Archive for February, 2016

Deep Work

Posted in A Note to Directors, Creativity, Nuts & Bolts Stuff, Thoughts on Leadership on February 29, 2016 by RobALott

Doing shallow work (responding to emails, setting up meetings, sitting in conference calls) helps you keep your job. 
Doing deep work (the work only you can do, providing creative input from your perspective, all with extreme focus) is what gets you promoted. 
Do enough shallow work to keep your job, but focus on the deep work that will continually move you forward. 
(Paraphrased from The Accidental Creative Podcast)

Fake It ’til You Make It?

Posted in A Note to Directors, Got Me Thinkin', Thoughts on Leadership on February 22, 2016 by RobALott

Fake it ’til you make it. 
I always heard “make it” to mean succeed in it. 
This never worked for me. One is never successful by way of faking it. 
But, like a song lyric I’ve always heard wrong, only now am I learning it means to create it. 
Fake it ’til you create it. 
Pretend to be happy, confident, energetic, or whatever, until you’ve created it and it becomes real. 
Fake it ’til you make it. 
Makes more sense now. 

Am I Cut Out to be a Leader?

Posted in A Note to Directors, Got Me Thinkin', Thoughts on Leadership on February 15, 2016 by RobALott

  
 “Leadership” has been a buzzword for decades. Everyone is looking for it. Your next employer wants to see leadership skills and experience on your resume. Your college is looking for leadership roles you held in high school. Clubs you were president of, newspapers and yearbooks you were the editor of. 

Recently, a friend of mine spoke proudly about his daughter who had won the coveted leadership award at her school. She is in second grade. 
But are all of us cut out to be leaders? 
The best leaders I know are also followers and continually place themselves under the authority of other leaders. 

I remember feeling the pressure to maintain leadership positions out of high school. I was in a new town, in a new job, with already strong established leaders. 

I was speaking with a mentor and lamented, “I’m not sure I’m a leader.”

“Why do you say that?”

“Because I’m not leading anything.”

“Does that bother you?”

“Yes! It bothers me a great deal!”

“Then you’re a leader.”

This was the shot in the arm I needed. Leadership opportunities began to show themselves to me and I jumped. 

Leaders look around, see what’s wrong, and they go to work to fix the problems no one else sees. 

Leaders aren’t ok with the status quo. Leaders will not put up with the That’s-How-We’ve-Always-Done-It-Here mentality. 

Are you cut out to be a leader? 

Well, does it bother you when you aren’t leading anything? Do you continually go to work to solve problems others don’t see? (Note: I did not say complain about the problems everyone sees.)

If you said yes, then you’re a leader. 

And if you’re a leader, you should be a good one. Place yourself under the authority of great leaders. Follow the leadership of those who are championing great causes. Read non-fiction books that will teach you great leadership. Find leadership blogs that challenge your thinking. Listen to leadership podcasts. Go to work. Find the problems and lead as though your life depended on it.  

Because you know what? 

It does. 

Giving 100%? of What?

Posted in Disentangling Thoughts on Theatre, Got Me Thinkin', Nuts & Bolts Stuff on February 8, 2016 by RobALott

Don’t worry so much about giving 100% energy on-stage.

(Wait, what did he just say?)
Don’t worry so much about giving 100% energy on-stage. Instead, try aiming for 100% engagement. 

As you perform more and you get stronger, your strength and energy levels will increase, and with it you’ll feel like you need to do more, add more, be more. 

Whereas, engagement—paying attention, being in the moment, listening—that’s a target that won’t move. Either you’re doing it, or you’re not. Either you are fully engaged, or you’re not. 

Energy is good. Engagement and interest is better. 

Rehearsal

Posted in Disentangling Thoughts on Theatre, Got Me Thinkin', Quotes on February 1, 2016 by RobALott

“Amateurs rehearse until they get it right. Professionals rehearse until they can’t get it wrong.” -Julie Andrews

Granted, I’m an idealist. That’s why this quote resonates with me. 
I know it’s not always true. 

But what if it was?