Have you ever heard this statement: you can win the battle but lose the war?

When I first heard it, it didn’t make sense to me. How can I win a battle but lose the war? Aren’t they the same?

I eventually found out that they were not. Did you find that out as well? 

What I learned over time is that the battle is the immediate skirmish, just what’s before you, but the war is that which is beyond you — the bigger picture. 

Is that how you’ve come to understand it?

This could not be truer than the 2019 World Cup Women’s Soccer Team.

How so?

There’s no question that the United States Women’s Soccer Team was the most dominant team in the tournament.

They were simply unstoppable as attested to by the results.

Unbelievable skills. Unbelievable players. Well deserved win.

The unfortunate thing is that the win has become hijacked by panderers especially in the political world.

Everyone wants to ride this wave for their own selfish reasons. I don’t think many of the voices who have entered the discussion on topics surrounding the win, is doing so on behalf of the players.

Some of these people don’t even understand soccer, play soccer or care for soccer. But if it serves their best interest, they’re gonna become instant fans and advocates.

But I understand that.

What I’m having difficulty with is how one team member, namely Megan Rapinoe has been allowed to hijack this win to advance her own self-serving agenda.

I understand she is the captain of the team – the leader of the team.

But I thought leaders were there to “eat last” as Simon Sinek espouses in his book: Leaders eat last.

How is what Megan Rapinoe does, reflect this type of leadership?

Here are 5 Leadership TakeAways from all the “noise” surrounding the victory of this incredible team.

Takeaway #1Leaders keep their eyes on the big picture

The big picture from this win is that there are future players who are looking at what is happening and are “learning” from players like Megan, on how to behave as a player.

  • Denounce the country or organization you are representing.
  • Refuse to sing or stand for the national anthem of the country you are representing
  • Step on the flag of the country you are representing.

These are “great” lessons being taught. Right? NOT!

Leaders need to understand that the actions that give them immediate gratification, may, in the long run, ruin the company’s customer base. There will come a time when the “dust” settles and people begin to “think” for themselves without the outside “noises.” The result is that they may find other places to “do business.”

Leadership TakeAway #2: Do not make it about you–the leader–and YOUR cause

Leaders do their best to highlight the contribution of others on the team and at every occasion, point the spotlight on them.

This is not Megan Rapinoe has done. Every moment she gets, she makes it about her.

If she does point the spotlight on the team, I missed those moments. If I did, I stand corrected using the words “every moment.”

Leadership TakeAway #3: Give respect to receive respect

Most leaders that I know, want to be respected by those they are leading. This is true for the majority of people on this planet.

However, leaders especially believe that having that line of respect is essential to their overall performance within the workplace.

But to gain that respect, they must act respectfully of all.

When they choose to do so and justify it, the message being sent is that this disrespectful behavior could very well find a new target, which might very well be “me/you.”

Leadership TakeAway #4: Uphold your oath of office

Every leader accepts the responsibility to represent the company that promoted them to that position.

They agree to be loyal and work within the guidelines and parameters set for them.

If and when they feel like they can no longer abide by the guidelines and parameters, they need to do the noble thing and resign.

But do not in any way, undermine the company you represent. One thing I grew up hearing is this: “if you nothing good to say, do not say anything at all.”

As captain of the United States Women’s Soccer Team, Megan Rapinoe agreed to represent not herself, but the United States.

Unfortunately, she did almost everything to malign and diss the United States, simply because of her an ongoing feud she created with the president and some of what the United States stands for.

As a leader, show integrity and step down, then do as you please… on your own time.

Leadership TakeAway #5: You represent the whole and not just a part

Philosopher Aristotle is accredited for coining this statement: The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

As a leader, it is incredibly important to remember that you are representing a diverse team of people who have differing interests, beliefs, backgrounds, personalities, and so on.

Therefore it is imperative to be mindful of that at all times.

This is where Emotional Intelligence is so needed.

Leaders must learn to accurately identify their emotions and manage them in an appropriate manner.

But this is not where they stop.

They need to, with that recognition and understanding, become acutely aware of the emotions of those around them, and in so doing, effectively manage those relationships.

If you want to listen to a more expanded view along with some stronger statements on why this article is entitled the way it is, listen to The Kingsley Grant Show HERE.

To access your FREE COPY of the book mentioned in the show, click on this link: https://www.kingsleygrant.com/freeleadershipbook

If you are a decision maker and is want to schedule me for one-on-one leadership coaching, as a speaker at your next event, or to do a training to key staff people or to all team members, connect with me.