Last week, while watching the Monday Night Football game between the Green Bay Packers and the Minnesota Vikings, we noticed a play by Packer's quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, where he executed, what announcer and coach Jon Gruden called, a "second reaction" play. He explained that Aaron Rodgers and the Packer's offense practice these plays often and, as it did that night, it pays off big for them.
Second reaction plays are back-up options within a play. Important because, even though a particular play is decided upon and set into motion by the quarterback, conditions on the field change unexpectedly and the quarterback must instantly shift gears, abandon the original strategy, and execute an entirely different play altogether... making that decision in a split-second. However, it won't work if he's the only one making that decision and none of his teammates know what he's doing. He must be confident his entire team will also flex to the "second idea" in the same fluid motion. Knowing it's a likely probability that things will not go exactly as planned at some point in almost every game... they actually practice what to do when the play goes wrong. They practice "flexing" in the moment. They not only know what to do to execute the play to perfection but they also know exactly what they will all do if the play does not go well. Now, that's the next level of excellence
, in my book.
I'm actually not really a football fan. I'm just a really big fan of the excuse to get cozy on the couch with Tom in front of a roaring fire with a warm bowl of homemade soup and a cold beer on a weeknight! And, always on the prowl for good Monday Morning Stretch material, when I heard this strategy explained, I jumped up and ran for paper and pen to write it down! How many professional and personal applications does this idea have? A bunch.
Imagine if, at your Monday Morning Meeting, you and your team decided on your treatment and client service strategy for the day and, just in the unlikely event the reality on your playing field were to change that day (patient comes late, procedure goes long, emergency patients must be seen, etc.), you discussed your "second reaction" strategy. Imagine how much more fluid your day might flow if you were confident that the quarterback and the entire offensive team in your office knew the plays AND the back-up plays if things change. Imagine the heightened confidence you'd feel, even if the entire day played out exactly as you originally anticipated.
The play and the "second reaction" play - are truly worthy ideas from teams who practice and play together with high performance and winning as the goal. If this is similar to your team's goal on this Monday Morning... consider this strategy as a way to master a second level of excellence.