Disney leadership definitions

At Disney, the word leader is attached to every salaried Cast Member. It was like that when i started at The World Famous Jungle Cruise in 1982. It’s still like that today, 18 months since i retired.

There are leaders with direct reports and leaders as individual contributors. i was both during my 30-year tenure.

Leaders with direct reports definition: You’re the person in charge, you don’t do any of the work, but you’re responsible for the outcome.

Leader’s without direct reports: You are a salaried professional in a peer group of other salaried individual contributors, all reporting to a higher level leader (but not always the same higher level leader).

There is no limit to the amount of hours a salaried leader can work in one week. The weekly pay however, remains set whether you work 50 or 80 hours.

Front line Cast Members are fundamentally distinguished from salaried leaders by their hourly rate of pay – for each and every hour worked.

Make no mistake about the hierarchy though, everyone at Disney – every single Cast Member – is a leader.



Because every adult is a leader.

Every able bodied adult is the CEO of You, Inc.

Think about it.




On April Fool’s Day 2009, jeff noel began writing five daily, differently-themed blogs (on five different sites). It was to be a 100-day self-imposed “writer’s bootcamp”, in preparation for writing his first book. He hasn’t missed a single day since.


This website is about our career health. To leave this site to read today’s post on my home health website, click here.


By jeff noel

Retired Disney Institute Keynote Speaker and Prolific Blogger. Five daily, differently-themed personal blogs (about life's 5 big choices) on five interconnected sites.