How often do you take a detour?

Today is February 8 and the Navigate the Chaos question to consider is “how often do you take a detour?”


Those who navigate the chaos understand how the value of detours. Derek Ryan was a professional hockey player with the Carolina Hurricanes of the National Hockey League (NHL) and knows something about detours on his way to play in the NHL. Born in 1986 he made his NHL debut on March 1, 2016 at 29 years of age. This is even more remarkable given the fact that most players today make their NHL debut when they are 20 years old. Thus, the probability of making it to the NHL gradually decreases every year after 20 years of age.


After he played four seasons of major junior hockey (2003-2007) in the Western Hockey League with his hometown of Spokane (Washington) Chiefs, the NHL scouts had little interest in him due to his size. Ryan stands 5’10” 170lbs and was considered too diminutive to be drafted. He then played four seasons of Canadian college hockey (2007-2011) and launched his professional career in Europe during the 2011-2012 season; and played there until 2013. On April 14, 2014 Ryan moved to the Swedish Hockey League and did well enough to be selected as the league’s Forward of the Year and the SHL Most Valuable Player.


On June 15, 2015, eight years after being turned down by the NHL scouts, and after three detours (Canadian college, European league, Swedish league) Ryan signed with the Carolina Hurricanes.


As entrepreneur Mary Kay said "For every failure, there's an alternative course of action. You just have to find it. When you come to a roadblock, take a detour." Ryan took three detours on his way to the NHL. During his journey his mother Nancy died in her sleep and never saw her son play in the NHL. Tim Ryan, Derek’s father called said his son’s path to the NHL was “the road never traveled…not less traveled. It’s never traveled.” No one had traveled Derek Ryan’s path to the NHL.


When you are faced with a roadblock what do you do? Do you take a detour or give up?