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How Adaptability and Open Mindedness Lead to Success




By Aaron Vick

Aaron Vick is acting CEO for Cicayda due to the long time CEO’s activation by the ARMY Reserves to serve on the COVID-19 National Response Team. Prior to 2020, Aaron was Chief Strategy Officer for Cicayda providing tailored solutions and support within the realm of litigation eDiscovery. He routinely speaks and teaches on discovery best practices and trends as well as meets with international groups to discuss evolving discovery practice rules around the globe.

If you’re just starting out in your own business as an entrepreneur, or if you’re a hiring manager of C-suite personnel, you’ve probably found yourself putting on different hats—jumping into roles that could or should be filled by other employees. And as a leader, you and your company need to be adaptable.

Understanding every aspect of your business is a strength that will give you better insight into how to run your company, how employees behave, where you might be able to streamline production, and where you might need improvements.

This can be considered both a hard skill where you learn how to do specific jobs that are required for the business to function, and a soft skill where you’ll learn more about communication, teamwork, and how to deal with interpersonal relations (people skills).

But understanding every job from the mailroom to the boardroom is not the only area where adaptability will serve you.

When it comes to getting out a product or service, adaptability to the market, its ups and down, and its demands are the focal points for staying on top of your game. You’ll need to be open-minded and resilient. In other words, you need to make the best of things, regardless of how they have turned.

That doesn’t mean you should just “go with the flow”.

It means you need to be resourceful. Change what you can and adapt to the things you can’t. There’s no time like the present for assessing, reassessing, and growing a skillset. This should always be at the forefront of your mind.

You need to trust your own judgement. If you started with a solid plan and something didn’t work, be patient and tolerant until you and your team find a solution. When things go wrong, don’t lay blame.

Yes, someone may have overtly dropped the ball, but always try to put yourself in their shoes and show respect for the shortcomings of others. Get to the root of why this happened, then be positive in your outlook for finding a solution.

Strive to be able to bend without breaking. In other words, don’t compromise the values and vision of the company, just work toward a solution that will bring the same big picture outcome by a different path.

Being highly adaptable means being:

  • Tolerant
  • Confident
  • Empathetic
  • Positive
  • Respectful
  • Versatile
  • Flexible

Being open-minded means:

  • Being flexible
  • Looking for solutions instead of laying blame
  • Listening to the opinions and creative ideas of your team
  • Looking at things through someone else’s eyes

What’s most important here is to focus on the big picture outcome and apply maniacal flexibility and creativity in the execution path.

Can you be too open-minded? Probably not.

Being open-minded to changes or the ideas of others does not mean you must implement every idea that comes along. But it will go a long way to being able to find solutions that will improve your chances of success.

  • Be honest about where ideas can add value, and have a conversation about why one idea may be implemented over another.
  • Explore what might be uncomfortable and unconventional even if you don’t pursue it.
  • Force yourself to have two perspectives.
  • Implement active listening and dig into details.

If you find yourself being rigid, discontented, unwilling to change your attitude or how you do things, or being competitive even among your lower ranking employees, you’re not adapting, and this can cause the breakdown of trust and respect, which in turn leads to lower productivity and creativity among the ranks.

Can you be too adaptable? Yes.

Adapting to changes in the market, for example, means you’ve discovered how to keep your business running and turning a profit when consumer demands change—how people shop, how they spend, and why they buy. When the price of raw materials increases, for example, you’ll need to find a way to adjust your budget and your output to maintain your current status. If you’re not making as much profit as last month, that does not signal failure, it simply means you’ve got to get on top of the game and adapt.

  • Focus on solving hard problems by unlocking many smaller problems and solving them first.
  • Prepare a list of questions that challenge how your company operates in the marketplace, then answer those questions with viable alternatives that will allow you to adapt.
  • Utilize your team to hone in on key pieces that might be missing and that might work to give you more leverage in a changing market.
  • Reduce choices to two options.

So in being adaptable, what’s the difference between being versatile and being flexible?

When you’re flexible, you’re able to make changes without compromising too much—you (your company) can bend, but you won’t break. You’re ready to boost your awareness and willingness to make necessary changes.

Being versatile means you (your company) can cover many areas successfully and competently. You can move in a different direction if the need arises.

When America joined World War II in 1941, factories—automobile factories in particular—rapidly converted to the production of military tanks, rifles, ammunition, and airplanes. They served a greater purpose and were able to adapt to the needs of the country.

You will likely not have to make this kind of swift and drastic conversion, but knowing what your company is and is not capable of will guide you along the path to success and keep you there.

The paper and packaging industry is a great example of how the structure of an industry might need to change based on new technology. The need for graphic paper (newsprint and coated papers such as those used in photography) has been replaced by digitization, people don’t write letters and send them through the mail, and even copier paper is less in demand due to the proliferation of emails.

So how is this industry adapting? They’re focusing on other areas where paper is now in greater demand—packaging in both the consumer and industrial markets, and tissue products.

  • Can you find a way to consolidate production or focus on a specific area of your industry?
  • Are there lines that cannot be crossed?

Being adaptable and open-minded shouldn’t start when a crisis arises. Know your options—what your company is capable of–ahead of time by planning options for change or at least keeping change in the back of your mind.

Being adaptable, flexible, versatile, and open-minded about options will keep you and your company prospering. It will allow you to revitalize and renew, and it might incite new ideas that can bring growth even when you’re not pressed to adapt.

The idea of Bigtime Daily landed this engineer cum journalist from a multi-national company to the digital avenue. Matthew brought life to this idea and rendered all that was necessary to create an interactive and attractive platform for the readers. Apart from managing the platform, he also contributes his expertise in business niche.

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Turning Tragedy into Triumph Through Walking With Anthony




On the morning of February 6, 2010, Anthony Purcell took a moment to admire the churning surf before plunging into the waves off Miami Beach. Though he had made the dive numerous times before, that morning was destined to be different when he crashed into a hidden sandbar, sustaining bruises to his C5 and C6 vertebrae and breaking his neck.

“I was completely submerged and unable to rise to the surface,” Purcell recalls. “Fortunately, my cousin Bernie saw what was happening and came to my rescue. He saved my life, but things would never be the same after that dive.”

Like thousands of others who are confronted with a spinal cord injury (SCI), Purcell plunged headlong into long months of hopelessness and despair. Eventually, however, he learned to turn personal tragedy into triumph as he reached out to fellow SCI victims by launching Walking With Anthony.

Living with SCI: the first dark days

Initial rehabilitation for those with SCIs takes an average of three to six months, during which time they must relearn hundreds of fundamental skills and adjust to what feels like an entirely new body. Unfortunately, after 21 days, Purcell’s insurance stopped paying for this essential treatment, even though he had made only minimal improvement in such a short time.

“Insurance companies cover rehab costs for people with back injuries, but not for people with spinal cord injuries,” explains Purcell. “We were practically thrown to the curb. At that time, I was so immobile that I couldn’t even raise my arms to feed myself.”

Instead of giving up, Purcell’s mother chose to battle his SCI with long-term rehab. She enrolled Purcell in Project Walk, a rehabilitation facility located in Carlsbad, California, but one that came with an annual cost of over $100,000.

“My parents paid for rehabilitation treatment for over three years,” says Purcell. “Throughout that time, they taught me the importance of patience, compassion, and unconditional love.”

Yet despite his family’s support, Purcell still struggled. “Those were dark days when I couldn’t bring myself to accept the bleak prognosis ahead of me,” he says. “I faced life in a wheelchair and the never-ending struggle for healthcare access, coverage, and advocacy. I hit my share of low points, and there were times when I seriously contemplated giving up on life altogether.”

Purcell finds a new purpose in helping others with SCIs

After long months of depression and self-doubt, Purcell’s mother determined it was time for her son to find purpose beyond rehabilitation.

“My mom suggested I start Walking With Anthony to show people with spinal cord injuries that they were not alone,” Purcell remarks. “When I began to focus on other people besides myself, I realized that people all around the world with spinal cord injuries were suffering because of restrictions on coverage and healthcare access. The question that plagued me most was, ‘What about the people with spinal cord injuries who cannot afford the cost of rehabilitation?’ I had no idea how they were managing.”

Purcell and his mother knew they wanted to make a difference for other people with SCIs, starting with the creation of grants to help cover essentials like assistive technology and emergency finances. To date, they have helped over 100 SCI patients get back on their feet after suffering a similar life-altering accident.

Purcell demonstrates the power and necessity of rehab for people with SCIs

After targeted rehab, Purcell’s physical and mental health improved drastically. Today, he is able to care for himself, drive his own car, and has even returned to work.

“Thanks to my family’s financial and emotional support, I am making amazing physical improvement,” Purcell comments. “I mustered the strength to rebuild my life and even found the nerve to message Karen, a high school classmate I’d always had a thing for. We reconnected, our friendship evolved into love, and we tied the knot in 2017.”

After all that, Purcell found the drive to push toward one further personal triumph. He married but did not believe a family was in his future. Regardless of his remarkable progress, physicians told him biological children were not an option.

Despite being paralyzed from the chest down, Purcell continued to look for hope. Finally, Dr. Jesse Mills of UCLA Health’s Male Reproductive Medicine department assured Purcell and his wife that the right medical care and in vitro fertilization could make their dream of becoming parents a reality.

“Payton joined our family in the spring of 2023,” Purcell reports. “For so long, I believed my spinal cord injury had taken everything I cared about, but now I am grateful every day. I work to help other people with spinal cord injuries find the same joy and hope. We provide them with access to specialists, funding to pay for innovative treatments, and the desire to move forward with a focus on the future.”

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