Table of Contents Background: Followers and Situation: Contextual and Operational Leadership: Motivational Approach: Theories/ Models: Analysis: Lessons Learned: Works Cited: Background “Do you believe in Miracles? ” asked ABC-TV announcer Al Michaels as the final round game between the Soviet Union and the United States Men’s Ice Hockey team came to an end in the 1980 Olympic games in Lake Placid, New York (infoplease. com). For some individuals, this may have been considered just an ice hockey game that was between a young United States team and a much older and more experienced Soviet Union.
At any other time in history, this game would not have meant as much as it did in 1980 because of the fact that the Cold War was still going on and this game was considered just as much as part of the war than the actual war itself. Born in St. Paul, Minnesota, Herbert Paul Brooks played hockey at the University of Minnesota, where he later coached from 1972-1979, winning three national titles. Brooks was inducted into the U. S. Hockey Hall of Fame in 1990.
After playing for the 1964 and 1968 Olympic hockey team and coaching the 1980 “Miracle on Ice” hockey team, Herb went on to coach on four different NHL teams and then later coached the French Olympic team in 1998 and team USA in 2003 (imdb. com) “Herb Brooks was behind the bench when the Americans pulled off one of the greatest upsets ever, beating the mighty Soviets with a squad made up mainly of college players. That shocking victory, plus beating Finland for the gold medal, assured the team a place in sports immortality and gave the USA as reason to celebrate at a bleak time in its history” (sportsecyclopedia. om). This was a difficult challenge from the start for coach Herb Brooks. At the very first tryout, Herb Brooks knew who he wanted for his team because he needed as much time with the players as possible in order to be able to compete against the best teams in the world. With the team having an average age of 22, Brooks understood the challenge, was able to look past it, and overcome it. Herb Brooks tried out for the Olympic hockey team in 1960 but was actually the last man cut off of the team.
The USA Men’s Olympic hockey team won a gold medal at the 1960 Winter Olympics in Squaw Valley, California. Brooks was later able to be a part of the USA team in the 1964 Olympics in Austria and he served as the captain in the 1968 Olympics in France. Both of these were considered great accomplishments but neither of them resulted in a gold medal for USA. Brooks hoped that he would be able to get his chance again someday and when the opportunity came around, he gladly accepted the challenge coaching and he capitalized on it. Followers and Situation
Herb Brooks had a variety of different followers throughout his hockey career. Being a captain in the 1968, Brooks was able to show leadership on the ice as well as in the locker room. This experience as well as his love for the game shaped him into the coach, leader, and American hero that he became in 1980. As a coach for the Gophers at the University of Minnesota, he was a leader to the players, the coaching staff, and the hockey fans at the university. This is the same role he played for the four different NHL teams that Brooks coached in the late 1980s and the 1990s.
The most important or maybe the most memorable position for Brooks was the head coach of the 1980 USA hockey team. This is when he was able to beat the odds and lead his team to beat the USSR in the “Miracle on Ice” and then to beat Finland for the gold medal in Lake Placid, New York. Aside from the twenty players on the team and the coaching staff, Herb Brooks was able to lead and inspire all of America during the peak of the Cold War that was going on at this time. Contextual and Operational Leadership
Contextual leadership is primarily based on a specific passage in which influencing its meaning or effect is its main objective or goal. A leader is able to take the context of what is actually going on by source of stats or other forms of research and use them to influence a group of individuals by using the specific information as a crutch or to support the specific statement. Herb Brooks’ speech that is actually portrayed in the 2004 film, Miracle, is a specific example of how he used contextual leadership in order to motivate and to inspire the players of the 1980 US Olympic team. Great moments are born from great opportunity. And that’s what you have here tonight, that’s what you have earned here tonight. One game. If we played them 10 times they might win 9, but not this game, not tonight. Tonight, we skate with them, tonight we stay with them, and we Shut Them Down, because we can. Tonight, we are the greatest hockey team in the world. You were born to be hockey players, every one of you. You were meant to be here tonight. This is your time. There time is done, it’s over. I’m sick and tired of hearing about what a great hockey team the Soviets have.
Screw them. This is your time. Now go out there and take it” (Miracle). The movie portrays and actually gives a great example of how Brooks was able to implement contextual leadership with his team during the winter Olympics. Operational leadership can be represented by how Brooks was able to coach the players with an average age of 22 in a way that would prepare them to face the best and much more experienced teams in the world. Herb Brooks felt as if practice was a great way to get the fundamentals down but nothing is comparable to game experiences.
Brooks scheduled a scrimmage game with the Soviets just days before the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics in Lake Placid and everyone felt that it was a bad idea, especially after the outcome of the game was a 10-3 loss for team USA. I do not think that Brooks had the intention of winning that game; it was actually a way to play with the heads of his players. By having a poor performance just days before going into the Winter Olympic Games, it gave the players on team USA a reality check so that they knew that they were not the best of the best yet.
A lot of coaches would not have exposed their team against the top team in the world like that but by requesting the challenge, Brooks was able to give the players a great look at where they were and where they need to be in order to be the best team in the world. Motivational Approach Players that were coached by Herb Brooks kept notes and joked about different “Brooksisms” that were used throughout the years as forms of motivation for the players. One example of a negative approach to motivation is when Brooks said, “You’re playing worse and worse every day and right now you’re playing like it’s next month. Herb Brooks was not a negative coach by any means but he knew when to be positive, when to be negative, and when to be there for the players in the locker room in order to get his team to perform to the best of their capabilities. One of the more famous positive quotes from Brooks is, “You’re meant to be here. This moment is yours. You’re meant to be here at this time. “(sportcyclopedia. com) Great leaders know how and when to motivate in different ways, at different times. As many players that played for Herb Brooks can tell you, he was not always the most positive coach in the world.
Sometimes Brooks was able to get under peoples skin by irritating them and pushing them over the edge but looking back on it, I am sure that they are glad that he did so because it not only showed them what they were made of but also what they were capable of in certain situations. ” Theories / Models Herb Brooks’ leadership helped turn a young, college based team into champions, as he had handpicked each player. He once stated, “You’re looking for players whose name on the front of the sweater is more important than the one on the back. I look for these players to play hard, to play smart, and to represent their country” (sportsecyclopedia. om). Ken Morrow had the privilege of being coached by Herb Brooks on the 1980 men’s Olympic hockey team. Morrow was a firm believer of Brooks and his coaching style. Morrow was quoted saying, “When it came to hockey, Brooks was a head of his time. All of his teams overachieved because Herbie understood how to get the best out of each player and make him part of a team. And like everyone who played for him, I became a better person because I played for Herb Brooks” (sportscyclopedia. com). It is surprising to know how much of an influence a coach has on an individual, as well as on a whole team.
Obviously the coach is the backbone and is the source for making the decisions but the coach is not able to go out and get the job done by his self or herself. A coach is only able to give a player the tools and weapons that that player would need in the line of battle which is referring to the particular sport. Analysis Herb Brooks quoted Willie Wonka and the Chocolate factory by saying, “We are the makers of dreams, the dreamers of dreams, 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” (sportcyclopedia. com) I feel as if Brooks found the best quote that could be directed towards any aspect of your life in all reality. Herb Brooks proved himself as a player by being a part of the 1964 and 1968 US Winter Olympic hockey team but he really made his mark as a coach of the 1980 and 2002 US Olympic teams as well as four different NHL teams along the way. Brooks may not have the most wins or championships as a coach but he has a gold medal that says and represents so much more than just a few wins in the winter Olympics.
Herb Brooks managed to make the impossible possible and was able to make history by taking a group of college kids and putting them up against the best teams in the world. At the time, Brooks was questioned and his ideas and mind sets were definitely questioned but looking back on it now, it seems foolish to question him after knowing the outcome. Some individuals are born to be leaders. Even though Brooks was a captain of the 1968 US Olympic hockey team that was not his calling. His calling happened years later as a coach, when he was given his opportunity at winning a gold medal, and he did.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman released a statement about the legendary Herb Brooks shortly after his passing in August of 2003. “At all levels of the game, including college hockey, Olympic hockey and the National Hockey League, Herb Brooks was a consummate teacher, an unparalleled motivator and an unquestioned innovator,” Bettman said. “The strength of hockey in the United States is a testament to Herb Brooks and the historic Olympic triumph in 1980. However, there was so much more to him than that glorious moment at Lake Placid.
Herb was a tireless supporter of USA Hockey players and programs, a relentless advocate of the speed and beauty of our game. “Making one of Herb Brooks’ teams was an extraordinary accomplishment” (sportcyclopedia. com) Lessons Learned Herb Brooks’ life is a perfect example of how life is not about how you get knocked down again and again but more so, how you get back up again and again to reach the goals and dreams that you originally set out for is what really makes the difference between an average leader and a legendary one.
Brooks was not able to do the job as a player but sometimes your initial goals and dreams do not work out as planned either. Finding a way to adapt and to change is what Brooks was able to implement into his life and because of it, even though Brooks played a different role as a coach as opposed to a player, he was still able to reach his goal of winning a gold medal in the Olympics. Being able to adapt to change is important, especially now with the poor economy and the high rate of unemployment, anything that you as an employee or employer can do to better yourself and the organization is well worth it.
Herb Brooks was a firm believer of following your dreams and looking back at his career, he was able to follow his dreams as a player and transitioning them as he became a coach. I was able to learn a lot about Brooks as a person, as a family man, and as a coach from the movie Miracle. I understand that movies are made in a way to entertain and that the truth does get stretched quite a bit but at the same time, I read many articles and quotes from ex-players of Brooks that’s supports Brooks’ way of life.
Herb Brooks helped to make the sport of hockey what it is today and as a former hockey player, I could not be more thankful. Works Cited 1980 Olympics a€” Infoplease. com. (n. d. ). Infoplease: Encyclopedia, Almanac, Atlas, Biographies, Dictionary, Thesaurus. Free online reference, research & homework help. a€” Infoplease. com. Retrieved September 2, 2010, from http://www. infoplease. com/ipsa/A0300770. html#axzz0ygsmGSlc Herb Brooks. (n. d. ). www. sheehyhockeyllc. com – The Official Website of Sheehy Hockey, LLC..
Retrieved September 1, 2010, from http://www. sheehyhockeyllc. com/testimonials/HerbBrooks. php Herb Brooks (1937-2003). (n. d. ). The Sports E-Cyclopedia (Est. 2001)-The Ultimate Sports Resource. Retrieved September 1, 2010, from http://www. sportsecyclopedia. com/memorial/usa/hbrooks. html type. (n. d. ). Herb Brooks (I) – Biography. The Internet Movie Database (IMDb). Retrieved September 2, 2010, from http://www. imdb. com/name/nm0112018/bio O’Connor, G. (Director). (2004). Miracle [Blu-ray] [Motion picture]. United States: Walt Disney Video.