Handling Being a Winner

T.J. Oshie burst into stardom after a shootout victory by the U.S. Olympic hockey team. He handled the media like a comfortable winner.We spend a lot of time talking about how to respond to a crisis, but exert little effort on how to handle success. Winning does happen, so maybe it's time to give it some attention, too.

U.S. Olympic hockey team player T.J. Oshie was thrown into the deep end of the pool after he out-dueled the Russian goalie in a dramatic shootout to give Team USA a clutch victory in Sochi. He became an instant social media phenomenon, with thousands of people, including President Obama, tweeting congratulations. Then came a barrage of interviews, which extended to Monday morning when he appeared on the NBC "Today" show.

Oshie, who was chosen by his coach for six of the eight shootout attempts because of his calmness, displayed an easy demeanor when being interviewed. He didn't do a "Richard Sherman" as if he was amped up on adrenalin. Instead, he gave credit to the U.S. goalie Jonathan Quick for making critical saves in the 8-shot shootout. He admitted to being nervous and self-effacingly said he was glad his last shot went in because "I was running out of ideas." 

Oshie’s performance on the ice and well-spoken interview afterward sent people scrambling on the web to learn more about him — the 27-year-old Oshie was among the final selections to Team USA, he lives in Minnesota, plays in the NHL for the St. Louis Blues and was born and grew up north of Seattle before going to college at the University of North Dakota.

No matter how the Olympics turn out, expect to see a lot more of Oshie, with his comfortable-in-my-skin presence. And that's the secret for handling success. Let your success speak for itself. 

Oshie was added to Team USA because of his success in shootouts. He didn't need to mention it because the announcers did. Oshie talked about the moment, how he felt and how he responded. He came across as human, down-to-earth and a nice guy who was a hero for a day. No bragging or trash talk.

He was a winner, on ice and on air.