Let’s Fix Work Episode 68
This week I welcome Dan Cockerell to the show. Once upon a time, Dan was the VP of Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom. He is now an Executive Coach, Keynote Speaker, and Leadership Mentor. Because this is a podcast about leadership and work, it was only fitting to have an ex-Disney executive on to talk about leadership.
In this episode, we talk about how and why Disney became the gold standard of employee experience, training, and development. Then we talk in-depth about dilemmas versus problems, as well as professional detachment and some ways Dan is currently fixing work. So if you want to learn from someone who knows a thing or two about the gold standard of work and how to fix it, then sit back and listen to this episode of Let’s Fix Work.
In this episode, you’ll hear:
- What makes Disney the gold standard regarding employee experience, training, and development
- About corporations that provide such great wealth but also struggle at the bottom end of the spectrum to meet certain basic needs and why it happens
- The difference between a problem and a dilemma
- How Dan looks at dilemmas and some ways he is currently fixing work
- What do you do if the labor pool isn’t meeting your standards
- Dan’s advice to the 20-year-old version of himself
WHAT MAKES DISNEY THE GOLD STANDARD REGARDING THE EMPLOYEE EXPERIENCE, TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT?
To paraphrase Dan: Disney has to be on the cutting edge of entertainment. They have to understand their audience, who are 70 years old, 60 years old, 40 years old, and 10 years old. They need to make sure they are relevant to ALL of them. Disney often has to reinvent themselves and make sure that they continue to be a relevant place to visit. At the other end of the spectrum, they also must work to keep the quality standards and the values that Walt Disney came up with in place. Overall, making sure the base of what they do is what was Walt Disney’s vision of a clean, family, and safe environment where families can create memories together is key to maintaining such a high standard (aka gold standard) for employees and development teams alike.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE PROBLEM AND A DILEMMA?
A problem has a solution and a dilemma isn’t easily solved. An example of a problem with a solution is 1+1=2. A dilemma can only be managed and you’re never finished with a dilemma. It’s always in flux.
WHAT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO THE LABOR POOL?
Companies have to get very innovative and start taking on more of the responsibility. We shouldn’t have to be teaching kids about work ethic, but the people who are available to work for you are the people you’ve got to work with, and if they don’t have the skill sets or the right attitude or the right approach to work, you better figure out how to train them and teach them. So you have a responsibility to provide ample training, keep an eye on business trends and development and take ownership over it all. Otherwise, your business won’t be able to stay in business for very long.
SOME SOUND WORK EXPERIENCE ADVICE FROM DAN:
“The advice I would’ve given [to my 20-year-old self] was to get even more experience than you did.” Stop focusing on what your title is going to be or the amount of pay you are going to get. Don’t worry about how much money you’re making. Go in and get a great experience. And then, go get another great experience. The world is changing really fast. Adapt to the future and be comfortable changing and adapting.
Resources from this episode:
To receive Dan’s article of the week, text DANAOW to 44222
Dan’s Podcast: dancockerell.com/blog/podcast/