How to be Adaptive: A Tale of Wrestling, Business and COVID-19

Wrestling is one of those things in life where your two-hour practice is often a metaphor for life.

We see it every day in the practice room: adversity, struggle and pain. Not to mention the countless uber-successful people who were once wrestlers. It is not a coincidence these people are at the top of their fields. To get to the top of anything, there is constant learning, failure and adaptation. This also happens every day around 2:30 p.m. all across the country.

Every part of wrestling requires you to constantly adapt or your opponent will. Getting beat in practice? Adapt — or it continues. Coach yelling at you for any number of reasons? Adapt or get left behind. This is why wrestlers have had so much success in their post-sport life. But it isn't as easy as saying wrestle and you'll be successful. Wrestling, like life, is hard — so those who don't adapt have trouble. Whether it is during a wrestling career or work life, you have to be able to learn from your everyday experiences.

One of the biggest compliments I ever received while wrestling was being told I was great at adapting to match situations mid-match. After being finding success in competing and coaching now, I can fully appreciate that because it is hard to change your tactics and strategy in a stressful situation. This is something that translates directly into the business world because we all know things don't always go as planned. So to be able to adapt mid-meeting or presentation is huge and can make a bigger difference than the person who changes their ideas after the fact.

As we are more than a year into the pandemic, we are seeing the most adaptive people are the ones who got through it well and ahead of the rest. It was a stressful year and one of fear for many, but the ones who could adapt and make the best of the situation came out on top.

As we get closer to a normal life, how will you adapt? Will you be hopeful everyone forgets the year and start back like its 2019, or will you use the 2020 year to learn adapt and be stronger than ever?

That’s up to you to decide.

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Here at Lead Read Today, we endeavor to take an objective (rational, scientific) approach to analyzing leaders and leadership. All opinion pieces will be reviewed for appropriateness, and the opinions shared are solely of the author and not representative of The Ohio State University or any of its affiliates.