The basketball courts were teeming with activity. Creative exhibitions of athleticism and teamwork were on display. Individuals were calling for the basketball, as they ran quickly down the court. While the games were in progress, there were players at courtside, who watched the flow of the game and studied all of the elements. These individuals at courtside would invariably shout “I’ve Got Next.”
They wanted everyone to know they were heirs to play the winners. They wanted the power to choose the next game with their own players. These leaders were waiting, biding their time, knowing that eventually, they would have their turn to place a team on the court. If these players did not state their position, players interested in joining the team would ask the question, “Who’s Got Next?”
What is Next? On your journey to success, it is your next move from a series of potential tactics. It is an action that advances you along the continuum to your goal? In life, Next could be a variety of options. It could be a promotion, a project, assignment, a tactic that supports your overall objective. Next is something that you need to help you achieve your goal. It could be a missing ingredient, a necessary component, an idea crucial for success.
Individuals on the sidelines understand the next person in line has the responsibility to pick the next team. Their role is to assemble the next team to play the winners of the contests. Daily, you have wrestled with what comes next. On your career path, you must plan for and anticipate your next move and the succession of moves to follow. A leader striving for additional responsibility, when a new job is posted, is tempted to scream, as on the playground, “I’ve Got Next.”
The person who has Next, watches and evaluates all talent on the court. They are interested in the best players on the losing team. They are aware of individuals who were not in the game but have the ability to make major contributions. The person who has Next must be a talent evaluator. They study all aspects of the person’s game from the standpoint of handling personnel, skill level, character, and teamwork. They are a student of the game, which is one of the 10 principles in my Unlock Your Leadership Greatness books.
When evaluating your career, it is important to have the “I’ve Got Next” Mentality. This mentality involves the following;
- Having a goal and game plan
- Awareness of talent on the court and at courtside
- Selecting the best talent – presenting your best self
- Qualified with the necessary skills and abilities to develop self and others
- The ability to say no to players you don’t feel are worthy
- Possesses a mindset that you can grow into the job and conquer the reigning competitive champion
It is important to know the “I’ve Got Next Mentality” is not about entitlement. It is not simply based on seniority. If others do not feel that you belong on the court, you will not be taken seriously. Additionally, in business, you may not be promoted if you are not prepared and qualified. You may receive complaints when certain players are not selected, especially if they are friends who are less than talented. Some people eliminate this problem by having a core group of talented players as potential members of the team.
“I’ve Got Next”, gives you the opportunity to plan your strategy and select the best players. But unlike the playground, there are a number of challengers who may feel the next opportunity belongs to them. You must apply for the job as if the job is yours with the “I’ve Got Next Mentality.”
In the workplace, you may also select your own team, but favoritism and nepotism can work against you if the team members are not a good fit. Some people are always in a recruiting or talent gathering mode. This enables them to stockpile talented players until the need arises.
When you take over the reins as the leader of your department, team or section, you are ready to take on the competition. You are ready to serve your client at a level superior to the current champion on the court. If you are successful in unseating the champion, it enables you to get off the ground and stay on the court. If you’re unsuccessful in your initial efforts for the assignment, you will learn from the venture. This experience will put you in a better position to be closer to your goal the next time.
Visualizing the team you would like to put on the court is the primary responsibility of the leader. When you say “I’ve Got Next”, you immediately begin to assemble your team. You have already seen in your mental rehearsals, the type of organization you want to create.
There is a certain amount of confidence that comes from thinking about leadership growth with an “I’ve Got Next Mentality.” You have worked hard and look forward to the opportunity to select and coach your team. During the game, you may function as a coach, allowing each individual to play to their strengths.
There are several lessons gained from the “I’ve Got Next Mentality”. They are as follows:
- You have a goal
- You plan to execute your strategy
- Talent is needed to fill your roster
- Evaluate the players who can help you
- Be prepared to handle those who cannot be beneficial to you
- Familiarity with talent due to the known quality of known quantities
- Secure their agreement to participate
When choosing a profession or an academic institution, you also have different fields, departments, and majors in which you could work. On the job, you must position yourself to acquire certain assignments and special projects. These key assignments, projects, and internships will drive your focus to your goal.
In the back of your mind, you are planning a series of steps to the top of your profession. Intermediate steps may be necessary as stepping stones to your ultimate objective. Always put yourself in a position to say I’ve Got Next to the next position on your career journey, to reach your goal.
Copyright © 2017 Orlando Ceaser