Thursday 26 February 2015

Rick Hanson, Bearcat Murray, and Peter Maher Lead by Example

Chief Rick Hanson interviewed by Jill Belland of City TV
Written by Robyn T. Braley

Since this post was written, Chief Hanson resigned to pursue other career options. Peter Maher retired after a distinguished career as a sports broadcaster. Bearcat Murray just goes on being Bearcat. Each is still involved in the community.

Three men built strong personal brands through hard work and demonstrating a passion for what they do. 

Leaders are busy. Schedules are overloaded by the demands of fulfilling job and career commitments. Add family and recreation time and many leaders reach a schedule saturation point. 

When asked to find time to volunteer in the community, many leaders are thrown into a spasm caused by busyness fatigue.

Leaders Who Lead

In spite of this, every community has leaders who stand out through the gift of their time. They understand the importance of making a difference in the community. 

Calgary is blessed with a long list of men and women who are examples of what it means to be extraordinary leaders in every area of their lives. Somehow, within their frenetic schedules, they find time to give back, to pay it forward. 

Three such men were recently in the news on the same day. They share common values by…
  • Giving selflessly of themselves without any expectation of return
  • Demonstrating leadership by how they live their lives
  • Showing compassion and caring for others
Rick Hanson live on Radiothon produced by Unimark

Chief Rick Hanson

Wednesday morning Calgary Police Chief Rick Hanson announced that he was retiring. Chief Hansen is recognized around the world for developing a police service that is highly respected and a model for law enforcement innovation.  

The police force has the trust and respect of the community. Hanson brought innovation by developing a policy of early intervention in domestic issues. By putting the focus on prevention, Hanson transformed how Calgary police fought crime. Read Jason van Rassel’s story in The Calgary Herald

Mayor Naheed Nenshi said, “All the programs you’ve heard the chief speak about with so much passion — kids at risk, people left out, people on the margins — that’s what makes this community safe. That’s what makes this community work so well.”
When our company, Unimark Creative, asked Chief Hanson to guest on Radiothon’s we produced for the Calgary Dream Centre, he always made time. You knew he cared. 

He was present and in the moment while doing 4-5 media interviews championing the cause of addictions recovery. When I attended other NFP events, he’d often be there on his own time.

When I asked him to speak at my Rotary Club, he always accepted the invitation. He viewed Rotary as a strong connection with the community.

Calgary Flames hockey club

Bearcat Murray

The same day it was announced that former Calgary Flames trainer Jim “Bearcat” Murray and retired Voice of the Flames Peter Maher had been inducted into the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame.

When project manager Rob Laird asked Bearcat to be interviewed for a video Unimark was producing for another addictions recovery organization, Bearcat was there. Click here 1835 Recovery House Video 

I should also note Olympic Gold medalists Mark Tewksbury and Jamie Sale also gave their time and lent their celebrity to the same video. CTV Edmonton donated time to make Jamie's interview possible.

Bearcat Murray and Robyn Braley in front of video green screen 
If you don’t live in southern Alberta, you might find it difficult to believe a former trainer for a professional hockey team can be a leader with such impact.

But he is. When Bearcat speaks, people listen.  Read George Johnson’s Biographical story in the Calgary Herald

Whatever the cause, when asked, Bearcat will be there. Jim also lent his celebrity to the grand opening of the Legacy Regional Fieldhouse in Okotoks. It is operated by our Unimark client NUSTADIA Recreation.  

Peter Maher

I had the opportunity to work with Peter Maher at NEWSTALK 770 when the station carried the Flames games. Prior to that my wife and I had been professional Gospel singers travelling throughout Canada and the US. While traveling late at night we would try to pull in Flames radio broadcasts from wherever we were whether deep in the US or in northern Alberta, BC or Saskatchewan.

The first time I met Peter and his color commentator Doug Barkley, I told them I felt they were two of the best play-by-play broadcasters in the league. I can still remember that look of bewilderment as Peter questioned my sanity.

Peter Maher Voice of the Flames
“Really,” he said? “I don’t think we are that good.” But, that was Peter. Humble, yet quietly confident in the way that only a true professional can be.

I’ve never told him or anyone else about another impact on my life. We had just started our marketing business and things weren’t going well. In fact, our situation was desperate.

One winter Saturday night I went for a walk while listening on my radio as Peter called the game. I walked through the neighborhood for 2 hrs totally absorbed into the game brought to life in living color in my head. When I finally returned, I looked at our problems entirely differently and began to see solutions rather than just problems.
Click here for interview with  Tara Sloan
When a minor hockey association or the Alzheimer’s Society needs a speaker for a banquet, Peter will be there. When we needed a speaker at Rotary, he’d respond. 

Last fall, shortly after he retired, he told our club of the many times through the years that he provide informal life coaching and advice to young Flames players going through times of loneliness and frustration.

Peter Maher called 2,954 NHL games and the 2010 Winter Olympics hockey games in Vancouver. Because of his legacy, the radio broadcast booth in the Saddledome has been named in his honor.

Life Examples

Each man - Rick, Peter and Bearcat - is an example of professionals who have excelled in their careers. In the process, they've build exemplary personal brands. Each believes their life has been enriched and careers positively impacted by giving back to the community.

What These Men Taught Me

  1. Be passionate about what you do
  2. Be professional at all times
  3. Be genuine and approachable
  4. Be honest and above reproach in all things
  5. Be compassionate and caring
  6. Be a listener
  7. Be a mentor of those who follow
  8. Be a communicator
  9. Be available even when its inconvenient
  10. Be a leader who leads
Robyn T. Braley is a writer, speaker and music composer. He is the president of Unimark Creative which focuses on website design, video production, media services (editorial and advertising), and graphic design. Contact him at or  

Contact Robyn

Email:   LinkedIn Twitter: @robyntbraley  Sound Cloud 

1 comment:

  1. Dedication, passion and the desire to help others are three effective ways to brand yourself and provide superior service people remember and share with others.