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Lessons Learned from Hope Solo

Speaking from personal experience, one of the hardest lessons to learn in business (and sports) is when to shut up.

The latest example? Hope Solo's venting at a press conference after the disastrous US loss to Brazil in the 2007 World Cup.

Sure she's right. The coach was a fool. Like most managers who get in above their heads, he tried to play safe soccer, opting for a risk-averse strategy of experience over youth.

How many times have we seen talent getting squelched in the business world thanks to bureaucracy? It's an old story.

The right thing to do would have been to shut up. Let your racket do the talking, the Aussie tennis players used to say. And they're right. Sometimes the best thing to do is shut up and let your actions do the talking.

In business, the best way to get back at an incompetent manager is not to quit, but to let your work do the talking for you. Your manager will be fired soon enough. And if that fails, find another job - within the same company, if possible. And failing that, try another company.

Sometimes even that's not enough. That's when you have to become your own boss.

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