In the military the term “God Squad” is sometimes used to represent an elite group or a group of leaders formed into one fighting element. This would be a very experienced force, those capable of nearly any mission; a veteran group with unlimited capabilities.
This weekend the Minnesota Wild Hockey Club took part in one of our outdoor team building exercises; this mission was codenamed Operation: “Urgent Fury” (this was the name of the US Forces operation onto the island of Grenada to rescue college students in 1983.)
The Wild had four assault squads for their exercise; three of the squads were complied of the players, while the fourth squad or “God Squad” was comprised entirely of the coaches and staff.
The coaches and staff are all fit individuals, but the daily physicality of being an athlete in the National Hockey League is not their main assignment. They are there to plan, prepare, coach, train, mentor, provide treatment and lead these men. Believe me, I’ve spent many weeks with them in the past; the staff works extremely hard, as well as shouldering most of the burden of the organization.
The God Squad did a fantastic job! In four simulated combat & technical missions they scored a first place in one event and no lower than third place in the remaining events.
The God Squad shared blood and sweat with the men under their charge and their actions in this operation sent clear messages to the team. First and foremost it shows the men that their leaders are prepared to battle with them side by side in the mud and more importantly they are willing to “embrace the suck” that they are going through. The leadership isn’t just telling their men to go and fight, rather they are doing it together in the “one team – one fight” concept.
Secondly is shows the men that the warrior-instinct and spirit is alive and well in the leadership, and despite that role the leaders are mentally and physically ready to pick up the sword and defend the arena if called upon.
Not only did the Minnesota Wild players receive a great assessment on their performance from our cadre; the God Squad received equally high marks as well! Hooah!
The lesson here is that all leaders, regardless of rank, position or authority, need to occasionally get out there and “embrace the suck.” Feel what the people under your charge feel, serve with them side by side. You will be surprised what you will learn and it provides the leader their own “compass check.”
I salute the Wild staff for getting out there and doing this mission; they set the tone for their organization as Warriors, Winners, Leaders & Survivors!
Have a great week! Keep moving forward and thanks for reading my blog!
Performance Coach & Lead Consultant
Elite Leadership Training LLC