Archive for May, 2013

Would You Believe It?

Posted in Got Me Thinkin', Quotes, Thoughts on Leadership on May 27, 2013 by RobALott

Growing up, whenever my family would find themselves in a strange place or with an unusual grouping of people, my dad would look around and he’d say,

“A year ago, if someone had shown us a picture of us right now…” or “Ten years ago, if someone had shown us a picture of us with this group of people…”

He’d smile and take it all in for one more moment, and then he’d say,

“Would we have believed it?”

It was his way of reminding us that this place we are in right now, not too long ago, was thought to be unattainable.

Or it was his way of making all of us rush back and speed through all our memories that got us to this place.

The random meetings.

The opportunities that lead to more opportunities that lead to more opportunities that lead to here.

To this day, whenever I find myself standing in a place I never thought I’d be, I often ask myself,

“Ten years ago, if someone showed you a picture of you right now, would you believe it?”

It’s not nostalgic reminiscing. It’s an appreciation of where I’ve come from and the people I’ve met that got me here.

At some point this week, maybe even right now as you are reading this, take a look around.

Would you have believed it?

Interested Not Interesting

Posted in A Note to Directors, Quotes, Thoughts on Leadership on May 13, 2013 by RobALott

I don’t know whom to attribute this idea. Many can tell me when they heard it and who they heard it from.

I was in a rehearsal the first time I heard my friend Kirk say it. I asked him where he had heard it, and he attributed it to Avner the Eccentric.

I was at a conference where I heard Jim Collins talk about the rebuke he received from his mentor, Peter Drukker.

“Jim,” he said, “it seems to me that you spend far too much time trying to be interesting. Why don’t you try being interested.”

This idea has completely revolutionized my take on performance and leadership.

As soon as I find myself faltering or losing focus, I know I have lost touch with this principle.

As soon as I feel the suspicion that I’ve begun to lose the audience, I can come back to this idea, reinvest, and win them back.

It has been said that good stories put ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances.

Or they put extraordinary people into ordinary circumstances.

Either way, there is plenty interesting happening.

Whether you are performing in a multi-million dollar multi-media extravaganza, or a sparse production of Our Town, your responsibility is to be interested in the action and the characters around you and to simply tell the story.

Let the material worry about being interesting.

You just be interested in it.