As a leader, you will eventually find yourself in tough spots. No matter how much you want to be a nice person and make everyone happy, every good leader has to be the bad guy . . . to someone.

In my time, I made 100 trades over 11 years. Trading members of your team isn’t easy. It’s tough being the one who has to make the call on which guy you’re going to have to let go – a guy who has been so proud to wear your team’s jersey. I got paid to hire, fire, and make decisions.

It was tough at times.

And no matter how great your success – even if you’ve led your team to the top and you think nobody can possibly be displeased with your work – someone will have a mark of criticism about something you did along the way.

  • “Neil Smith was able to do what no other general manager could in 54 years for the New York Rangers-win the Stanley Cup! It was Neil's bold approach to changing the culture that allowed the team to galvanize into champions.”