One of my personal commitments is to be a life long learner. I love Martha Stewart’s advice, “learn something new every day.” I have been a student of leadership for many years and while I have learned a great deal from serious research and scholarly writing, I have discovered that some of the best lessons are right in front of me, hidden as gems in everyday life.
Last night I learned something from Sidney Crosby. It has been an amazing spring season of hockey as the Pittsburgh Penguins have had an incredible run to the Stanley Cup Finals. First the Ottawa Senators went down in four straight, followed by the New York Rangers in five and the hated Flyers in five as well. All that stands in the way of Lord Stanley’s cup returning to the ‘Burgh are the Detroit Red Wings.
No one thought this would be easy, but. Last night the Pens returned to Pittsburgh down two games to none. Not only did they lose the first two games played in Detroit, they were serious ass kickings. Completely outmatched and outmuscled, the Pens waddled home and even serious fans wondered if they would ever even score a goal, yet alone win a game.
There is a good reason why the “C” rests on Sid’s sweater. It’s not because he is the best hockey player in the world (though he arguably may be); it is because he leads by example. Sometimes leaders need to keep their mouth shut and simply get it done. Sid is not known as a pure goal scorer; he is much more gifted at setting his teammates up and racking up amazing assist totals. And the Penguins have won a lot of games in that manner. But last night he would not be denied. The Pens would score and Sid literally willed the puck into the net and turned the red light on, not once, but twice. And in so doing he led his team to a 3-2 victory.
Today I realized that I have been doing too much talking about a couple of things. Sid the Kid reminded me that maybe I should just shut my mouth and simply do it. It is amazing what you can learn from twenty year old.