The Jeremy Lin’s Of The World
Mar 02, 2012Posted by james

This was supposed to be a breakout season for the New York Knicks. But, things started slow, and the complaints against the new players and the coach became deafening after only a handful of games.

By chance, due to an injury to one player and a family issue affecting another, a player at the end of the Knicks bench was pushed into the starting lineup. Overnight, Jeremy Lin became a fan favorite and a worldwide attraction. He is a Linsation!

Raised and educated here, Lin traces his family roots to Taiwan. After starring in only a few games as the newest member of the starting lineup, the public demand skyrocketed for Jeremy Lin. He was watched around the world and Knicks games became must-see TV throughout Taiwan.

Lin became a hot topic of conversation on every sports talk radio show in New York, and his name also made the rounds on many non-sports talk programs and television newscasts around the country. Newspaper headlines continue to scream his name and he is appearing on the covers of sports and non-sports magazines. He even contributes directly to game attendance. In Toronto, which normally draws about 10,000 fans, 20,000 people filled the seats for a recent Knicks-Raptors game.

Sometimes it takes an injury (a headache forced Wally Pipp from the Yankees lineup and he was replaced, permanently, by Lou Gehrig) or some other unforeseen matter to allow another player, who is sitting quietly at the end of the bench, to jump in and contribute to a team’s success. Expectations usually are low for most replacements, but hopes always are high that less-skilled bench players will not hurt their teams.

The lesson here is that to ensure success, whether in sports or business, an organization always needs to have a strong bench with solid role players. Sometimes management may not appreciate all the capabilities of that person sitting at the end of the bench. The ability to contribute, though, should never be a surprise to the team.

While Knicks fans are astonished at what was found at the end of the team bench, Lin’s contributions were not unexpected by his coaches and teammates. They knew all along who was backing up the starting five, and that is why he already was wearing a Knicks uniform and waiting for his chance to contribute.

Do you know who is on your back-up team? My suggestion is that you shouldn’t wait for an emergency to find out if your bench players can contribute to your success.