24 January 2023 | Articles, Articles 2023, Management | By Christophe Lachnitt
As Far As Management Is Concerned, We Have Yet To Find Anything Better Than Exemplarity
What good is a requirement for excellence if it is not valid for everyone?
It is customary in football, as in many other sports, for coaches to show their players video footage of their performance after each game or practice session, and in particular, of the play actions they have poorly conducted.
This is an opportunity for coaches to admonish players who are excessively lazy or not focused enough and to give them technical, physical, and mental advice. The risks posed by those sessions include differential treatment of players based on their status and a temptation for teammates to blame each other for their mistakes.
This is why the method instituted by Nick Sirianni, the coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, one of the two best teams in the NFL this season, is interesting: During those video reviews, he and his assistants publicly assume their mistakes when the instructions they gave to their players were not relevant or clear enough. In this case, one of their names, not the number of the player, appears on the screen before the action is replayed.
As a result, no player can hide, and egos can’t come into play. No one is spared, not even those in authority over the group. This approach manifests the primacy of the requirement for accountability throughout the franchise. All team members, regardless of their position, must take responsibility for their mistakes. No one can escape the pursuit of excellence.
Nick Sirianni, who studied education before taking up football, tried a number of options before settling on this one. The first time his name came up on the screen, his players were surprised. They quickly realized that any possibility of escaping their responsibility had disappeared and that the culture of continuous improvement would now be the norm.
This approach, unique to the 32 teams in the NFL, could easily be applied to a company with the same positive effects. However, how many CEOs, executives or managers recognize their mistakes and thus point out to their teams that the most important thing is not to be right, in an individual quest, but to perform for the benefit of the team?
We have yet to find anything better in management than exemplarity.