Simplifying success with soccer legend Carli Lloyd:
Something for the weekend: Mental fortitude secrets from a two-time World Cup champion

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SHI employees were recently invited to kick off their weekends with two-time Olympic gold medalist and two-time World Cup champion Carli Lloyd. The soccer legend joined us for an inspirational session called “Success On and Off the Field: A Conversation with Carli Lloyd”, where she shared lessons from her 17 years on the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team, encouraged attendees never to give up on the pursuit of their goals, and emphasized a “be better every day” philosophy.

“The way that I judge success is the entire journey,” Carli explained in the opening minutes of the talk. “I never played for statistics. I never played to be in the spotlight. I played because I wanted to win, and I wanted to help my team win.”

Jersey grit

Much like SHI, Carli’s roots are in New Jersey, and she still lives in the state where she first learned to kick a ball. When asked about her connection to her home turf, she noted that she’s a tough Jersey girl who’s “kind of got that blue-collar mentality, chip on the shoulder.”

This fortitude resonated with many SHI employees, including Inside Account Executive David Zendejas, who said, “She is quite the human being. I loved to see that her Jersey grit and determination was one of the determinants for her career’s success. It is that kind of willpower to prove herself on the pitch that really inspires us and the younger generation. No wonder she was the captain!”

Carli told the group that her self-motivation and will came from within; she was willing to do whatever it takes to stay at the top.

“It became a habit,” she explained. “It became a ritual to always put in that work, all the time. My foot was on the pedal from 2005 to 2021.”

Overcoming adversity

Even though Carli won two FIFA World Player of the Year awards – and proved she has the clutch gene when she scored a hat trick in the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup Final – she still had to contend with doubters. These naysayers included a coach who felt her advancing age had become a liability. Rather than let these moments affect her psyche, she used them as fuel.

“I would turn that Jersey attitude on and say, ‘You know what, I’m going to prove them all wrong,’” she recalled. “The ones that constantly make excuses and constantly pout are usually the ones who don’t grow and get better.”

Senior Project Manager Andrea Richeson found this mentality valuable.

“In spite of her being a world-class celebrity athlete, she is remarkably down to earth and struggles with what everyone struggles with,” Andrea noted. “What I took away from her talk: Just keep going through the tough times – change is inevitable and even difficult situations have lessons that are valuable.”

Blazing a path for women

This event was presented by WiSH, SHI’s employee resource group dedicated to celebrating the diversity of women in technology, and Dell Technologies, an SHI partner with an admirable social impact plan. Their 2030 inclusion moonshot goal is to have 50% of their global workforce and 40% of their global people leaders be those who identify as women.

As one of the top female athletes in American history, Carli is a strong advocate for women helping other women advance and thrive in the workplace, urging attendees to lift each other up and “don’t ever let anyone tell you you’re not worthy.” Partner Services Advisor Parishi Sheth asked Carli about her top advice to young working women to help them reach their maximum potential.

“Strive to be the best version of yourself, and do not let anyone tell you you’re not good enough,” Carli answered. “As long as you focus on yourself, compete against yourself, and stay in your lane, the sky is the limit. We as women are in a great space right now where more opportunities are coming, so we have to show the world we can be successful and lead others around the world.”

Customer Engagement Program Manager Juliana Meda appreciated that the discussion touched on work-life balance. Prior to joining SHI she used to work 70-hour weeks, including holidays and weekends, and she found it meaningful to listen to an extraordinary woman who still found time to build connections outside of her job.

“To hear from Carli about how she was able to balance having a relationship, and eventually a family, while working through her career and traveling the world, was incredible,” Juliana shared. “It gives me hope as a woman looking to grow in this new career path, while also planning for a future with a family.”

Simplifying success

Keeping the pursuit of success simple was a core message that wove through Carli’s remarks. She acknowledged that there are obstacles along our paths – but advocated for pursuing goals day by day and celebrating the small victories that lead to the larger triumphs.

Inside Sales Account Manager Mike Wooters was also reminded not to bask too long in past glories, calling Carli “an excellent example of focusing on new goals instead of becoming complacent in the frenzy of previous accomplishments.”

Similarly, Partner Marketing Specialist Erin Gill said, “The one thing she said that resonated the most was ‘doing everything to succeed became a habit.’ It really highlighted how doing the little things every day towards that one focus and goal is what makes someone a success.”

It’s clear that our SHI team left the conversation with Carli reinvigorated and motivated to reach new heights with our customers in 2022. We’ll give the last word to the soccer legend:

“What I’ve learned throughout the course of my career is that not every day is going to be the way you want,” Carli noted. “Trust the process, trust the journey, and know that there’s good days to come. You have to be able to just tackle the good and the bad. Just simplify things, don’t put so much pressure on yourself, and take it day by day. One task at a time, one game at a time, one practice at a time.”