University of Victoria doctoral candidate David Nagel

Decoding the Sedins at UVic

University of Victoria duo research Sedin twins’ successful use of ‘servant leadership’

Before the Sedin brothers were great with the Vancouver Canucks, they were great in Sweden.

But the transition to North America during their rookie NHL season of 2000-2001 and the next few years nearly derailed them.

What allowed the brothers to flourish, according to research being conducted by education Prof. Carolyn Crippen and doctoral student David Nagel at the University of Victoria, was Daniel’s and Henrik’s inherent use of the servant leadership philosophy.

“They were called soft, they were called sisters, they were called lots of things, but they decided to stay in Vancouver and it was a key moment of their life,” says Crippen, a Victoria resident who had never watched hockey until she stumbled upon the Sedins in 2011. Their bushy red beards of the time stood out, she says.

Using traits exhibited by successful servant leaders, the Sedins prevailed as honourable, respectful athletes in a violent and intimidating arena. Crippen and Nagel have captured those traits and their benefits in two international journal articles about servant leadership.

“Their decision to stay was a crucial stage in their development,” Crippen says.

The research has included site visits to games, practices and interviews with the Sedins at Rogers Arena, as well as with television and print media members Dan Murphy and Ian MacIntyre (who’ve watched the Sedins since Day 1).

Crippen and Nagel have also documented countless hours of the brothers’ behaviour on the ice. If it’s game night, Crippen has the TV or radio on while she scribbles constant observations.

“I really knew little about hockey before this started,” she said of the research study which has “taken on a life of it’s own.”

With the Vancouver Canucks organization on board to grant the researchers full access, their studies are now focused on a third scholarly article planned for publication in 2016.

That’s in addition to their initial paper in a 2013 edition of the PHEnix Journal and this summer’s update in the International Journal of Servant-Leadership.

The Sedins learned their values from a family and community that stressed inclusivity. They speak highly of their elder brothers, who modelled their parents’ values of fairness.

“When the Canucks lost Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final in 2011, the players were upset and the Sedins were the only players who stayed to answer every question from the media,” Crippen says. “They didn’t try to avoid it, they were forthright and honoured their role and responsibility.”

For Nagel, it’s been a treat to study subjects in the sport he always loved. He can still recall listening to the games on radio while falling asleep as a kid. Now the  father of a young family also gives back as a coach with the Victoria Ice Hawks midget house team (ages 15 to 17).

“In a way, (it’s changed the way I think about hockey), but I think aging has had more of an affect,” he says. “Victoria Minor Hockey Association takes a ‘whole person’ developmental approach … using hockey as a vehicle for supporting growth in individuals.” In that sense, he adds, it coincides with servant leadership.

Nagel and Crippen hope the Sedins’ model of a servant-leader attitude can be a beacon for youth in hockey today.

reporter@saanichnews.com

 

Just Posted

Autism support dog helps Langford boy hold his head high

Family shares story for Autism Awareness Month

Give your immunity a boost for National Immunization Awareness Week

Immunize Canada calls on Canadians to stay up to date with their immunizations

Bear sightings historically rare in Langford: City staff

51 bear complaints or sightings in last year

Families hop over to Easter celebrations at Millstream Village

Annual Easter Eggstravaganza had lineups before 11 a.m.

Parishioners bear the weight of a large wooden cross on Good Friday

Good Friday Passion Procession winds through streets of Victoria

WATCH: Movie star and PACE alum Calum Worthy talks musical theatre and his career

“American Vandal” and “Austin and Ally” actor has been returning to the program for over 20 years

POLL: How often does your family use BC Ferries?

Navigating the lineups for BC Ferries is a way of life for… Continue reading

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for the week of April 16

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

B.C. RCMP receive application for Police Cat Services

RCMP announced the launch of the Police Cat Services unit as an April fools joke

Kirkland Signature veggie burgers recalled due to possible metal fragments

Recalled products came in 1.7 kg packages with a best before date of Apr. 23, 2019

Parents of 13 who tortured children get life after hearing victims

One of their daughters fled their home and pleaded for help to a 911 operator

Flooding, climate change force Quebecers to rethink relationship with water

Compensation for victims of recurring floods limit to 50% of a home’s value, or a maximum of $100,000

Storms blast South, where tornadoes threaten several states

9.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia at a moderate risk of severe weather

Private cargo ship brings Easter feast to the space station

There are three Americans two Russians and one Canadian living on the space station

Most Read