12 Leadership Lessons From Some Of The Greatest Teams Of All-Time

Every organization should have a Research Development (R&D) department – a place where you can experiment and see if something will work.  Well, welcome to the Brian Dodd On Leadership R & D effort.  I am providing you leadership lessons from HOCKEY!  Please don’t leave just yet.  Let’s see if this is worth your time.

The Sporting News has just named the 1976-77 Montreal Canadiens as the greatest hockey team of all-time.  The following is a list of the entire Top 10 with leadership lessons from each:

  1. Talent Development and Retention – The ’76-77 Montreal Canadiens had 8 Hall of Fame players who came up together through their system.
  2. Opportunity – There is a difference between sensing an opportunity and seizing it.  The ’55-56 Montreal Canadiens were so good at scoring during power plays that the league was forced to change the rules.
  3. Leading By Example – A fundamental leadership principle is that people do what people see.  Wayne Gretzky, the greatest player of all-time and center of the ’83-84 Edmonton Oilers, established the pace by being the team’s hardest worker.
  4. Versatility – The ’81-82 New York Islanders could play any style, and win.
  5. Intelligence – The ’51-52 Detroit Red Wings had nine players who would eventually become head coaches or general managers.
  6. Diversity  – Eleven players from the ’01-02 Detroit Red Wings represented five countries in the 2002 Olympics.
  7. Defining Moments – Great teams always have a defining moment.  The legendary photo of the Boston Bruins’ Bobby Orr flying horizontally after scoring the winning goal in Game 4 of the 1970 Stanley Cup is shown above.  Leaders, has your organization had a defining moment?  
  8. Key Additions – The ’64-65 Montreal Canadiens were given a boost by the acquisition of goalie Gump Worsley who came to the team after 10 seasons with the New York Rangers.
  9. Priorities – As John Maxwell teaches, great teams never confuse activity with accomplishment.  The ’91-92 Pittsburgh Penguins finished the season only seven games above .500.  However, they won 11 consecutive play-off games to win their second straight Stanley Cup.
  10. Youth – Great teams are constantly getting younger.  The ’46-47 Toronto Maple Leafs featured nine rookies.
  11. Depth – Each of the ten teams listed all had great depth.
  12. Leadership – Each team had great coaching headlined by Scotty Bowman and Hap Day who are considered the greatest coaches in hockey history.

Leadership, Depth, Youth, Priorities, Key Additions, Defining Moments, Diversity, Intelligence, Versatility, Leading By Example, and Talent Development and Retention.  These are the traits that made these teams the greatest hockey teams of all-time.  If practiced, they will make your church, business, non-profit, or team great as well.

So how did you enjoy the hockey references?

To make your voice heard as a leader, click The Leadership Tribe link.

To automatically receive future posts on leadership, simply subscribe or click here.


About Brian Dodd on Leadership

I am a church stewardship and leadership consultant for INJOY Stewardship Solutions. This blog combines my personal passions of church, sports, pop culture and family into a single leadership resource. I trust your time on this site will create conversations and add value to your life.

5 Responses to “12 Leadership Lessons From Some Of The Greatest Teams Of All-Time”

  1. Brian,to answer your question, “How did you enjoy the hockey references?”…LOVED them! Anytime ministry, hockey and leadership can be combined it’s a win! For a comparison, I’d invite you to check out my current post- “Have You Been Caught Watching Your Pass?” http://bit.ly/dUnn22

    • Scott,

      It’s good to hear from my friend in Canada! I just read your article – absolutely outstanding! I actually like it so much that I’m going to re-post it tomorrow, giving you credit, and hopefully adding value to my readers and driving more people to your incredible site!

      Also, it’s good for someone from SEC football country to “walk across the room” to hockey fans!

      I’ve had the privilege recently of connecting with WCA leaders in South Africa. It’s awesome and humbling to be involved, even in a small way, of God’s redemptive plan globally.

      Keep up the great work!


      • Thanks so much Brian. I’ll be back in South Africa myself in May; If you connected with my friends Gerry and Janine Couchman, who lead WCA South Africa, I’ll be sure to extend greetings!

        Final note; love your classic photo of Bobby Orr soaring. I’m about to settle in to watch the Bruins take on the Canucks!

        • Scott,

          It was Janine Couchman. Here is the note she sent me:

          I would also like to recommend the Willow Creek Association blog
          As leaders of the WCA in South Africa we benefit hugely from these blogs as do the 500 church leaders in SA with whom we share leadership principles and teachings from across the globe.
          I will be recommending to our member church leaders that they follow your blog too!
          I only found you today so I have wading through your blogs from last year and have found some great content which I would love to use in our WCA newsletter which is sent to our member churches. I will confirm this as and when we would like to use your material.
          Thanks for your great blogs and I look forward to receiving your next one.


  1. Tweets that mention 12 Leadership Lessons From Some Of The Greatest Teams Of All-Time | Brian Dodd On Leadership -- Topsy.com - 02/25/2011

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Brian Dodd, Brian Dodd. Brian Dodd said: 12 #Leadership Lessons From Some Of The Greatest #Teams Of All-Time http://wp.me/sVReH-w #pastors #success #NHL #Canadiens #coaches #Gretzy […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: