Archive for the Thoughts on Leadership Category

Completely Acceptable Behavior

Posted in A Note to Directors, Creativity, Got Me Thinkin', Thoughts on Leadership on July 16, 2018 by RobALott

Surround yourself with wise people. Ask them questions and listen to their answers. Learn their answers and commit them to memory.

Then, when you are presented with tough questions and difficult situations, borrow, copy, steal, and furiously plagiarize their actions and answers.

This is completely acceptable behavior.

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I Bet This Never Happens at Disney

Posted in A Note to Directors, Creativity, Disentangling Thoughts on Theatre, Got Me Thinkin', Nuts & Bolts Stuff, Thoughts on Leadership on July 9, 2018 by RobALott

When things go wrong in other shows at other venues, often the cast or crew will say to me, “I bet stuff like this never happens at Disney.”

The thing is, things go wrong on stages everywhere. Props fail. Quick changes are missed. Scenery malfunctions. It happens.

And it happens at Disney every day.

Every. Day.

Maybe the difference is, and the not so snappy answer is, that we have a whole bunch of plans and contingencies for when things go wrong. And when they go wrong, which they will, we don’t point them out and continuously refer back to the broken element for the audience to see and be reminded.

Do these things happen at Disney?

Yes.

It’s the response and reaction, however, that might be what’s different.

The Trick Of Magic

Posted in A Note to Directors, Creativity, Disentangling Thoughts on Theatre, Got Me Thinkin', Nuts & Bolts Stuff, Thoughts on Leadership on June 25, 2018 by RobALott

The trick of a good magic trick is not a trick at all, but rather the result of study, practice, rehearsal, and perfecting the gimmick in a way that goes unnoticed. Once one has seen how the trick is accomplished, the illusion loses its luster.

Actually, this is true of all performance. The hard part—the study, the practice, the rehearsal, the perfecting, the part that makes the entertaining impressive—should go unnoticed.

Once we’ve learned and perfected how it’s done, it should be easy. But to our audience, it should be magic.

Change

Posted in A Note to Directors, Creativity, Got Me Thinkin', Thoughts on Leadership on June 18, 2018 by RobALott

People don’t mind change as much as we think they do.

It’s the loss associated with change that gets people upset.

Loss of time.

Loss of space.

Loss of control.

Loss of energy.

Loss of relationship.

If we can point to what is gained due to the change as opposed to what’s lost, it won’t necessarily make the change easier, but it just might make it less painful and not last as long.

(If you can’t find or point to the good resulting from the change, beware. The change might just be change and may not be progress.)

To Improve Or To Maintain?

Posted in A Note to Directors, Disentangling Thoughts on Theatre, Got Me Thinkin', Nuts & Bolts Stuff, Thoughts on Leadership on June 4, 2018 by RobALott

Were you hired to improve or maintain the situation?

Likewise,

Are you hiring to improve or maintain the situation?

Clarifying the answers to these questions will forego a great deal of confusion and frustration.

One Of The Greatest Abilities

Posted in A Note to Directors, Got Me Thinkin', Nuts & Bolts Stuff, Thoughts on Leadership on April 30, 2018 by RobALott

One of the greatest abilities is likability.

“I’m sorry, but I just have to say…”

“No offense, but…”

“I’m a straight shooter.”

“I’m always honest. I always tell the truth.”

All of that is fine, some of it noble in fact. But you’ll have a lot more wiggle room to say the things you need to say if you’re first likable.

No Substitute For Experience

Posted in A Note to Directors, Disentangling Thoughts on Theatre, Got Me Thinkin', Nuts & Bolts Stuff, Thoughts on Leadership on April 23, 2018 by RobALott

It is only in real-world boots-on-the-ground experience that we learn what works and what doesn’t. Education and preparation is great, and actually vital. It’s where we learn how it worked for everyone else. But real-world experience—not theory, not someone else’s experience—but real-world experience, this is where the truth, our truth, lives.

Preparation and education is no substitute for experience.