January 12, 2012

Five Important Lessons from Mickey

We can learn a lot about how to run a company from Disney. They really know how to look after their people and customers.

After a day in one of their theme parks, followed by five on their newest cruise ship, I learned a lot about excellence and enduring success. Crew members provided me with the source of that excellence which I think it is well worth sharing. And yes, I also had a really great time!

1. Be congruent. Disney is masterful at customer service. The company and people are passionate about creating magic for customers and do it better than anyone. It's what Disney is known for and why people come back to their parks, ships, movies and other services time and time again. Lesson learned: keep to your core and master what you are great at and passionate about. 

2. Think of all the possibilities.  Currently, the theme for their staff training is "Great". The company considers every possible way that "Great" can be applied to all aspects of operations, culture, service, management, etc for staff as well as customers. Then leaves no stone unturned when instilling "Great" into their people and company. We all were treated like VIPs day one, two and even five. People sail on Disney cruises for the service, even if they don't have kids. Crew members and independent contractors are thrilled to be on board and work hard to keep their jobs.

3. Invest in your people. Disney knows excellence starts and ends with their people. They treat their staff and crew exceptionally well and instill pride in them by giving them something to be proud of.

4. Have high integrity. Without integrity there is no trust and little chance for sustainable success. People expect Disney to provide clean facilities and great service. While every company makes mistakes, Disney's track record is better than most.

5. Be reliably consistent and impeccable. Staff and crew members understand that you are only as good as your last encounter and unhappy customers are ten times more vocal than happy ones. They work hard and give you their best.

For a mouse Mickey really knows his stuff.

January 6, 2012

I'll admit it, as much as I am an optimist, I am highly cynical about New Year's resolutions. I never make them and have no faith in their being kept. That's not to say that I don't make plans or have dreams. That's another story for another post.

It may be because I know most are just lip service and statistically, will fade from memory within days of their being made. Some are gone even as the words echo in the room.

Human beings as a whole are really lousy at following through on everything we promise. There is often one, two, or more areas in our lives that we struggle with and no amount of promises make a difference.

We turn ourselves inside out trying to find a solution and the reality is that to successfully keep those resolutions is actually simple. Not easy, but simple.

Do what you say you will.

Take the actions you know you need to take.If they don't work, get feedback and help from someone you know can really help and won't buy into your story or excuses for why it isn't working. 

Find a champion who will kick the "but" out of you and help you find and take the right actions. 

Nike got it right. Just do it.

May 2012 be a year of great joy, accomplishment, breakthroughs and following through on those promises you really want to keep.