Three days after the Disney Retirement party, Walt Disney World honored all the 20, 25, 30, 35, 40 and 45 year Cast Service Awards at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, on a single night, massive scale.
As a Disney Executive, Cheryl had double duty: hosting honored Cast Members in her Human Resources Division as well as being an honored and celebrated Cast Member herself.
This annual tradition is generally held near calendar year end. It has become so large that an entire Disney Theme Park is required to host the thousands of Cast Members, their Guests, as well as the Disney Executive Leadership Team and Catering and Events Team.
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This website is about our MIND. To read today’s post about our BODY, click here.
(photos: Placing us at the scene of the crime…third row, dead center… ha, ha, ha)
It all comes down to leadership, culture and time doesn’t it? A great culture doesn’t suck as much as a poor culture because the leaders are better at using their time to intentionally drive the internal service culture (the employee experience).
Two nights ago at the Walt Disney World Service Awards, we randomly sat in the third row, dead center for a special, one-of-a-kind (and one night only) return of the comedy warehouse.
The comedian took a moment to poll the audience and have them clap when their years of service were announced. We were the only two who clapped at 30, and were also the last two to clap – the senior people in the audience. Who knew? What happened next was the question, “What was the worst thing that ever happened to you at Disney?”
Here’s the freaky thing. A brain freeze. Nothing compelling was ever remembered as a ‘nightmare’, so the answer was supposed to be fun (yet true), “Leaving each day.”
They needed something juicier, so they pressed… and got to this, “Closing New Year’s Eve and opening New Year’s Day.” At Disney’s Grand Floridian.
The six performers sang a little ditty tying the two together and closed out the show.
In retrospect a key insight was revealed: a positive mental attitude can cure many things, like the daily frustrations challenges of working in a demanding, high-pressure, high expectation, expensive, can’t-say-no-to-the-Guests environment.