Fear is a Liar

Disney's Boardwalk Resort
Writing from Disney’s Boardwalk Resort Convention Center today.

Fear is a liar

Life isn’t fair until you realize it is fair.

Life is unfair to everyone.

Many leaders felt threatened by Judson’s vision. Many thought it was laughable; it will never work.

Many, of which i include myself, thought it was the best thing and the most important thing to ever happen at Walt Disney World.

But the largest group of leaders (roughly 60% in the middle of love and hate) took a wait and see attitude.

This 60% is also known as the wait and see demographic. Cautiously optimistic, but realistically doubtful because they’ve seen promises like this come and go before.

Back to the fear.

The only constant is change.

The more things stay the same, the more things change.

Something is only impossible until the first person does it.

Every leader is responsible for making things better than they found them; to push past fear and doubt and risk.

If you let your guard down, fear will lie to you in an academy award winning performance.

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This website is about our MIND. To read today’s post about our BODY, click here.

The Law of The Inverted Leadership Pyramid

Walt Disney unveiling EPCOT plans
Disney book writing from Epcot’s Innoventions Pavilion.

The Law of The Inverted Leadership Pyramid

Judson Green’s greatest impact on Walt Disney World was helping 6,000 salaried leaders, and tens of thousands of employees (Cast Members) .think .differently about the traditional top-down leadership pyramid model.

His approach was simple.

Flip the pryamid upside down.

Done.

This is the way we will operate from now on.

Get used to it.

Please know it’s not a flavor of the month.

It’s not a knee-jerk reaction to tough economic times.

Quite simply, we are putting the people (Cast Members) who know the most about the job, in charge of being the ones who drive change, improvement, and creative adaptations.

Many leaders felt threatened.

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This website is about our MIND. To read today’s post about our BODY, click here.

Become the Leadership Excellence Category

Walt Disney World Steam Train
Hometown traffic.

Become the Leadership Excellence Category

Lead the category or be the category?

Striving to lead your industry isn’t entirely bad if you’re ok with waiting for someone else to beat you to the next breakthrough.

Why does that sound ridiculous?

Why is it important?

Because some ridiculously important (some would say game-changing) events have happened, are happening now, and will continue to happen.

It’s called disruption for a reason.

Waiting for it to happen can destroy an organization (and sometimes an industry).

Making it happen can launch competitive immunity and have your competition scrambling to recover.

Remember how the music industry let Napster reinvent music file sharing?

Music executives got blind-sided.

As if that wasn’t enough, the music industry never saw a computer company coming either.

Apple, iPod, iTunes, and now, Apple Music.

Apple is a category of one.

The music industry had their chance to become the category.

Kodak had their chance too, but they held so tightly to film, they suffocated themselves.

How does this train of thought affect Disney?

For decades we had a top-down approach to Disney Leadership. Classic command and control, do-what-you’re told, follow orders, don’t question authority.

Enter the 1990’s.

What is remarkable about this topic is the Walt Disney Company didn’t change. Not as a whole. Rather, it was a single business unit, Walt Disney World, that took a game-changing leadership risk.

Judson Green, a visionary leader at Walt Disney World, saw the future of Disney Leadership differently and led the change.

Judson became a leadership category of one because he took action contrary to the way Disney ran its businesses since 1923.

Judson saw a future where employees would literally be in charge of continuous improvement and managers would become facilitators, teachers, and coaches.

One-third of our leaders rejoiced, one-third took a wait and see attitude, and one-third said it would never work. The distribution percentage was roughly 20-60-20.

Personally, i thought it was pure genius.

i also thought it was long overdue.

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This website is about our MIND. To read today’s post about our BODY, click here.

jeff noel Deconstructed Disney to reconstruct Leadership, for your future enjoyment

Reedy Creek Fire Department
Back at Reedy Creek Fire Department. It’s close and easy to park.

jeff noel Deconstructed Disney to reconstruct Leadership, for your future enjoyment

If you’ve visited a Disney Theme Park, the odds are high you’ve seen at least one sign like this:

Please pardon our appearance while we refurbish this attraction for your future enjoyment.

Walt Disney Attractions

Why are the odds high?

The odds are great because Disney is always working to improve the Guest Experience.

Consider the effort, though. Every Attraction is unique, and each one comes with a different set of issues, opportunities, and strengths.

Closer inspection then will yield you a quick, and much deeper, appreciation.

Now imagine the difference between one closer inspection versus a lifetime of seeing it under a microscope.

When you see the actual DNA, the smallest pieces that hold the Disney Culture together, everything you believe in, and why, changes.

When i saw the Disney Institute participants struggle with our Leadership Excellence content, which focused on what we do and how we do it, i set out to find a breakthrough for those struggling business professionals.

i was on a mission to crystallize why, and how, we do what we do.

The why took me to the microscope, which led to brilliantly simplistic discoveries.

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This website is about our MIND. To read today’s post about our BODY, click here.

The Leadership Gospel According To Walt Disney

Reedy Creek Fire Department
Day 22: Reedy Creek Fire Department. Parked and wrote from car.

The Leadership Gospel According To Walt Disney

Gospel: gos·pel, noun: Something regarded as true and implicitly believed: to take his report for gospel. A doctrine regarded as of prime importance: political gospel.

The good news, Disney’s Approach to Leadership Excellence is simple and serves as the world’s business gospel.

The bad news is it’s not easy.

When i first discovered i had high cholesterol, the doctor recommended two simple steps to lower the risk of heart disease.

Diet and exercise.

Simple.

Not easy.

Disney’s Approach to Leadership Excellence, you’ll see in a moment, is ridiculously simple.

And yet finding an organizational culture of overwhelming leadership excellence is roughly as statistically similar as finding a large number of vibrantly healthy American adults.

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This website is about our MIND. To read today’s post about our BODY, click here.