Jon Stewart, Superboss

Great read from the Harvard Business Review on how Jon Stewart created a “Comedy Tree” and grew talent at the Daily Show:

Jon Stewart, Superboss

Lead Ahead

Lead Ahead – the ability to show the way for others by diving in to the trenches and helping to dig the ditch

Lead Ahead – lacking the entitlement that often comes with a fancy title

Lead Ahead – seeing what issues and problems may arise in the future and nipping them in the bud before they happen

Lead Ahead – challenging those you lead to produce at their very best

Lead Ahead – giving people room to make mistakes, knowing that their biggest growth is the result

Lead Ahead – creating buy in from everyone in your group because they know at all times that you are all in for them, so they are all in for you

Wednesday Drill of the Week: 3 Shot Tip

3 Shot Tip

A half ice skill drill for forwards and defensemen. The drill starts with forwards in each corner with pucks (Black lines). D are at the strong side point and the center point. X1 makes a pass to the strong side D, the center D widens and the puck moves D to D. X1 then rolls up the wall and times his approach through the slot so when D2 shoots the puck, he is in the slot area for a moving tip. D2 is shooting for a stick. X1 then goes into the far corner and retrieves a second puck (green lines). D2 is now at the strong point, D1 is at the center point. Puck moves down low, D1 widens and puck moves D to D. X1 rolls through the slot for a second tip. X1 then stays at the net front while a puck goes from X2 to D1 to D2 at center point (pink lines). D2 then takes a shot from dead on with a tip/screen in front.

Forwards are working on their tipping/redirection skills as well as their skating and edgework in this drill. D are working on passing the puck, widening in the offensive zone and shooting for sticks.

A Cup of Quiet

Sometimes, we all need to take time to sit back and absorb life. We too often rush though the day to day, rarely stopping to take time to observe and reflect on all that life has to offer. A good friend of mine wrote a fantastic piece in the Summer 2015 edition of Notre Dame Magazine that I highly recommend, a reflection on the value of a five minute break to enjoy a cup of coffee.

A Cup of Quiet

FOMO

I spent a good chunk of Saturday cleaning out my personal email inbox. What started the day at approximately 4,900 messages ended at 173. Among the 4,500+ emails I eradicated from my inbox was a huge collection of marketing and promotional emails from companies I have purchased products from or joined their membership clubs. The “unsubscribe” button came in handy more than a few times.

The biggest chunk of emails that I had to sort through was the glut of leadership blogs and email lists I had subscribed to. Most of these delivered a message to me every day or a few times per week. I saw every one of them come in and then proceeded to not make the time to read them. But I kept them in my inbox, creating an unmanageable reading list of leadership material.

Why? FOMO – Fear of Missing Out.

I knew there were valuable nuggets of information in those messages. Maybe one had the insight I needed to help myself, my players or my team achieve the success we’re working towards. Maybe one of them held the key to unlocking my true potential. Maybe, maybe, maybe.

On Saturday, I decided to delete all of the leadership emails that I had not yet had the time to read or digest. The reality of life is that our brains can only process and retain so much information. There is a finite amount of time to read and mental capacity to retain. Attempting to play catchup on the 2+ years of leadership material that I had yet to read seemed futile. My Fear of Missing Out on some invaluable piece of information was conquered by my understanding of my own limitations. From now on, I will read the leadership blogs that I can each day, and delete/unsubscribe the ones that I cannot.

The world in 2015 is permeated by a sense of FOMO. We are constantly checking our notifications and messages for something that we should be doing/reading/seeing/talking about instead. The Pavlovian response mechanisms in our phones train us to be this way. Businesses are constantly searching for the next edge, the next big thing. Scouts. recruiters, and coaches are always looking for the next great player. Society doesn’t take time to appreciate our limitations and work with what we have.

“Comparison is the thief of all joy.” – Joshua Medcalf, Train 2B Clutch.

FOMO is the overwhelming comparison of our own present state to others. We need to stop comparing ourselves and start reveling in what we have. Don’t worry about what else is out there. Stay in the moment. Stay in the present. Do the best you can with what you have where you are. The rest will take care of itself.

Starting with my inbox, I’m fighting my own battle to conquer FOMO.

I Hope All Is Well?

Caution: I’m going to go on a little bit of a rant here, but I’ll try to keep it toned down.

One of my most hated expressions in the English language is “I hope all is well”. Closely followed by “warm regards” and “best wishes”.

Why? They reek of insincerity.

If you’re writing an email to someone, it isn’t very hard to dig into your memory bank (or Google) to find out what they are up to and ask a sincere question or make a statement about a recent event in their life. “How was X?” “Hope you had a good time at Y” “Nice win against Z team” etc.

But most people go with “I hope all is well”.

I hope all is well? First off, there are grammatical issues with the removal of the word “that” from the phrase. Secondly, what is all? Do you really hope that everything in my life is going well? Do you hope that I paid my electric bill on time? That my dog had a successful visit to the vet? That my new diet is helping me lose weight? Highly unlikely. You probably don’t hope that bad things befall me, but I’m not sure that you hope and/or care about my personal life on an intimate level.

The double whammy is then closing an email with “warm regards” or “best wishes”. I’m curious…how warm are your regards? Did you put them in the oven at 350 for 30 minutes? Or did you just toast them for a few? At least they didn’t come straight out of the freezer. And regarding your wishes, most people don’t have worst wishes – those are called nightmares.

To me, few things in life are more off-putting than insincerity. Either care or don’t, but don’t fake it.

Expand Your Horizons

Hockey is a territorial sport. Generally speaking, in coaching circles, there are eastern guys and western guys. Players have a tendency to gravitate towards their home area. People get put into boxes, whether it is major junior, DI, pro, etc.

There is something to be said for the familiarity factor this brings. Coaches know their level and the players that would be successful at their level. Players know their teammates and the other players in the region. Scouts get a feel for the talent level and how those players translate to the next level.

At the same time, there is a major drawback to the territorial nature of hockey. You fail to expand your boundaries. You lose out on other perspectives. You stay comfortable, often never stretching beyond your current worldview. Players from different regions have different styles of play. Coaches from different backgrounds teach the game differently, practice differently and bring a different view of the game. Scouts have different eyes for talent, valuing some attributes more than others.

Hockey offers opportunities for you to reach beyond your territory. It takes initiative and some confidence to get outside of your comfort zone and encounter new ideas. Travel to hockey camps outside of your area. Call coaches from different leagues and tap into their ideas about the game. Challenge yourself and your own worldview on a regular basis.

The more your horizon expands, the more your own game grows.

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