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Ideas. Insights. Inspiration.

The Egoless Leader

One of the best examples of egoless leadership I've read in quite some time appeared in my Facebook newsfeed a few weeks ago.

The Hockey Beast shared a story of TSN sportscaster Gord Miller recounting his favourite story about hockey superstar Sidney Crosby.


"So they won the Cup in 2016, so he's got the Stanley Cup and we went to a children's hospital. Which is, you know, pretty emotional. We were done there and Sid said: "Well, where else can we go?" I said: "Well, there's a veterans hospital I went to once, around the corner".

So we went, we called over, went over there and they got...everyone's kind of in the main meeting room and someone said: "Oh, too bad Joe's not here, Joe would have loved this".

And someone said: "Who's Joe?". And they said he's a Korean War veteran, but he's blind and bedridden. He's upstairs. So I said: "Sid, let's go". So up we go and they knock on the door to his room and "Joe, Sidney Crosby's here with the Stanley Cup". And Joe says "Oh, I'm sorry Sid. I'm a Montreal Canadiens fan!" That's a nice introduction... And Sid says: "No problem, who's your favorite Montreal Canadien?".

And Joe says: "Rocket Richard!".

So Sid brings the Cup over and traces Joe's finger over the Rocket's name engrave."


Sidney Crosby is widely considered one of the greatest hockey players to ever play the game. He currently ranks third for most career goals scored (517) among active NHL players. His astounding achievements include two Olympic Gold Medals and three Stanley Cups.

But he clearly doesn't have an outsized ego to match his outsized accomplishments.

When a hockey fan honestly admitted he preferred another team, Crosby didn't try to change his mind or storm out of the room in a huff. He didn't even choose to "do nothing".

Instead, Crosby acted as a true ambassador for the game, choosing to create a special moment for the veteran. He decided he would make another person happy, not try to fuel his ego. And he did this without a camera crew in sight.

Too many leaders today use their platforms to promote themselves and further their own personal agendas. Such leaders feel they deserve respect and admiration by virtue of their title (forgetting that respect and admiration are not given but earned) and surround themselves with those who wouldn't dare to disagree with their thoughts and opinions.

Think about how a leader like that would have handled knowing Joe preferred another team.

The world needs more leaders like Sidney Crosby.


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