Kristine Lilly & Dr. Lynette Gillis: Olympic Gold Medalist Soccer Player Shares Key to Teamwork

We know that exceptional team members contribute to the success of a team. And yet, it takes more than a group of superstars to win a championship. How do you get people to put the team first? How do you create chemistry among players? How do you build a winning team that plays for each other, either on the field or in the workplace?

Kristine Lilly served as a midfielder on the US Women’s Soccer Team through five FIFA World Cups and three Olympic games. A member of both the US Olympic Hall of Fame and US Soccer Hall of Fame, Lilly is an expert on effective teamwork. Dr. Lynette Gillis specializes in corporate strategy and organizational behavior, serving Concordia University in the roles of professor, Dean of the College of Business and Associate Provost. Lilly and Dr. Gillis are also the coauthors of Powerhouse Teams: 13 Teamwork Tactics that Build Excellence and Unrivaled Success.

Today, Lilly and Dr. Gillis discuss how the characteristics of powerhouse teams translate from the playing field to the workplace. Lilly shares some of the factors that made the 1999 US Women’s National Soccer Team successful, explaining how they built a winning mentality and put their egos aside for the betterment of the group as a whole. Listen in for insight around how leaders can unite a team with a big vision and learn how the opportunity to advance the game of soccer for women and girls inspired Lilly’s team to win big!

Key Interview Takeaways

Powerhouse teams share the same characteristics, regardless of setting. The 1999 Women’s National Soccer Team provides a model for excellence in teamwork that translates to any organization; the players exhibited trust, friendship, reliance on each other and a sense of resilience.

A strong leader unites their team with a big vision. Lilly credits Coach Anson Dorrance with teaching the team to play for each other and inspiring them to go beyond winning to ‘sell the game of soccer.’

For a team to excel, team members must put their egos aside. Lilly’s team was successful because the players accepted each other’s differences and bought into the idea that it’s not about the individual, it’s about the team.

Team chemistry is created by a center set. Teams that work well together are united by a common draw. For Lilly’s team, the players all bought into the mission of advancing the game of soccer for women and girls—and winning!

Powerhouse teams build a winning mentality. Lilly and her teammates worked with a mental skills coach on imagery and intention, developing practices that helped players focus on what they needed to do on the field.

Connect with Kristine Lilly & Dr. Lynette Gillis

Kristine Lilly’s Website

Kristine Lilly on Twitter

Kristine Lilly on LinkedIn


Dr. Lynette Gillis on Twitter

Dr. Lynette Gillis on LinkedIn


Powerhouse: 13 Teamwork Tactics that Build Excellence and Unrivaled Success by Kristine Lilly and Dr. John Gillis Jr. with Dr. Lynette Gillis

Anson Dorrance

Tony DiCicco

Dr. Colleen Hacker

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