Source | LinkedIn : By Bruce Kasanoff
For many years, my now 16-year-old son has been obsessed with becoming a general manager in the NHL. This is not a passing whim; it is a long-term goal that he continues to pursue.
In 2014, I mentioned this to a friend of mine (who I met through LinkedIn), Ron Bremner, former president of the NHL’s Calgary Flames and now a highly successful consultant and speaker. Ron had two instant reactions. First, he offered to help my son, which he did immediately. Second, he offered to introduce him to Craig Button, whom he had hired as GM in Calgary.
Craig is now a highly popular, very busy hockey broadcaster and analyst. He could have easily ignored my son, or failed to take him seriously.
That’s not what happened.
Instead, he wrote my son a 5,500-word email that answered questions my son, Matt, had emailed to both Ron and Craig.
Craig’s email was filled with some of the most profound advice I have even seen.
Most impressively, for each piece of advice he offered, Craig included multiple real-life examples. He could have simply have shared the message then moved on, but that would not have made nearly as big an impact on my son.
How do you bring out talent in young people? Take them seriously.
With Craig’s permission, I’m now going to highlight a few of his key messages. All portions in quotes are Craig’s words, not mine…
Don’t overreact to mistakes: “Mistakes happen in everyday life. In the vast majority of instances, people are not trying to make mistakes. But when mistakes do occur, it is when people feel most vulnerable. They are not always sure what the response to their mistake will be.”
Craig went on to give this example…
“Harry Sinden, a Hall-of-Fame member and a great Bruins’ executive, told me this about the great Raymond Bourque: Raymond makes two to three mistakes every game that are pretty significant and at times result in goals for the other team. But, he does 17 to 18 things every game that are pretty significant and help us win a lot of games. If I try to eliminate the two to three, I will also eliminate the 17 to 18 and that simply isn’t a good trade-off.”