I loved NY Islanders goal, Robin Lehner’s message last night at the NHL Awards, after winning the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy. That award is given each year to the NHL player who “best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.”
With what Robin revealed about his mental health battles this year, publicly, & how he still performed, he was the most deserving player in the league. And, though his message was about openly facing disorder – he said it does NOT mean that he was “mentally weak!” That was so powerful.
Lost in all of this however, is this statement he made about the risk of opening up. We are in 2019, & his real depiction of the landscape that STILL exists in professional sports (& most other industries), shows how much work still needs to be done.
Bottom line, we shouldn’t be at a place where sharing our challenges openly, with our employers, should affect our contract negotiations/ability to earn/chances to be promoted.
I remember in the first podcast I was ever asked to speak on, the interviewer asked me how we can better “screen for candidates with MH complications so that we limit our risk.” I almost couldn’t believe it & shot back: “Sure, if you screen for ‘those ppl’ you will be eliminating your: hardest workers, biggest thinkers, staunch competitors, & most dedicated employees . Wouldn’t you rather hire them & give them the help & tools they need to thrive?”
As Robin Lehner showed, when you provide employees (in any arena) with resources to help them overcome their challenges, performance often soars. He showed it can happen in sports, with a stellar year. The truth is, it can happen in any industry & companies should be investing in their ppl, & helping them get past obstacles – to the point where they can all perform to the top of their potential.