In this week’s ‘Coffee with Colm’ I discuss two ‘Gretsky-isms’ – two quotes from a world-class Canadian Ice Hockey Player and their relevance to your business life.
Wayne Gretsky is a Hall of Fame recognised Ice Hockey Player and he shares some of the secrets as to how he got to be top of his game. I use those same secrets in business. Find out more…
Below is that snippet from the book for you to consider.
Dancing on Ice
Back in the day, as a senior manager with the Campbell Bewley Group, I was privileged to attend some group training and development sessions, all of which I thoroughly enjoyed, some of which held life-long lessons for me.
Paddy Campbell, the hands-on chairman of the group often led such sessions and at one point he introduced us to a Canadian Ice Hockey Player, not just any Canadian Ice Hockey Player but a great one, a Hall of Famer by the name of Wayne Gretzky.
Nicknamed “The Great One”, Wayne Douglas Gretzky has been called “the greatest hockey player ever” by many sportswriters, players, and even by the NHL. He is the leading point-scorer in NHL history and is the only NHL player to total over 200 points in one season – a feat he accomplished four times. In addition, he tallied over 100 points in 16 professional seasons, 14 of them consecutive. At the time of his retirement in 1999, aged 38, he held 40 regular-season records, 15 playoff records, and six All-Star records. In addition to being its greatest scorer, Gretzky was the most gentlemanly superstar in the modern history of the NHL. He won the Lady Byng Trophy for sportsmanship and performance five times and he often spoke out against fighting in hockey.
But, what has this got to do with business? Lots really.
You see you don’t get great by accident – it takes work, hard work, and lots of it over a sustained period of time and Wayne Gretzky honed his skills over many years. He donned his first pair of skates at age three and played on his first team when he was six.
Gretzky was a hard worker and a quick learner. One of the quotes he is famous for was actually first uttered by his father Walter, “Skate to where the puck is going, not to where it has been.”
This is sage advice for all of us in business; Skate to where the puck is going to be is analogous for us positioning our businesses to take advantage of where the market will be in two, three or five years so that we are ‘in place’ when the market arrives. This is far more efficient than chasing it all over the place as it meanders.
“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” is another Gretzky nugget. And it has a ring of stating the obvious about it, but the obvious is usually only obvious after you hear someone else say it.
Think about this for a moment. What will happen if, after reading this book and/or doing a Start Your Own Business Course, you decide to put the books away and not take a shot at your own thing? The answer is obvious. Nothing. Nothing changes. You chose not to take a shot and we now know, thanks to a Canadian Ice Hockey Player, what happens if you don’t take a shot. No shot – no score.
But what will happen if you do take a shot and start your business? The answer? Who knows? It might work, i.e. you mighty score, and it might not i.e. you might miss, but if you don’t take a shot the result is 100% predictable. You miss 100% of the time.
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Thanks for thinking with me.