“There’s so much talent on the ice, this thing will be over quickly. In the next seven or eight minutes, one of you will be a hero for the rest of your life. It’s time to put your foot on the gas and go after them.”
What makes Mike Babcock special?
Mike Babcock is the only hockey coach in the history of the game to lead teams to victory in the Stanley Cup, the World Championship, and the Olympic Games. Currently head coach for the Detroit Red Wings, he is arguably the best coach in the game today.
At a glance, this book, published in 2012, is the story and the detailed roadmap leading to the Canadian men's gold medal victory in Vancouver. Dig deeper and you will find “Leave no doubt” to also be the manifest by which Babcock lives and the vision that brought him to be the man behind the bench of that team in the Winter Olympics of 2010.
-You are your toughest opponent
Doubt is the biggest energy-taker there is. It eats away at our emotional core. It drains us of mental energy and physical energy. It demoralizes, distracts, and de-motivates. Doubt can paralyse you. My perspective is that if you feel doubt, go first. Jump in and give it a go. A lot of people say “coulda, woulda, shoulda”. But they never do. Doubt is the biggest thing standing between you and your dreams.
-Adversity is fuel
I believe adversity is a springboard to future success. If you’re going to progress, if you’re going to excel, you’re going to face adversity, you’ve got to embrace being put to the test. Too often people think of tests as something bad, something to avoid or fear. But try thinking about tests as ways to accelerate progress, as challenges that can get us “further, faster” in our pursuits. Adversity can change the trajectory of our careers, our contributions and our lives.
- It hurts to be average
I’m afraid of being just “good enough”. Good enough gets you by. Good enough keeps things comfortable. Good enough keeps things familiar. Fear of just good enough can push you to break through and hit your potential, to make a difference. Just good enough will keep you right in the middle of the pack. Good enough isn’t were difference makers come from and won’t get you to your dreams.
-“Circle of Success”
Success is in the margins. Success is a marathon, not a sprint. Success is an everyday commitment. The better prepared you are, the better you perform. The better you perform, the more you’re rewarded. The more rewarded you are, the more confident you get. The more confident you get, the more you expect. The more you expect, the harder the drive to improve. The harder you drive, the more you prepare.
-A lifelong student of the game
I believe that anyone who’s great at what they do is a “student of the game”. No matter what the game is. If you’re not learning, you’re standing still. And if you’re standing still, you’re going to get run over. Superstars tend to be “super-learners”.
Humility is the genuine belief that you can always get better; a hunger to learn.
-Who are you?
Integrity is about who we really are. It’s about what you really value. Someone once told me that courage is about not lying to yourself. To me, integrity means you’re all in. You’re committed, not just when it looks good or when you think you have to be. You’re committed in the quiet moments, at the hard times, to the “on your own” challenges. It means you’re fully committed to the goal and the dream.
-"Leave No Doubt” credo
As a coach, there are only two things that disappoint me. One is failure to prepare. And two is failure to compete. If you are disappointed with how your group or team is performing, the first person you should look at is yourself. Alignment and direction start at the top. That’s why it’s called leadership.
What makes Mike Babcock special? What makes him potentially the biggest free agent in the NHL next summer? What makes him so valuable? He makes moments happen for teams in pro hockey. He is one of the best in the world to help an organization make a difference, to be significant, to meet their potential. The bad mouths would say that he has always had spectacular assets to manage and all-star players to lead the way. On the other hand, in the art of building a winning team, if alignment and direction do start at the top, Mike Babcock is the coach I would want at the helm of my 69M$ roster.
By Jean-Philippe Gagnon