Matter & Substance
  July 26, 2015

The Blind Pass

The final goal of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs was a memorable example of teamwork. After a change in possession, the Blackhawks' winger Brandon Saad shot up the ice, drawing the attention of the Lightning's defenseman and goalie. Saad dropped a pass to center Brad Richards, who looked right at the goalie. With the goalie totally focused on him, Richards made a "blind pass" to winger Patrick Kane, who was flying up ice on the other side. Kane received the puck and shot it into the back of an almost wide open net, and put the Blackhawks in control in a pivotal moment of the game. This goal led to a series of shots of the white gloved handlers polishing the Stanley Cup as it was about to be awarded to the Blackhawks. This blind pass worked because Richards knew that Kane would be there to receive it.

From time to time on a team, you may be required to throw a blind pass. It is where you rely on someone to be there and have so much trust in them that you are certain that they will receive the blind pass and deliver flawless execution of the assignment. It is a great feeling when you have someone that you can trust that much.

The blind pass only works when the recipient is able to handle it. The best way to be sure the blind pass can be handled is to give people plenty of autonomy as you go along so that they learn to work independently and readily accept responsibility.

An example of this would be when you have an important client meeting at the office and somehow get delayed in transit. Upon your request, one of your team members takes charge and executes for the client. This is how a high performing team works together.