Ep 05: Brian Formato Teaches Leadership through Surfing

by | Jul 4, 2019 | Episodes

Brian Formato shares one of the best failure stories ever. He’s the founder and principal at Groove Management, a human capital consulting firm focusing on organizational and talent development. He also created LeaderSurf, a professional development program that teaches leadership through surfing. 

He’s an an accomplished speaker, writer and executive coach with 20+ years of corporate experience. He has a B.A. in Business Management and an M.A. in Organizational Development. 

Discussion topics and key ideas:

  • What one question grew his business more than any other 

  • The difference between leadership and management

  • How surfing taught him respect

  • The similarities between surfing and leadership

  • The value of articulating what you learn every day

  • Why business teams get more from surfing than playing golf

  • Where fear comes from and what F.E.A.R. stands for


“Misery is chasing someone else’s definition of success.”

“Networking isn’t about who you know; it’s who they know.” 

“Lesson number one in surfing is learning how to fail.” 

“You don’t catch the wave; the wave catches you.”

“Surfing is the ultimate iterative process.”

“I push myself to do things I feel a little awkward about. All the time.”

“If you don’t believe in yourself, you can’t get others to believe in you.”


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