Two Moments of Real Leadership in Less Than 24 Hours

In the 2015 Women’s World Cup Final, Carli Lloyd scored three spectacular goals in 15 minutes. She was the captain of the team that day. With 10 minutes left in the game, Abby Wambach came on to the field. Abby had been the captain of the team in the past and had been the best player in the world in the past, but now she was at the end of her career. Carli Lloyd went over to her and gave Abby the captain’s armband for the end of the game. Abby held the World Cup trophy after the game. Carli stepped back to allow Abby this moment.

To me, Carli Lloyd set a great standard of leadership not only for her team, but also for the millions of people who watched that game. Without saying a word, she said, “This effort is a team effort. Everyone from the past and the present is important. This is not about me.”

Venus Williams lost to her sister, Serena, in a hard-fought tennis match at the 2015 Wimbledon tennis tournament. Venus is older than Serena, and at one time in the past Venus was winning all the championships and Serena was considered to be the second best player in the family. After she lost, Venus hugged Serena for a long time and clearly encouraged her for her future matches at Wimbledon.

To me, Venus Williamsn set a great standard of leadership not only for this tournament, but for the millions of people who watched that moment. Without saying a word, she said, “It’s important to support others and encourage them even when the moment is not ours to be the victor.”

Two remarkably real moments in leadership less than 24 hours apart. W can learn so much from both of them.