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Villanova Basketball Coach Jay Wright On How To Succeed...In Business

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- If you're a college basketball player, the pinnacle of success is raising the national championship trophy, right? Not so, according to the coach who was victorious at last year's tournament. Villanova's Jay Wright is out with a new book that aims to change how the rest of us define winning and losing.

It starts with attitude.

"That's what you have control of," Wright says. "It's not so much about what you do on the particular play if you make the shot or miss the shot; it's about how you react on the next play. Sometimes in a game you don't have control of a ref's bad call or your teammate's mistake, but you control how you react to it."

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That, he says, stems from values: from the earliest moment, players on a team or workers in a company must know what the organization stands for and what it expects of its people.

"On last year's team, our goal wasn't to win the national championship," Wright explains. "Our goal was to be committed to Villanova core values -- to remain humble and hungry, to play hard together, smart, and with pride, and to do it with a great attitude."

Wright heard criticism in the years after Villanova's Final Four appearance in 2009; until their title run in 2016, the teams suffered a spate of first- and second-round losses in the NCAA Tournament and failed to qualify for post-season play in 2012.


"After we went to the Final Four, recruiting became easier and we started just taking the best players," Wright says. "As a leader, it was my responsibility not just to take the best players but to explain to those young guys what our culture is. I'm the one that's in charge of the culture. They're 16, 17 years old -- they don't know. I don't think I did a good job after '09 of really explaining to the guys and really vetting the guys that were going to be successful in our program. Then they got there and I demanded it of them without ever having explained it to them."

The coach says he and his staff began educating recruits about Villanova's values as much as they worked to sell the prospects on signing.

"We have to make sure they understand what it's all about," Wright says, "So when they get here, we've picked the right guys and they're enjoying that process as opposed to being shocked by that process."

READ: Jay Wright: Championship Experience 'Will Really Help Our Guys'

In the book 'Attitude: Develop a Winning Mindset On and Off the Court' (Ballantine Books), Wright acknowledges the gulf between success as he suggests a team or business might see it, and how it's measured in the real world. Overcoming it, he believes, is achieved by communicating your message within -- and to the outside.

"In college basketball, when you don't get past the second round in the NCAA Tournament, you're a failure. We get that, and we're not going to argue that. But that's not how we evaluate ourselves. When you win a national championship, you're a success. Well, to us, you better handle that success with humility and hunger to still get better."

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