The Norman Transcript

Columns

March 22, 2014

Wrestling with business and life

NORMAN — After getting a chance to watch NCAA Wrestling Championships in Oklahoma City over the past few days, an overwhelming feeling of nostalgia, created a strong but short-lived, desire to return to my college wrestling days at the University of Oklahoma.

After a moment of pensive consideration, I soon realized that my role as CEO of a business development firm bears a strong resemblance to my years as a college wrestler.

Almost instantaneously, I began to realize how the principles which apply to being a successful wrestler, also apply to running a successful business and ultimately living a fulfilled life.

If you get taken down, escape and score.

In wrestling: One of the most important aspects of a successful wrestler is their ability to win matches, even if they fall behind or get taken down first.

In business: The best business leaders have a focused resilience, to not only withstand adverse circumstances, but to convert adversity into advantage. It is important to utilize every circumstance as an opportunity to learn and progress.

In life: Much like a wrestling match, life consists of navigating through the ebb and flow of being in advantageous and disadvantaged positions. Those who feel the most fulfilled in life have made a habit of using all events, good and bad, towards personal development and character refinement.

Great offense is the best defense.

In wrestling: The best wrestlers have developed a series of maneuvers, or “moves,” if you will, that habitually place them on the attack during the course of the wrestling match. The opponent becomes so consumed with fending off attacks that there is no time or opportunity for them to attempt an attack of their own.

In business: As a business development advisor, one of the biggest transitions I implement is the shift from responding to changes in the market, to causing or being the catalyst for changes in the market as opposed to trying to keep up with developing techniques or technology to compete. Businesses should pursue innovation and development, in a way that forces competitors to “keep up.” Great business leaders cause change more than they respond to it.

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