From a sporting event standpoint, this is one of my favorites of the year…The Stanley Cup Finals. I think there are many leadership lessons to be learned from watching sports, and the Stanley Cup Finals are no exception.
Hockey is truly a team sport, and I feel one of the greatest lessons it teaches a servant leader is the importance of capitalizing on people’s strengths.
A servant leader cares deeply about their people, and will do anything and everything to help them advance and achieve their God-given potential. This requires a distinct understanding of a person’s passions, skills, values, and strengths to be able to put them into a position to win.
On a hockey team, each individual has distinct roles to play throughout the game. Some players are great scorers, others great playmakers, others are fantastic defensive players, and others physical agitators. Putting people in positions where they can play out their strengths will build their self-esteem, and serves the team in the best way possible.
Building your people’s self-esteem by putting them in positions of strength and passion will set up a powerful cycle of personal growth, willingness to take risks, persistence to get the job done, and in the end will lead to great results.
Sam Walton once said, “Outstanding leaders go out of their way to boost the self-esteem of their personnel. If people believe in themselves, it is amazing what they can accomplish”.
When you see the Stanley Cup being skated around the ice by the winner of the Stanley Cup Finals, you will be witnessing the team that did the best job of capitalizing on their player’s strengths.
This is just one of many lessons to be learned from hockey. What are some others that you see illustrated in the Stanley Cup Finals? Keep the discussion going by leaving your comments below.
Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received. 1 Peter 4:10
Mark Deterding believes in being a humble servant leader who is absolutely persistent on driving improvement. He insures clarity of purpose and vision and then creates an environment that will allow for that vision to be effectively carried out. He empowers and develops people to allow them to succeed. For more information about Mark and his programs visit: https://triuneleadershipservices.com
You are right on with this analogy. Hockey is a great TEAM sport. I am always amazed at how they celebrate goals. It seems that the guys on the bench celebrate more than the one who actually scored. Just another observation, celebrating others successes wholeheartedly.
Right on Jeremy! When team members are focused first and foremost on the success of the team, it doesn’t matter who scores, and everyone genuinely celebrates. Thanks for this excellent insight!
Celebrating team success whether it be in the form of a high five, a memo or any number of methods will continue to show you care. Failure to do so most certainly will loosen the tendrils that hold you together and with the first high wind that comes along will find you uprooted and blown away, and you will probably never know the reason why.
Kirk, thanks so much for this outstanding feedback on the importance of celebration! I love your insight that celebration is the fabric that holds the team together, and the lack of it can be very detrimental to the future of the team.