Archive for November, 2016

What Your Team Knows Before You Do

Posted in A Note to Directors, Disentangling Thoughts on Theatre, Got Me Thinkin', Nuts & Bolts Stuff, Thoughts on Leadership on November 28, 2016 by RobALott

Directors, while we are looking for the light, our Lighting Designer is looking for the shadows. 

Directors, while we are listening for what we can hear, our Sound Designer is listening for what she can’t hear. 

Directors, let’s celebrate what’s working and let our team go to work on what’s not. (They tend to know what’s wrong before we do.)

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Quo Vadimus

Posted in Got Me Thinkin', Thoughts on Leadership on November 21, 2016 by RobALott

It means, where are we going?

Level 1: Life sucks. 

Level 2: My life sucks. 

Level 3: I’m great and you’re not. 

Level 4: We’re great. 

Level 5: Life’s great. 

At what level are you living today?

We all start somewhere on this list. We can only go up or down one level at a time.

So, what can you do today to begin to get to the next level?

Quo vadimus?

(Concept from Tribal Leadership by Dave Logan)

Your Area of Expertise 

Posted in A Note to Directors, Got Me Thinkin', Nuts & Bolts Stuff, Thoughts on Leadership on November 14, 2016 by RobALott

What meetings do you get invited to without prompting?

What subject do people continually ask for your advice?

What’s the thing everyone waits for your opinion on before they make a final decision?

Whatever that thing is, that’s your specialty. That’s your area of expertise. That’s the thing at which you are most sharp. 

(For everything else, remember, our job title does not make us the expert. We would do well to seek wise counsel before we speak up in that meeting, give unsolicited advice, or make that final call.)

Not Built to Finish

Posted in A Note to Directors, Creativity, Disentangling Thoughts on Theatre, Got Me Thinkin' on November 7, 2016 by RobALott

Saturday Night Live gets a lot of flack for not finishing their sketches well, for not having an ending. 

The thing is, finishing is not what they were built to do. Finishing a sketch with every question answered, every character fully fulfilled, and all plot lines finally complete has never been their mission. 

SNL is wired to start something new, to pursue a new idea, to show something from a different angle, to make us see something differently, and their mission is to make us laugh. Once they’ve done that, their job is over. 

Who cares how it ends? They certainly don’t. In fact, I think they wear it as a badge of honor. Once they’ve made their point and gotten the laugh, they just quit! And that should be ok with us. 

I want my doctor to have all the answers. I want my favorite journalist to finish the story. I rely on movies with great writers and directors to fully finalize all the plot lines, and not leave any holes. 

But Saturday Night Live, let’s take them off the hook when it comes to finishing. They are not marathon runners who are praised for the accomplishment of finishing. No, they are more like a five year old competing in a sack race at your company’s summer picnic. We don’t really care who wins or if they finish. In the end, for a brief moment, we were entertained. 

Not everyone or everything is meant to finish. Sometimes it’s the starters who enjoy the most success.