Not Every Opponent is an Enemy

People often assume that in a sport as aggressive as hockey, tempers remain flared well after the game is over. When you have two players throwing themselves at each other, each one trying to stop specifically what the other is trying to do, it makes sense to wonder if they can shut that off in the time it takes to change back into clothes.

I play hockey, and shortly after I founded Binnacle, I realized that many of lessons I learned on the ice are applicable to business. In this blog series, I’ll explore those lessons.

The truth is that while the grudge-holders exist, they’re quite rare. The KC Hockey community is close-knit, most players are just as interested to share a beer after the game as they are to put the skates on in the first place. Sure, they’ll poke at your mistakes or tease about the times they bested you, but they’re just as happy to be on the receiving end. Most importantly, when your team is down a player or two, the player who was across the face off dot last week is now willing to step in and help your team out.

While less frequent, so true is business. Even direct competitors have openly shared what they’ve learned, what works for them, and even offered their services or contacts to help our team. Sure, the stakes are higher, trust is required longer than an hour at a time, and the interactions don’t always lend themselves to a ‘beer after the game,’ but I have learned that sometimes, even your competitors want to see you succeed.