It has been extremely interesting to follow the achievements of the Finnish National ice-hockey team under many decades since I was the medical doctor for the team in 10 years during the period 1974-1988. My commission ended with the silver medal in the Olympic games in Calgary 1988. It took 34 years before the medal was upgraded to gold. Now it has happened. CONGRATULATIONS to the whole team!
During the beginning of my 10 years the head coach was close to a dictator and I was amused when leadership consultants started to talk about a coaching leadership and had ice-hockey as an example. These consultants had no idea of the real situation in ice-hockey at that time. The main focus at that time when Finland was playing against the best countries was to avoid mistakes and achieve a bearable loss. Between the periods the head coach pointed out the mistakes that had been done and often shouted. His word was the law.
Before the leadership started to change there was another development that is not always taken into account. The Finnish junior players started to win over also the ”big” countries and they took this habit with them when they grew up and reached the National team. The culture had changed and the players believed in the possibility to win over any other team.
I have not any longer any inside information from the National ice-hockey team but so much has been written and said that I`m certain that today they really have a coaching leadership focusing on every member´s strengths and the objective as a team. Even the greatest successor in a game shares the personal achievements with everybody in the team. Next time the successor is a different player. Nobody seems to try to enlarge his own ego, not even the head coach. Focus is on positive achievements as a team and celebrating together.
Even if you are not a sports fan or not interested in ice-hockey it is worth thinking about developing your own self-directedness and team-directedness especially if you are a leader or manager at your workplace. This applies even more so if the culture is authoritative and leaders/managers think they know best what to do because of their position or title.
Good luck to everybody who wants to achieve something big in their working life together with the team!
Ove Näsman, KivaQ