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by Duane Weber

Who Influenced Your Life and Why?

35 years ago this week the USA Olympic Hockey team impacted my life as a youth hockey player. 35 years later, Coach Herb Brooks continues to impact my life as a leader and a coach. Coach Herb Brooks’ life and the way he lived it embodies some great characteristics of true leadership.

Driven by Failure

Herb Brooks was the last player cut from the 1960 Olympic team. A week before the Olympics he no longer was on the roster. Herb watched the Olympics with his family and as the team won the gold medal his father turned to him and said “I guess they made the right decision.” This experience drove him in his desire to coach the Olympic team. Do you let failure stop you in your tracks or passionately drive you forward?

Pursuing a Dream

Herb Brooks said “We should be dreaming. We grew up as kids having dreams, but now we're too sophisticated as adults, as a nation. We stopped dreaming. We should always have dreams.” His dream was to coach the USA Olympic Hockey Team. There were no promises that he would ever have the opportunity. As a matter of fact, he was the 7th choice. The other six turned it down because they didn’t want to coach a bunch of college kids against other countries best players. Have you stopped dreaming? What one dream is worth pursuing?

Change Style To Benefit the Greater Good

Herb Brooks knew what it took to lead this team to the gold medal. He knew he had to change his style rather than force 20 young men to change theirs. He changed for the greater good of the organization. As a leader in your organization, how might you change to benefit your team and lead it to amazing results?

Get The Right Players On The Team

Herb Brooks knew the players he wanted on the team. He even cut the tryouts short, much to the disappointment (downright mad is more like it) of the Olympic Committee. Over the next 7 months he molded them from 20 individuals, some who hated each other because of college rivalries, to the most cohesive team in Olympic history and maybe of all time. He was unrelenting in his pursuit. He knew this group of individuals could form the team that would help him achieve his dreams. As you assess your team, do you have the ‘right’ players?

At Sandler Training Trustpointe, we help sales leaders get the most out of themselves and their teams. To learn more about Coach Herb Brooks, fulfilling dreams, and picking the right players contact Duane Weber at 317-605-0932 or


Care to see the last minute of the “Miracle” game one more time?
Coach Herb Brooks’ inspirational pregame speech (from the movie “Miracle”):


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