You have been preparing for months. You are in position and you are ready. A swell develops and begins to transform before your very eyes. A monster wave is now bearing down upon you. Your training and instincts kick in as you paddle to meet the motion of your wave. The wave tries to bully you showing it is a fierce competitor. You apply all of your skill and training as you find yourself dropping nearly straight down a mountain of angry water. You maintain your balance and you handle your wave with great skill and superb style. You barely avoid the hazards and have several moments of truth where even in your confidence you are not completely sure you are going to make it. But you do make it. You ride through to where the wave finally breaks taking you elegantly to the shore like royalty arriving on a red carpet.
What if this happened and you had no one to share it with? You might not really be an ocean surfer, but I am certain you have days like this no matter what you do. When you have a great ride, it is important to reflect and share with your team. This is just as important as when things go bad or you have a wipe out.
Celebrate great rides and build on each other’s successes. Learn from each other and discuss what you can learn from your victories as well as your setbacks and defeats. Look at what you can learn and apply to other areas of your life and your business. Use the adrenaline boost from your great rides to give you momentum and victories to build from.
Use Mistakes and Setbacks to Build and Strengthen Your Team
Reread the paragraph under Celebrate Great Rides inserting the following alternate ending.
…Just as you think you have made it, you lose your balance and wipe out in spectacular fashion. You are now under the water with the force of the angry ocean churning you over and over. Your lungs feel like fire and you are not even sure which way is up. A brief moment of panic starts to turn into terror as you begin to question your very survival. Out of the darkness, you begin to see light and your air bubbles. You begin to follow your bubbles up and just when you think you are about to lose your air, you break free of the ocean’s grip and fresh oxygen replenishes you burning lungs.
Every person and every team who has any ambition will experience frustration, setbacks, defeat and sometimes worse. Great rides are what you shoot for, but every wipe out you survive provides you with experience and perspective. Our difficulties and our failures give us a gift to learn and benefit from.
Make no mistake you will wipe out. The only way to not wipe out is to never challenge the surf and to never leave you comfort zone. The results of not trying are far worse over time than failing forward. Apply the Stack Strategy to accept feedback and correct course any and every time you have a setback or wipe out. Do an after action report and work with your team to learn and apply to the future.
“Failure without learning is still failure. Failure with learning is experience!”
This article is an excerpt from Franks latest book, Carpe Aqualis! set to come out this August.