Julie Foudy is an American retired soccer midfielder, two-time FIFA Women's World Cup champion and Olympic gold medalist. She played for the United States women's national soccer team from 1987–2004.
People often ask me: What's the best lesson you learned after almost two decades on the U.S. women's soccer team? I'm fairly certain they want the secret formula to winning. Instead, I tell them, the best lesson I learned is actually a secret about life.
And that lesson came to me while watching my incredible teammates do their thing, on and off the field. Sure, I loved that they were amazing athletes, and we were winning World Cups and Olympics together. But I was most impressed that they were even more amazing human beings who led in a variety of ways.
My U.S. teammates showed me that leadership is personal, not positional. They showed me that asserting your own leadership style is most important — being authentically you. You could be a quiet leader like Mia Hamm, a vocal leader like Abby Wambach (or, let's be honest, "Loudy Foudy"), an emotional leader like Brandi Chastain, a cerebral leader, a nerdy leader, you get it. You just had to find your unique approach, your way. No need to be a celebrity or a leadership expert, you just had to care enough to raise your hand.
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