How Do You Fend Off The Business Sharks?

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Sean Pollard, an avid surfer, lost his left arm and right hand to two sharks but the attack could easily have been fatal. Earlier this month in Pyeongchang, he made his debut in the 2018 Winter Paralympics.

It’s one of those great turning adversity into triumph stories we all love but it contains some seriously good advice for all business owners.

Sean went surfing in October 2014 and had a close encounter with two great white sharks. He saved his life but lost his left arm and right hand in the attack. He didn’t know then that this disastrous event would lead to him representing Australia in snowboarding at the Paralympics just over three years later.

Shark attacks are common in the business world too but how you respond can transform apparent loss into success.

Maybe you don’t have any sharks in your part of the business environment; your competitors are all jolly nice folks who will gladly lend a hand when things are tough. Yeah, right! Even so taking these three positive attitudes onboard will help you be a more successful leader in the face of adversity.

  1. Be ready to try new things. Sean had never seen snow before he tried snowboarding in 2015 but now he’s transitioned into being a world-class snowboarder. You never know where that unopened door might lead, so don’t be afraid to open it.

  2. Don’t see failure as necessarily a bad thing. As Sean says, "I think a good attitude to have in life is not to be afraid to fail. It's worked so far." Bad events force us to regroup, to go deep and reflect on where we went wrong and what we can change to do better.

  3. Enjoy the present. Living in the moment is one of the things that Sean loves about snowboarding. Likewise, in business, the past can’t be changed and the future hasn’t happened. You can only directly control your actions in the now.