When on the improv stage, one of the most important principles is listening to and supporting your partner. If you do this, you help create a very strong sense of team, and also further the story in a way that is interesting to the audience. For example, if someone says, “let’s go to the store,” you can “yes and” it by saying, “wonderful, I love JZ’s store, because it has such great record memorabilia that dates back to the fifties!” What you have done is “yes and-ed” your partner. You have essentially built on the first concept they introduced, a store.
Contrary to good improv, one could have done a “yes but.” For example, “Okay, that store is fine, but I really want to go to the movies.” That is denying your partner on stage, and invalidating their idea. You are not building on their initial idea, nor are you moving the story forward. You’ve essentially blocked them. Your story has now halted, and your partner does not necessarily feel supported. This is the importance of “yes and-ing” rather than “yes but-ing.”
Whether you’re an investor, an improviser on the stage, leading a team at a company, or a soccer captain, we can all practice the glory of “yes and-ing” one another. If we do so, we will build a beautiful and strong world based on a foundation of supporting wins for everyone, all around.
Don’t ever give this up. Your Humble Will. It’s your commitment to persevere.
Business models will change and do change. Systems change, marketplaces change, technology changes.
But your Humble Will to persevere cannot. Your organization relies on it; your team must know it. And you must found this commitment to persevere deeply within your soul and daily execution.
Please note I add “humble will.” It’s a listening commitment, a listening perseverance. You can’t just bulldoze ahead….. You have to be in touch with your marketplace, sector, clients, board, partners, team in order to know the best way to go, each moment, each day. And that takes humble listening.
“Against criticism a man can neither protest nor defend himself; he must act in spite of it, and then it will gradually yield to him.” –Johan Wolfgang von Goethe
No matter how hard it is, we have to face challenging feedback and take some step of action. It’s not easy… but the more we do it, the more we become accustomed to it. To being honest with ourselves…and to overcoming the challenge. We grow, we excel, and we move on, up and over it. With that honesty, as Goethe states, “(the criticism) will gradually yield to him.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) was a German writer and artist, and a leading figure in German literature. His works include The Sorrows of Young Werther and Faust. He was highly influential to the 19th century.
“We were born to succeed, not to fail.” – Henry David Thoreau
That is our life purpose. To follow our calling in our own specially designed way. And so we will succeed, because the measurement is solely on how you uniquely pursue your talents, goals and qualities. Everyone has a different picture of success, his or her own beautiful expression.
Henry David Thoreau was an author, philosopher, poet, abolitionist, and naturalist. He is the author of Walden, which is a philosophical argument for simple living and preservation of natural environment. He also had other important writings on natural history, environmentalism and civil disobedience.
“There are two types of people: those who see difficulty in every opportunity, and those who see opportunity in every difficulty.”
– Winston Churchill
Be, see, and live opportunity.
Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965) is a well-known British statesman, who led the country as Prime Minister during World War II. He is known for his wit, his oration, and his wide range of talents: in addition to political and military service, he won a Nobel Prize for Literature and was a talented painter.
“Never allow the circumstances of your life to become an excuse. People will allow you to do it. But I believe we have a personal obligation to make the most of the abilities we have.”
– Jim Abbott
Jim Abbott is a former Major League baseball pitcher, who played despite having been born without a right hand. He played for teams including the California Angels, New York Yankees, and Chicago White Sox. In 1993, Abbott threw a no-hitter against the Cleveland Indians, and in 1988 pitched the final game to win the United States an unofficial gold medal in the Summer Olympics. Throughout his career, teams tried to exploit the fact that Abbott played with one hand, but their tactics were never effective. Today, Abbott works as a motivational speaker, living in California with his wife, two children and their dog. His parents still live in Michigan, where he grew up. Abbott and his family take the summer off each year to stay at the lake and visit with family and friends.