Power Play

How to give your team the advantage — every single shift

Whether gathered around the dressing room before a big game or in the (now-virtual) meeting room, even the most talented teams need a plan if they are going to succeed. But when you’re worried your organization might be underperforming, it’s not always clear what to focus on first. And if you’re uncertain about the future, it’s a good bet others are too. Attitudes like that can become infectious, making you lose again and again, sometimes without knowing — or even caring — why. 

But for Ryan Walter — a former National Hockey League star, now a leadership and performance-development trainer — unlucky streaks have little to do with luck. Instead, he says, what we choose to focus on when confronting our failures not only determines our future success — it also says a lot about what was really going wrong with us in the first place.

Ryan Walter holds up his Stanley Cup ring during a recent leadership seminar held online, and presented by TEC Canada and Sanjay K Gupta Consulting.
Ryan Walter holds up his Stanley Cup ring during a recent leadership seminar held online..

In over a thousand games spanning a decade and a half, Walter played alongside — and against — some of the best players ever to lace up skates. In doing so, he paid attention not only to who was good — lots of players — but also to who won. Then he tried to figure out why. It was a line of thinking he pursued post-hockey, earning a Master’s in Leadership Business and then becoming a leadership coach, speaker and author, using what he learned in hockey about performance psychology to help organizations and leaders thrive. 

Of course, whether you’re an NHL GM or a corporate CEO, two options come to mind when looking to pull out of a rut: either bring in better players (hire new staff) or bring in a better coach (replace the management). But Walter learned there is a third way, one that’s more effective: sticking with the people you have. If his experience is any guide, you’ve got more resources assembled than you realize.

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Boosting Performance During COVID-19

As a former player, coach and now an author of leadership books, Ryan Walter distills hockey greatness into wisdom that applies to us all.

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Written By

Wade Guyitt is copy editor for Your Workplace, and is also a freelance writer and editor working from Kingston, ON.

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