So this is pops’ weekend, and unfortunately I’m away on vacation (one of 3 to the islands in as many years, as my father will not let my wife and I forget…). But, my reflection on today applies to all in a leadership position. Fathers now and soon to be fathers should pay attention. And I have a lot of both of the target audiences in my immediate circle, so listen up!
I took a lot from my dad, including his name, Robert. But what I managed to take from him above all was how to set yourself apart as an individual and how to truly lead by “making it happen” rather than “waiting for it to happen”.
That saying stuck with me, clearly. While in the context it was directed to hockey, in being where the play will be not where it is or was – I think it holds a pretty strong case for a win-win mentality in life.
Competitive team sports naturally give the once winner, one loser type of setup. A win-lose outcome by nature. Great for competition. Poor for results where true cooperation drives success. Applicable to me, I like to think win-win – what’s good for me will also benefit you. Not cost you. It does me no good to train like an animal, gain a following, perhaps find some sort of success across the finish line and poo poo the sport, the training and the man hours that the other athletes I compete against have put in. Many of which have doubled, tripled or exponentially multiplied the rehearsal hours as I have to date. It’s simply not a good system to measure with.
I’d prefer to look at my training and accomplishment from a personal view. This is something I feel is a journey and that in itself is a win. I am doing. The ultimate win will be skating for Canada in 2018, but I think of that as an opportunity towards ultimate success instead of seeing it as an obstacle. I’m not going to be defeated on the chance that all things don’t work out. I’m not afraid of failing that.
However, instead if seeing a me vs. them – my sport, my competition etc. I see them as a cooperative front to bring awareness to sport, Canadians, folks that have drive to success, any sort of limitations and anyone that can connect with the emotional part of the story. Can you imagine if we based our relationships on win-lose? I think Christy and I would both be losing if that’s how we worked.
So why’s it so acceptable in sport? Is it always the best mindset? I’d argue certainly not in a team atmosphere, which is what I’d like to cultivate with my sport of long track speed skating.
Originally I wanted to segregate and really define who this story was for, because in school we are taught to isolate our audience. Just like in sport we are taught that there’s a winner and a loser. Beating = best. I am here to challenge that theory and think about making things happen.
Thank you, dad. You may have helped me curb a thought that’s been ingrained in our youth – it’s actually not always about the scoreboard.