Next Play – As Influenced By Jay Bilas

2018 continues to have the potential to be many things depending on your perspective and particular situation.  Today can serve as an official re-boot towards a clean slate and the start of a new race.  During the beginning of the year, many make resolutions, declarations, and promises to change certain aspects of their life. Whatever you have hoped to change or modify, I wish you the best and hope that you will see the results you desire.  For some, this is a year to rid ourselves of unfavorable habits, change jobs, move, change a relationship status, or simply to get in the best shape of our life.  These are worthy goals, thoughts, or glances towards a better way.  However, without action, the hope for improvement will remain in the box marked Someday or One Day.  Today’s message is not really about a resolution or desire to change any aspect of your situation.  It is to talk about a concept that can profoundly help and guide you towards remaining engaged in the moment.  By remaining in the Now, the decisions made can provide the foundation towards making the necessary progress in your key areas. To do so, I encourage you to incorporate two words in your Daily Routine

Next Play

Next Play speaks to the importance of letting go of a situation and moving on to the next challenge.  The hospitality industry offers each of us a tremendous amount of opportunity, responsibility, and requirement to make decisions.

Jay Bilas was a four-year Basketball Player at Duke University.  He was an integral part of the first team that Hall of Fame Coach Mike Krzyzewski lead to the Final Flour.  Bilas went on to become an Attorney and ESPN analyst, providing a keen perspective on the game of basketball.  He wrote a book entitled Toughness, where he describes key attributes one must foster and develop towards enjoying any level of success.  I have read the book several times and continue to use the resource as a textbook which continues to add value in my own walk.  One of his chapters is entitled “Next Play.” This concept, in my view, is one of the most important things we must do to propel and positions ourselves to the next level.  Next Play speaks to the importance of letting go of a situation and moving on to the next challenge.  The hospitality industry offers each of us a tremendous amount of opportunity, responsibility, and requirement to make decisions.  Each one carries a certain level of weight and yes, will impact those around us.  As I read this particular chapter, I was struck with the simplicity of simply saying Next Play.  It creates an awareness that we must accept and understand that each situation is simply a culmination of a series of plays that will allow us to improve our way of thinking, confidence, and discipline.  Think about this concept in the following situations.

You make a decision that could have been better.  Hindsight being 20/20, perhaps it should have been.  Some of us have the tendency to remain wrapped up in the decision replaying it over and over in our minds. However, no matter how many times you review the situation, it is not going to change the outcome in that particular decision.  Next Play allows you to move on towards making a new decision which can, in turn, improve the situation the next time out. Some remain stuck in that both the decision and the ultimate result, therefore, causing them to miss the next opportunity.  Next Play allows a clean slate towards moving to the next challenge.  It will not remove what happened but it certainly positions us to be better prepared for the next moment. In other words, Next Play allows us to stay in the moment rather than dwelling on the past or become concerned about what may happen up ahead.

As leaders in the hospitality industry, we are called upon to balance numerous challenges.  We are charged with building revenues, controlling costs, developing staff, managing guest feedback, and ensure everything is working at an optimal level. This can be overwhelming at times even with the team we have developed.  We are managing emotions, pressures, and time restraints.  Now, even though this is a lot to ask, we greatly help ourselves by incorporating the Next Play concept into our daily routine.

Each moment and decision that comes across will result in a beginning, middle, and end.  At some point, we must make a decision and this will result in some sort of consequence.  Some will turn out good while others may be seen as a mistake.  Either way, it is critical to say Next Play.

There will always be situations requiring our attention and we must be engaged in the moment to fully embrace and empower ourselves to make the decision.  Remaining stuck in the previous decision creates a disadvantage to our ability to lead and places a hardship on those around us.

By saying Next Play, we remain engaged towards shaking off the previous decision and becoming fully in the moment to make the next one. As leaders, we cannot afford to linger in the past.  We do not have the luxury of remaining stuck because our team is relying on our leadership each and every moment. Bilas points out that if we do not go to the next play, we are compounding the previous play and being out of position to make the next one.  Life is a series of moving parts.  It is difficult to keep up with everything as it happens much less trying to continue to maintain an active role in what has already taken place. By committing to the next play, we provide ourselves an advantage towards by placing 100% of the Now into what needs to be done.  That focus can often be the difference in how the Next Play turns out.

As you go thru your day, I encourage you to incorporate the Next Play concept in your routine. If the P&L for the month is not favorable, Next Play is necessary to make those essential decisions or adjustments to build towards the next one turning out better. If we do not handle a situation with a guest or team member in the best way, Next Play is key towards building on improving the next interaction. The key is not to allow ourselves to remain in the previous moment. Believe me, there will be a next play in this area, perhaps sooner than we can say GSS.

Next Play has allowed to better handle situations throughout the day.  It forces me to move out of the past and remain grounded in what is happening in the present.  Whether things are going well or you are facing difficulties, incorporating the Next Play concept forces a unique discipline towards remaining on top of your game. You are not regretful but instead thoughtful.  We will not become frozen in time because we chose to focus our attention towards Now rather than Then.

I really encourage that you read Toughness.  Bilas is on point throughout the book incorporating stories throughout his athletic and professional experience that clearly transfer to our own careers in the hospitality industry.


Chris Adams
Chris Adams
CHRIS has over 30 years in the Hospitality Industry serving in a number of emerging and diverse roles. His specialty has been in the area of Staff Development, Organizational Enhancements, Task Force Management, and Public Relations. He has worked for several brands such as Sheraton, Hilton, Marriott, Holiday Inn, and several Independents. An advocate for strong community relationships, Adams has served on numerous boards and Non-Profits in an effort to bridge certain gaps towards better understanding and inclusion for all. Additionally, Adams serves as a Legal Task Force Consultant assisting Law Firms in developing case positions via mock juries, selection, and development of media strategies. These efforts have provided further strength towards mediation and successful case resolutions

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