For the EVOLution of Business

Improvising Your Way to Conscious Leadership with Megan Mack

Episode Summary

Trusting ourselves, building emotional intelligence, leading with vulnerability and listening mindfully. They may sound like platitudes for building trust on a team, but what is common sense is far from common practice in our lives and in our leadership. Tune in to this episode with Megan Mack to hear how the practice of improv can make you a better leader at work and in life. "Just have fun, and the funny comes!" Megan is an improviser, sketch comedy writer, and television and radio producer. She is a graduate of the Conservatory and Writing programs at The Second City Training Centre in Toronto, and has studied with Jimmy Carrane, Armando Diaz, Susan Messing, T.J. Jagodowski, and David Pasquesi. Megan performs with the sketch comedy and improve troupe, Thank You Kiss, and teaches improvisation at the Rochester Brainery, the University of Rochester, the Focus Theatre, Writers and Books, and for a variety of companies and corporations. When she's not on stage or teaching, she's the producer of "Connections with Evan Dawson" at WXXI Radio.

Episode Notes

[1:15] Megan's path to from Conan O'Brien to improv training at Second City

[3:45] How comedy writing and improv reinforce each other

[4:45] How an improv mindset helps Megan as a producer and occasional host of Connections on WXXI (Tune in on AM 1370 in Rochester on weekdays from 12-2 or listen to the podcast "Connections with Evan Dawson")

[7:00] Practicing improv as a way to be a better listener

[11:00] What does it mean to "Yes, And..."

[13:20] Bringing "Yes, And" to leadership, life and business

[17:00] Using improv to build trust, vulnerability and emotional intelligence on a team - "Just have fun and the funny comes."

[26:00] Developing an interest in becoming a teacher

[28:00] Megan's current performing groups and how to build chemistry as a team

[37:30] Building trust in yourself through improv - "It's the art form. When you're preaching 'Yes, And' you're preaching acceptance. When you practice that in scenes, it carries on into life."

[40:50] The "Don't Think" principle
Alan Alda's book "If I Understood You, Would I Have this Look on My Face"
Alda Center for Communicating Science:

Improvise by Mick Napier with at home exercises:

[43:00] The intersection of the Improv and Mindfulness movements

[44:45] Building emotional intelligence and "group mind"

[47:00] Being intentional about creating physical space for trust


Contact Megan at or on twitter at @mmackmedia, see her upcoming classes at the Rochester Brainery here:

Learn more about Second City Improv here: