employees are human beings with a perspective much different from the company leaders. They see, feel and think differently.

Embrace those differences.

Use the ideas, insights, suggestions that are in the best interests of the company.

Doing so will help create championship employee performance because they will be able to see their contribution being incorporated and they will take more initiative looking for more ways to contribute.

Next time, we’ll explore some reasons why business leaders don’t take this approach.

’til next time, to add to the conversation by leaving a comment below.

skip-weisman-professional speaker-small business championship coach