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?


Eleanor said...

Tough call. But in this case, I don't think the middle of a competition (or in business, a major difficulty) is the right time to start experimenting, especially if what you have been doing so far has been serving you pretty well and you're not in dire straits at all.

John Bishop said...

Eleanor - I'm with you on this one!

Tom Gurda said...

What is Leadership?
March 17, 2012 By Tom Gurda
What is Leadership?
Natural born Leadership styles are the type of Leaders that are followed by people who follow them because they want to. These types of Leadership styles vary slightly but in general have a lot in common with one another.
The Definition of a Leader:
“One who has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions and the compassion to listen to the needs of others.” In “The Leadership Engine”, Noel Tichy describes a Leader’s responsibility: “Enhancing the value of assets and sustaining growth are still the ultimate goals. This is accomplished by developing others to be leaders, creating Leaders at every level, and getting them aligned and energized.”
Leadership as it pertains to Leading a Facility(s): Word of mouth is powerful… build a reputation of credibility person by person.Build a management team that has knowledge and understanding of Leadership and you build credibility. A team with strong credibility throughout the facility can achieve desired goals while maintaining a high level of morale. In order to achieve the higher levels of morale, it starts at the top. Leaders should leave their personal issues at the door and maintain a high level of morale. The Leader’s state of mind can become contagious. Momentum can grow and a sense synergy can be realized. Achieving goals requires teamwork. Achieving teamwork requires credibility. Combine a high degree of both and the result will be synergy.
All management in a given operation can be (and, often are) judged by the individual actions of any member of the team. In other words, one bad apple taints the rest …Or, an entire team can be considered credible.
Assess individual strengths/vulnerabilities of existing teammates and determine where each would be well placed. Identifying, placing and training a management team that covers all areas with precision and consistency requires discretion and good judgment. Sharing these judgment calls with partners (HR, Superiors, Peers, etc) can help.
Specific steps to support a Leadership strategy:
Learn Operations … Understand.
Learn all reports, examine formulas, and understand. Teach.
Determine low hanging fruit and learn/teach all resources available that might help achieve.
Delegate/assign w/ expected timelines clear. Avoid overloading team. Prioritize.Daily start up meetings to get and keep entire team on same page.
Coach, train, and develop.
One on ones…
“At the end of the day, you bet on people not strategies.” Larry Bossidy, CEO Honeywell

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