Leadership can be defined as the act of motivating people towards a common goal. For Cole Cameron, it has taken years of hard work and observation to gain his leadership attributes.
“I had the opportunity to play with some amazing leaders who all had different leadership styles,” said Cole. “Guys are leaders in different ways, but they all show up every day and work hard on the ice. When you see that and learn about the league, you find a way to apply those skills to your leadership style.”
The rink wasn’t the only place he acquired these skills—a substantial amount was picked up on the family farm.
“My dad is an agricultural farmer; we have a cash crop and a goat farm. I spent a lot of time helping my dad growing up. I still spend my summers out there with my family,” said Cole. “Most of May is spent on the tractor. Farming for me has always been humbling and grounding. Some of the tangibles I’ve gained there have built me.”
When Cole first became a member of the Blueshirts, it took a significant amount of self-awareness to step back and analyze the dynamics before stepping into his leadership role.
“The well being of the dressing room is so important,” said Cole. “For me, coming into a team that has set leaders, I take a moment to observe where I stand. I let them handle the vocal aspects, and I focus on keeping the guys on track and making sure they are dialed in and ready to go.”
When Cole moved to Kitchener, the initial blow of the trade was difficult, but he had a connection here in K-W. His sister is currently attending Wilfrid Laurier University. She has made the transition a bit easier.
“It is cool to be able to finish my OHL career in the same city as my sister,” smiled Cole. “My parents are coming up this weekend, and it is good for them to be able to spend time with both of us.”
Looking back on his time in the OHL, Cole is humbled by the experiences and knowledge he has gained. Now in his final year, he hopes to articulate the skills he has learned to the younger players and in his future endeavours.
“I don’t think that my leadership has changed over the years, but I think the physical representation of it has. I take new roles on different teams,” said Cole. “I just want to help the team in any way I can.”
That hard work—both at the rink and on the farm—has influenced Cole significantly and has gotten him to where he is today.
“One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned from farming is not cutting corners. When you’re cultivating a field, no one can see the back of the crop. If I skip a row or an area no one would know,” said Cole. From farming, I’ve learned not to cut corners in life. It catches up to you. If you miss a spot while farming, do you go back, or do you keep going? It’s the same in life.”
Cole’s “reap what you sow” mentality is a manifestation of his character. Work hard, do it right, be humble and you will be rewarded.