Archive for December, 2015

Effective Teaching

Posted in A Note to Directors, Got Me Thinkin', Quotes, Thoughts on Leadership on December 30, 2015 by RobALott

On effective teaching:
“Don’t try to come up with the right answers; focus on coming up with good questions.” -Bill Lazier

Rob’s Recommended Reading List of 2015

Posted in Rob Recommends on December 28, 2015 by RobALott

Here are a few books I’ve read this year that have stuck with me, had an impact, and changed the way I think. 

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni. I worked through this with one of my teams in the early part of 2015. It took some time, but it layed the ground work for great communication and team work for years to come. 

Let’s Pretend We’re Normal by Tricia Lott Williford. It’s really good. Even if the author wasn’t my sister, I’d still say this was a damn good book. Bonus: Don’t miss her first one, And Life Comes Back
Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. So, confession, I finished this book in 2015, but I’m not sure when I started it! It takes a while to work though, to truly do the exercises and answer the questions, but so worth it. This one goes in the category of books I’ll forever be reading. 
Do Over by Jon Acuff. If this don’t light your fire, your wood’s wet. As kids, when we didn’t like how something went, we had no problem calling for a “do over”. When did we lose that right? Encouraging, challenging, motivating, and funny. 
The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. The brilliant science and stories behind why we continue to do what we do.
Stay Alive All Your Life by Norman Vincent Peale. Another classic text with timeless principles on how to do and be better. 
The Real-Life MBA by Jack and Suzy Welch. For those of us creative types who sometimes need to deal with the business and numbers types, this is a great how-to text that’ll help you hold your own at the big kids’ table. 

 One Word by Jon Gordon, Dan Britton, and Jimmy Page. I’ve been doing the one word challenge for the last few years. The challenge: Narrow your focus for the year down to one word. If you’ve never done it, I can’t urge you enough to give it a try! This book (which I read in less than an hour) will walk you through finding your word and how to live it out. 

Those are mine. 

What did you read this year that stuck?

Consider the Silent Leader

Posted in A Note to Directors, Thoughts on Leadership on December 28, 2015 by RobALott

Leadership is influence.

If a leader loses influence, they lose their ability to lead. 

Good leaders know when to remain quiet, when to not let their actions be known, in order to not lose influence. 

If our leaders are being quiet, if they appear inactive, chances are good it’s because they know the value of maintaining influence with those that matter.

An Event For Everyone

Posted in Got Me Thinkin', Quotes on December 25, 2015 by RobALott

There were sheepherders camping in the neighborhood. They had set night watches over their sheep.
Suddenly, God’s angel stood among them and God’s glory blazed around them. They were terrified.
The angel said, “Don’t be afraid. I’m here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody, worldwide: A Savior has just been born in David’s town, a Savior who is Messiah and Master. This is what you’re to look for: a baby wrapped in a blanket and lying in a manger.”
At once the angel was joined by a huge angelic choir singing God’s praises: Glory to God in the heavenly heights, Peace to all men and women on earth who please him.
Luke 2, The Message

But It’s Not Ready

Posted in A Note to Directors, Creativity, Disentangling Thoughts on Theatre, Quotes, Thoughts on Leadership on December 23, 2015 by RobALott

“We don’t go on because we’re ready. We go on because it’s 11:30.”
-Lorne Michaels

Rubber Bands

Posted in A Note to Directors, Thoughts on Leadership on December 21, 2015 by RobALott

It’s true, rubber bands that are stretched too far will snap. 
However, rubber bands that aren’t being stretched at all are useless.

New Year’s Resolution 2016

Posted in Got Me Thinkin', Nuts & Bolts Stuff on December 18, 2015 by RobALott

Read. Run. Write. 
Every day. 
Read at least twenty minutes every day. 
Run at least a mile every day. 
Write something new every day. 
Every day is the plan. If I miss a day, I will start back up the next day and continue on. 
(Also, no need to wait until January 1st to start.)

To Avoid Criticism 

Posted in A Note to Directors, Creativity, Got Me Thinkin', Quotes, Thoughts on Leadership on December 16, 2015 by RobALott

“To avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.”

A Philosophy on Ad-Libs

Posted in A Note to Directors, Creativity, Disentangling Thoughts on Theatre, Nuts & Bolts Stuff on December 14, 2015 by RobALott

Want to add an ad-lib? No problem! 

Just run it through this quick filter:

What does the audience know?
What information does the audience have? 

The audience probably doesn’t know what just happened backstage. They may not know what happened during the last show, and they certainly don’t know the personal lives of the cast. 

If your audience doesn’t have a context, chances are good your ad-lib will fall flat. 
You might get a response from your fellow cast, but that’ll be it. 

(This is just my opinion, but it’s true.)

An Artist’s Job

Posted in A Note to Directors, Creativity, Got Me Thinkin', Quotes on December 9, 2015 by RobALott

“An artist’s job is not to speak the truth. An artist’s job is to captivate you for however long we’ve asked for your attention. If we stumble into truth we got lucky.”

-Aaron Sorkin