Leadership Lessons from Stanley Cup Champions

When the Pittsburgh Penguins started the 2015-16 hockey season, Matt Murray was on their minor league team’s roster. But when the season ended, he was the starting goalie on the Penguins NHL team, and a Stanley Cup Champion who tied the record for victories by a rookie in the NHL playoffs. What started as just another season in the minors ended as a dream season that Murray will never forget.

Murray’s opportunity to play for the Penguins came about when Marc-Andre Fleury, the team’s starting goalie, was injured during the season. Murray was ready and took advantage of this opportunity, “I think this playoff run goes to show you, you can never predict what’s going to happen….My mindset has been this whole time to stay in the moment, take things as they come, focus on being in the present, and taking things one shot at a time.”

We can learn from Matt Murray that we always need to be ready when opportunity knocks. We can’t predict the future, but when an opportunity unfolds before us, we need to be ready to take advantage.

We can also learn something about teamwork from Marc-Andre Fleury. Although Fleury was surely disappointed that he was not able to lead the Penguins in their Stanley Cup championship run, he remained a supportive and encouraging teammate to Murray. Murray said this about Fleury, “He’s been unbelievable. I don’t know where I would be without Fleury’s mentorship, his advice…..Of course I had some ups and some downs. He was there all the way through to help me through the downs.  I’ll remember our friendship forever.”

Fleury displayed the unselfishness that is necessary to form a great team. He put the success of the team above any personal recognition. He supported his teammate and in the end, the team is Stanley Cup Champions.

From this story, we learn the importance of being ready when our opportunities come and also how unselfish support of our teammates often leads to teams that achieve great things. As leaders, let’s model both of these ideas for our teams to see.

Thanks for reading,


P.S. – Follow me on Twitter, @jvearle, and please share my blog with others who love positivity, teamwork, and leadership.




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