Executive Coaching Connections, LLC

“This is the time of year where you just empty the tank, throw everything you can at them. You just continue no matter what.”

-Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks Team Captain

The Chicago Blackhawks have captured our collective imaginations again, as they compete for their third Stanley Cup victory in six seasons.

With games 3, 4, and 5 this week, what can your team learn from this year’s Blackhawks?

  1. Play your game. When the Blackhawks play their game, they go out strong, apply early pressure, and “finish the game” by playing all the way through. The how is as important as the what. Thinking about your own team, how often are you playing your game?
  2. Excel under pressure. Great teams come back, even when the odds are against them. The Blackhawks have repeatedly demonstrated their ability to dominate play in the 3rd period. Jonathan Toews, speaking about the 3rd period of Game 1, recently said, “It’s not time to get frustrated, it’s not time to give up. You stay with it and eventually something clicks and when it does, it feels really good.” How does your team perform when the pressure’s on?  
  3. Learn on the fly. The Blackhawks learn from experience and adapt quickly. This has enabled them to face challenges and emerge as the stronger team, both during the regular season and the playoffs. It’s one of the things that great teams do. Does your team view its successes and challenges as learning opportunities?
  4. Believe. Successful teams believe in themselves. In talking with the Chicago Tribune about their Game 1 win, Patrick Sharp said, "We certainly believe in ourselves in our locker room, and we're never out of any game despite the score or how it looks out there.” How are you helping your team members believe in themselves?
  5. Develop your talent – on and off the ice. On the ice, the Blackhawks’ mix of experienced and newer players makes them a powerhouse. Newer players are developed and coached. Everyone brings his “A” game when it counts. Off the ice, the Blackhawks are equally impressive. According to Team President, John McDonough, quoted in this Sunday’s NY Times International article Blackhawks Build a Juggernaut With Talent on Ice and in Front Office, “Everyone here is invested in this team, on the ice and off it… We have no barriers between hockey and business.” Are you developing your star players, and the stars who support them?

The Blackhawks remind us that when we work toward something we can only achieve as a team, we have a chance to leave a legacy of greatness.  

What will be your team’s legacy?

If you could use some help with accelerating team effectiveness, give ECC a call at 1+847.920.0190.