Great leaders overmanage what other leaders don’t

Disney culture model
i spent 15 years speaking full time, explaining this simple model to outsiders. Photo: Disney Institute training materials.


Disney great leaders
Screen shot of Disney Institute video featuring answers to the question, from Disney Leaders.


Notes from a lifetime at Disney
Notes from a lifetime at Disney


Bottom photo, catch the 2007 date in upper left?

Overmanaged the details of every speech i gave since 1999. In the notes above, here’s the back story deciphered:

  • While flying from Orlando to Minneapolis i brainstormed some topics that would share my personal experience with the conference theme.
  • Left Pennsylvania for Washington State with $75, on a bicycle.
  • As a Disney Resort Operations Manager, i “got my throat ripped out” everyday, by a Guests so angry, their jugular veins were “popping out”.
  • Every year i was the closing manager New Year’s Eve and opening manager New Year’s Day. Think about that one.
  • Waited 13 years before asking for Christmas week off and didn’t get it. Got it in my 14th year. True story.
  • Received my 5-years of Disney Service award pin two months late, in an interoffice envelope.
  • I chased a national championship as a Masters Track & Field 400 meter runner.
  • Generated 50% more sales leads than the next highest team member. The next year reached that same number in seven months instead of 12.
  • In 2007, i drove an 18-year old car. Now my car is 27 years old.

Funny how you unearth a random note page, a relic from your past, and it floods you with awe and wonder, and a smile of gratitude.




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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.


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.