by Debbie Ruston, Featured Contributor
I’M NOT a sports fan at all. I didn’t have any interest in watching the recent Sochi Olympics, which was definitely being in the minority being a Canadian. Every eye in my family and social circle were engaged and watching every moment of the games. People were watching from work, from home, getting up earlier, and staying up later to accommodate time differences between Canada and Russia.
The final men’s hockey game between Canada and Sweden was on the last day of a weekend cottage getaway for a friends 50th birthday. The game was at 7 am on a Sunday morning, and everyone was up ready for the game between 6-6:30 am. Being as the TV was in the living room I was sleeping in, I too watched the game.
It isn’t something I would normally have chosen to do. However, as I watched the game, I looked at it from a different perspective than everyone else in the room. I was watching from more of a business perspective. Watching the players actions as the game unfolded. Sweden came out strong and with my limited knowledge of the game, it appeared were going to dominate the game and ultimately win the gold medal.
Although Sweden was stronger in the first few minutes of the game, what I noticed was the Canadian players response. They didn’t panic. They didn’t fight. They didn’t lose their focus. They maintained their professionalism. They took control…by strengthening and tightening up their defense and played their strengths. They seemed calm. They worked together as a team. They truly played at the highest level that you would expect of gold medal athletes.
I was impressed with the level of leadership displayed by the players at this level. So different than what we typically see in “professional” hockey we see on t.v. There was no fighting. There was talent. Talent, vision, teamwork, and leadership was outshining everything else. At the end, to no one’s surprise, Canada brought home the gold.
We hear all the time, about people “cracking under pressure” and not performing at their maximum capability, while others just seem to step into the greatness they are fully capable of. What did this hockey team display that could be applied to the world of business and help people step into their greatness?
-A team of people working hard together to achieve the vision set forth by the visionary leadership of an organization
-A team of confident, like minded people that are able to work together confidently throughout challenges or pressure
-Maintaining focus, keep doing what it takes for as long as it takes
-Don’t react when things appear to be going off course….simply course correct using your strengths and regain focus
-Be professional and have the mindset of a gold medal athlete
-Maintain your integrity, play the game like you are a gold medal athlete
Stepping on the ice can be comparable to stepping into business each day. Imagine if every person in your organization stepped onto the ice, each day, with the mindset of a gold medal athlete and played at the level we witnessed the Canadian men’s gold hockey team play!