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What you can learn from comedians

Interesting article in the Sunday Times, drawing partly on Roger Edwards Jones book ‘What Can Chief Executives Learn From Standup Comedians?’ It’s not about introducing comedy to the workplace – though there is a role for humour that is too often ignored or seen as ‘not serious’ and therefore unconfident leaders and managers avoid it.

The learning points don’t just apply to chief executives. They include:

Preparation. Good stand-up performances appear totally spontaneous, but the reality is quite different. Comedians spend hours honing those routines. The harder you work on a presentation, the more relaxed it sounds.

Less is more. A comic’s messages are not long-winded, but tight and concise. Presentations benefit from fewer, more focused, words.

Confidence. Although they may suffer horribly from nerves, a comedian must exude a natural authority or die. Equally, bosses need to think about the impression they give and may have to project an air of confidence.

Responsibility. The stage is a lonely place. When they bomb in front of an audience, comics know there is nobody to blame but themselves. It’s the same for bosses – but they may not always realise that they have to take the flak for failures as well as the rewards for success.

Courage. Comedians are constantly pushing themselves further from their comfort zone as they progress to bigger performances and new material. All executives can benefit from re-examining their comfort zones and pushing outside it now and again.

You can read the full article here

Roger’s pocket book (It’s 64 pages) on Amazon.co.uk is here

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