Leaders in the world of professional sports face constant public scrutiny. So it was no surprise that former USA goalie Hope Solo took shots at her former coach. During the World Cup, Hope questioned Ellis’ leadership. It wasn’t enough that Coach Ellis was breaking barriers as a female coach, she had to endure ridicule from a former player. Yet, she handled it all with remarkable grace as her team stormed through to a record tying fourth gold cup win. 

For Coach Ellis, it was her second world cup victory, something no other coach has done. Perhaps owing her success to her 3 cornerstones of successful leadership: 

  • A Successful Connection with People
  • A Clear an Attainable Direction
  • Personal Humility

The three cornerstones that Coach Ellis espouses are pivotal to creating optimal outcomes in leadership. At Meaning-Centered Leadership, we understand that successful connections with people are pivotal to building the trusting relationship required for highly engaged teams. 

We also realize that having a vision which provides an attainable direction empowers others. It also helps create a deep sense of meaning for individuals on the team. 

Coach Ellis’ third cornerstone is essential for all leaders. The exemplary leaders who participated in our research agreed that humility is an essential leadership trait. They described the role of humility in creating inspiration and organizational wisdom. 

Coach Ellis will undoubtedly never silence all her critics, but she offers sound guidance to all leaders. Even if your team is not competing on the world stage in professional sports, you will increase their performance if you build strong relationships, set a clear vision, and lead with humility.