To be honest I wouldn’t normally read celebrity biogs on holiday but having devoured my planned reading material I turned to my daughter’s book – Chris Evans ‘It’s not what you think’ on the BBC DJ and TV celebrity’s early years.
In my innovation and creativity training sessions I am fastidious about finding lessons from unusual and unexpected places.
Here are 6 lessons for your innovation, creativity and flexible thinking skills inspired by Chris Evans’ life story:
1. Deliver 110% enthusiasm – make what you do, your passion
The word ‘passionate’ is somewhat abused – with many mundane suppliers describing their most mundane of services or products as their ‘passion’.
Yet, Chris Evans has an evident quality – if you listen to his radio shows, and even in his first job as a newspaper delivery boy – is his passion, or enthusiasm for what he is doing.
If you want success, to achieve your goals – and want others to give you opportunities and resources, you need to show your passion, your enthusiasm to stand out from the crowd.
I prefer using ‘enthusiasm’ rather than ‘passion’, recognising it as a word with wonderful heritage: it is derived from the Greek ‘entheos’ – meaning ‘the God within’; enthusiasm is about unleashing the God within, rather than just being giddy about the task in hand.
In what ways can you unleash your God within on whatever you are doing?
2. Study your craft
Chris Evans story is of many hours working behind the scenes, learning the basics, the craft of his trade, whether it was unpaid work, unsexy work stints doing the graveyard radio shows, or the unintentional mistakes and learning from them and the many different people you encounter.
Few business professional even bother to read a book about their craft. Having written five books, I have a saying that if you want to keep a secret – put it in the middle of a book!
What ways can you do more to develop your core craft skills?
3. Have humility and hibris to your mentors
Chris Evans shares his love of professional heroes – mentors, people he has learnt from whether it was manic presenter Timmy Mallett to ‘The Dude’ – the unnamed legendary broadcaster who refused to come out of the toilet during a live show.
Chris demonstrates the key quality of a ‘hibris’ attitude state – humility: no matter how arrogant you may be about your own personal qualities you recognise you always have something to learn, particularly from your heroes.
Who are your heroes? What can you learn from them? What ways can you learn from them each day?
4. Prepare your spontaneity
Chris Evans gives the wonderful appearance of winging it: he turns up, says the first thing in his head and delights an audience. Wrong.
His show is well planned and rehearsed to the second. Even the ad libs. That’s not to suggest you should not be spontaneous, but rather your spontaneity is better grounded, and more likely to be successful with planning, than chancing the totally off-chance remark.
As Louis Pasteur once noted: Chance only favours the prepared mind.
5. Bounce back – again and again
No matter how talented, enthusiastic, well-crafted person you are, you will have knock-backs, and negatives in your career. Chris Evans is no different, and is perhaps testimony to the adage, the bigger you are, the bigger you fall.
Chris Evans autobiography could have been called ‘Picking myself up’ with his succession of setbacks.
Are you still feeling sorry for yourself, wounded by someone else’s failure to recognise your brilliance? Or are you going to do something about it. Like a scratched record, Chris Evans bounced back – repeatedly.
6. Be mobile
Yes, Chris Evans career included a time as a mobile DJ which included an episode where his entire record collection even fell out of the back of his car, but Evans was also mobile to new opportunities throughout his career from moving fromWarringtontoManchester, toLondonand even on a day trip toNew Yorkon Concorde.
What ways do you need to be more mobile to open up new doors, new territories, or the chance to meet new people?
Use these six tips to boost your innovation, creativity and flexible thinking – to adapt Chris Evans’ book title, it’s not what you think, but how you use your thinking!