I am from Boston - that means I was raised to love sports and Boston teams. At our house, it is all about hockey and the Boston Bruins. A Stanley Cup Final with Boston and Chicago is pretty much a hockey fan's dream (unless you're from Pittsburgh...but I digress). 

I can relate almost anything to hockey, but here are a few lessons that businesses can take from the Bruins' recent playoff run:

Put pucks on the net
You aren't going to score if you don't shoot, and you aren't going to get business if you don't go after it.  Have you been networking as much as you should?  Have you been sending out proposals? You may have some misses, but the more shots you take, the better your chances of getting more business and achieving your goals. 

Keep your head up
First, to look for opportunities on the ice. The original plan for your business may need to be adjusted, and by keeping your head up and your eyes open, you'll be in a better position to see opportunities as they arise.  Second, to avoid getting checked into the boards.  Keep an eye on your competition so you aren't caught by surprise.

You don't need a team of superstars
Pittsburgh has arguably some of the best NHL players on their team right now...and yet, we swept them in the Eastern Conference Finals. The Bruins have a team of great players with diverse skills and an environment where they are all supportive of each other's roles and are all focused on one goal. That is pretty powerful. You don't need a roster of Ivy League graduates who have careers in Fortune 100 companies - you need a team of hard workers with the right mix of skills focused on making your business successful. As a leader in your organization, you should be looking to get the right people in the right positions, and make sure they all understand what they're working towards.

Never give up
I will admit, I turned off Game 7 against Toronto in the first round of the NHL playoffs for a while. The Bruins were down by 3 goals in the final period of the game - but they never gave up, and they were able to send the game to overtime and win it. Regardless of your position in your company, you have probably had days where you want to give up. DON'T. Amazing things can happen when you want something badly enough.



Debbie Millin is President of UpperLevel Solutions - a Boston-based firm offering  part-time and interim Chief Operating Officer services, operational assessments as a health check or as part of due diligence, 
and executive project leadership.

www.upperlevelsolutions.com