Let Them Lead: Unexpected Lessons in Leadership from America’s Worst High School Hockey Team

John U. Bacon. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $28 (256p) ISBN 978-0-358-53326-9
Journalist Bacon (Overtime) delivers a heartfelt narrative about the leadership skills he learned when he returned to his alma mater to coach the lowest-ranked high school hockey team in Michigan. When Bacon arrived in 2000, the Ann Arbor Huron High School River Rats hadn’t won a game in over a year, their four best players had just graduated, and the current crop was “unfocused” and perversely proud of their “loser” status. He began turning things around by being strict on two rules—“work hard and support your teammates”—and subsequent directions, such as “showing up on time and dressing appropriately for each workout, practice, and game,” were derived from the core two. To build trust, he worked with all members of the team, even the third-stringers, had upperclassmen mentor the underclassmen, and solicited the advice of the team’s leaders when making decisions. Soon enough, the team members were leading themselves and positive results followed: three years later, the team was ranked fourth in the state. Interspersed are moving stories about the confidence, motivation, and humility the players gained from their years with Bacon. These valuable lessons will inspire readers regardless of whether they’ve ever picked up a hockey stick. Agent: Jay Mandel, WME. (Sept.)
Reviewed on : 09/02/2021
Release date: 09/07/2021
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 256 pages - 978-0-358-54021-2
Book - 978-0-358-58191-8
Audio Product - 978-0-358-58174-1
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