Yesterday I attended a networking function ran by the Australian Malaysian and Singaporean Association at the Crown Group. Their CEO, Iwan Sunito, was giving a talk and Q&A about his life, his book ‘From Borneo to Bloomberg’ and Crown’s new Sydney development. It was an interesting talk that Mr Sunito gave, in particular, the question of what makes a good leader was answered with ‘momentum’. The idea of ‘momentum’ was that the leader has to be passionate enough to impart that same passion to their staff and stakeholders.
It was this momentum that created the buzz, the drive and the ‘halo’ effect that begets growth in all levels – financial, personal, experiential (my take away, not specifically mentioned by Mr Sunito). He also mentioned that to create or maintain ‘momentum’, there has to be new things being introduced – whether it was bad or good was dependent on the individual. Finally, he was asked if he encountered racism when doing business in his early days, which he replied that he thought that the answered wasn’t to cry racism but rather to foster relationships as that’s when it transcends that notion of race.
What’s my take on this?
I think what Mr Sunito calls ‘momentum’ is what I loosely call ‘energy’ (if you can think of a better word, by all means let me know) in the classes and workshops I teach. Through the games we play in the classroom, both children and adults manage to create that infectious, positive energy which in turn drives others to have that same energy. Why? Because you’re being passionate, genuine and present to those around you. And it increases exponentially as every person one ‘infects’ with this energy/momentum, that same energy builds and builds. This is what happens on a stage with performers and their audience (at least in my shows). If you bring a positive, exuberant energy to anything, it’ll catch on. Let me put it another way: you know how something fast will often pick up lighter objects in their slipstream wake? That’s what it’s like.
And what about something new building that ‘momentum’? Like I say in the classes, “every line is potentially a start of a new scene” – so in improv, that energy is always there because everything happening is new. It’s not rehashed material (unless you’ve got a really lazy performer), so the audience is typically interested. Increase that energy/momentum, and you take the audience on that same journey with every step, every direction, every interaction building up the energy from the last. So how are you building up that positive energy? Ask yourself what are you doing different today with positive exuberance? Anything? If not, then start something.
What of the racism versus fostering relationships? I whole heartedly agree. Second main rule of improv: “the most important person in a scene is your scene partner”. I know I keep harping on about that, but people do appreciate being listened to and having their conversation partner being present and genuine. If you’re present and genuine, then you’re not even thinking about notions like race because that’s a generalisation concept. You’re more interested about the individual. It’s similar to asking someone not “what do you do for work?” but rather “what inspires you to get out of bed in the morning?”.
Anyway, I’ll probably end up getting his book (if I have the time..!!), but it’s nice to know that one of the leaders in their industry has the same notion as to what I’m teaching to adults and kids, albeit using different terminology.
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