Leadership Lab: Harbaugh’s Enthusiasm

Leadership Lab - Jim Harbaugh's Enthusiasm
“Attack each day with an enthusiasm unknown to mankind.”

Welcome to Leadership Lab, a new weekly post from writer Chris DePiero. As you can read in his bio below, DePiero is as experienced as people get in hockey and we’re excited to give him a weekly platform to provide a hands-on approach to becoming a better leader. Every Tuesday DePiero will share knowledge, wisdom, tips and tricks that everyone from elite executives to passionate parents can learn from. Enjoy!


“Nothing great was ever accomplished without great enthusiasm” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

On a Saturday afternoon late in November, one of the oldest and greatest rivalries in US college football history took place between the Ohio State University Buckeyes and the University of Michigan Wolverines. What made this year’s game more interesting and exciting was the fact that the Buckeyes going into the game were ranked #2 nationally and the Wolverines #3.

With a birth in the Big Ten Finals on the line, the Wolverines stunned the home crowd of Ohio State with a huge 45-23 win, knocking the Buckeyes out of the top four ranked teams and possibly out of the college football playoffs.

Jim Harbaugh, Michigan’s Head Coach, has endured his share of criticism and at one point was on the firing line. Yet, with all of that he lives by the credo of – “Attack each day with an enthusiasm unknown to mankind.”

The past two seasons this enthusiasm has been on full display, and carried out by his team, as they have been nothing short of perfect.

It doesn’t matter if it’s a Monday or the weekend, we all get to choose how much enthusiasm we have for what it is we do and how we do it.

We don’t need to wait for someone else to light a fire under us.

If we want to do something, then just get after it.

If we want to be positive, then we can be positive.

Simple as that.

As coaches we all have days when we may not be energized, and not fully engaged in our day. But think about Jim Harbaugh and attacking each moment and day with an enthusiasm unknown to mankind.

Make the choice to do so; your players may end catching it and then the sky is the limit.


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Chris De Piero

Chris is a Senior High-Performance Coach and has spent the past 30+ years in the game of hockey as a player, Head Coach, General Manager, scout, mentor, consultant and most importantly as a parent. He has done so in the NHL, with Hockey Canada, in the OHL and the OHA, as well as European pro hockey. In addition, he has spent 15+ years as a classroom teacher as well as being in leadership positions as an administrator with a private high school in Toronto.

Chris has coached over 100 players who have played and/or been drafted into the NHL, and 100+ players who have gone on to play NCAA or USport hockey. He has won multiple championships as a Head Coach and GM, notably winning a Stanley Cup ring from being a member of the scouting staff of the Pittsburgh Penguins from 2012-2016.

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