“Next Play”

Next play– a phrase used by Coach K at Duke–is a great example the powerful example coaches provide for leaders in other disciplines.

Jeff Weiner, the CEO of LinkedIn, interviewed in the New York Times by Adam Bryant, highlights the important lesson he gleaned that one should not get stuck in any error or linger too long in celebration:

Q. Are there certain expressions that you find yourself repeating at work?

A. Sure. The first one has essentially become the unofficial mantra of LinkedIn, and it’s not something I came up with. It’s something I read and loved and decided to use. And it’s two words: “next play.”

The person I borrowed it from is Coach K [Mike Krzyzewski] of the Duke Blue Devils. Every time the basketball team goes up and down the court and they complete a sequence, offense or defense, Coach K yells out the exact same thing, every time. He yells out “next play,” because he doesn’t want the team lingering too long on what just took place. He doesn’t want them celebrating that incredible alley-oop dunk, and he doesn’t want them lamenting the fact that the opposing team just stole the ball and had a fast break that led to an easy layup. You can take a moment to reflect on what just happened, and you probably should, but you shouldn’t linger too long on it, and then move on to the next play.

Next play

Leading Teams

Nick Saban