Surf Clubs teach us about Life Changing Leadership!

Surf Clubs teach us about Life Changing Leadership!


We can learn so much about leading a business from a Surf Club operation. Learning how to lead through challenging times and building attractive and magnetic cultures.

Outside work hours I enjoy belonging to my local surf club. Community is important to the Mondo Search team. Last year our surf club won best club on the Northern Beaches and one of the reasons for this was the positive culture and the leadership. Today more than ever good leadership and a positive corporate culture are needed to navigate business through uncertain business times. Volunteer organisations like surf clubs often have to creatively inspire people to volunteer their time and provide an attractive environment.

At Wazza Surf Club our Club President will make himself available to listen to everybody and he will send personal messages to people, often not in a good space. I sadly lost my little brother 2 years ago and our President was very quick to make the time to call me and check in after my brother’s memorial service. Our Club President is hands-on and walks alongside people. He would not ask someone to do something that he would not do himself. He looks for leaders and skills across the community and engages talents, involving people in his planning and roadmap ahead. He gets to know people and what motivates them.

He has a wealth of corporate leadership experience and he brings many systems of smart operations to the club for best practice. As we can learn from a community volunteer organisation, so too the skills we learn in the corporate world can be so gratefully received in a community volunteer organisation.

The club has a good culture, minimal politics and is family support-focused. Many tenured hours are enlisted by volunteers due to the magnetism of the surf club culture, with great leaders providing mentors to young men and women. Training is regular and updating skills is a leading priority. The Club members feel a strong sense of belonging and a positive future, not to mention they focus on strong life-saving skills and fitness to boot!

 These cultural traits are vital for any thriving business. Your workplace is often a “ Family of choice” and psychological safety is the number one requirement for employee engagement today. Ensure you have sound training for your leaders in having safe conversations and ensuring when a team member is not OK,  that they know how to support them.

As CEO and or a Leader in business, during these unpredictable days, you will no doubt be thinking of how you can you do things differently, and how you can be the best leader possible. I hope some of these insights in running a volunteer organization will help you in leading a business through ambiguous times. Building best practice culture with mentoring and good leaders to inspire and positively engage your teams.

I will leave you with a video of a recent rescue by my Surf Club, it is such a testament to passionate volunteers and strong clear leadership!

We welcome anytime a call or email, as we would love to hear your news. or link you to experts to run ” Safe Conversations ” training for your leaders.

Please email our long-standing and trusted Head of Research:

or call 1300 737 917


The Mondo Search Team