From WeAreTheCity’s Future Leader’s Blog

Have you ever heard of Wayne Gretzy?

He’s a legendary Canadian ice-hockey player – some say he’s the best player ever. In one of his many, many interviews, he was asked what made him such a good player, what made him more successful than others.

His response was that so many players go to where the puck is, while he went where the puck was about to go. He had the ability to read the other players’ patterns, to understand what would happen next, where the game was going. He was good at observing and noticing those patterns and to use that information to direct himself to where the puck was going, and then he would head on over there.

Everything in life is a pattern. Nature has patterns. Weather and seasons have patterns. Human beings have habitual patterns, in their thoughts, their feelings and their actions.

The better we can become at noticing our own patterns (= self awareness) and those of others (=social awareness), the better results we can get. We can communicate better, create better relationships and lead better.

If we can become aware of our own patterns, we can change them. If our habits aren’t working for us, we can change them, and get better results. We all get stuck at times, doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Of course we need to do things differently to get different results. Habits and patterns aren’t always easy to break, but if we can just become aware of them, then we are well on they way to change. And we can start creating new, more effective patterns, one step at a time.

And if we can become aware of other people’s habits and situational patterns, we can start to predict some of what’s coming up, so we can approach situations in the best possible way.

An increasingly important EQ skill for future leaders is to be able to observe and listen. Let’s take inspiration from the legendary Gretzky and become masters of patterns, not just seeing what’s happening right now but also what might happen next.

About the authors

Mandy Flint & Elisabet Vinberg Hearn, award-winning authors of ”The Team Formula”.

Their latest book ”Leading Teams – 10 Challenges: 10 Solutions” is out now, published by Financial Times International. You can download a free chapter of the book at

Praise for ”Leading Teams: ”This book is a 21st-century guide on how to build a world-class team. I highly recommend it” Steve Siebold, Founder, Mental Toughness University, Florida USA.