Surfing is one thing I have never tried. It looks easy! I have often watched the surfers with envy as they glide across the huge surf. They have the moves, they know where to stand on the board, they know what to do. They’ve practiced long and hard. When the intensity has gone from the wave they then gracefully surf ‘off’ the end to paddle back and do it all again. My rather uncoordinated motor skills would allow me to do one thing for sure if I ever attempted this – entertain those on the beach! So I’ll keep my pride in tact and choose to try other things that challenge me!
However, the art and the skill of surfing are so relevant to business and there is no bigger challenge than being in business in 2014. This is my constant challenge and I’m sure it’s yours.
To build your skills at surfing, you have to practice and do it consistently. The surfers will head out whether the conditions are good or bad. The feeling they get from riding those waves is as they describe euphoric. They feel free, happy, empowered and certain. They love it. It gets into the blood. It’s their ‘One Thing’. The one thing they love to do and have chosen to focus on.
I recently read Gary Keller and Jay Papasan’s book, ‘The One Thing’. The surprisingly simple thing behind extraordinary results. They discuss the reasons why having a scattergun approach in business won’t bring you success. They also discuss how having a targeted ‘One thing’ approach will lead to success. This really struck a chord with me because in business you can either sink or surf in my opinion. And many leaders are treading water at a frantic pace and are exhausted. It’s becoming harder and harder for them to get the strength to hop onto the surfboard and attempt to ride the constant wave of challenges that confront them. The biggest reason for this is they can’t see the waves coming for them. So they get dumped. It’s hard to breath for a while. And it hurts.
Many leaders have lost sight of their one thing. They are so involved in the everyday, in the keeping up; they can’t remember what their vision or goals were. The health statistics are quite alarming too. The number of people diagnosed with depression and stress is increasing. Treading water is not sustainable in business or for your health.
Somehow we need to turn this around where we can enjoy surfing in business. The waves will never stop. Some days there will be a huge swell, others will see calmer waters. By getting back to basics and having a ‘One Thing’ focus will allow you to stop treading water and gain control over what you are doing. You will be able to do business with purpose rather than putting out fires. You’ll be able to surf the waves and retreat gracefully ready for the next wave.
You’ll also be able to get out of the water and enjoy dry land, the sun on your face and know you have clarity in your direction. The ‘One Thing’ – your surfboard that will keep you buoyant and allow you to experience the euphoria of business.
Now that’s radical.