Stoicism – The Tao of Bobby Orr

Recently I’ve been focussed on Stoicism, from reading Seneca through the pdfs published by Tim Ferris (link here), to writing twice daily in my Daily Stoic journal, the creation of Ryan Holiday.

I wrote about this in “Writing I love – The Roman Stoics“, where I captured this description of the essence of Stoicism by Ryan Holiday :

“ the very root of the thinking, there is a very simple, though not easy, way of living. Take obstacles in your life and turn them into your advantage, control what you can and accept what you can’t.”

I then found a wonderful article by Boyd Falconer called “THE STOIC TAO OF ORR“, which delves deep into what made Bobby Orr such an amazing leader in sports.


I do encourage reading of the Stoics, the 2000 year old wisdom is so relevant today in our age of disruption, and where institutional trust is collapsing. We need leaders now as much as at any time in history.

A few snippets from Boyd’s article, please consider them in the realm in which you are a leader, whether in business, with family, friends, community.

“There are many famous images in the history of sports photography…Included in that distinguished collection must certainly be the iconic photo of Boston Bruins defenseman Bobby Orr suspended midair, celebrating scoring the winning goal in the 1970 Stanley Cup finals over the St. Louis Blues. Orr was the greatest player of his time but possibly more importantly he was most stoic leader the world of sports has ever seen.”

“Orr didn’t need to yell and scream or berate his teammates. He quietly led by example and his fellow players never ever wanted to let him down. Orr commanded respect in the most stoic way possible – he led by example. His quiet confidence and his humility was the hub in the middle of the Bruins logo that the rest of the team revolved around. He was their sun.”

“How would one explain the leadership skills that Orr displayed? The great Montreal Canadiens goaltender Ken Dryden summed it up best when he said, “He brought others with him; he wanted them involved. That’s what made him so different: It felt like a five-player stampede moving toward you – and at his pace.” Orr’s aura extended to Boston sports fans who still genuflect and make the sign of the cross when his name is mentioned. The few times he attends Bruins games these days there is a palpable murmur in the stands. “Bobby is here tonight”, they say. No one needs to ask, “Bobby who?”


A leader is someone other choose to follow. Could stoicism be a valuable tool for you to create followers for your leadership ?

Also published on Medium.

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