Great Leaders Never Stop Improving

What You Can Learn From Nashville Predators Pekka Rinne, Vezina Trophy Winner.

By: David Furse

Pekka Rinne, goalie for the Nashville Predators, had one of the best season of his career at age 35. This is the generally accepted retirement age for hockey players, but Rinne transformed his game at 35 because he kept tweaking and improving it. In the process, he inspired his whole team to do the same. Improving was not something extra, but what became expected of everyone. This is what great leaders do in any field.

Here is how Pekka describes what he did:

“The game is getting faster every year, and I wanted to make some adjustments. It’s hard to make any big ones. In my case it’s more my posture and my stance. In the past I feel like I was more aggressive all the time. I still try to play a fairly aggressive game, an athletic game, but I’ve tried to quiet it down a bit. Early on in the season I noticed I wasn’t getting as tired after games, so I feel like it’s been a more efficient way of playing. I think that’s a good term for it. Efficient.”

In our consulting work with business leaders, it’s the same principle. We identify smart, small changes leaders can implement quickly, tweaks that make a big difference. It can be running better meetings, showing appreciation, giving more constructive feedback, or any of a hundred other things that leaders do. If you want outsized performance from the people who follow you, leaders must be seen raising the level of their own game. You are always on stage. Your people notice and they get better, too. It’s less about expensive training programs, than what leaders do every day.

Executive Aura is a boutique-consulting firm in Nashville, TN that provides business strategy and leadership development needs. We work with CEOs, senior management and emerging leaders to Think, Lead and Act like a CEO. Our services include: executive coaching & advising, change management, employee engagement, culture and communications audits, and a variety of leadership development topics and keynote speeches. Our services are customized, providing solutions as unique as our clients.