3 reasons why your team needs a sumo wrestler

I used to be a sumo wrestler in Japan. Yup, I’m not kidding. I lived in Tokyo, in a house with 30 of the strongest sumo wrestlers in the world. We did everything together: lived, trained, and ate.

My time in the sumo house has taught me a lot. Not only how to become a good sumo wrestler — or how to gain 11 kilos in six weeks — but also the mindset to be successful in your professional career.

I could write a whole book on why sumo wrestlers make amazing colleagues (which I actually did), but I’ll just stick to the top three reasons in this article.

So here’s why you need a sumo wrestler in your team.

1. Sumo wrestlers are humble

Nothing makes you more humble than getting a good beating by a half-naked wrestler in a clay ring. I had my fair share of defeats during my time in the sumo house. But with defeat comes humility. And in that humility, I found growth.

It wasn’t just about accepting that some are stronger than me (ok fine, everyone in the house was). Mostly, it came down to admitting to myself that I wasn’t as great as I always thought I was. And being able to admit your mistakes to yourself — and others — is a superpower.

Humility takes strength and ultimately gets you a lot of respect, both at home and in the office. Sumo wrestlers are humble, know their position within an organization, and understand that admitting mistakes is precious.

Because mistakes that are denied, covered up, or blamed on someone else will never be repaired. In humility, you’ll find a winning strategy. For yourself, your colleagues, and your entire organization.