THE FOLLOWING IS A TRANSCRIPT OF MELTON’S VIDEO “Surf’s Up on Becoming a Better Leader”:
Hey leaders, this is Tom Melton with Melton leadership. Everyday I get a chance to help some of the best business and Ministry leaders in Denver with their own lives, and their own leadership, and their teams by clarifying, by connecting and helping them grow, because every leader wants to be better.
So I have some ideas that I want to share today on a path to better. This last week I was in San Diego got to do one of things my favorite things to do and that’s sit on the beach and just watch the ocean. Being from Colorado watching the ocean is sort of a novelty, but I’ve always been sort of interested in it. So I was out sitting there watching it, the part I like about the ocean is the waves. I mean you look out to the ocean its cool, its spread out, and you know to me that’s sort of boring, but what gets exciting is when I watch the waves. The waves, some are big some are small, and I started thinking about that you know, that our life is a lot like that, our companies are a lot like that. We’re continually being faced with
waves. It may be a wave of technology, it may be a cultural wave, it might be a economic wave, an up or down, and really one of the key things to enjoying the landscape that we live in is learning how to navigate those waves.
As I watch these surfers I thought, now those are some people that have come to terms with the wave. They aren’t just navigating their actually enjoying it, they’ve turned it into a sport. And I was fascinated by it. And as I watched them, some are better than others, but I stumbled on a little pamphlet called 5 Rules of Surfing. And in those five rules I think there’s some helpful guidelines for us as we lead our companies and organizations.
The first rule of surfing is Passion rules, in other words if you’re going to surf you better be all in, same thing with your company, with your organization. Organizations need leaders that are all in, that aren’t just playing is playing the minimum so if you’re if you’re going to lead and you own a company or you’re leading your organization, what kind of passion do you bring to it?
The second rule of surfing is, no dare, no flair. This sort of hits on the heart of most of this, is we want our company we want our organization to have some flair, in other words what separates us from the competitor. What is the flair? What is the competitive advantage? Well if there’s no dare, if there’s no willing to risk and try new things then it’s probably not going to happen. One of the things I figured out talking to some of these surfers is while they’re out there on the wave bobbing around I ask what are you guys do out there. We share ideas we challenge each other i’m wondering if you challenge each other and when are you challenging each other in your business, within inside or outside, so no dare no flare.
The third rule is that if you’re going to do that you better expect to wipe out. There ain’t a surfer out there that is any good that doesn’t wipe out regularly. What’s your attitude towards wiping out? I mean you build your organization on making sure you don’t make mistakes if so you’re probably not going to grow and you’re not going to clarify and you’re not going to connect. One of my clients is known well to Denver is John Elway and he’s the GM of the Denver Broncos. And recently he’s been criticized for some of his last year’s draft picks and I love what his response to it was, he said you know what I’m not afraid to swing-and-miss there’s a reason that he’s an all pro Hall of Fame football player. I wonder if you want to be all pro Hall of Fame business leader, are you willing to make mistakes, are you willing to swing and miss? If you’re not, you’re going to play it safe and you’re not going to get to where you want to be.
And the fourth rule is never turn your back on the wave. In other words, pay attention to the power of the wave, if you think that for example social media has no bearing, positive or negative on your life, your family, your organization. You’re in danger. Doesn’t mean that you fight against it but you pay attention you don’t turn your back on it, you’re not asleep at the wheel and it’s very important if you’re out there surfing you take it for granted that wave might knock you over and suck you under and kill you. So pay attention don’t turn your back on the wave.
And the final rule of surfing is never surf alone. Whenever we get isolated as leaders within our own organization where no one knows us no one was what were you thinking or even as a company we’ve isolated, we don’t interact with other companies other organizations, we’re in danger.
So as we navigate those waves that are around us, remember those five rules of surfing passion rules, no dare no flare, expect to wipeout don’t turn your back on the wave and never surf alone. You follow those if you do these things I believe that you’ll find that you’re on the path to better. If you like to find out more about how I can help, you can contact me on my website Meltonleadership.org.