The core mentality of your organization is crucial when it comes to handling adversity. Although by definition you don’t really know when adversity is going to hit, you can be prepared for it. The mentality within your team is a big part of that preparation.

At RIC we started using the term “Win Anyway” to establish our “no excuses” mentality. Tough road trip – Win Anyway. Bad officiating – Win Anyway. The heat doesn’t work in the gym – Win Anyway. The phrase created a mindset that expected bad stuff to happen, but we were always prepared for it.

There are no accommodations in the standings or on the bottom line for misfortune. Every team suffers through struggles and bad breaks. When the final standings are set, however, no one cares. At all. One team is in first place cutting down the nets, and everyone else is watching them. Nobody asks in that moment how they got there.

It’s important to look forward and stop talking about how you got there. You may have gotten a bad break, but dissecting that in the moment doesn’t help you move forward. Stop talking about what happened and start focusing on what you are going to do about it.

Jack Clark, the great Rugby coach at Cal, defines mental toughness as “the ability to move on to the next most important thing.” That approach should be intentional in your organization. Your team should always be looking forward to what is next, not what just happened. And it’s a mentality you can create before adversity hits, through your daily approach.

Built-in disadvantages, obstacles and adversity can become launching pads for your success. They can create a toughness and a resilience that runs through your organization at all times, not just when things get tough. Embrace that level of toughness with a “Win Anyway” mentality, and when adversity hits it will be just another chance to prove yourself as a team.

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