How Managing a Business is Just Like Coaching a Hockey Team

Posted on: February 11th, 2014 by

In the world of business, you have to be prepared to perform your best every single day. Your competition is always looking for ways to be better than you, to take advantage of your weaknesses and to capitalize on every opportunity. There is no real cooperation within your industry as everyone is trying to gain their competitive advantage and be perceived as the category leader. It is all about winning, where finishing second is not really the best option.

I often equate this business situation with coaching minor level hockey (as I have been a hockey coach for over 12 years): whether you are involved in coaching a competitive hockey team or at the participation level, your goal is to create a positive experience and to win in many aspects of the game. As a coach, you are responsible for coming up with a philosophy that conveys to the team what you want from them. You have to develop a personality and create an environment where your team can consistently accomplish established goals. You have to have your players buy into your philosophy and understand what they can accomplish by following it. You need to maximize your resources, create value for each team member and make them understand that they are part of the winning process.

In hockey or in business, you need to implement a system that will become your management strategy; the means through which you will produce the results you want. The system itself will become the solution to the problems that stressed you because of the unpredictability of the people. By implementing a team/management system, it will transform your players/staff challenges into an opportunity by orchestrating the process by which coaching/management decisions are made, and eliminating the need for such decisions wherever and whenever possible. Again, in hockey or in business, your management system should be designed to produce results. And the more automatic that system is, the more effective your team will be.

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