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Friday, 18 October 2013

Leave No Doubt That This Is Your Time......

    “Leave No Doubt,” that is the name of the altruistic, realistic book written by Stanley Cup Champion and Olympic gold medalist coach; Mike Babcock. Babacock is a Canadian at heart who shows us numerous times throughout his book that effective leadership and coaching involves a constant balance between core values, personal expectations and an organizational philosophy towards winning.
     Babcock opens his book in a thrilling fashion. He begins by revealing his winning credo, which was stretched across the dressing room entrance of the Canadian 2010 gold medal hockey locker room:

"Leave no doubt
That is our game.
That this is our time.
That 14 days in February will be two weeks for the ages.
That every day counts.
That every meeting matters.
That every practice makes a difference.
That each one of us will rise to every occasion.
That this isn't about us, it's about our country.
That we know 33 million Canadians will attend every game.
That home ice is an advantage.
That nothing can distract us.
That nothing can stop us.
That our determination will define us.
That we are built to win.
That we are a team of character.
That we are a team of destiny.

     As powerful and compelling as the above credo is, Babcock showed the reader on the second page how his book was not just about hockey, it was about life. The credo represented how he approached life and how he chased his dreams. Basically, Babcock always reminded himself that he was fit for the job of succeeding and learning. Both are powerful attributes of a desirable coach and role model.
    Although I could write you three separate blog postings surrounding Babcock's book, I want to share with you some of the unique philosophical highlights. One of which was his heart heavy philosophy towards individual effort. As intensive and demanding as the credo sounds, he never pushed a player or an administrator any harder than he pushed himself. That is a very powerful use of effective leadership. Demand? yes, but be effective and demand a lot from yourself first!
     With that in mind, Babcock had an interesting approach to failure. He wrote, "If you are disappointed with how your group or team is performing, the first person you should look at is yourself. Alignment and direction start at the top." Basically, he defines how you should react when synergy within a winning organization begins to fail.
    Lastly, Babcock consistently used his book to show how to take control and to find a positive outlook during times of negativity. This is something that affects us all. He mentioned how 'speed bumps' come up in life when things do not go our way or according to our plans. Personally, I have dealt with that issue and have developed a keen sense of patience in dealing with those 'speed bumps'. Babcock describes those 'speed bumps' as moments of excitement which keep life interesting. As a coach, people see him as a successful figure, but in reality he almost abandoned his coaching aspirations at a young age to take on another career. He chose patience, embraced challenge and adversity, and now he can reflect on those challenges by looking at his image in Lord Stanley's Cup and his shiny 2010 Olympic gold medal.....
   If you are a coach who wants to succeed, before you pick up a coaching manual or commit to a team, read this book. If you want to start a successful business and you want to discover who you are as a leader while looking ahead to where you want to be, read this book. 


Ryan Fahey

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

North Carolina Tagxedo

     A few months ago I recently discovered Tagxedo. Tagxedo allows your to incorporate different words into different forms of background clip art. In the Tagzedo above, I was representing my work in North Carolina, including some of the key words I will be coming across during my job.
     I encourage you to spice up your presentations, portfolio's, etc. by making use of the Tagxedo software. They are fun to make and are visually appealing to those who come across them! If you can wordle, you can Tagxedo!

Ryan Fahey
Physical & Health Education Specialist
B.A Human Kinetics
Canfitpro FIS, PTS
CPTN Canada

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Get Smarter!

      This past week I was able to read another awesome book given to me by my friend who shares a similar pattern of thinking when it comes to life, business and leadership. The book was called "Get Smarter" written by Canadian McGill graduate, Seymour Schulich.
     When I read the first page I knew it was going to be an unreal book. Written from a blunt and realistically experiential approach, Schulich through many levels of life lessons at you in just under three hundred pages. 
     In the first section he writes about reciprocity and the importance of giving back. Whether its family, friends, co workers, etc. everyone who has helped you along your journey, taking you from where you were to where you are now, deserves thanks and reciprocity. This 'pay it forward' attitude towards those people in your circle of influence can continue to contribute to your success.
    When writing about relationships, I was able to learn a lot from Shulich. With friends, Schulich says that it takes twenty, thirty or even forty years to develop deep and long lasting friendships. I have started to see that in my young life. I have seen my number of 'friends' drop, but have seen the emotional bank accounts of my 'close friends' augment ten fold. As this continues I can see how right Schulich really is....
    When purchasing goods and commodities, Schulich offers a great approach which I have applied to my life. When he was young his dad told him, "See if you still want the item in question twenty four or forty eight hours later [after you initially want it]. It is amazing how often a cooling off period kills the ardor of a purchaser". This has never been truer than it is today. We click to buy and purchase on impulse all of the time. Sometimes taking a step back and waiting we realize that we clearly did not need the product or commodity. Schulich goes on to write that if you have your money in your pocket then you have control, if you don't have your money in your pocket then someone or something else is controlling you.  See what I mean by how great this book is?
     Near the end of his book, Schulich opens my eyes with investing in endowment funds. See, at 24 years old I have thought about someday purchasing an endowment fund within the University I graduated from. Schulich explains the inflation piece, as well as the fact that really only 7% to 10% of your endowment money actually goes into the future student's pockets. The remaining 93% to 90% actually goes into future University developments, such as fancy infrastructure. This is great for the University, but if you want to really help the students on a ground level you are better off investing in a scholarship fund and dishing out direct bursary money.
    The bottom line with Schulich's book is this: be smart with your funds. Be smart with the people around you and with your future decisions. Live a fulfilling life by being happy where you are now, and constistently thinking ahead to where you want to be can contribute to those successes. Schulich aims for you to 'get smarter' to achieve your dreams. His book is one I plan to take with me wherever I go and open up for some quick advice.

Ryan Fahey