As I watched yesterday’s National Championship game, it dawned on me that college football has the most awesome succession plan on the planet. Consider that they have no choice but to turn over EVERY position every 4 years, not to mention what happens if their star player gets hurt or decides to turn pro early (and companies shudder to think they’ll have to deal with turnover once in 10 years!) So, how do they do it?

1.       Non-Stop Talent Acquisition Strategies– college sports recruiters don’t wait for an opening, they’re constantly sourcing top talent.

2.       Thinking Outside the Field – Recruiters don’t just look for talent within their sports dicipline – they cross over to other disciplines to locate untapped top talent with that “something special”.

3.       Red Shirting for the future – Coaches who want to leverage their current and future talent for maximum team performance will bring in top talent a year or so early and will “red shirt” them so they can assimilate into the team, learn the context of their roles and prepare for their BIG moment in the spotlight. These “red shirted” freshmen learn from more experienced players and show respect for their prowess and accomplishments.

4.       Mentoring – College coaches are just that – mentors focused on honing the skills and talents of their players

5.       Talent Development – Coaches are masters at motivating upcoming talent to strive for higher levels of performance

6.       Emerging Leaders – College football coaches involve their team in the selection of their leaders – the people they respect and want to follow. If you can’t inspire a following, you’re not going to be the leader.

Does your performance management system and succession planning encompass these traits? If not, you may want to reconsider your approach.