Leadership | Management / Strategy

Quit crying about your competition. Outwork them instead.

There are right ways to get beaten, and then there’s Hope Solo’s way.

The U.S. women’s soccer team had just lost to Sweden in a stunning 4-3 upset at the Rio Olympics when Solo, America’s outspoken goalkeeper, offered reporters this bit of nonsense:

"I thought we played a courageous game. I thought we had many opportunities on goal. I think we showed a lot of heart. We came back from a goal down. I'm very proud of this team,” Solo said.

Fine so far. Then she added this: “And I also think we played a bunch of cowards. The best team did not win today. I strongly, firmly believe that.”

In a close game, Sweden decided to play defensively instead of opening things up on offense. They did what they needed to do to win, and this, Solo decided, made them cowards. And she told the world so.

Can you say “sore loser?”

When your competition out-hustles you, out-strategizes you, and flat-out beats you, how do you respond? Do you tip your cap, roll up your sleeves, and get back to work with a promise to do better next time? Or do you cry in your beer and call the competition names?

Hope Solo is a world-class athlete. She also can’t lose worth a damn.

Don’t be like Hope Solo. Be gracious in defeat, learn from your mistakes, and come back stronger.


William D. Sheridan