What Would Jurgen Klinsmann Do?

I watched Jurgen Klinsmann create a German team, that no one else wanted by the way, which brought pride to Germany and whose legacy has made Germany a contender in the World Cup. Now the same man has led an American team to what many hoped would happen, but thought was impossible — a win against Ghana. And both times, he was able to achieve stellar results in the face of adversity — people questioning his approach. Even so, he always showed up and delivered.

What is it that great coaches and team leaders (like Tony Parker who was able to lead the French basketball team to a championship) have that the average manager doesn’t?

Could it be that they have a safe zone to fail before it’s time to perform? Practice games, for example, allow coaches to experiment with starters to determine the best combination. And what’s more, they aren’t afraid to fail and realize that they can learn from what others may call a failure.

Could it be that the players really are team players who show up to reach a common goals? These players don’t just give lip service to the saying that there is no “I” in team.

Could it be something about the personality of these people who have values that they are willing to stand by and continue to believe in themselves in spite of criticism?

I don’t know for sure, because I watch the matches as a spectator. But having worked for managers who seemed to have successfully applied these principles to create wins makes me wonder if managers should ask themselves, “What would Jurgen Klinsmann do?”

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Maya Angelou — A Renaissance Soul

“I think we’ve done a real disservice to young people by telling them, ‘Oh you be careful. You’ll be a jack-of-all-trades and a master of none.’ It’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. I think you can be a jack-of-all-trades and a mistress-of-all trades. If you study it, and you put reasonable intelligence and reasonable electricity to it, you can do that.”

Maya Angelou

When people ask me who is your favorite singer, actor, or author, I don’t necessarily give them the name of a person based on how much I like their work in the area questioned. My answer sometimes refers to how much I respect the person for other aspects related to their work. Like their business skills.

When it comes to Maya Angelou, I always loved her voice. But I had no idea that her voice extended beyond her written words. Did you know that she was a calypso singer before she started writing? And that she:

  • Served as a journalist in Ghana and Egypt;
  • Composed songs for popular singers like Harry Balafonte;
  • Lectured to packed auditoriums and appeared on innumerable talk shows;
  • Acted, both on camera and on stage;
  • Received nominations for both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize;
  • Worked with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for civil rights;
  • Held a professorship in American studies;
  • Danced in the opera Porgy and Bess;
  • Spoke eight languages; and
  • Served as America’s poet laureate.

The Renaissance Soul, Margaret Lobenstine

Maya Angelou was a Renaissance Soul.

Renaissance Souls

…live a much richer life — bestowing on those around you the gifts of your many talents — when you give full rein to your Renaissance Soul.

The Renaissance Soul, Margaret Lobenstine

And the fact that she was a Renaissance Soul makes me respect her even more than I did before.

I hope those Renaissance Soul’s out there  will take notice of how it is possible to pursue multiple interests and be “successful.” (Success, of course is based on your own definition).

Thank you Maya Angelou for the gifts you’ve bestowed upon us.