083: The power of improvisation with Mike Ganino

Mike Ganino is a former Chief Operating Officer at one of the fastest growing fast casual brands and now leads his own training and consulting organization.  

Mike is also a leading expert on building a great restaurant and hospitality brand with innovative training and speaking on culture design, people systems, positive leadership, and branding. He has worked with a number of category leading brands like Pressed Juicery, Protein Bar, Yum! Brands, Potbelly Sandwich Shop, ChowNow, USFoods, and Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises. 
Today, he will tell us how he uses all these amazing experiences to help companies, leaders, and individual contributors embrace change, accelerate growth, and achieve breakthrough performance.  
It All Started With Improvisation 
His years in the ultra-competitive business industry has made Mike a master of improvisation; however, looking back, he said that his improvisation skills were probably developed even earlier than that — back when he was a kid growing up in a low-income household where improvisation was not an option, but a necessary part of everyday life. 
Developing the Language 
Mike shares that he learned to figure out how to make the most of whatever he has at an early age — eventually becoming so adept at it that people started approaching him for tips.  
The problem was, it’s something that comes instinctively to him that he didn’t even know how to explain it. That’s until he stumbled upon a book that teaches what it calls the “Yes, And” mindset.  
The “Yes, And” Mindset 
Sometimes, we spend too much time worrying over how our words come across that we fail to connect with our audience. Mike said that’s what adopting the “Yes, And” mindset fixed for him.  
Once he learned how to stop saying “No, I can’t. That’s not gonna work” and started saying “Yes, and? I’m listening” whenever something new comes up instead, opportunities he never thought were possible began opening up to him left and right. Those opportunities included public speaking. 
Telling Your Story 
Everyone wants to share their story, but not everyone wants to listen to other people’s — and that’s why everyone keeps missing the point. 
To really know how you can make an impact on other people, Mike said that you need to listen to what they say.  Ask questions. Ask them what they think of you, how you have helped them, and what else you can do for them. Make adjustments if necessary.  
Sometimes, you won’t even realize your own potential until someone points it out to you. 
Building Relationships 
If there’s something that Mike has always been grateful for, it’s that he made a lot of great partnerships and connections. He admits that he’s always performed better when he works with a group, and this is why he’s so passionate about helping organizations to truly connect with their members. 
Public Speaking Advice 
Mike often gets asked what advice he can give to people who want to get into public speaking, and he said that there are three things that you need to remember: Celebrity, Expertise, and Skills. You need to be able to make a name for yourself, and to do that, you need to show how good you are at solving problems, but not only that, you need to have the delivery skills to connect with your audience so you can show them what you can do.  
Favorite Book Recommendation 
Mike has always been very vocal of how the “Yes, And” mindset has impacted his life, and this why he highly recommends Kelly Leonard and Tom Yorton’s “Yes, And: How Improvisation Reverses “No, But” Thinking and Improves Creativity and Collaboration–Lessons from The Second City.” 

If you have an event coming up and would like to know how Mike can help you, you can get in touch with him via his official website. While there, you can also check out testimonials from his previous clients to get an idea of what it’s like to work with him. 

Michael Hudson083: The power of improvisation with Mike Ganino