Business Lessons of the Wolf for the New Work World

Lessons of the Wolf for the New Work World

By Mary Ann Faremouth, CPC


Historically, wolves haven’t always had the best reputations. From fairy tales like “The Three Little Pigs” and “Little Red Riding Hood” to wolf attacks on humans throughout history, these predators might not seem to have many redeeming qualities.

However, reflecting on the work done by the Yellowstone Wolf Project and wolf sanctuaries throughout the world, we can find much to learn from these animals, lessons that can be applied to the New Work World. Wolves have impressive survival instincts and are highly adaptable to changes in their environment. When they work together as a pack, they demonstrate complex social relationships that help them achieve so much more than they can alone.

As we all try to survive and thrive in these changing times, let’s look at some of the valuable lessons these animals can teach us as we move forward in the New Work World.

1. Adapt to Your Environment

Wolves have been known to live in some of the most dangerous environments in the world, and they don’t just survive; they thrive. They make the most of what’s available in their environment and accept the situations they’re presented with. With all the changes present in the New Work World of 2022, what can you do to make the most of your situation? Instead of complaining about changes, can you accept them and turn them into opportunities for growth and expansion? For example, if going into an interview for a position in a new industry, don’t complain about the unfairness of downsizing efforts that might have affected you. Instead, turn it around. Present your excitement for the chance to learn and grow in a new industry, and discuss how your skillset can positively contribute to the company.

2. Choose to Benefit from Being a Lone Wolf

Wolves are social animals, but just like humans, there might be times in their lives when they no longer belong to a pack. During this “lone wolf” stage, they look after themselves and learn what they need to in order to create or find a new pack. Similarly, being cast out of your comfort zone—whether through losing a job or not being around social contacts because of working from home—is a good time to seek new opportunities for growth and development. Without all the constant motion of being on the go, take time to reflect on how you want to move forward with your life. Consider exploring training in new areas, expanding your skillset, or exploring personal areas of expansion and growth through online or safely conducted in-person trainings. Such times of being alone can also help you seek out new interests, people, or networking opportunities that you might not have had time for before you found yourself in a “lone wolf” situation.

3. Find Your Balance

To survive, wolves balance hunting and resting. There are times when they might prefer to ambush prey instead of giving chase, to preserve the energy they expend during the hunt. As humans, we need to learn to do likewise. If you are always going, doing, and accomplishing work, you will only wear yourself down, which can affect your immune system. Instead, find a balance between work and rest so you can take better care of your physical, emotional, and creative needs. Having varied interests and being able to enjoy downtime may also allow you to share more ideas with others, helping you make a bigger, better contribution to your team and the world.

4. Take Time to Play

Wolves are very social animals and will take time to have fun or play whenever they can. As humans in a changing environment that may include stressful jobs or the lack thereof, we may become so focused on results, we forget to enjoy ourselves. Take time to revive your spirit. Calling an old friend to catch up or safely attending your favorite craft fair or outdoor music festival might be just what you need to continue on your path with a more positive attitude and awakened joy.

5. Leave Your Mark

Wolves tend to leave marks throughout their territories that allow other animals to recognize their presence. While their methods are unique to their species, we as humans have the ability to leave our own marks, or legacies, on the world. Consider what you might be able to contribute to the world that others could benefit from, without necessarily worrying about how you could benefit monetarily or otherwise. As Maya Angelou eloquently said, “If you’re going to live, leave a legacy. Make a mark on the world that can’t be erased.” And as Peter Strople put it, “Legacy is not leaving something for people. It’s leaving something in people.”

Wolves are not the villains they’ve been made out to be in lore; in fact, they have a lot to teach us, if we only pay attention. You can look to their social structures and adaptability to expand your own happiness and joy in the New Work World. Adapt to your environment, choose to benefit from being a lone wolf, find your balance, take time to play, and leave your mark on the world. Through these important traits of the wolf, you can make your experience in the workplace more positive and growth oriented.


Mary Ann Faremouth 

Mary Ann holds a CPC (Certified Personnel Consultant) credential, was certified by the Board of Regents of the National Association of Personnel Consultants in Washington, D.C., and was awarded an Advanced Communicator Bronze,  Advanced Leader Bronze Awards by Toastmasters. She cofounded Jobs: Houston magazine in 1997. Mary Ann maintains affiliations with professional organizations, including oil and gas, financial, construction, IT, and structural, mechanical, and civil engineering. (

Mary Ann’s award-winning first book Revolutionary Recruiting has been listed by Book Authority as Number #1 Best 100 Recruiting Books; #1 Best Seller, Non-Fiction, Amazon (2019); Top 20 Recruiting books, Recruitics; Readers’ Choice finalist (2019), Houston Literary Awards; Best Non-Fiction (2018), Best Cover (2019), and Best Self-Help (2018), Authors Marketing Guild. Her books support individuals and corporations, tap into each candidate’s unrealized potential to find the right person for each job, maximizing both employee satisfaction and the employer’s bottom line. Mary Ann showcases her expertise of the recruiting world on a monthly podcast for The Price of Business and weekly articles for USA Business.  Her new workbook, Revolutionary Reinvention, was recently released on Amazon. Mary Ann lives in Houston, Texas.

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