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Published by: NACRA - North American Case Research Association
Published in: "The Case Research Journal", 2011

Abstract

This case looks at the development and importance of leadership in a junior hockey environment. These players are not only learning to become better hockey players but they are also evolving as future leaders and professionals. It is important for junior hockey organizations to foster an environment where leaders can be successful and their characteristics can be transferred to the next group of leaders. Generally, coaches and senior players are the key leaders in a hockey organization and strong leaders will earn the respect and trust of their teammates. The case provides a detailed discussion of the creation of a positive leadership environment in the Windsor Spitfire organization over the past three years. Following a hazing scandal in 2005 the organization went through a difficult period. There were numerous issues surrounding the involvement of different players and coaches and trust concerns followed. By the end of the season key players had been traded, coaches fired and a new ownership group was announced. The new ownership group hoped it would be able to create an environment that would get the team back on track and make Windsor a place where players wanted to play. The case draws attention to the leadership characteristics the new owners and coaches displayed. It also provides a discussion on the leadership principles developed by the players and the response of the organization to the tragic passing of their captain and respected leader. Readers should focus their attention on the steps that were taken to rebuild trust in the organization and establish an atmosphere that recognized and valued leadership characteristics. They should also think of possible recommendations for team ownership and coaches to continue establishing a culture of leadership and trust. What are the next steps to further entrench this leadership culture in the roots of the organization? Finally, This case considers how leaders must build and communicate a strong mission and strategy that will encourage positive change in organizational culture. As the change occurs, it is important to understand how to make this change 'stick'. How can leaders plan and benchmark change using a balanced scorecard approach?

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Abstract

This case looks at the development and importance of leadership in a junior hockey environment. These players are not only learning to become better hockey players but they are also evolving as future leaders and professionals. It is important for junior hockey organizations to foster an environment where leaders can be successful and their characteristics can be transferred to the next group of leaders. Generally, coaches and senior players are the key leaders in a hockey organization and strong leaders will earn the respect and trust of their teammates. The case provides a detailed discussion of the creation of a positive leadership environment in the Windsor Spitfire organization over the past three years. Following a hazing scandal in 2005 the organization went through a difficult period. There were numerous issues surrounding the involvement of different players and coaches and trust concerns followed. By the end of the season key players had been traded, coaches fired and a new ownership group was announced. The new ownership group hoped it would be able to create an environment that would get the team back on track and make Windsor a place where players wanted to play. The case draws attention to the leadership characteristics the new owners and coaches displayed. It also provides a discussion on the leadership principles developed by the players and the response of the organization to the tragic passing of their captain and respected leader. Readers should focus their attention on the steps that were taken to rebuild trust in the organization and establish an atmosphere that recognized and valued leadership characteristics. They should also think of possible recommendations for team ownership and coaches to continue establishing a culture of leadership and trust. What are the next steps to further entrench this leadership culture in the roots of the organization? Finally, This case considers how leaders must build and communicate a strong mission and strategy that will encourage positive change in organizational culture. As the change occurs, it is important to understand how to make this change 'stick'. How can leaders plan and benchmark change using a balanced scorecard approach?

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