Soccer Being Accepted – #64

Let’s face it – the U.S. is dominated by Baseball, Basketball, Football and the following recruiting example will provide one of the many areas that YOU should be reviewing and adopting in your recruiting tool kit. Once you get away from cities with high immigration groups from Europe and the Latin countries, soccer is not practiced and talked about.  For example, I am currently attending the annual Brown Trout Fishing derby held on Table Rock Lake, MO and trying out my question of whether locals know anything about Soccer or do their school age kids play Soccer?  The answer usually is no, and once-in-a-while someone mentions the High School over in Branson having soccer teams.

Who is Kate Markgraf? I asked tons of folks both locals and visitors only to strike out on the answer.  Yet, she was just appointed to the position of GM of the Women’s National Soccer team, a very powerful position in terms of continuing to foster the winning ways of the Women’s National team who have secured The World Cup title for the last two years. Here are some of Kate’s credentials:

  1. Started on the 1999 team that won the World Cup, as well as being part of the team in 2003 & 2007 that finished third both times.
  2. Appeared in 201 games with the National Team during her 12-year career.
  3. She played on three Olympic Teams winning 2-gold and 1-silver medal.
  4. Kate’s technical skills in Soccer are excellent as exhibited over the 12 years.
  5. She will be responsible for hiring Coaches, as well as technical and administrative staff for the women’s teams. In addition, she will manage and create the technical plans and performance standards for these teams.
  6. Kate also played in two women’s professional leagues in the U.S. for the Boston Breakers and Chicago Red Stars.  Both teams and leagues failed after three seasons.

The big questions about Kate should have been people-skills, adaptability to cultural requirements, and overall leadership capability.  The technical skills that the head of the U.S. Soccer wanted to have in a GM’S overseeing the programs, Kate would have met those technical skills due to her 12 years as an active soccer player. However, the question lies in the fact that the RED flag should have been raised as to her passion for the job she was being hired for? After retirement from playing on the National and World Cup Teams, she chose not to stay with the Sport and went back to Notre Dame to earn separate Master Degrees in Kinesiology and Educational Psychology. She also worked as a broadcaster, most recently with ESPN.  Watching replays of those broadcasts would have provided a lot of inputs as to passion for the role, people and leadership skills. People skills and passion will be very evident, with all of us watching how she does with the new job in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Up-to-this point Kate had management responsibility for herself in meeting and exceeding the goals set for her.

In her new position as GM of the Women’s Soccer Team operations, she will have to get the job done through and with the voluntary cooperation of numerous people.  No easy task – and here is where people that once were successful fail, due to not understanding why all these — EMPLOYEES CAN’T CATCH ON TO THE JOB RESPONSIBILITIES AND BE WINNERS LIKE THEM.  VERY FEW OF THESE NEWLY APPOINTED MANAGERS HAVE HAD ANY ONE-ONE-MANAGEMENET DIRECTION OR MENTORING. Recruiting will be the major challenge to having EAGLES VS. BUZZARDS under your command.