The philosophy of the 2014 NFL Arizona Cardinals is “Next Man Up.” They know football is a sport of attrition, so they have developed a culture of trust. They trust everyone on the team – starters and substitutes alike – and when a starter gets injured, they trust that a substitute will be the “Next Man Up.”
Fortunately, we had a junior varsity team that ran our system. They did everything we were doing on the varsity. So everyone in the program ran the same offense, defense, and special situations.
Because of the trust in the system, we were able to bring a freshman up to replace our senior. We finished the second round 7 – 0 and won the championship.
I think if leaders have developed a system, they may want to enhance their system with the “Next Man Up “philosophy.
Gordie Gillespie, whose basketball, football, and baseball teams won an incredible 2,402 games in his career, developed a great system of teaching in all three sports. When you examine his 59 years of coaching, you find that he almost exclusively hired men who had played for him or coached with him. His hiring and promotion practices were to hire and promote from within.
Knowing he could trust that the coaches knew his system and were men of character, Gordie was, often with them not realizing it, preparing them to be the “Next Man Up.”
For a myriad of reasons, there is attrition in all businesses and organizations. That is why leaders have to be coaches. They have to coach their people to be ready to step in and lead when that attrition arises.
Leaders must continuously get their people to be prepared to be the “Next Person (Woman or Man) Up.”