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Commentary: Are You An Adapter?

Adapting requires that we focus on our values and not our fears, bring with us the best of the past and build the future.


John Passante is a broad-based senior executive with over 30 years of extensive organizational development and senior human resource experience with progressive corporations involved in multiple locations, both domestic and international.

The past year has presented each of us with many challenges, both big and small, and has indeed tested our ability to cope and function in a personal and business environment: no small challenge! From a perspective point of view, the words that come to mind are: courage, change and adapt. Without question we can all list the time we were challenged to lead with courage, to change, and to adapt to the new normal. Leadership took on a new look. There was the inability to communicate face-to-face, to travel and meet with customers, to hold live national meetings or conventions. In this new uncertain corporate world, the watchword was and is “adapt.”

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To adapt is to change our behavior, to adjust, to alter, to modify, to change something, to make it more suitable to a given situation or purpose. Certainly, all these apply to the current environment. Adapting requires that we focus on our values and not our fears, bring with us the best of the past and build the future. Look for some humor in the current situation. Create a funny moment with your management team and employees. Create levity to see a vexing problem from a new perspective. It will help everyone feel better.

When adapting to change, humor can and does lighten the mood and improve social interaction. Seek practical advice from all your team members. During these challenging times, it is important to view stress in a new light. It can help us all to become more resilient and help us to overcome a major obstacle or challenge.


Clearly, being adaptive demands a high degree of leadership and courage – in your own abilities as well as those around you! Look to people who inspire you. Surround yourself with people you admire and trust. Examine your heart and brain. Develop the attitude of a victor. Let go of resentment and hidden agendas.

Remember, we are born with a purpose. As a leader your purpose is to be a guide, teacher and support system for your organization and employees, showing them the path to success and investing others with with hope and courage. There are no limits to human potential. Adapting opens the door for professional growth. Part of being adaptive and optimistic is to keep your focus on the key objectives and to keep moving forward.


Leading and being an adaptive leader is not for comfort-seekers. It is for the daring and determined that go where destiny leads, driven by concern for sustainability and customer orientation. Collaboration and adaptation are members of the same family. The mantra to live by: we are all in this together!

 “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” – Abraham Lincoln