Use Improv to Jumpstart Possibilities

To be successful you don’t always have to be an expert in the field you choose.  What you do have to be is excellent at recognizing when to push and when to pivot – like an improv actor.  Here are some of my favorite lessons from improvising that you can apply to your daily work no matter what your field:

·      Say yes – Stop staying no.  Say yes, see what happens, and then roll with it.  It won’t be the same as you thought of it in the beginning, because it will likely be better.

·      Don’t prepare – Quit planning everything out, because when you don’t get what you were expecting you spend a lot of time stressing about loss or shame.  Get a good mindset and go from there.

·      Show up – Just being present is half the cause for success.  The more you’re there, the more likely you’ll be a part of something great. 

·      Be average – Don’t outshine everyone in the room.  You have to share the stage with your team, and they need some of the credit, too.

·      Act now – Avoid analysis paralysis.  Make a best first guess and then modify as your run with it.  It may not be perfect, but at least you’re moving.

·      Take care of each other – Work as a team.  Set up others for success.  Learn your team’s strengths and how to play into it.  Never criticize, condemn or complain. 

·      Stay on course – Don’t give up before you reach the finish line.  That’s the fear working inside you.  Instead, take a chance on success – and failure – to see it through to the end.

·      Pay attention – Put your phone away and stop looking over people’s shoulders when you are at a party.  The most important thing happening to you is what is going on right now with the people around you.

Sam Jacobson