The Only Real Cure For The “Quick Fix Disease”
I was recently at the home of one of the most storied sports franchises in North America. It’s somewhat ironic that they should be so nationally well known here in Canada, both loved and loathed, because for about a half-century it’s been kind of like watching a dog chasing its tail and making that into a national pastime.
However, they’re on the right track now. It’s not an accident. It’s not really about sports.
And it’s a lesson well worth learning.
The NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs. You know, it’s been over 50 years they’ve just been messing around in the middle, for the most part in the lower half of that particular sector. They’ve had a couple of rare glimpses in the upper echelon, but nothing lasting and nothing sustainable, despite the fact they’ve had more money and resources than anybody else in the sport. They’ve tried to throw money at the problem, hoping that the next great player or high-powered Executive would somehow toss a band-aid on it and turn around a ship that has always been either taking on water, or just flat-out headed in the wrong direction.
Finally, a few years ago, a new management group came in, and they had the guts to look at the situation, look their their shareholders and their fans in the eyes and say, “Doesn’t matter what you what you want right now. It’s clear this thing is broken and in order for us to fix it, we’re going to have to cut it out at the knees, rip the guts out and start all over again.”
And that’s what they did.
When they brought the new coach in, one of the very first things that he said in the initial press conference was, “There will be pain.” And there was. That year, they finished dead last in the entire league, but just a couple of years later, they’re on the right track. Hope has been restored, and the future looks bright for the long-term, at least for the next decade or so.
Now this interests me personally because all this coincided with me pretty much trying to do the same thing about 40 years into my own life, looking around at my career and my personal life, and just getting sick and tired of mucking around in the middle, and finally getting honest with myself about what had to change, and stop looking for an event, but attacking it more as a process. My entire life has changed as a result. And just like the hockey team, there was pain, but it was quickly followed by healing, and then … a very tangible prospect of sustainable and compoundable success.
As for these Leafs, as I said, things are looking a lot better for them now. Have they been fortunate with a couple of the players that they’ve acquired and a couple of draft positions they got? Sure.
But isn’t it interesting, how luck seems to follow around the people that do the work and are willing to be honest with themselves.
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