Gregg Berhalter coached the U.S. men’s soccer team in the 2022 FIFA World Cup, where they achieved a memorable victory over Iran before losing to the Netherlands. Berhalter, who was a professional soccer player himself for 17 years, has coached in Europe and the U.S., and for the past four years, he’s been the head coach of the U.S. national team.
In the past couple of weeks, he’s been under another kind of spotlight. Berhalter’s decision to limit the playing time of one of his young players prompted the player’s parents to threaten to expose an incident from more than three decades ago in which Berhalter got into a physical fight with his girlfriend at the time, who later become his wife. Berhalter and his wife issued a statement in which he expressed his regret for his action at the time and his cooperation with a U.S. Soccer investigation into the matter.
Berhalter sat down with HBR editor in chief Adi Ignatius for our video series “The New World of Work.” In addition to the controversy, he discussed:
• Leadership lessons he’s learned through coaching teams of highly competitive individuals who may not be used to working together and who are vying for limited starting positions.
• How players can stay focused amidst the noise and distractions that come with playing sports at such a high level. (It starts by not looking for validation on social media.)
• The differences between talent and character—and how to capitalize on both.
This interview part of a series called “The New World of Work,” which explores how top-tier executives see the future and how their companies are trying to set themselves up for success. Each week, Adi will interview a leader on LinkedIn Live — and then share an inside look at those conversations and solicit questions for future discussions in a newsletter just for HBR subscribers. If you’re a subscriber, you can sign up for the newsletter here: https://hbr.org/my-library/preferences?movetile=newworldofwork.
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