Are you in a leadership role, but looking for some new tips to hone your skills? Who better to ask than an Olympian. This particular Olympian has been a leader of her team for over 5 years and has won multiple gold medals. To get to this point she learned through trial and error the absolute best way to lead a team to success. Get the tips on how you can lead your business team to success and more productivity here!
Christie Rampone is one of America’s most successful and celebrated soccer players, and she will be leading the U.S. Women’s National Team to the London Olympic Games. She has won gold twice, once in 2004 and as the team captain in 2008. She has also played in four World Cup finals and is a mother of two young kids. Here, she opens up about what it really takes to be a leader.
Whether in the world of soccer or business, leadership is simple.
It’s about communication, honesty, and building confidence. That’s it. You get that, and your team competes at its best. Period.
As the captain of the U.S. Women’s National soccer team, it is my job to help the team understand what the coaching staff expects. I took over as captain in 2007 and had never thought about or prepared for a leadership role. At first, I tried to please everyone—but I soon learned that leads only to confusion and failure.
After five years, I have found that being a great leader boils down to a few no-nonsense principles:
1. Stop talking so much. A good leader is a good listener. My role is about less talk and more keen observation. You can often learn more about your team’s dynamics by simply watching the team interact. As you watch, ask yourself: Where are there issues? Who is helping the team the most? Who is hurting the team’s morale?
2. Don’t gossip. In one-on-one conversations, a good leader really digests the information and, most important, won’t blab it to other colleagues.
This is the foundation of trust between colleagues. For me, when a teammate expresses concern about an issue, I don’t use her name and/or exact quotes when I speak to our coaching staff.
This way, our coaches are addressing the issue, not a particular person. It also means I don’t lose the confidence of my team. I’m a credible source, not a gossip or someone who blames others for problems.
Bottom line: If what you say has substance and integrity, your colleagues and whomever you answer to (and, face it, we all answer to someone) trust you.
3. Stop saying yes. I can’t afford to be a yes person. When the athletes come to me with ideas or problems, I have to weigh each and prioritize. Same goes for business: You can’t just take on everything from everyone.
Sometimes saying no is harder in the short term (your team might not understand or agree), but if you know it’s best for your team in the long run, it’s worth it.
Get the full article at INC!