“Surf The Tsunami”™

By Pamela Gilchrist

What’s the biggest, freakiest thing you have ever overcome?

Think about it for a second.

If you’ve had any “good life experience” (as my father-in-law calls it), you’ve probably had those moments that seemed insurmountable… when the big wave was going to crush you and pull you under.

Surfer Laird Hamilton faces those waves every time he pulls on his big boy shorts, crawls on his board and waits for a swell. If you don’t know much about the sandy-haired, muscle-bound surfing kamikaze who attacks waves the size of seven story buildings raging at 30 miles per hour — you should.

You see, back in the day, surfers thought itsy bitsy waves of 20-30 feet were gnarly. Then came guys like Hamilton who thought those looked like a day at the beach. They wanted to push the limits.

At 6’3″ (1.90m) and 220 pounds (102kg) Hamilton is the wave king, able to take on larger waves which many smaller surfers could not physically handle. Perhaps the greatest big wave surfer of all time, he’s stretched the limits adding training, technology, jet-ski tows, and yes, some shear grit to set the big wave surfing records.

Seventy-footers now seem to be an average day’s work.

He conquered Tahiti’s Teahupo’o (which the pros call “pure liquid evil.”) when his death-defying drop into the big wave caught the world’s attention. This cemented his reputation as the greatest big wave surfer of all time.

Segue back to your own freak out. Most of us will never face anything quite like what Hamilton does for a living, but lately we may feel like it.

What are the big waves you are facing?

For many of us, the impact of the “Great Recession” and ghostly recovery has made everything else dwarf in comparison. We’ve seen our organizations, teams, families, bills and budgets reach beyond what we thought were our limits.

When I started tracking what I call the “10 Trend Tsunami™” about seven years ago, these emerging socio-economic trends seemed distant and remote. Now, the data is coalescing – and leaders need to learn how to surf by adapting their minds, enhancing their skills and leveraging their talent and teams.

One of my favorite quotes is from humorist Patsy Clairmont who says, “Normal is just a setting on your dryer.” I love the phrase, but, how do we get to this “new normal,” where the 70-footers are routine? How do we, and our organizations, find a new set-point? That’s what I’ll share with you during my keynote address, “Tsunami Success™” at the IAWP spring conference on April 8, 2011.

I think what’s so interesting about Laird and athletes like Laird,” said his wife Gabby Reece in the 60 Minutes piece. “They are just as afraid, but they deal with it differently — because if they didn’t have fear, I don’t think they’d be as good as they are.” 

A bit of fear is probably healthy, but we can take a lesson from Hamilton and learn how to deal with it differently. Together, we will look at some of the trends, share best practices and lean how to surf the big waves and seize success. And, I may just share my own surfing lesson story with you.

About The Author:

As Chief Strategist & CEO of the Gilchrist Group™, Pam provides breakthrough business and change management strategies for organizations during times of dramatic change and growth. An international award-winning leadership and communications expert, Pam has served as chief communications council for companies ranging from Fortune 100s to small businesses for 25 years. She is a professional member of the National Speakers Association (NSA), serves on the NSA Ohio board of directors and is also a member of the PRSA Counselors Academy, AMA, and ASTD. She regularly blogs at: https://gilchristgroup.com/news or you can reach her on Twitter @pamgilchrist

Don’t miss Keynote Speaker Pam Gilchrist, Friday morning April 8, 2011 as she shares “Tsunami Success™: How To Surf The Big Waves And Seize Success Now. Pam will share tips on how to:

1. Seize emerging opportunities to strengthen market share 

2. Adapt quickly to the rapidly changing socio-economic landscape
ahead of your competitors 

4. Leveraging core strengths in the new economy 

5. Learn how to be THE industry thought leader in the recovery 

For more information about Pam Gilchrist visit: gilchristgroup.com

Author Susan Casey, wrote a great book titled THE WAVE: In Pursuit of the Rogues, Freaks, and Giants of the Ocean, where she talks about Hamilton and other risk takers. Sports Illustrated has a great excerpt.
Read more: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/writers/the_bonus/09/09/big.wave/index.html#ixzz1FbjtID00