Bob, coalition leader for a paper mill in northern Ontario, Canada, told Session 10B of the Leadership Development Lab:
"A couple of weeks ago I was in Montreal to attend a labor conference. An issue came up that caused a significant amount of stress as the issue was unclear and the outcome could be detrimental to a lot of people. I wanted to do something different that evening to reset my thoughts. I was invited to a hockey game. I had sworn off hockey 20 years ago as a result of an injury I sustained that almost ended my career. I still limp around when I get tired, so I have to pace myself. The Turbo Leadership Lab has been reminding me of the importance of giving up grudges and redefining my comfort zone, so I agreed to go along. Just watching a hockey game - how bad could it be?
When we got to the forum, I was amazed at the enthusiasm of some of the fans. They had all the accessories - shirts, hats, clappers, horns, flags - everything that was for sale, they were buying them up to support their team.
The game started and it was not going well for the home team, the Montreal Canadiens. It was not long before the New York Rangers were ahead 5 to 0. The sold-out crowd in the arena was very quiet as their team struggled to get back into the game.
At intermission time, I told my friend, 'Never count Montreal out. They play right to the end.' The next period was a totally different game. The Canadien's came back and dominated the game. The eerie silence in the building exploded into deafening cheers. By the end of the third period the score was 5 to 5. The "Habs" won the game in a shootout 6 to 5. The building was 'on fire'.
The lesson the Montreal Canadiens taught me was to never give up until the game is over. I can turn a situation with almost impossible odds completely around.
The action I call you to take is don't do what I did and turn away from an activity just because you were injured physically or emotionally. Be very careful about saying, 'I'll never do that again.' I wanted nothing to do with hockey and here I was clapping, shouting and laughing with the crowd, enjoying the game once again. Participate in activities that you do not understand or think you do not like. You may find a benefit and understanding that you would have otherwise missed. Look for and find what is enjoyable in all of your activities at work, at play, in every day of your life.
The benefit you will gain is that you will be alive all of your life. You will play until the final quarter."