University of Victoria doctoral candidate David Nagel

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

Greater father involvement in the home leads to improved childhood development and increased marital satisfaction, says expert. (Black Press Media file photo)
University of Victoria researcher finds lack of father involvement a drag on gender equality

Working women still taking on most child and household duties in Canada

New COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island by local health area for the week of June 6-12. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control image)
New COVID-19 cases up on Island, but health officials say trends going right way

There were 22 new COVID-19 cases in Greater Victoria last week after just four the week before

Emergency health services treated a person after they were blocking traffic at the intersection of Fort and Douglas Streets on June 17. (Evert Lindquist/ News Staff)
Victoria intersection traffic returns to normal after protester blocked roadway

A person in a motorized wheelchair was blocking the intersection at Fort and Douglas Streets

Eric White’s roadside farm stand in Metchosin sits stocked with produce. (Photo courtesy of Eric White)
Fledgling Metchosin farmer frustrated by thefts from stand

Eric White said every dollar made at the roadside helps sustain his farm

Saanich police took a suspect into custody after a store employee on Cedar Hill Cross Road was assaulted Wednesday afternoon. (Black Press Media file photo)
Employee assaulted at Saanich store after asking suspected shoplifters to leave

June 16 incident saw worker taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: When was the last time you visited the mainland?

The films are again lighting the screens at local theatres, the wine… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of June 15

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

The Co-op gas station at Whiskey Creek is burning after a camper van exploded while refueling just before 4 p.m. on Thursday, June 17, 2021. (FACEBOOK PHOTO)
Exploding camper van torches Highway 4 gas station between Qualicum Beach and Port Alberni

Highway traffic blocked after Whiskey Creek gas station erupts into flames

Helen Austin performing with Trent Freeman at the 2018 Vancouver Island MusicFest. Austin is one of the many performers listed for the 2021 event.
Vancouver Island MusicFest goes virtual for 2021

Black Press to stream 25 hours of programming July 9-11

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

Most Read