“If it ain’t broke…break it!” Reflection 1

Does life always go as planned? Does being a leader look the same in every situation? Can we truly ever be prepared for what is to come? If you are thinking “absolutely not, why even ask”; well we are on the same page. Robert Kriegel and Louis Patler start out their book with a the idea of expecting the unexpected. This is a fairly generic saying that you hear time and time again growing up and even as you venture into the professional word, but what does “expecting the unexpected” actually mean. Should we spend our days thinking of every possible path that this crazy thing called life could take us down; probably not. Kriegel and Patler offer up 7 rules that they call “Surfer’s Rules” that wont have you thinking about every little detail, but will set you up to respond to any unexpected turn.

  1. Passion Rules
  2. No dare/no flair
  3. Expect to wipe out
  4. Never turn your head on the ocean
  5. Keep looking “outside”
  6. Move before it moves you
  7. Never surf alone

Each one of these “Surfer’s Rules” are accompanied by a few paragraphs as to how they relate to being a leader and have key takeaways. I could easily dive into the takeaways listed in the book, but I would prefer to talk about my experiences with this reading in my professional and personal life.

Throughout my Master’s Programs, I am constantly battling to find the small moments that are applicable to daily life, rather than just raw material that must be digested and regurgitated. In the first three chapters of this book, I found so many bits of information that I could apply to daily life and work conversations. In my current role, I am a graduate student who supervises undergraduate students and is supervised by those with their graduate degrees and even doctorate degrees. This position gives me the opportunity to try conversations out with individuals in different stages of their professional careers. As I approached conversations throughout the week I was reading these chapters, I continuously looked for an opportunity to bring into discussion these 7 rules, thinking I would be the one to turn someones life around. While I did get to speak about these rules on many occasions, I don’t think I really ever changed someones thinking per-say, but they sure changed mine. Each time I started rambling on and on about these “Surfer Rules”, I was met by different acceptance, different feedback, and different stories from both the students I supervise, and my supervisors as well.

This was an important first step to this master course to me because I am actually learning things that I can apply to my life and see what difference it makes.

Let passion rule, expect to wipe out every now and then, move before something moves you and maybe most importantly, Ride the wave of change

-Colin Lane Croat

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