[MMM] Lessons from the Poor Fit of George Stroumboulopoulos @ HNIC

July 4, 2016 | The “Strombo” Edition


Good Monday morning,


As we celebrated Canada day weekend, we recognized our appreciation for all things Canadian. I am Canadian, but I have a confession to make. I’m not a hockey fan. I enjoy it. It’s a great game. My best friend, who I’ve known since we were 13, is a true hockey fan. I really don’t have any passion about the game – appreciate, yes – passion, no. I just find it way too long of a season and our culture is a little bit too hockey centric for my personal taste.


In life the unexpected can occur. As Rogers struggles to figure out what to do with a TV product, this past week many key people involved in the TV business side of hockey lost their jobs including one key person, the host and centerpiece, George Stroumboulopoulos.


I happen to have a personal connection with him as I was interviewed on the show about work that made him a National TV star, the Hour with George Stroumboulopoulos Show. I was in the green room with Kat Von D when we were both on his show (that is a story for a different time). I found George to be engaging, well prepared, humble, and a really great guy. Ironically, when the show was over, he said to me, “I should sit down some time and discuss where I am heading.” At that moment, he may not have realized the truth in that statement.


If the suit doesn’t fit, well, it just doesn’t fit.


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George just wasn’t the right fit as the host of Hockey Night in Canada. While clearly passionate about the game, he never shone in his role and seemed uncomfortable in the seat. He knew it, the audience sensed it and, more importantly, his bosses at Rogers couldn’t deny the reality.


George is currently on a long road trip on his bike in the U.S to clear his head. He had no idea when he planned his trip how much he would really need that space to do that. I’m sure he will have lots of questions. I believe there was no fault in his decision to originally take on the job – it seemed to make sense on paper, just not in reality.


Sometimes in life things don’t always work out as planned. You get offered what you think is your dream job, offered a promotion, or have an opportunity to join an organization that you’ve always admired. You start the new role and things just don’t seem to work as planned.  Changes happen. It can be political, personal or practical reasons for it not working out.


I’m confident the George will land on his feet. He is a very talented broadcaster. I am sure he was thankful for the fantastic role and opportunity. It just wasn’t the right fit.


The key for him or anyone else in this situation is taking the time to review what worked and what didn’t work. There are lessons that can be applied in a role that is even a better fit. In my experience the most disappointing circumstances can be our greatest teachers.


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