Carrying Your Team

...By Jeff Haltrecht

Jeff Haltrecht is a principal Leadership Coach at the Polaris Learning Academy and the Facilitator of the Polaris Alumni; he is a regular contributor to Polaris Digest

What if you had to carry your team?

Journalists call him the Mack truck.  His boss calls him the Bus.  He is tough as nails, wears his heart on his sleeve, and leads by example.  Single handedly he is the reason his team, the Vancouver Canucks, is advancing to the third round of the NHL playoffs for the first time since 1994.

Ryan Kesler is the gritty centre who improved his hockey game just when the team needed it most.  Unselfishly he performed at a level so far beyond his teammates, they themselves were in awe.

While Mr. Kesler knew he was carrying his team, he never showed it, nor did he speak of it.  When interviewed after winning the series, he said: "It will be good to get some practice time and really get some down time.  Rest and recovery is going to be key because it's not going to get any easier going forward."

Unselfishly, he considers himself just one of the guys as his team marches towards the Stanley Cup.

Now think about your business.  What if you had to work twice as hard as everyone else so your company could achieve its annual goal?  Would you rise to the occasion without complaining?

Leaders know that to deliver remarkable results, its the sum of all the parts that need to perform, even if their performance is superior to others.

Look at it this way.  No matter how good Mr. Kesler was, if Roberto Luongo, the goaltender's performance was less than average, the team would be playing golf this weekend.


When you have the opportunity to outperform, take it.  But don't forget others are also still contributing.  Deliver one for the team and then praise your peers.  That is leadership at its finest.