Leadership (comparing big-wave surfing - extreme sport and business)

Elite athletes and senior executives have similar personality traits, ie hyper-conscientious, industrious, working non-stop, aiming to be productive and the best, etc.

Five core principles or similarities

i) fear (in surfing it is the fear of drowning; while in business it is the impostor syndrome, ie you don't have the expertise to handle the position. The best remedy is practice and experience, ie

"...you need to push yourself into a scary environment to build a skill set and knowledge to be able to manage a dangerous environment..."

Mark Mathews as quoted by Sally Patten, 2021a )

ii) direction (have clarity about your personal and work goals, ie know where you want to be in 5 years' time)

iii) meaning (what you aim to achieve from your actions like satisfying your family's needs, helping an organisation achieve its goals, helping people have a better life, etc)

iv) support (this involves putting together a group of talented individuals around you, ie

"...need to learn how to attract talented people and how to get the best out of them..."

Mark Mathews as quoted by Sally Patten, 2021a

This is linked with emotional intelligence (for more detail, see elsewhere in the knowledge base), ie your people handling and communication skills determine how you choose to interact with others so that you extract the best performance and cooperation from them.)

v) perspective (understand the bigger picture, ie think beyond your departments, silo, etc; also it is about putting your troubles and tribulations in context, ie there is always somebody worse off; practising gratitude is important

"...studies also show that people can cultivate a sense of gratitude are psychologically healthier..."

Mark Mathews as quoted by Sally Patten, 2021a


"...Studies have shown that most human beings tend to see more negatives than positives around them. It's a survival mechanism..."

Mark Mathews as quoted by Sally Patten, 2021a

Need to develop techniques to reduce the negativity and increase positivity, like recalling all the positive things that happen to you on a regular basis eg daily)

 NB The above are the

"...core principles for producing sustainable performance over time, avoiding the crash-and-burn scenario..."

Mark Mathews as quoted by Sally Patten, 2021a


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