The 12 Characteristics of a Great Surfer

If you opened this article looking for tips on how to glide over the waves of Maui with ease, you may be disappointed.

We are not talking about the type of waves that crash on the beach.

In his book Carpe Aqualis! Seize the Wave, Kahuna CEO Frank F. Lunn explains that our ability to quickly adapt to the waves of change allows each of us the opportunity to S-U-R-F.

Survey, Understand, Respond, Focus.

No matter how old or young you are, no matter your level of education or training, you can develop a surfer mindset to transform waves of challenge and difficulties into opportunities to benefit your life.

As you learn the mindset, skills, and language of the entrepreneur, you will know you can survive and thrive no matter what the waves bring.

The following excerpt from Carpe Aqualis! breaks down the attributes and characteristics found in successful entrepreneurs as well as successful employees:

The 12 Characteristics of a Great Surfer

1. Attitude (positive). Employees who have a positive attitude seek out ways to succeed instead of internalizing issues and perceived failures.

2. Aptitude (quick learner). Individuals who have the ability to learn new programs or processes quickly are better prepared to navigate the ever-changing waters of your organization.

3. Scalability (ability to grow and increase responsibilities). Quick-growth companies often outgrow their staffing needs. Hiring employees who have the capability and desire to expand their roles and accept new responsibilities during transitional periods is a key to growth.

4. Energy (high). Employees with a high energy level are more inclined to attack a challenge rather than sit back and react.

5. Communication skills (verbal and nonverbal). This skill is a staple for any successful business. Clear written, verbal and face-to-face communication is crucial in keeping clients informed and satisfied and in allowing for effective teamwork.

6. Flexibility and adaptability (within current positions). Both are essential in attacking the challenging waves that employees encounter daily.

7. Subordination of self (willing to bury the ego to help the team succeed). Leadership comes from setting an example for others. In our environment, leading while being led is not uncommon. Our managers and directors support their teams while allowing them (and, at times, challenging them) to grow.

8. Ambition (hardworking, vision). Kahuna Business Group is unique in that each employee is encouraged to be an entrepreneur in his or her given roles. Entrepreneurs by nature have an internal drive to succeed on their own terms. While we do not expect our employees to start their own businesses, we do expect them to provide the best they have to offer and encourage them to question all assumptions.

9. Continuing self-education (always expanding horizons). While only a handful of Kahuna employees hold degrees from four-year universities, every employee takes part in continuing education. Employees who do not believe they have any more to learn are ones that struggle in our fast-paced and ever-changing environment.

10. Leadership. These people seek solutions when faced with challenges and accept responsibility for self-leadership and for helping others.

11. A “get it done” mentality. Once they are in the daily flow of our business, employees are expected to make decisions and solve problems. In fact, when bringing an issue to a supervisor for discussion, employees are expected to bring possible solutions as well.

12. Belief in the organization’s mission. If your employees don’t “buy into” the message and mission of your organization, they will not take ownership of their position. Without personal ownership, employees will lack the passion and desire to succeed themselves or to help the company succeed.

Nobody can control the waves. The only thing we can control is how we S-U-R-F!


Interested in learning more about how Kahuna Accounting can help you grow your business? Schedule a strategy call with Kahuna Accounting and we can discuss best practices for bookkeeping, profit, and growth!

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