Dramatic Success at Work: Using Theatre Skills to Improve Your Performance and Transform Your Business Life

Overview

Now anyone in business can become a star performer with Dramatic Success!: Theatre Techniques to Inform and Inspire Your Working Life, a practical and entertaining guide for adapting the techniques of the performing arts in order to dramatically improve workplace performance. Profiling the experiences of business leaders as well as professional actors, Andrew Leigh and Michael Maynard demonstrate a range of theatre methods, from presenting and improvising to understanding character and creativity to directing ...

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Overview

Now anyone in business can become a star performer with Dramatic Success!: Theatre Techniques to Inform and Inspire Your Working Life, a practical and entertaining guide for adapting the techniques of the performing arts in order to dramatically improve workplace performance. Profiling the experiences of business leaders as well as professional actors, Andrew Leigh and Michael Maynard demonstrate a range of theatre methods, from presenting and improvising to understanding character and creativity to directing projects and sustaining change. It's true that there's no business like show business, and there can be no business like your business!

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Editorial Reviews

Soundview Executive Book Summaries
Theater Techniques to Transform Your Work Life
Business success is often the result of personal performance, and focusing on workplace performance can yield dramatic results when that focus is well-directed and well-thought out. To help inspire businesspeople to muster the crucial creativity and high-level energy it takes to succeed, training and development experts Andrew Leigh and Michael Maynard offer numerous time-tested theater techniques that can improve anyone's workplace performance. Dramatic Success! reveals an abundance of skills and techniques that can enhance communication, make presentations more memorable, and help managers produce a high-performance culture at work.

Working as an Ensemble
Dramatic Success! turns theatrical skills -including personal communication skills, controlling emotions, working as an ensemble, shared learning, and organizational enthusiasm - into a how-to guide for moving ahead in the working world. While exploring what it takes to create and develop brilliant performances, the authors work toward unlocking the potential of individuals, their teams and their organizations. By breaking down their book into sections that include personal connection, personal power and talent, team alignment, team creativity and exploration, as well as organizational insight, inspiration and initiative, the authors show how they were able to make a difference at such diverse companies as HP, Vodafone, Campbells and the London Stock Exchange.

Ideas from the theater can be used to harness talent, motivate, build trust, promote creativity and motivation, produce exceptional performance, and even promote having fun. Considering the leadership lessons that have been gleaned for centuries from Shakespeare's plays, such as Henry V, the theater is an appropriate place from which ideas about performance, presentation, teamwork and learning skills can be extracted. The authors describe how theatrical techniques can be used to manage talent and teach staff members better ways to present, improvise, understand character, be creative, lead others and learn to coach.

Informative Scripts
Complete with informative scripts that depict better ways for executives to respond to specific situations - as well as stage directions that set the tone for effective interactions - Dramatic Success! offers numerous revelations about the ways executives work with their people and the ways they can improve their impact with age-old theater techniques. Useful tie-ins between the theater and business include: "In the theater of change there are three key acts leading to exceptional performance:

  • Act I: Getting your personal act together.
  • Act II: Getting your team's act together.
  • Act III: Getting your organization's act together."


Getting Your Personal Act Together
The authors explain that the process of the first act is all about connection, power and talent. Personal connection is feeling closely aligned to the enterprise in some way. They write that personal power is taking control and responsibility for what's going on, and personal talent involves having the appropriate skills.

When getting your team's act together, the authors write that teams must be aligned, creative and exploring. When they discuss team alignment, they write that it is created with a collective commitment to teamworking - with people sharing the same values and going in the same direction - with clear and tight organization.

The authors also present numerous dialogue boxes throughout Dramatic Success! that include discussions between an executive and a producer to introduce many important issues. For example:

  • EXECUTIVE: I wonder if there are any other parts of myself that I need to be using in order to help get my team's act together?
  • PRODUCER: What you've just said is the perfect start. Curiosity and wonder - two crucial catalysts for creativity.


Simple asides such as these make Dramatic Success! an entertaining yet thought-provoking approach to revealing the crucial lessons that can help business executives build better skills, teams and enterprises.

Why We Like This Book
The parallels between theatrical work and business are many and striking. By digging into well-worn business success topics with the solid blades of theater language and dramatic techniques, the authors of Dramatic Success! turn a book of strategic management skills into a unique foundation for improving communication and teamwork. Using role-playing, dialogue and other colorful aspects of the theater, the authors introduce many useful business suggestions in a new and vibrant voice. Copyright © 2004 Soundview Executive Book Summaries

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781857883404
  • Publisher: Nicholas Brealey Publishing
  • Publication date: 3/15/2004
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 7.44 (w) x 9.08 (h) x 0.66 (d)

Meet the Author

Andrew Leigh and Michael Maynard are senior partners in Maynard Leigh Associates, a training and development consulting firm that works with corporations around the world in personal effectiveness and team development. They are also the authors of Leading Your Team, The Perfect Presentation and Ace Teams.
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Table of Contents

Box Office ix
Setting the Scene 1
A quick drink in the bar 1
Mere metaphor? 2
Take your seats please 5
The lights dim 6
Act I Getting Your Personal Act Together 8
Scene 1 Personal Connection 10
Feel you belong 12
Make an impact 14
Clarify your personal purpose 15
Live your values 18
Identify your individual star quality 21
Expand your range 24
Reach for star performance 25
Scene 2 Personal Power 28
Be a chooser, not a victim 28
Get empowered 36
Scene 3 Personal Talent 38
Harness your energy 39
Express your feelings 41
Use humour 44
Focus your attention 45
Communicate 49
Understand character 50
Turn talent into performance 51
Interval 60
The plot so far... 60
Behind the scenes 61
Act II Getting Your Team's Act Together 68
Scene 1 Team Alignment 71
Support each other 75
Tune in and trust 77
Go in the same direction 82
Know what role you're all playing 82
Get behind the leader 84
Lead the team yourself 86
Scene 2 Team Creativity 88
Bring theatre to your meetings 90
Experiment! 94
Trust the power of yes 94
Use the whole person 97
Be curious 99
Wonder 100
Expect trials and tribulations 102
Scene 3 Team Exploration 103
Be adventurous 103
Add value 105
Use theatre as a sales tool 106
Create experiences 107
Work as a team 107
Be authentic 109
Keep the script fresh 109
Build a relationship 111
Take risks 113
Share learning 117
Celebrate achievements 119
Produce a sense of occasion 121
Create an ACE reputation 122
Interval 123
The plot so far... 123
Behind the scenes 124
Act III Getting Your Organization's Act Together 129
Scene 1 Organizational Insight 132
Know yourself 133
Understand others 134
See the situation 135
Develop foresight 137
Scene 2 Organizational Inspiration 141
If you're a leader, then lead! 142
Be passionate 146
Generate excitement 147
Add value using values 150
Involve people 152
Use theatre-based coaching 153
Give notes 157
Enrol everyone 159
Scene 3 Organizational Initiative 163
Demand action 165
Create exciting performance goals 168
Persevere 169
Model the way 171
Let your enthusiasm show 173
Keep it fresh 176
Share the action 180
Take a look at your current daily drama 181
Create a compelling drama for the future 182
Where to Start 186
Get the right people 189
Focus on action and behaviour 189
When To Start 191
What's the compelling reason? 191
Who owns it? 192
Gather energy 193
Keep it simple 193
A grand scheme 194
The Curtain Falls 196
The plot so far... 196
Behind the scenes 197
Dinner After the Show 206
Index 207
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