6 Leadership Lessons We Can Learn From Lifeguards

I recently moved from Portland Oregon to Vista California. Moving from an area that is primarily rainy to weather that is sunny and warm has been wonderful. Living about 10 minutes away from the beach I try to enjoy going as much as I can. On a recent visit to the beach I noticed the lifeguard and started to think about the similarities between lifeguards and leaders.

Here are 6 traits I believe make a good lifeguard,
They are always aware of their surroundings.
They are prepared for any situation.
They can handle high-risk circumstances.
They have ongoing training.
They are brave and courageous.
They maintain a healthy lifestyle.

These traits make both a lifeguard and leader. Below I want to further expand on these points that define even more of what traits a leader should have.

1. Good leader’s are aware of what’s going on within their organization and their people. They are aware of what’s going on in every level of the organization. That means from the front end people to the senior management.

2. They are prepared for the challenges of the situations that might occur. They have the mental toughness to handle the good and bad as well as easy and hard situations.

3. This goes along with the last point but I wanted to separate the two. Because leader’s deal with high-risk circumstances that allow for an effective organization. Especially during the downturn of the economy when the leader’s choices and decisions could lead to either a good or nonexistent organizations. Leader’s need to be able to make high-risk decisions.

4. Great leader’s know the importance of ongoing training, with both themselves and the people they lead. They know the importance of personal growth and team growth. They have a plan and goals for ongoing training. Ongoing training allows leader’s and their team to be better at what they are doing and it’s a must for great organizations.

5. If you want to be effective at leading then being brave and courageous is a must. This is a skill that every leader needs to grow and establish within their life. Leader’s need to make sure they are maintaining bravery and courage.

6. It is important for leader’s to have healthy habits. Being healthy provides leader’s with energy and endurance to keep leading. The leader’s health is the glue that holds everything else together. Make sure you do things that maintain a healthy lifestyle.

We have seen what traits make a good lifeguard and leader so even though you might not be a lifeguard you are a leader and we can learn these important lessons from them.

Question: Can you think of any more traits or similarities between lifeguards and leaders?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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6 thoughts on “6 Leadership Lessons We Can Learn From Lifeguards

  1. Hi Dan
    Clever analogy.
    Liked the way you gave us a summary of the 6 traits and then expanded each point.

    Easy to read and well explained.

    BTW – envy you living in California are the "flower children" shill there? LOL

  2. Keith

    It was great to have you stop by. Thank you for reading the post. Glad to hear it was easy to read. It took me longer then normal to write and make sure it flowed together.

    California is a great place to be.


  3. They wear…oops wrong one! One that I thought of is they keep their eye on their mission (saving souls). They also know their vision (how to accomplish it). Not sure if you would agree or not Dan but those ran through my head. Good analogy.

  4. Bill

    I totally agree with your statements. Its so true that leaders and lifeguards need to keep their eye on their mission and vision. Its a must needed point. Thank you for sharing.