Laugh When You Fall

Wednesday, July 19th, 2017

Photo credit: Wayne Hile One recent Sunday afternoon, the unthinkable happened: I stumbled and fell onstage in front of a large audience. I felt humiliated. Embarrassed. Foolish. But I recovered by owning my mistake with a laugh instead of pretending nothing happened. For context: on summer weekends, I am part of the ...

Spin Creative Gold with “Yes, And . . .”

Tuesday, January 17th, 2017

Photo credit: Brian Schultz If you want to inspire people to do great work, try the "Yes, and . . ." approach. "Yes, and . . ." is a popular expression in theater, especially in improvisational comedy. You might have encountered the idea in Tina Fey's book, Bossypants. The concept refers to ...

A Place of Magic

Friday, August 12th, 2016

Photo credit: Brian Schultz “I have come home at last! This is my real country! I belong here. This is the land I have been looking for all my life, though I never knew it till now . . . Come further up, come further in!” -- C.S. Lewis, The Last ...

Your Audience Is Always Watching

Thursday, July 28th, 2016

Photo credit: Ivan Phillips Your audience is always watching even if you can't see them. Years ago, I was hanging out at one of those sweaty summer suburban festivals where the food consists of elephant ears and the carnival rides look like they're held together with rust. Amid the squirt gun games ...

Own the Stage

Thursday, September 3rd, 2015

Photo credit: Elizabeth Singer. At some point in your life, you will need to learn how to work a stage properly, whether you are a student presenting a paper to your classmates or an executive sharing company news with your employees. Make no mistake: you are on stage, however informal the ...

Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable

Wednesday, August 26th, 2015

Photo credit: Wayne Hile "Get comfortable being uncomfortable" is one of those pearls of wisdom that career coaches are fond of sharing to inspire others to succeed. The notion makes sense: only by stretching your comfort zone can you learn and grow, whether you are a student, a software designer, or ...

Fake It Until You Make It

Friday, July 17th, 2015

Photo Credit: Brian Schultz How would you like to have a job that requires you to be always on? Where the cameras are always rolling, and someone is always watching you? Where you smile and laugh no matter what kind of day you're having? Would you be energized? Mortified? Maybe a ...

How Acting in a Renaissance Faire Has Made Me a Better Executive

Monday, August 18th, 2014

Photo credit: Steven Bourelle This summer, I have been living two lives. During the week, I am CEO of David J. Deal Consulting, helping companies build their brands with content marketing. But during the weekends, I transform myself into Nicolas Wright, a vainglorious barrister who walks a fine line between good ...

Why Amazon and Netflix don’t always know best

Tuesday, August 16th, 2011

It’s far too easy to allow ourselves to be led around by the nose. Amazon tells us what to buy. Netflix and Pandora suggest movies and music based on our tastes. Facebook and Google+ suggest friends to us. Twitter tells us whom to follow. But those tools reinforce what we know already. ...