All Great (Agile) Teams Share This One Common Ability

As the Irish Rugby team awaits Saturday’s date with destiny, I’m pondering what’s going through their collective minds. I imagine them brimming with confidence from a 17 match winning streak. Chomping at the bit for another crack at the almighty All Blacks. On the other hand I wonder are they weighed down by past world cup failures, paralysed by history & the weight of expectation upon their shoulders? Then ofcourse I realise I’m thinking like a fan, not like a Coach.
“We will never make a journey of a thousand miles by fretting about how long it will take or how hard it will be. We make the journey by taking each day step by step and then repeating it again and again until we reach our destination.”
Above is a more likely mindset for these men of destiny. After the 2019 world cup this team set itself the goal of winning the 2023 world cup. Like all great agile teams, they set targets to achieve along the journey. An iterative process of refining or tweaking the latest version or iteration of the goal, and a commitment to constant improvement. They incrementally built upon individual & team skills, mental & physical strength, game strategy, adaptability, cohesion & ofcourse confidence. But what ability does this agile team possess to stick so faithfully to their goal? Resilience.
Resilience refers to the ability of individuals or teams who despite suffering stressful situations manage to overcome them & not be psychologically affected. Psychologist, Emmy Werner, refers to 3 general uses of resilience: good development despite high social risk; maintenance of skills despite continuous stress; & recovery after trauma.  
Mike Tyson once famously said “everyone has a plan for me until they get punched in the face.” We all have dreams, goals, plans & schemes, but sport & business, as in life often has different plans for us. It’s not the plan that makes us great, but our ability to adapt it in the face of adversity. It takes resilience to continue the journey when our plans change. It takes resilience to stay motivated to continue the fight, even when we think there’s no fight left in us.   
As a fan, I’m nervous for this Irish team. Anxious about the occasion. Worried about the unknown, conscious of our past failures & fighting the ‘better as underdogs’ Irish psyche. As a Coach, I take a deep breath & I am calm. I think of the process & not the outcome. This team have iteratively & incrementally built itself into a lean & efficient Green Rugby Machine. Their journey is long, the road often hard. But they have built a reservoir of inner belief through their own resilience. Their hard work is done. Their reward is a crack at the All Blacks.
“No one escapes pain, fear, & suffering. Yet from pain can come wisdom, from fear can come courage, from suffering can come strength – if we have the ability of resilience.”

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