Five Lessons for our Country from the World Champion Soccer Team and Megan Rapinoe

The US Women’s Soccer Team Celebrates at New York’s City Hall (photo courtesy of The Nation)

Brittney Spears sang “Whoops, I did it again.” And now the US Women’s Soccer Team has done it again – coming home in 2019 with their 4th world cup championship. In her short remarks in New York City, team co-captain Megan Rapinoe challenges all of us to take some lessons out of the women’s soccer team playbook to build a better country and better society. (link to CNN video).

Here are five of those lessons:

1. Diversity wins! Megan highlighted that a diverse set of women came together to create this winning team; white girls, black girls and those in between …. Straight girls and gay girls … girls with pink hair, purple hair, tattoos and deadlocks. Her point being that the team did not dwell on these differences and allow the differences to divide them, but instead came together as a cohesive team, celebrating their uniqueness and bringing it all together to win. As one of the most diverse countries in the world, we can come together with all the unique gifts that everyone brings to create a special and strong union instead of it creating division.

Megan Rapinoe with world cup trophy (Image courtesy of Esquire)

2. Everyone matters! Megan went through a long litany of all the support people who assisted the team in winning their championship; it was just not those women seated on the podium. Megan thanked everyone who contributed to their success: coaches, medical staff, videographers, security team and even the team chefs. And she thanked the US Soccer Federation President Carlos Cordeiro, with whom they have been some issues. She used this particular public forum to thank and honor him even though there have been some serious issues behind the scenes.

3. Be better and be positive! Megan issued a charge to every person listening at the event … to love more and hate less, to listen more and talk less. It is everybody’s responsibility to contribute their best in making the world a better place.

Megan Rapinoe (left) with girlfriend WNBA player Sue Bird (Image courtesy of yahoo)

4. Use your platform to impact the world for good. Megan made the point that now that the eyes of the world and the country are upon them as the world cup winners, that they have a responsibility to use their power and their platform to impact the world for good.

5. Collaboration instead of contention. Megan closed with the point that sadly, there is so much contention within our nation. Instead we need to work together and collaborate.

In the past, I have blogged often about the connection between sports and diversity and leadership. And I am pleased that our nation’s women’s soccer team and co-captain Megan Rappinoe has again highlighted how we as individuals and a society can learn from athletics and athletes.

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Blog author Stan Kimer, Founder and President of Total Engagement Consulting by Kimer, is a diversity and career development consultant and trainer.

Here are some of my earlier blogs featuring athletics along with diversity and leadership:

Five Key Messages on The Importance of Out Gay Olympic Athletes

Three Wonderful Recent Examples of Diversity in Sports

US Figure Skating’s Fantastic New Campaign: “Get Up!” Yes, in all aspects of our lives, we may fall, but the more times we get up and persevere, the stronger we become. In addition, I wrote a year-long series of “get up” blogs.

Lessons in Character from a Young Teen, about a young man who bounced back from disastrous defeat to become a champion.

Happy New Year – My Top 7 Blogs of 2018

This is now becoming an annual tradition – looking at my website statistics for the past entire year and listing my top seven most read blogs as a New Year feature.

I normally blog about my two areas of consulting a few times each month: Diversity with a specialization in the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) workplace and marketplace; and career and skills development based on my innovative Total Engagement Career Mapping process. And once in a while I throw in a more personal blog or rant about something that is irking me.

In 2018, for the first, time, all seven most read blogs dealt with some sort of diversity topic, with diversity within sports being the most popular. Also, this year, two of the seven top blogs were written by guest bloggers, my cousin Brandon Garrick and one of my consulting associates Elsa Maria Jimenez Salgado. Here are the “Top 7 of 2018” in reverse order:

7. The seventh most read blog of 2018 was guest written by my cousin Brandon Garrick, Masters of Social Work Candidate at NC State University. “Five steps to reduce mass incarceration of African Americans” was a follow up to his first blog about the key impacts of the mass incarceration of Black Americans.

6. Number 6 was “Five Key Messages on the Importance of Out Gay Olympic Athletes” which focuses on the value and importance of Olympic athletes being open about their sexual orientation, an increasingly critical message for today’s youth.

5. My fifth most popular blog was “Three Wonderful Recent Examples of Diversity and Sports,” in which I provide three short summaries with links about an NFL football player with one hand, an WNBA player who is a new mother with her wife, and a college track star who overcame a harsh abusive upbringing in Africa.

4. Number 4 is “Seven Biases in the Workplace – Let’s Be Brutally Honest About It.” I challenge us all to be brutally honest about unconscious biases that can pop into our heads about the diverse co-workers we interact with, and to address it with action.

3. Number 3 was the 2014 – 2016 number 1,and the 2017 #2, actually published way back in 2011! As many people search for online resources about diversity training, they found and read my 2011 blog “Three Components of Diversity Training,” where I discuss three major components required for diversity training and exactly who within an enterprise should be trained. I have also updated that blog to include links to more resources including to a blog sharing a sample outline of diversity and inclusion training contents.

2. This past year’s number 2 blog, “Seven Misconceptions or Stereotypes of Hispanic People” was a guest piece written in 2016 by my part-time bilingual consultant on staff, Elsa Maria Jimenez Salgado.

As an adult competitive figure skater myself, I enjoy including skating and skaters in my blogs.

1. And finally, by a complete runaway with 35,000 hits across the two blog was my 2016 personal labor of love which included several personal photos that I took, “Seven Fabulous Out Gay Men of Figure Skating.” along with this year’s Seven More Fabulous Out Gay Men of Figure Skating (and One Bisexual Woman.)

Thanks to all the readers who enjoy and share my blogs. In 2019, if you want to be notified each time I do publish, you can like my business facebook page (Link), or if you subscribe to my monthly e-newsletter, I include a short summary and links to the past month’s writings.

Wishing all my readers a wonderful 2019 filled with much contentment, success and hopefully a rebounding stock market!