LEADERSHIP LESSONS FROM THE US MEN'S SOCCER COACH
Despite facing a difficult schedule known as the “group of death,” United States Men’s Soccer coach Jurgen Klinsmann has high hopes for the team at the 2014 World Cup. Here are 8 leadership lessons we can take away from the German former champion and his relentless positivity.
RAISE THE BAR
During his panel at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, Klinsmann spoke about his hopes to contribute to a rise in soccer's popularity in American culture. Rather than accepting the way things are, we should all look to constantly improve ourselves and contribute to the world around us.
FOCUS ON THE PRESENT
"Sports are about today, not the past," says Klinsmann. This is in no way limited to sports, and is a helpful reminder that we should never let our pasts hold us back from achieving whatever we set our minds to in the future.
LEARN TO LET GO
Klinsmann believes that the role of a coach is to be a guide. In otherwords, even with the amount of experience they may have, it's impossible for coaches to control the actions of every player. We should all work as hard as we can at any challenges we face, but at some point, there comes a time to let go and hope for the best.
NO MORE "WHAT IF'S"
Worrying may be one of the most detrimental bad habits we can have. There will always be the possibility of a negative outcome in anything we do, but that doesn't mean we're supposed to focus on that. In fact, Klinsmann says, if you think about the "what-if's," eventually things will turn out that way.
ALWAYS LOOK TO LEARN
Klinsmann signed to the team that he would eventually go pro with at the age of 16. Although he never received a formal education past high school, he believes strongly in seeking additional ways to learn and has found that sports, travel, and culture all have a lot to teach us about life.
PROVE THEM WRONG
Klinsmann's home country of Germany takes the game of soccer much seriously than the United States. In fact, there's a certain stigma around the soccer world toward American players. Klinsmann's response to this is simply that the team needs to prove them wrong. We can silence any of our critics with enough hard work and perseverence.
When mentoring his players, Klinsmann always encourages them to push their own limits. Whether its transitioning to a higher league or accomplishing a goal totally outside the realm of soccer, we should all find ways to leave our comfort zones and never settle. If you settle, Klinsmann says, you quickly begin to stop and go downhill.
"WHATEVER FIELD WE PLAY ON, WE PLAY ON"
We all face circumstances that we're totally unprepared for and that seem to come out of nowhere. Klinsmann has referred to this World Cup as "The World Cup of Patience," due to all of the logistical roadblocks the team has already run into. No matter what comes at us, we can always find the strength within ourselves to react appropriately.