From The Ice to the Office

Late this afternoon, once the euphoria I had felt since last night’s Stanley Cup clincher by the Detroit Red Wings had subsided momentarily, I started thinking about the Red Wings as more than just my lifelong favorite hockey team.

They are also a business. A business that can teach the rest of us a lesson.

How do you create a team that can rise to the pinnacle of your profession not once, but four times, in just 11 years? Ask Red Wings General Manager Ken Holland. A humble professional, he has yet to reveal his secrets. But from what I’ve observed as not only an avid fan, but also as a professional who gets inside businesses every day, it goes something like this:

Scout for young talent that fits your system and culture. Do what it takes to grow and retain top talent. Blend the right mix of personalities, strengths and backgrounds. Character and integrity come first. Instill leadership and teamwork as core values. Put leaders in a position to actually lead. Enjoy success while building for the future. Communicate your mission and vision so everyone on the team understands what is expected.

As we work to build our culture at Tanner Friedman and advise our clients on how to communicate theirs, a real life team, now carrying the Stanley Cup, can be an example to all.