John Bacon tells his true life experiences about the failed River Rats hockey team and how he rose to have them become the best team in America in just 3 seasons. Known as the Ted Lasso of hockey, it’s a story similar to that of the Mighty Ducks. John used to be one of the worst players when he played 20 years ago, with no scored goals. In just 3 years after he took over, they became one of the best teams in the nation. In a story of inspiration, We learn about what the team was like when he took over, how he was able to separate behavior from results, the importance of vulnerability, and why he made it incredibly hard to join the team.
What makes a great team?
What makes a great team… great? Leaders can wrestle with this and the complexity of the problem often has them settle for an easy solution rather than instilling a culture of excellence. We learn John’s principles that he applied and also learned in his coaching experience, and how they can be applied to our own organizations. “The key is to make it special, And the key to making it special is making it hard.” When John took the spot as head coach, the team had a 0-22-3 record and was ranked as the worst. 3 seasons later, and they were one of the best. Through fulfilling his goal to build a winning team, he applied two of his basic principles of working hard and supporting your teammates.
Don’t lead by fear
John speaks on accepting where you are and getting to where you want to go. He tells us how you can own your attention with your energy you bring. If you are patient, you will get there faster. We learn how vulnerability and developing genuine confidence and how building a sense of community over efficiency is important. Selecting leaders for their ability to lead, not their ability to do the job they used to have. Leaders must know their jobs, how to do their jobs, and if they know other people’s jobs, they can all lead better together, which he refers to as the “layers of leadership” and how this ultimately benefits everyone.
The principles of John Bacon
Simple and straightforward principles are what led John to achieving his goals. Setting high expectations, keeping each other accountable, and inspiring them all to lead their team. John talks about how leaders can be great coaches, mistakes leaders make when coaching their people and how to avoid them, and how to lead from respect instead of a position of power.
If you listen to the episode, you will also learn:
- There is nothing more important for any leader than getting to know your people.
- When you are first introduced to a leadership role do not be afraid to ask for help.
- Give everyone a chance: water all the plants.
- If your team fails, you have to take full responsibility but you are also allowed to fix it.
- You have to work harder than your people do, and they need to see that.
- Talent is not fixed, neither is immaturity, grit, or leadership ability. If you give them opportunities, they will grow.
- Tell them the bad news, so everyone together can find a solution.
- If you are a leader you will be criticized, and take it as a compliment.
- Work hard, and support your teammates.
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