CNLP 102: What Leaders and Communicators Can Learn from Improv – Andrew Bright on the Rules of Improv

Improv has always fascinated me, so when I had a chance to sit down with Andrew Bright, I jumped at it. What shocked me is not only what the rules of improv can teach you about comedy, but what they can teach you about leadership.

Welcome to Episode 102 of the Podcast.


Guest Links: Andrew Bright

Andrew Bright

The Panic Squad

Improv Story Spine

5 Lessons from Improv That Can Build Your Team

Improv Leadership: A Comedian’s Guide to Effective Leadership in an Unscripted Workplace – Podcast Listeners, use the code careyiscool for an exclusive discount!

Andrew on Facebook

Andrew on Twitter

Andrew on Instagram 

Links Mentioned


The Orange Tour 

Jim Gaffigan

Brian Regan

Tim Hawkins

Michael Jr.

Leland Klassen 

Matt Falk

Taylor Tomlinson

Jon Acuff; Episode 64

30 Days of Hustle

3 Things You Can Do Right Away

Improv isn’t just used in comedy to illustrate a fictional narrative. It’s an incredible tool that can build better relationships, create stronger teams and encourage unique ideas among those you lead. Andrew shares his valuable insight on how you can leverage improv in your organization to optimize results.

  1. Always says YES (No Blocking). Agree with another person’s ideas. Do not block their idea by saying “no” or replacing it with a “better” idea. Accepting ideas that are offered allows you to move the scene forward and build some momentum.Blocking the idea by saying “no” or offering a different idea stalls the action, brings you back to square one, and tells others, “I’m not willing to support your ideas.”
  1. You must contribute to the scene (No Wimping). An improv scene is created when actors build upon each other’s ideas. You must say “yes” to someone else’s idea, AND you must be willing to contribute your own ideas. The more specific you make your ideas, the better.Momentum killers in Improv: The two biggest momentum killers in improv are fear and ego. Actors say “no” because they don’t trust their own ability to support an idea, or they think they have a better idea. You must learn to respect other ideas and trust the process of improv.The beautiful thing is, Rules #1 and #2 work together. You can fearlessly offer ideas because based on Rule #1, everyone else will enthusiastically support whatever idea you offer. Just like you will support their ideas. Now your off and running.
  1. Be present and listen for offers. Every actor must be engaged in the scene. They must know what has already happened, where we are now, and what needs to happen next. A good actor is focused and constantly listening for offers and ideas from her team. The opposite of listening is preconceiving. When an actor has already decided where he wants to take the scene, everyone else has stopped listening.

The Lasting Impact Team Edition


The team edition is a compilation of eight videos designed to allow the teams in your church follow along as a supplement to the book. I highlight key points from the material and discuss additional hot topics that relate to your ministry.

Get your copy of Lasting Impact today! 

Lasting Impact frames 7 pivotal conversations every church team needs to have, covering subjects like declining church attendance, team health, creating a culture volunteers love and how to engineer changes in your church.

Order on Amazon, or visit! The video team edition, featuring 8 videos where I teach through the key concepts in the book, is available now as well!

Quotes from this Episode


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Next Episode: Gavin Adams

This episode is a great example of why I love the chance to do this podcast. Gavin Adams, lead pastor of Woodstock City Church—a rapidly growing church of 8,500—talk off the cuff about what he learned on sabbatical, getting healthy and the challenges of scaling a church.

Subscribe for free now, and you won’t miss Episode 103.

1 Comment

  1. […] leadership and shares what he’s learned as my guest this week in a fascinating interview on Episode 102 of my Leadership Podcast. I asked Andrew if he would also be willing to share some leadership principles of improv with you. […]

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