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What can we learn from from America’s worst high school hockey team

Let them lead
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An uplifting leadership book about a coach who helped transform the nation’s worst high school hockey team into one of the best. Bacon’s strategy is straightforward: set high expectations, make the players accountable for each other, and inspire them all to lead their team.اضافة اعلان

When John U. Bacon played for the Ann Arbor Huron High School River Rats, he never scored a goal. Yet somehow, years later he found himself leading his alma mater’s downtrodden program. How bad were they? The team hadn’t won a game in over a year, making them the nation’s worst squad — a fact they celebrated.

With almost everyone expecting more failure, Bacon had a strategy to improve the team. He made it special to play for Huron by making it hard, which inspired the players to excel. Then he defied conventional wisdom again by putting players to be in charge of team discipline, goal-setting, and even decision-making — and it worked.

In just three seasons the River Rats bypassed 95-percent of the nation’s teams.

A true story filled with unforgettable characters, experiences, and lessons that apply to organizations everywhere, Let Them Lead includes the leader’s mistakes and the reactions of the players, who have since achieved great success as leaders themselves.

Let Them Lead is a fast-paced, feel-good book that leaders of all kinds can embrace to motivate their teams to work harder, work together, and take responsibility for their own success.


Let Them Lead: Unexpected Lessons in Leadership fromAmerica’s Worst High School Hockey Team, is where Ted Lasso meets the Mighty Ducks.” — Dan Shaughnessy, Columnist, the Boston Globe

“Plenty of adjectives describe Let Them Lead — practical, readable, lively, compelling, thought-provoking. Whether the story of the hockey program or the leadership principles proves the greater draw, both will stay with readers after finishing the book. This is a volume worth returning to for insight and inspiration.” — John Young, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

“You get hooked by the River Rats, and you just have to see how this thing turns out. In making it hard to be a part of the team, more kids wanted to join it. This feel-good tome resonates whether you’re a coach or a corporate type. It’s an easy read, and you’ll take a lot from it.” — John Johnson, Michigan High School Athletic Association

“Just finished this excellent book, which weaves lessons for life and leadership throughout an entertaining, inspiring story. It transcends hockey and sports. Great for coaches, parents, players, and leaders in all walks of life.” — Nick Cotsonika, Columnist,

“Highly recommended. To call it a great sports book is to dramatically undersell it. There’s something in it for everyone. Seriously, a must read. Do yourself a big favor: Put it on your reading list and order it now.” —  Keith Gave, author, The Russian Five, and director, The Russian Five documentary

About the Author:

John U. Bacon has written for The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, and NPR, among others. He has authored seven national bestsellers on sports, business, health, and history. Bacon is a popular corporate speaker, executive coach, and leadership consultant, Bacon lives in Ann Arbor with his wife and son.

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