Rob Wicall explains the importance of accountability for everyone working in Live Events.

There are so many variables that are out of your control during a live sporting event. Even if you perfectly plan every single detail, things can still go awry.

Your promotion, skit, presentation, game…whatever it is, can always fail depending on factors you cannot plan for.

Intermission hockey

Question: How do you handle the failure?

Answer: You take responsibility.

Wait? What if it wasn’t your fault?

Take responsibility.

What if you couldn’t have ever foreseen the problem?

Take responsibility.

Do you see a theme yet?

Holding oneself accountable and taking responsibility for everything within your purview does a number of things:

  1. If everyone involved is taking responsibility, the chances of something going wrong is reduced drastically.
  2. It ends any finger pointing, back stabbing, under-the-bus-throwing, and any other phrase you know that means derailing the show.
  3. When everyone is willing to “fall on their own sword”, or hold themselves accountable, then you have a team that is able to get better. But when a person chooses to throw responsibility on others, they find no fault in themselves; so they won’t ever be able to get any better.

Thrown under the Bus

Live entertainment is hard to pull off well. There are so many moving parts. There are so many people involved. The ability to call a game that accomplishes what you set out to do is harder than a circus balancing act. Kudos to those who have done it. When your show goes awry, don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. Don’t go overboard!

Simply hold yourself accountable to the production value and set the ship straight. Do what’s necessary to do better next time. As long as you are doing better each and every time you put on a show, you will get to where you want to be.

So, now that you are ready to fall on the sword you just need the proper setting.

Jonny Greco from Shine Entertainment talked about the 5 E’s of Entertainment on a recent Huddle Call on Plus.  One of those E’s is EVALUATE.  Meaning an honest reflection of your work with a focus on “PROS and GROWS”. Pros are the positives, the good things you accomplished and how.  In lieu of CONS, Jonny focuses on the opportunities to GROW.  What didn’t work, why and how can you make that better next time.

Jonny Greco:  Pros and grows was something I came up with. It’s my hopeful, romantic, endless optimism. It’s something I just came up with because I didn’t like the way it felt when people talked about pros and cons.

It was like, oh, there’s good and bad.  I’m like, what if there’s good and then good, right?

Jon Cudo:  That’s the ultimate Johnny Greco answer, ha!

Jonny Greco:  It makes me feel better, especially, like, delivering it to them….

‘I need you to be accountable about this mistake you made. Hey, man, this was what you did really well, and here’s what didn’t go good for me.’

Instead it is like, ‘Here’s what you did really well, and here’s your opportunity to get better.’

It’s saying the same thing, but, man, in my space and my creative mindset, I want to make sure I’m allowing all my people to produce their position. That’s a term I use a lot. Whether you’re over empowering them right. What’s that? Empowering them right is what you’re saying.

Rob Wicall:  I love it.

Jonny Greco:  Yes. If you produce what you do, I produce what I do. We’re all producing our bits together. All of a sudden, again, cliche quote JFK, “Rising tide raises all ships”, but everyone is accountable for their own moments.

It just sounds better. Am I accountable or am I producing my position? I think the words really matter and how we tee up our artists and our creatives to create even better.

Rob, Jon Cudo and Jonny Greco discussed this on the October 2022 Party in the Back Podcast, including this transcription from Jonny why he reframes Pros and Cons to Pros and Grows.

07 July 2017 NXT Wrestling Jacksonville House Show

Successful event producer World Wrestling Entertainment has robust system to EVALUATE every live event.  Several people involved in the event, like the Live Event producers write reports covering everything like crowd reactions, talent interactions and successful lighting enhancements.  These evaluations help ensure the show is constantly evolving and improving. They are not an opportunity to finger point, rather a reflection on the growth and an ongoing effort to make events the best they can be.

Whether its a report, a conversation or self-reflection game operations professionals need to be aware of the success of the show elements and the role they played in making them work.  Conversely each needs to be searching for way to grow and improve when things don’t go as planned.

October 2022 Party in the Back Podcast

About the Author

As a lifelong student of human interaction, Rob Wicall has obsessed over creating impactful connections for millions of people as a an actor, water skier, stunt man, mascot, and entrepreneur.

Rob has established himself as an expert in making moments, creating connections, and he enjoys sharing his experience in Character Building Techniques with anyone who will listen.

More with Rob Wicall

  • Recap: What is your End Game with Rob Wicall – Rob Wicall leads a discussion on how to build a successful end of game playbook to get the most out of your elements.
  • Between the Fur: Rob Wicall –  Kenn Solomon is joined by Rob Wicall the long time Spurs Coyote.
  • Between the Fur: Being Cute is Death – Host Kenn Solomon talks to Robert Boudwin, Jon Absey, Rob Wicall and others on art of performing and catching the attention of large crowds.
  • Mascot Mechanics – Wicall and Cudo boil down the mechanics of being a strong effective mascot character into 3 main traits: Be Aware, Be a Character and Be a Professional with 10 ways to keep your character focussed on success.
  • The Show extends to EVERYONE – A new series from Rob Wicall provides his insights and philosophy for your best show. HIs first installment looks at extending the show to your entire staff.

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