Followers and Situation:
Contextual and Operational Leadership:
“Do you believe in Miracles?” asked ABC-TV announcer Al Michaels as the final round game between the Soviet Union and the United States Men’s Ice Hockey team came to an end in the 1980 Olympic games in Lake Placid, New York (infoplease.com). For some individuals, this may have been considered just an ice hockey game that was between a young United States team and a much older and more experienced Soviet Union. At any other time in history, this game would not have meant as much as it did in 1980 because of the fact that the Cold War was still going on and this game was considered just as much as part of the war than the actual war itself.
Born in St. Paul, Minnesota, Herbert Paul Brooks played hockey at the University of Minnesota, where he later coached from 1972-1979, winning three national titles. Brooks was inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame in 1990. After playing for the 1964 and 1968 Olympic hockey team and coaching the 1980 “Miracle on Ice” hockey team, Herb went on to coach on four different NHL teams and then later coached the French Olympic team in 1998 and team USA in 2003 (imdb.com) “Herb Brooks was behind the bench when the Americans pulled off one of the greatest upsets ever, beating the mighty Soviets with a squad made up mainly of college players. That shocking victory, plus beating Finland for the gold medal, assured the team a place in sports immortality and gave the USA as reason to celebrate at a bleak time in its history” (sportsecyclopedia.com). This was a difficult challenge from the start for coach Herb Brooks. At the very first tryout, Herb Brooks knew who he wanted for his team because he needed as much time with the players as possible in order to be able to compete against the best teams in the world. With the team having an average age of 22, Brooks understood the challenge, was able to look past it, and overcome it. Herb Brooks tried out for the Olympic hockey team in 1960 but was actually the last man cut off of the team. The USA Men’s Olympic hockey team won a gold medal at the 1960 Winter Olympics in Squaw Valley, California. Brooks was later able to be a part of the USA team in the 1964 Olympics in Austria and he served as the captain in the 1968 Olympics in France. Both of these were considered great accomplishments but neither of them resulted in a gold medal for USA. Brooks hoped that he would be able to get his chance again someday and when the opportunity came around, he gladly accepted the challenge coaching and he capitalized on it. Followers and Situation
Herb Brooks had a variety of different followers throughout his hockey career. Being a captain in the 1968, Brooks was able to show leadership on the ice as well as in the locker room. This experience as well as his love for the game shaped him into the coach, leader, and American hero that he became in 1980. As a coach for the Gophers at the University of Minnesota, he was a leader to the players, the coaching staff, and the hockey fans at the university. This is the same role he played for the four different NHL teams that Brooks coached in the late 1980s and the 1990s. The most important or maybe the most memorable position for Brooks was the head coach of the 1980 USA hockey team. This is when he was able to beat the odds and lead his team to beat the USSR in the “Miracle on Ice” and then to beat Finland for the gold medal in Lake Placid, New York. Aside from the twenty players on the team and the coaching staff, Herb Brooks was able to lead and inspire all of America during the peak of the Cold War that was going on at this time. Contextual and Operational Leadership
Contextual leadership is primarily based on a specific passage in which influencing its meaning or effect is its main...