If you think back to high school and I was to ask you, name the classmate that will be the most successful in life, who would you pick? And why? What are the characteristics that you would think make a person successful? It is usually not the smartest; otherwise, every Valedictorian would be a CEO. Is it the most popular because everyone wants to be them? Is it the prettiest? The most athletic? I think we would all agree these traits are not the deciding factors that make a person successful in life. Then what is it?
I always thought it was grit and determination. If you want it bad enough, then you are going to succeed. However, I recently was listening to a lecture by Tai Lopez, and he discussed this topic. He explained what he thought was the number one characteristic. That characteristic is adaptability. I agree with him. Tai spoke about Darwinism as proof that adaptability is the key to success. Darwinism studied how species survived through tens of thousands of years by adapting to their surroundings.
During the podcast with Jesse Draper, she discussed how the number one thing she looks for in a founder is adaptability. The person must be able to pivot under any scenario thrown at her. Jesse asks a CEO during the due diligence phase of investing, “If there was a pandemic, and your factory was closed down, what would you do?” She even asked this question pre-COVID. She finds that the CEO’s ability to change course quickly and thrive in the new environment determines its success. A CEO willing to take constructive feedback and run with it is crucial for a company.
Are you born with adaptability, or can you learn this skill? I believe you can teach yourself this characteristic, although, like any skill, it comes easier for some than others. The following are suggestions to help you make yourself more adaptable:
- Be aware of what is happening around you.
- Always be asking questions.
- Be open to criticism and suggestion.
- Be willing to change based on the above.
- Do not live with blinders on.
- Do not be so rigid in your ways because you are lazy and arrogant that you are not pivoting.
Remember, most businesses start with a different idea or business plan, then the final business. It is more important to keep changing and adapting until you find what works. But, grit and determination help too.