The Workday Begins the Night Before

Is Disney World Our Hometown?
Is Disney World Our Hometown?

Living in Central Florida, surrounded by Palm Trees and Sunshine is well, glorious. (That’s just wrong to write something like that in the middle of Winter, isn’t it?)

Alright, let’s try this – living next to Walt Disney World, with all it’s Theme parks, luxurious Disney resorts, stunning landscape, friendly Cast Members, spectacular entertainment, and first class dining is well, glorious.  (Okay, strike two, right?)

Well, last night I began planning today’s work.  It started with a vision for what I need to do today and how well it should be done.

Is there ever a day when we can not worry about delivering exceptional customer service, or as Disney labels it, magical Guest experiences?  No seriously, Disney has a standard where 99 out of 100 is failure. There is never a day where mediocrity is acceptable.  NEVER.

One of the secrets of great leaders is to begin the day’s work the night before.

But you already knew that, right?

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.


  1. I’m sorry. What did you say?

    I couldn’t read past the first two paragraphs, because my eyes had welled up with tears…

  2. I said, “I’m obnoxious.”

    (the hidden meaning, when you play the album backwards = blessed beyond measure, and to whom much has been given, much will be required)

    Ya with me? 🙂

  3. As a teacher, one’s success is determined by how much thought and planning is given to the work that is done “on the night before. It not only determines the teacher’s success, but his/her plan of action, long-term outcomes, contingency plans for possible failure, classroom control/discipline and frees up the teacher’s mind for on-your-feet creativity and spontaneity. Are the students on the “edge of their seats?” Welcome to the teacher’s world.
    I lived in that world for 34 years. Now as Director of Music, what do I do? I plan and practice, practice, practice. What is practice? Play it, tear it apart, play it fast, play it slow, change the rhythm, isolate, right hand and pedal, left hand and pedal, both hands together, and finally right hand, left hand and pedal. Then, don’t forget the interpretation…….the expression…..the art of the music.
    And then, Sunday……the glorious day for the music!

  4. As both a task oriented and relationship oriented leader I think that mapping out our days is essential. Therefore, our actions must be a planned effort that promotes a positive work ethic and environment for successful professional, employee, and scholarly development.

    I believe that people and organizations alike must vigorously seek new paradigms, or views on their environment and solutions to problems in order to enhance professional standing.

    I always try and promote this through being flexible, diverse, compatible, and adaptable to the demands and expectations of the people we all serve.

  5. Michael, thank you for your comments. It’s interesting that you seek a balance between results and relationships.
    This is really what makes for a great leader. We can’t do one without the other.
    And it often seems as a leader, that the higher you go, he more important the relationships are and the less important the tasks are.
    Love your point about vigorously seeking new paradigms. Change or become extinct.
    Make your day GREAT! Carpe diem, jeff )

  6. Thank you Jeff, keeping up with the rapidly evolving and changing times is truly a concentrated but rewarding endeavor.

    All the Best,


  7. Michael, thank you for noticing.
    We all have to keep our fire lit.
    You know, a nice, steady little campfire.
    Otherwise, it goes out.
    Others still, are content only with a burning passion.
    Jesus, Muhammad, Gandhi, Nelson, Mandela, Mother Teresa, Abraham.
    What none of us get in writing, is where are we supposed to spend our time.
    Do something that scares you today (and tomorrow).

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