CHARLOTTE, N.C., June 14, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — LeaderSurf announced today that it will expand to include program offerings in Folly Beach, S.C. and Nosara, Costa Rica. The internationally-recognized leadership development program has operated in Nicaragua for the past two years, combining daily surfing lessons and humanitarian aid work with traditional leadership coaching and assessments.

“At LeaderSurf, we believe that innovation and risk-taking are key leadership competencies, and people can’t develop those in a classroom,” said Brian Formato, founder and president of LeaderSurf. “How can you teach leaders to take risks? Surfing. It’s a unique sport because even the best surfers in the world wipeout every time they enter the ocean. Teaching business leaders how to surf teaches them to embrace failure as learning; how to experiment and iterate. Ultimately, participants come to view failure as necessary for progress. Surfing also builds self-awareness, a skill that separates great leaders from everyone else.”

In addition to surfing, the program incorporates assessments, one-on-one executive coaching and a day of humanitarian aid to round out the curriculum.

“Feedback from participants and executive sponsors at their companies including MetLife, FCB Global, The Motley Fool, AccruePartners and others has made it clear that they value the non-traditional learning locations of LeaderSurf,” said Formato  “The challenge in selecting our venues is that they must provide participants with an escape from the day to day, the creature comforts expected by business travelers, access to humanitarian aid work and a seaside location with  consistent waves for surfing lessons.  After an exhaustive search, LeaderSurf has chosen Folly Beach and Nosara, Costa Ricafor our expansion.”

Folly Beach Program
Folly Beach is quaint beach island 11 miles south of Charleston, S.C.  The island is a popular escape for residents of the Carolinas.  LeaderSurf is excited to partner with Isla Surf School to run the surfing lessons component of the LeaderSurf program.  Additionally, LeaderSurf has secured two amazing southern-living beach homes as the host location for the program.  The inaugural Folly Beach LeaderSurf program is scheduled for September 16-21, 2018.  The program is limited to only eight participants and is expected to sell out.

Costa Rica Program
Nosara, Costa Rica, is a village located on Costa Rica’s Nicoya Peninsula and is known for it beaches, great waves, yoga centers and laid-back lifestyle.  LeaderSurf and The Gilded Iguana Surf Hotel have partnered to host LeaderSurf leadership development programs.  This tropical paradise is the right climate for learning.  Participants will stay the Gilded Iguana Hotel where they will engage in daily leadership sessions, one-on-one executive coaching and daily surf lessons.  The inaugural Nosara LeaderSurf program will be held November 4-9, 2018.  The program is limited to 12 participants and is expected to sell out.

LeaderSurf was started in 2015 as a disruptive approach to leadership development.  Formato had spent 20+ years working with organizations on building leadership capability.  He found that traditional classroom-based programs failed to deliver sustainable behavior change.  With that as the challenge statement, Formato set out to build a better approach.

About LeaderSurf
LeaderSurf provides a one-of-a-kind leadership development program based on the idea that the best learning comes from real-life experiences. The week-long, intensive program takes participants to unique beachfront venues where they participant in humanitarian aid experiences and take daily mindfulness and surfing lessons while receiving executive coaching, leadership assessments and learning modules. The LeaderSurf program immerses participants in a highly experiential week of learning and development.

Upcoming program dates include:

Folly Beach, SC September 16-21, 2018
Nosara, Costa Rica November 4-9, 2018

In addition to the open enrollment programs, LeaderSurf offers corporate retreat programs that can be customized to meet the specific needs of our clients.  Corporate retreat programs can be booked in Folly Beach, Costa Rica and Nicaragua and are for groups from six to thirty participants.

Organizations interested in sending participants can learn more at

Brian Formato 


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