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Improv can Empower Us to Live Out Our Best Jaycees Experience

—Justin Wutzke, 100th National President, JCI USA



The three foundational pillars of improv are:

• Do not take away from others reality (Say YES)

• Listen, Listen, Listen

• And for crying out loud, make a move


Pillar 1: Do not take away from others’ realities. In improv, a scene is set and that is the reality you must perform within. You must say YES, no matter what is thrown in your direction, it just needs to remain in the reality set. In Jaycees, we all have different realities, goals and experiences that we prefer and enjoy. We all can’t always agree and we all can’t have the same interests and goals. Do not yuck on someone else’s yum... say YES, empower them to go after it, plan it out, and take the steps that it will take to achieve that reality. Do not allow others to stomp out your reality. If it is truly something you are passionate about, use the Jaycees framework to make it happen. Have courage, be kind and continue forward until you achieve it.


Pillar 2: Listen. listen. Listen. Actively listen to others. Listen to their words, how they are saying it through their emotion and listen to the environment around the conversation. All of these perspectives of listening can really infer to us a lot about why something is being said because of the what, how and where. In life we take things personal and get upset because of how we perceive situations. Next time, change your thought process to listen, listen, listen. Before reacting to the intense thing that was just stated, listen to what was said… listen to the emotion it was said in—they are angry, sad, excited… listen to what is around them and you… is it high stress, are we under deadline, is it carefree and lax, has something personal happened to the person. The more we pay attention to these things, the less we may take things personal, out of context and instead take them for how they actually were meant. Extend grace to others that they may be out of character when they say something and follow back up with them to confirm what you perceived.


The final pillar: For crying out loud, make a move. In improv, you’re on stage and you have a limited amount of time to keep the audience engaged, so just make a move and do something. It is better than not doing anything at all. Make a decision. Act. In Jaycees, we talk ALOT. We are given that one year to lead and it is our job to have conversations. Conversations with lots of members, but then quickly begin to take action. Take a chance. You have the opportunity now. You know what you need for success. You have one year to lead… make a decision. Make it count. Take the opportunity to succeed or fail and learn from mistakes.


The key to building value in the Jaycees is the relationship we build with one another and

the value we feel as being part of this great organization. Empower yourself to not take away from others’ realities, to listen, listen, listen and for crying out loud, make a decision and take action.

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©2020 by JCI USA.