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Keep calm and shake it out by Richard Tyler

Your comfort zone is holding you back, says author Richard Tyler. Thinking and acting differently could be pivotal to your success.


If every day looks much like the last, and your actions and those of the people around you seem to run on autopilot, you could be missing out on the opportunity to achieve extraordinary results in all areas of your life. That’s the passionate belief of author and business entrepreneur Richard Tyler, whose book Jolt: Shake up your thinking and upgrade your impact for extraordinary success, outlines the way to unleash our inner spark. “We’re living in a space where good enough is not enough,” explains Tyler. “In the workplace, it’s not sufficient just to turn up and do a good job.

The demands on us will only increase and so we need to push beyond the everyday to be successful. We can all crisis manage, but forcing ourselves to jolt our systems into doing things differently can have amazing results.” Tyler’s background is in performance as an opera singer, and for eight years he played lead roles in Phantom of the Opera and Les Miserables on the world’s stages. In the performance world, he says there is no space for ‘good’ or sitting still. “You have to keep moving things on,” he explains, “and after each performance we would ask what we could do better or differently to make it an even greater
experience for the next show. ‘Jolt’ is an inherent attitude in performance that doesn’t exist in business.”

Using his observations from the performance arena, combined with a decade of behavioural psychology training, Tyler now coaches businesses and individuals, many of whom need to reinvigorate their thinking to survive and thrive. “In my work now as a coach and speaker, I invite organisations to look at issues through this different lens. Most business leaders think a skills workshop will fix things, but ‘Jolt’ is about attitude, belief and upgrading our habits. We learn most when we are on edge and uncomfortable. I experienced this myself many years ago in rehearsal when a director shouted at me, ‘When you are on stage, be on stage’. “It’s a concept that can be used in business too – we need to disrupt and be more present in the room. If we are lost in our heads, in our own stuff, we lose the ability to pay attention. We need to spend more time in the present, paying attention, looking for cues and what’s not said. It’s not the notes that are played that we need to focus on, it’s what happens in between.

“We need to think of ourselves as ‘possibility architects’, as opposed to ‘impossibility architects’ whose natural reactions are, ‘can’t, don’t, won’t’. Instead of thinking change is unachievable, we need to think, ‘how do we build the frameworks to make it happen’. If we start to ask how we can make it work, we make it better. “Daily upgrades are something we’re used to in daily life – we turn on our phones and they tell us the latest operating software is available for download. In fact it’s something tech companies like Apple, Google and Facebook do very well, constantly looking to improve. We need to apply the same approach to our thinking, to evolve, tweak and treat yesterday as out of date.”

Richard Tyler is author of Jolt: Shake up your thinking and upgrade your impact for extraordinary success, published by Capstone.

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