Few hockey players have played more than 1,000 games in the NHL. Just for someone to break into the league is tough enough. Men play the sport for their entire lives and never make it to the bright lights of the big stage. Hockey is a grueling sport that can take its toll on the athletes that love it. It takes someone special to break through and be successful over a long period of time.
Over the years, we’ve seen the likes of Gordie Howe, Wayne Gretzky, and Steve Yzerman reach this amazing accomplishment. Even if you don’t know hockey very well, there is no doubt that you’ve heard these names. Last Monday, the newest member of the 1,000 game club reached the milestone. Vinny Lecavalier of the Tampa Bay Lightning has been a mainstay of the team since he was drafted first overall in 1998. He has been winning ever since. Given his years with the team, it comes as no surprise that he reached the 1,000 game mark at only 32 years of age. He continues to excel in the game and remains one of the highest-producing centers in the league. Off the ice, he has donated millions of dollars and thousands of hours to All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg. He is the namesake of the Vincent Lecavalier Pediatric Cancer and Blood Disorder Center because of his generosity and dedication.
It is difficult for anyone to succeed at a high level over a period of time. Every once in a while, we find people like the Vinny Lecavalier’s of the world who show us what it means to set the bar high. Whether you’ve been a leader for a while or you are just starting out, there are some valuable lessons about leaving a legacy of success that can be learned by looking at Vinny and his career.
Succeeding Over the Long-Haul
- Service: There is little argument that Vinny has been a tremendous leader within his locker room as well as in the community. Service is a part of who he is. To create a legacy of success, you have to start with an attitude of service. Followers don’t serve a leader; a great leader serves the followers. The foundation of your success is to serve your team internally. How you serve the people that you work directly with will determine how successful you will be to the outside world. Vinny has done a tremendous job of serving as the captain of the team since he was only 19 years old. He matured greatly through the process and it undoubtedly made him the leader that he is today.Success isn’t just about serving your teammates, but extending it to the community around you. Vinny’s work in the Tampa Bay Community has shown everyone where his heart is. A man with the dedication to serve the world around him with the same passion that he serves his teammates with is a man who will succeed for life. Determination to help the greater community is a reflection of his determination to succeed.
- Significance: The secret to happiness in life is to find your purpose. It is something that people spend their entire lives trying to find. Some people are lucky enough to find it early in life. Vinny found it on the ice as a child. He was given a special gift and has been able to share it with millions of people. When you find your passions, there is an endless spring of energy that comes from doing what you love. You will never grow weary when you do what energized you.What are your passions? What are the things that get you going? If you haven’t found your purpose in life yet, start here. Look back on the things that you have done that have re-energized you. Make time and find a way to serve in this area. Confucius said, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.
- Succession: Leaving a legacy of success means that you don’t stop with working on your own impact. You help others create their own as well. Vinny’s teammate, Steven Stamkos, was drafted first overall exactly 10 years after Vinny. He came into the league with the same expectations on his career as the franchise had for Vinny. The two have worked hard together, along with teammate Martin St. Louis, to accelerate Steven’s growth. Stamkos is now considered one of the best players in the league, and led the league in goals last year. To take it a step further, Stamkos is maturing into a leader that the team can rally behind.Vinny has focused on helping to build his teammates, not to build his stats. His work with Stamkos and the other young guns on the team have shown that he wants to pass a legacy of success down for another generation. Leaving a legacy of success means that you work just as hard for others to succeed after you and you do for your own success.
Congratulations to Tampa’s number 4, Vinny Lecavalier. He has built a legacy of success based on his service to his teammates and the Tampa Bay community. He found his purpose in life and has worked hard to pass his knowledge down ensure the team succeeds even after he’s gone. What he has accomplished by the age of 32 is something that many business leaders strive for by the time they retire. These three important S’s of legacy can help anyone who wants to succeed over the long-haul: Service, Significance, and Succession. Work hard for them and you’ll win more like number 4.