Brett Bourgon, President, B Inspired Finance Group Inc

Things we can learn from the highest paid coach in hockey.

You don’t have to be a Leaf fan or even a hockey fan to get something out of this article. I
admittedly have never spoken to each of these men outside of a handshake and a hello so
keep in mind these are my observations and with most sports analogies they are usually
primed for debate.

What is commonly known in the sports community though is the style and
the results of each coach to support my theories.

Let’s compare the two approaches and how it relates to leadership and development.

• Immediate positive feedback, mistakes treated as teaching opportunities
• Veteran players embraced as mentors to help teach successful behaviours
• Each player was given a specific development plan based on their skillset and value to the organization
• Relationship with players important, although clear that it’s based on leadership not friendship
• Communication of expectations and a culture of continuous development
• Point in Time criticism, felt players were pros and should know their jobs
• Veterans were utilized more because they didn’t need as much guidance
• Players were taught the technical plan and it was up to them to perform and be prepared to execute
• Good working relationship with players that perform well, also didn’t believe in friendships with players
• Communication on tactical plans and a culture of point in time feedback

So the Leafs saw a coach oversee a cultural disaster (salute-gate, weekly fan jersey ice toss) which had one playoff appearance during his tenure which ended in disaster. Flash forward to 2017 and we watched Veterans have their best seasons, Rookies that performed at their peak in a tough market, and a minor scare inflicted on the President’s Cup winner in the playoffs. The culture has been repaired and the future looks bright. Let’s tie this in to what B Inspired Leadership Coaching believes.

1. Development requires a plan that blends Mentoring with Education
(Learning), Experience (put players in a position to succeed), and Exposure
(direct meetings with management). We call this our Me3 program and
believe its the best development program available today.

2. Underperforming team members need coaching, not negative reviews.
A good coach can improve team members through communication and a
structured development plan.

3. Culture is important, one that recognizes and rewards those that put in
hard work and improve themselves for the betterment of the company.
Culture shouldn’t be about how many games are available in the lunch room,
its about challenging individuals to succeed and ensuring they feel fulfilled
when achieving these accomplishments.

If you have a veteran team that needs very little guidance or direction than
maybe the Carlyle approach will work for you. If you want to develop your team
in a structured way, want to address your morale levels or need to transform
your culture we’d love to help.

Ready to talk?