Monday, August 8, 2011

When do leaders risk it all?

After a beautiful week of surf and fun in Huntington Beach, CA, it came down to the finals of the men’s Nike US Open of Surfing competition with reigning 10-Time ASP World Champion Kelly Slater (Cocoa Beach, FL) versust Yadin Nicol (Australia) at the iconic Huntington Beach Pier.

Slater had been surfing well all week. Nicol had been making average waves into big scores for 9 days. So, what does the contender do to overcome the champion? In this case he took a risk and tried something new. Nicol went out deeper than he had all week, became extremely patient and waited for the big wave to catch an awesome score. Unfortunately for him, there was no perfect wave Sunday afternoon and he went the 30 minute segment without surfing a single wave. Slater won with a few decent scores on average waves. The fans were disappointed and Nicol was not a happy camper.

This does beg the question about when is the right time to take a risk and try something different. In a serious situation, do you go with the familiar or try something completely new? Do you go for the big score or win the old fashion way?

If this surfing championship were a business situation, what approach would you have taken? Has it worked for you in the past?


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