We never see it coming

palm trees and airplane
Yesterday doing email on a raft in the pool, a jet in upper left corner.


i think the reason i put off living vibrantly was because i was so busy trying to survive the day-to-day.

Because my life wasn’t vibrant, i kept things set to survival (busy) mode. Obviously, now is not the best time to live vibrantly, right? i’ll get to that later when i we get my life in order.

But then i thought what if this week is the best week that i’ll ever have in my entire life and i squander it and never regain it?

Thinking the best, most vibrant is ahead of us – and waiting for it – is dangerous.

That was really clear yesterday.

Yesterday, and the entire past week, has been crazy good.

Never saw it coming.

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Mentoring ambitious Cast Members is part of Disney’s Leadership culture

Disney Conference Speakers
Mentoring ambitious Cast Members is part of Disney’s Leadership culture.


Mentoring ambitious Cast Members is part of Disney’s Leadership culture. But it depends on the leader, all of whom have more responsibility and accountability than they have time to accomplish. At least it feels like it.

We met yesterday for the second time. It started from a LinkedIn connection and grew to an informal “meet and greet” – a common Disney leadership best practice.

Even though retired, my desire to help other Cast Members is vibrant.


Because it’s a glorious obligation opportunity to pay back those who mentored me.

In the spontaneous photo above, tangible proof of what passion looks like: an ambitious future leader feverishly taking notes.

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We generally suck at these three things, which explains our company culture

Orlando top Disney Keynote Speakers


Best Disney Leadership Speakers


(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.

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The two biggest adversaries to workplace thriving

Disney lakes
Mutiny on the ship never happens under great leadership. Ever.


Can you remember the last time you spoke with a business professional who said, “Can’t imagine ever leaving this job. The pay, the perks, the schedule, the recognition, the joy, my boss, the executives. It’s like heaven on earth working here”.

… can you remember?

It hardly ever plays out like this.


Because people are willing to compromise their beliefs, remain silent, accept mediocrity, and watch the clock tick by, one year at a time.


Comfort and fear.

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