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Maybe it is because one of my passions – the NY Rangers – are leading the NHL in points and having the type of season us diehard fans only dream about, but I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how special the locker room is for a professional hockey team. For those that are not familiar, everything about an NHL locker room screams commitment and dedication. The way it is shaped (usually an “O”) demands that each player has no choice but to look directly in the eyes of his teammates before and after every practice and game. There is no hiding. Everyone is held accountable. NHL teams succeed as a whole, not as individual pieces. When a hockey player is interviewed about personal success, the first thing out of his mouth is about the team. Interestingly, unlike other sports, the leader in the locker room is not the head coach nor any assistant coaches. It is the Captain of the team – the player chosen by the coach to wear the much coveted “C” on his jersey. It is the captain’s responsibility to ensure there is chemistry in the locker room and communicating team needs, concerns, issues, etc. to the coaches.
Am I the only person who feels that a winning NHL locker room has the ideal characteristics and traits of a successful business? Am I the only one who wants to be a part of that type of culture? Am I the only one who feels like Taylor has that type of culture? Yes, we sit in offices and cubes and can be as far as 3,000 miles away from each other, but don’t we ultimately win or lose together? Like a successful hockey team, our account teams thrive as a unit, never because of a select few. Am I the only one who believes that we are a group of unique and special marketing communications professionals dedicated to personal growth and willing to make sacrifices, often personal, for our client partners? Am I the only one who believes we are all responsible for living the ideal culture and continuing on our never-ending pursuit to win our industry’s many versions of the Stanley Cup? Haven’t we created an organization that empowers our captains to voice concerns, constructive criticisms and recommendations to senior management?
As I think about the NY Rangers and what they need to do to win the Stanley Cup this year, I really believe it is up to the people in their locker room. They have the talent. They have the resources. Do they have enough heart? Are they fully committed to do what it takes to achieve success? Maybe the Rangers should have a few us stop by their practice facility to share best practices. Am I the only one who believes we can teach them a thing or two this year?