In this past year’s NBA Finals, the Cleveland Cavaliers had several players go down with injury. On a day between games a reporter asked LeBron James his thoughts on the injuries and how the Cavs could survive without those injured players.
“Next man up.”
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I have been using this philosophy — and even say it aloud — in business and sports since hearing that.
In life, sports and business, people will quit on you. Not show up when expected. Get injured. Change their minds. Be swayed by negative outside influences. Disappear into the wind never to be found again. Not perform up to expectations. And there’s nothing you can do about any of it.
Next man up.
Your life continues. Your business must move on to the next customer or negotiation. Your team has another game tomorrow. If you, the person at the top, are still looking backward at yesterday, you’ll mess up the next opportunity.
Next man up.
LeBron’s mindset was that the games still needed to be played, no matter who wasn’t there. I’m here, and that’s good enough — so the next man needs to step up and let’s get to work, was the message. And he nearly pulled it off. Even in not winning the title, he proved his mettle and galvanized his team. They all know they can follow him now because his posture was that HE was the deciding factor, not them.
What are you?