Welcome to Change Your Mindset (formerly known as Improv Is No Joke) where it is all about believing that strong communication skills are the best way in delivering your technical accounting knowledge and growing your business. The way of building stronger communication skills is by embracing the principles of applied improvisation. Your host is Peter Margaritis, CPA a.k.a. The Accidental Accountant, will interview financial professionals and business leaders to find their secret in building stronger relationships with their clients, customers, associates, and peers, all the while, growing their businesses.
Ep. 54 – How Allen Lloyd Went from Executive Assistant to CEO Using the Principles of Improvisation
Today’s guest is Allen Lloyd, the new CEO of the Montana Society of CPA’s and the former Senior Manager of the Board of Executive Operations at the Ohio Society of CPA’s. In this interview, you will learn how Allen employed principles of improvisation to build trust, create new opportunities, learn new skills, and grow as a leader.
We also have some fun (and learn a little bit more about two-way communication) by playing an improv game! You can find instructions to play that game with your team at the bottom of this post.
Allen started his career in accounting as an Executive Assistant. It’s been a long, strange road from the offices of Norman, Jones, Enlow, & Co to the mountains of Montana, but a lot of his success came from being willing to improvise, try new things, and listen.
It’s important to remember that Improv isn’t making stuff up. It’s going into a room with nothing but walking out with something because you collaborated on an idea.
Allen really understands how to be an active listener and collaborator. It’s a simple concept but, in practice, it can be very difficult to park your agenda, listen to understand, and then have a response… especially in today’s age of cellphones and the two-second news cycle.
However, the ability to ask questions and then listen to everybody’s input, comments, ideas, and then formulate some type of plan from that is critical for any good leader.
Leadership isn’t being in charge – it’s listening so you can help the person next to you.
“You can do more things by empowering others and giving them the tools they need than you’re ever going to be able to do by yourself.”
LAST WORD GAME: An improv game for you and your team
During the interview, Allen and I play the Last Word Game. It can be a lot of fun, but it also helps teach active listening because you can’t get ahead of yourself, which happens far too often in day-to-day conversations. Every player is required to listen to every word the other person says before they say anything.
Here’s how you play:
- Separate into pairs
- The first person says a sentence – any sentence
- The second person follows up with a new sentence using the last word from the previous sentence.
Person 1: Follow is something that leaders are good at getting people to do is to follow them.
Person 2: Them trees are growing outside.
Person 1: Outside is where I’d rather be right now because the sun is shining.
Person 2: Shining praise on your people is a very important thing to do as a leader.
Please let us know if you play this game with your team and tell us how it went. You can get in touch with Peter on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram.
- See what Allen is doing at the Montana Society of CPAs
- Be a Great Leader: How to Inspire Others to do Remarkable Things w/ Simon Sinek
Production & Development for Improv Is No Joke by Podcast Masters
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