3 Lessons from 1984 Oilers (Leadership, Wayne Gretzky)

Wayne Gretzky - Toronto StarAll feels right with the world when The Great One is trending on Facebook and Twitter in Canada.

The “1984 Dream Team” reconnect in Edmonton this  week to celebrate 30 years of winning the Edmonton Oiler’s first Stanley Cup.  To be fair, I was 2 when this incredible season happened and had to do a little bit of research to find out what made this team special. To say I was absolutely blown away by what I found out is definitely an understatement (thanks for the facts Wikipedia – 1984 Oilers Season).

Here are three things I learned about being a Dream Team from the 1984 Oilers:

1. Push the Barriers of GREATNESS.
In 1984, NHL Hall of Fame legend Mark Messier didn’t even make the top 5 scorer’s list.  MARK MESSIER!  When you share the ice with  Mr Gretzky, Jari Kurri, Paul Coffey, Mike Krushelnyski and Glenn Anderson, great takes on a whole new meaning.  With a team pushing to be their absolute best, great things happen.  Encourage and inspire your teammates to push their limits, be creative, it’s not about ‘more’ work, it’s about ‘great’ work! 

1984 Oilers -2. Common Goals MATTER
The front line’s objective is to score, but when you have a defensemen scoring four goals in one game (Paul Coffeey), and your two main net minders have a season save percentage of 88.9% – you’ve got a team firing on all cylinders towards one goal.  Make sure everyone knows the goal and is willing to go all in pursuing it.

3. Lead by EXAMPLE
There was no “Alternate” captain on the 1984 Oilers. They didn’t need one with Wayne wearing the C. On and off the ice, with and without the puck, Gretzky was rated the most sportsmanlike player by his peers and league MVP more times than any other player in history.  The Oilers knew following their buddy Wayne was the best play they could make. It’s hard to be a leader day in and day out, but no matter what role you carry on your team, you can lead by example and make a positive difference and be part of your corporation’s dream team!

Some GREAT quotes from Wayne Gretzky this week:

Have fun with your friends:
“Charles Barkley sent me a text and said, ‘what does it feel like sleeping with a grandma?’ I said, ‘pretty good.’ ”  (Toronto Star – quote & photo credit)

Share wisdom and honour where due:
“Thankfully, in my youth I had the best financial adviser a son could ask for: my dad Walter.” (MoneySense)

Have fun being who you are:
“Glen Sather used to say to us all the time, `you guys don’t know how good you are.’ We were kids. We just played. Nobody thought about winning trophies. Nobody thought about being in the Hall of Fame. We were having so much fun.” (CBC Sports)