Review time for Involvement

Disney Holiday Passport, 2016
Disney Holiday Passport, 2016. Writing today from Epcot.

What you are about to read was written years ago. It is part of my Disney Leadership Insights book. It is randomly being shared today…

What’s the difference between training and development?

Training to meet customer expectations:

  • Trainers
  • Procedures
  • Manuals
  • Objective evaluations
  • Compliance

Development to exceed customer expectations:

  • Leaders
  • No procedures
  • No manuals
  • Subjective evaluation
  • Commitment

We lump these two entirely different tools together as “Training and Development”.

Why is that dangerous?

Lost opportunity.

Easy opportunity.


Leaders, which team will win, a well-trained and compliant team, or an amazingly developed and committed team?

When was the last time you developed yourself?

Remind me again how i know if i developed myself?

  • You did something you’ve never done before.
  • You were entirely out of your comfort zone.
  • You made and pursued a lofty goal, and in succeeding or failing, you grew.
  • You had a surprising, delightful epiphany about your abilities.
  • You make being out of your comfort zone your new comfort zone.

Got it?

PS. You didn’t read a manual, you didn’t attend a class, and you didn’t follow your normal routine.

Specific examples of development

When Nicole pulled you (a business owner) aside and said, “You’re a great manager, but not a great leader.”

When i told you (a chief executive) to share your vision and you pushed back.

Coaching. There are a million ways to coach.

Mentoring. There are a million ways to mentor.

Feedback. There are a million ways to provide feedback.

Opportunity. Seven months as the Grand Floridian Guest Satisfaction Measurement Champion for 1,400 Cast Members and 100 salaried leaders. An example of unintentional development. My boss didn’t do this to develop me. There was a need and i was the one my boss’s boss thought was the best fit.

Two sentences in a regularly scheduled meeting with my boss: “Jeff, not everyone on the executive team likes you. When we’re in meetings, just zip it.” This was literally the best development i received in 15 years at Disney Institute. Bottomline, a negative blind spot revealed can be career altering.

A comment from a boss’s observation that you never knew before. My boss, a different one than above, finally observed a co-facilitated engagement and said, “Jeff, you really command the room.” No one had ever said that to me. Bottomline, a positive blind spot revealed can be career altering.

Being brave. Some big obvious examples. Publishing a book while at Disney. Starting an LLC, six years before retiring from Disney. Overcoming addiction midway through my 30-year Disney career.

Being authentic, at the risk of being perceived unfavorably, running my speaking and advisory business differently than literally every other successful speaker. No speaking videos, no email collection, no testimonials, no fancy website, and walking away from any gig that doesn’t meet my (big-league) high, minimum speaking price.

You know how many speakers walk away from a fee well over $15k for a keynote? Repeatedly? Not many.

The whole point of development is to do one thing brilliantly.

To move a highly trained, professional team of compliant employees to an unstoppable team of fully committed, heart-and-soul-on-fire employees.

Please don’t over-think this.

The 19 organizational blueprints are meant to be the starting point. Simple. Fundamental. Foundational.

Drawings – the ideas, concepts, tenants of your organization – are the easy part.

Constructing a cathedral will take many people and will take a long time.

But once built, will be beautiful and functional and the benchmark by which others aspire to build.

•  •  •  •  •

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

Top 3 leadership priorities?

Disney Culture expert, Jeff Noel architecture
Today’s posts walk through all five industry-neutral organizational pillars. You probably know this, Reputation is synonymous with Brand Loyalty. And, Improvement is synonymous with Creativity and Innovation.
Disney Leadership Speaker Jeff Noel
You know firsthand how powerful clarity is with your own priorities.

A leader and a direct report are paired and each has a Post-it note. The leader writes the top three leadership priorities she expects of her direct report. And the direct report writes the top three leadership priorities she thinks the leader expects from her.

What are the odds the lists match?

Whatever percentage you guessed, why?

What does a SWOT analysis reveal from your number?

Bonus: Imagine if it was always a 100% match with every pair of employees.

Note: SWOT = Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats.

•  •  •  •  •

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

Scale exceeding expectations

Disney Institute workshop Speaker Jeff Noel
Two-day Leadership engagement. Louisville.

Scale your products so the ideal customer receives what they are hungry for. Not only feed them, but give them the recipe so they can feed themselves.

•  •  •  •  •

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

What are Leaders hungry for?

Disney Institute Keynote Speaker Jeff Noel
If you love what you do and why you do it, congrats. If you’re still wondering what it might look like, this photo sums it up.

What are Leaders hungry for?

  • Trust
  • Growth
  • Clarity
  • Mentor
  • Development
  • Solutions
  • Relief
  • Accountability
  • Commitment
  • Joy
  • Fun

•  •  •  •  •

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

Order up

Disney Keynote Speaker Jeff Noel
In office photo shoot with Disney photographer Ty Boyce, 2019.

“Order up” is what a cook says when placing a ready plate on the wait staff pickup shelf.

Way before any of this is possible, brainstorming the menu happens.


It’s important to think through what hungry people want to eat, what would easily sell, what has a decent profit margin, and what is practical to store and prepare repeatedly?

Wisdom: Whatever you decide to “cook” at scale, it should fill your soul with a higher purpose you can’t find doing anything else.

•  •  •  •  •

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