Leadership Qualities: Build on Success.

Ministry of Health & Wellness- “Love Yuh Body, Treat Yuh Body Right” Official Video

Establishing a firm foundation has exponential returns on investment as you build on success, from individual and corporate goals to regional and global goals.

Imagine a young girl playing soccer with her brother in the backyard, and her male classmates in the schoolyard.  To her it was simply fun because women were not allowed to play soccer from 1921 to 1971 in England where Jill Ellis grew up.  But, as a teenager, Ellis’ family relocated to the United States where she began to play organized soccer.  Opportunities opened to her. She played through university for William & Mary and eventually was introduced to coaching.  Gradually, she rose through the college ranks to become the head coach at Illinois and then UCLA.  From being a member of Pia Sundhage’s staff, she became the USA team’s head coach in 2014.  Ellis has earned her place in history as having coached more games (126) than any other U.S. women’s coach, and her 101 wins (now more since the World Cup 2019 win) are second only to DiCicco (105) (Armour, 2019; https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/columnist/nancy-armour/2019/07/07/world-cup-us-netherlands-female-coaches-send-strong-message-final/1667544001/).

More specifically, under her leadership, the United States World Cup team, “has won a record 11 straight World Cup matches dating back to 2015 in Canada, surpassing Norway’s record from 1995-99. The team has also been undefeated in a record 16 World Cup matches, surpassing Germany’s run between 2003 and 2007” (Peterson, 2019; https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/soccer_fifa_wwc/us-looks-to-complete-its-french-summer-with-a-final-win/ar-AADWQvG). 

To “build on success” means to “expand on, develop, enhance, elaborate, refine, improve on, flesh out, and enlarge on” (https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english-thesaurus/build-on-something).  And, sports development is a magnificent platform to build human capacity.

“… if we trace the pathway of adult job-related training back to its roots in childhood, we see that it began in play and was formalized through the education system. … This can be illustrated by a child visiting a playground for the first time.  They approach the swings, and with the help of the teacher on duty, climb on and wait for that first push.  Then comes the instruction to swing their legs.  One big arc puts a smile on the child’s face as they exclaim, “I’m swinging!”  After a few days of assistance from the teacher, they finally climb on alone and begin to swing their legs until they can form their own arcs.  They swing in wide arcs, calling out to others down below who are visiting the playground for the first time.  It is a skill that they have mastered.  From high up in the air, the child spies the bright red bars of the jungle gym.  “I’ll try that next time,” they think. …Using years of accumulated experience… the teacher leads the child to the place they were most curious about, and which matched their physical ability.  Time, a little guidance from an adult and more mature peers, and enough practice will result in mastery, and the desired developmental maturity.”

Excerpt from Black Gold: Developmental Pathways to Human Resource Development in Jamaica by Keisha A. Mitchell (2015, pp. 2-3; https://www.amazon.com/Black-Gold-Mitchell-Keisha/dp/3659761052/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=black+gold+by+Keisha+A.+Mitchell&qid=1562599953&s=books&sr=1-1).

What can pull together a million spectators in venues all over France and draw more than a billion viewers across the world?  These were just a few highlights of the phenomenal success of FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019, shared by Gianni Infantino, FIFA President.  

RELIVE: FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019 Closing Press Conference (mins. 18:30-27:12).

Infantino also acknowledged that his job is to lead his team to build on this success, starting with a club world cup that can be played all over the world.  Among his other proposals for the future are:

  1. to increase the number of teams from 24 to 32 teams
  2. to double the prize money which has already moved from 15 billion to 50 billion; and
  3. to increase the investment in women’s football to 1 billion dollars globally.

It is also noteworthy that five of the eight teams in the quarterfinals — the U.S., Netherlands, France, Italy and Germany — had female coaches. According to Ellis, “There’s a lot of young women or former players who want to coach … And to see (us) doing it, is really important” (Armour, 2019).  

But, their success started with sports development in a backyard or in the schoolyard. So, encourage physical activity.  

(Mitchell, 2019).

And, the Canadian Paediatric Society has a successful strategy that they have been using to encourage their patients to be more active.  

Additionally, in 2017 the Ministry of Health and Wellness in Jamaica launched a national campaign to reduce the incidence of non-communicable diseases in the population called “Jamaica Moves.”  The campaign has moved from an individual challenge to corporate and national challenges.  With each level of success the program has been expanded, with affiliate campains now being run in Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados.

#RGHonours – Health and Wellness: Jamaica Moves Campaign … Moving towards better health

So, don’t ignore physical activity.  It can yield invaluable returns with a minimal investment.  Consider more answers to challenging questions in Dear Little Brother, … and Dear Little Sister, … and more at http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/KeishaAMitchellPhD  and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=emOifCZt7dg .

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