If you did not learn something new yesterday, you weren't paying attention. Every day is a chance to get better.
To be successful, one of the most important traits is curiosity. If you are curious, you can improve every day.
Some companies adopt Six Sigma or Lean Thinking to get better. Disney adopted a culture of continuous improvement.
A listener wants to know how you can continue to focus on improvement without overlooking the great work and accomplishments people are doing every day. Quite simply, you involve everyone in your effort to improve.
If you include people who are on the front line doing the work.
Continuous improvement is part of the culture. If you get your culture right, everything else gets easier.
You can get an introduction to Six Sigma in Jack Welch's book Winning.
This week on Creating Disney Magic, I answer a listener question about changing college majors. But it leads to a conversation that is important to you. We talk about not getting stuck.
Too many people get stuck in a job get stuck in a job they do not enjoy. My guess is 70% - 80% of people don't like their job, probably more.
It does not have to be that way. You don't have to get stuck in the wrong job, wrong city, wrong relationship or with your the wrong boss. Take control of your life.
Don't just get used to how things turn out. Make something happen. You have to take a risk to have a great life.
Click Here to get the new Morning Magic Planner.
When people question the importance of checklists, I quickly mention pilots as an example. Would you like your pilot to fly the plane using a checklist or fly the plane based on what he remembers?
Many airplane crashes are caused by pilot error. The same is true in our life. Most of our failures come from not doing what we are supposed to do at the right time.
On a personal level, checklists can help you get everything done you have said you will get done. Throughout an organization, checklists will help you provide better service, implement better financial controls, and provide better training for employees.
If you don't currently use checklists, start by sitting down with a clipboard. Gather the rest of the team around and pick one process, such as opening the business every morning. Collect all the steps and tasks involved with opening the business. Once your checklist is in place, move on to the next process.
A checklist will help you complete every step along the way so you don't miss the details.
Measuring Key Performance Indicators are part of the culture at Disney. Cast members know what we are reaching for and how our performance measures against the goal.
Setting targets for performance is important. You can't improve what you do not measure.
Once you hit your target, you can adjust to ensure you continue to improve.
Put key performance indicators in place and then make employees aware of them so they can help you move towards the goal.
Individuals should also have key performance indicators to help them be successful. In this episode, our discussion about key performance indicators also covers how to set goals for others and what to do if you can't reach key performance indicators others have set for you.
Politics is a tricky subject to talk about in the workplace. No matter which political side you agree with, you are likely to offend or incite someone who feels differently than you.
Political talk at work is just like other aspects of your company culture. It is what you let it become.
Many organizations have rules in place about talking about politics at work. But it does still happen.
When coworkers try to involve you in a political discussion, simply say"I don't feel comfortable talking about politics." If it becomes a problem, you need to talk to your supervisor.
If you are a supervisor, you should never talk about politics in the workplace. Certainly, never allow talk about politics to take place in front of customers.
In short, if you talk politics at work, stop. There is nothing to gain and plenty to lose.
Get a preview of my Time Management Magic course HERE.
After hosting Creating Disney Magic for over two years, Jody Maberry spent four days at Walt Disney World. This gave him first-hand experience of the concepts I talk about every week on the show.
In this episode, Jody brings forward some situations he saw during his time at Disney so I can discuss why it works the way it does.
If you have ever spent time at Disney and wondered why the service is so good, how Disney stays on top of the trash, then you will enjoy this episode.
If you want to hear more about Jody Maberry's time at Disney World and the lessons he learned, you can find all the episodes here.
When your competitor makes a mistake, should you take advantage of it?
United Airlines has been in the news lately for mistreating customers. This is an obvious opportunity for competing airlines, but what is the best way to handle it?
Some airlines have published advertisements mocking United Airlines. Other airlines have done nothing different.
Aggressively beating up a competitor in advertising can set you up in a bad way when you make a mistake. And you will make a mistake.
The best way to take advantage of your customer's mistakes is to remain excellent.
When you are excellent, people will forgive you when something goes wrong.
By the way, situations like what happened at United Airlines happen because of the culture of the organization. The way staff talks about customers, even when no one else is around, makes a difference in how customers are treated. Not giving employees the authority to take care of customers leaves them helpless when a situation arises.
Referenced in this episode:
Imagine what it would be like if you went on vacation without planning first. You would pay more for a flight. You would end up staying in a hotel you don't like. All of us would avoid having a bad vacation through planning.
Yet so few people take the time to plan out their day. If you take the time to plan out your day, it just turns out better.
The key to planning is to examine the responsibilities in your life and consider if you are putting enough time toward them this year, this month, and this week. And you take the first step today.
Do things now that won't pay off until later. Most people hope, wish and pray things will work out. But you don't have to do that. Spend time planning your day so you get the most important things done.
Before I began planning every morning, I was working late at night, bringing work home, coming into work early, working every weekend. Time Management and morning planning helped me get under control. My workweek dropped by at least twenty percent.
If you don't don't take the time to plan the life you want, you will spend a lot of time living the life you don't want.
One key trait in becoming a successful lead is self-awareness.
To become self-aware, you need people who are willing to speak into your life. You need someone who will tell you the truth.
Early in my career, I was defensive. Do you like to work closely with someone who is always defensive? No one does.
My boss did me a big favor when he spoke up. His advice helped my career dramatically.
Be open to taking a profiling system like Gallup or DISC to better understand your personality and how you work.
You have to begin by being aware that you want to be more self-aware. But you also need someone else you trust who is willing to speak truth to you.
Implementing change can be hard.
A new policy can bump into many roadblocks, including seniority.
Before you make a change, you have to understand how and why you are making a change before you sell it to employees in your organization.
Take time to consider all the rejections, objections, and complaints you will receive when trying to implement a new policy. Develop your responses so you have an answer ready for any challenge.
You should not be implementing a new policy until you know it is right for employees, customers, and the bottom line. When you are certain it is time for a change, don't cave into the pressure of the people who complain.
Understand people want answers. They deserve an explanation of why you are making the change.
What seems like a big change now will work out eventually. Get through the early resistance and people will settle in as they get used to the new policy.
The Time Management Magic on-line seminar is now available. You can find it here.
Too many organizations overreact when a customer does something negative.
Look at the signs you see at most organizations. What language do the signs use?
You see words like "Don't", "Prohibited", "No".
All words your guests and customers shouldn't hear if you are trying to delight them.
You can not overreact when one customer tries to scam you, or file a false complaint. It is the cost of doing business. You have to be careful not to offend the rest of your customers because of the behavior of one person.
You should remove hassles for customers, not add more. Rules and signs you put in place because of bad customers create new hassles for your best customers.
Referenced in this episode: Raving Fans by Ken Blanchard
The Time Management Magic Course is now available. You can find it here.
There will come a time when you have to fire an employee. Whether they can't get the job done anymore, or the requirements of the job have changed, there are situations when you have to let someone go.
Depending on who you talk to, there are several tips or best practices about how to fire an employee. Some of the examples I have heard include firing on the day the decision to do so is made and waiting until Friday.
When I could, I always gave notice when I fired someone. Being let go was never a surprise because I communicated with them along the way about their performance.
When the time came, I would tell someone their new job is to find a new job. I give them time, one month up to six months, to spend their working time looking for a new job.
When you fire on notice, it is important to give them a specific end date so they know when their last day at the company will be.
Now, if someone has done something inappropriate or illegal, do not give someone time. They will have to leave the company immediately.
The Time Management Magic on-line course is now available. You can find it HERE.
Change comes slowly in some organizations. It is not just organizations that change slowly. Even in some countries, change can take longer than you would hope.
A young lady from Oslo, Norway asked my opinion about women in leadership roles getting resistance.
It all comes down to culture.
At Disney World, we have embraced women in leadership roles. It is part of our culture. But that is not true at every organization.
When I began my career, there were few women in leadership roles. In my experience, women are more likely to pay closer attention to detail and have more empathy.
In this episode, I talk about women in leadership and answer a listener question about personal branding.
Resources mentioned on this episode;
How do inspire yourself?
For me, inspiration comes from doing what I love. I focus on being a teacher and helping people grow. When I receive a note from someone explaining how Time Management Magic, or one of my other books, helped someone, it inspires me.
You can find inspiration in the work you do and the people you meet. If your work does not inspire you, begin helping other people. It won't take long before you are inspired and excited and you might not even notice when it happens.
Once you become inspired it rubs off on other people. It is contagious. Inspired people inspire people.
Don't underestimate the impact you can have on other people's lives. You have the ability and knowledge to make a difference for someone else.
The listener question this week came from Anna Knudsen from Oslo, Norway. After becoming inspired by the Time Management Magic book, Anna designed her own planner, which she sells at byallthings.com.
My new on-line Time Management Magic seminar is now available. You can find it at TimeMagicSeminar.com.
Often, small businesses have an advantage over big businesses. I know, it doesn't always feel like you have the advantage, but you can get to know your customers better.
A big business may have a lot more products, more staff, and a bigger store, but it is hard to find someone to help you. And when you find someone available to help, they don't often have the knowledge to help.
Recently, I visited all the big box stores looking for outdoor ceiling fans, a product I know nothing about. No one could give me the information I needed until I stopped at a small local fan store.
Not only was the staff at the local store available they were knowledgeable about the product. I spent twice as much as what I planned to spend. Which more than I likely would have spent at a big store.
The ability to connect with customers and take care of them is the advantage small businesses have. Small business can create relationships and deliver extraordinary customer service that big businesses just can't match. It is hard for a customer to walk away when they have a relationship with you.
To create your advantage you have to wake up every morning and ask "What can we do better today than we did yesterday?
The Time Management Magic Seminar is now available. Find out more HERE.
Always remember, employees are unique people. We all have our individual needs. At times, we may need accommodations to keep the rhythm between professional and personal life in sync.
In this episode of Creating Disney Magic, we examine making accommodations for employees.
Each need for an accommodation should be considered individually.
How does the request fit within company policies and procedures?
Are you able to make an arrangement where an employee can work from home?
Do whatever you can to help employees. We all want to feel special. We all have family situations and tragedies that arise. Do the best you can to work with an employee's situation.
But keep in mind, the business has to still be able to operate. If the business goes out of business, everyone will have a problem.
Do what you can to accommodate an employee, but do not make an arrangement that will punish other employees.
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Good ideas are everywhere. You can learn something new to apply in your business by visiting competitors or even other businesses in a different industry. Visit museums, golf courses, churches. Creative ideas to spark a new way to do business could be found anywhere.
You can even find new ideas in the paper, which is why I spend time every morning at Starbucks reading the Wall Street Journal or New York Times.
Great customer ideas can also be found in the ways other businesses do it poorly. Have you ever had an experience that left you wanting more? Understand why it happened the way it did and find a way to make sure your customers never feel that way.
In this episode of Creating Disney Magic, we examine where you can find ideas outside and bring them into your business. We also talk about how to improve from within before you bring in new ideas.
In this episode of Creating Disney Magic, I answer a listener question about managing time conflicts.
Specifically, he asks about dealing with conflicts of schedule of what I have in my DayTimer and events scheduled by my assistant at Disney.
Here is how I would make sure there would never be a conflict of schedules;
If you want to stick to your own personal time management system, which you should, you have to understand how to make it work with the corporate scheduling system. Or understand other people can put items on your calendar you must tend to and you will have to remain flexible.
You can go deeper with time management with my new course, Time Management Magic.
Do you have a question you would like me to answer on the podcast? Just hit reply to this email and ask your question.
To create a magical experience for your customer, you need to identify and remove any hassle the customer may encounter.
In this episode of Creating Disney Magic, we examine how you identify what is getting in the way of your customer having a better experience.
First, look at customer complaints and look for trends.
Next, ask your customers directly. Offer them something in return to sit down with you and answer questions for an hour. Find out what you do well and how you can do better.
Finally, sit down with your employees. Ask what you do well, how you can do better, and what rules and procedures they don't like.
With those three steps, you can find the areas creating the most hassle for your customers. Now work on a new system, guideline, or procedure to remove the hassle from the customer experience.
During the episode, I explain some innovating ways we have removed customer hassles.
My Time Management Magic Course is now available. You can find it here.
Is it possible to initiate change if you are not in a leadership position?
Some organizations are reluctant to change. Sometimes a boss can think they know everything.
All you can do is to finesse in a change. Ask your supervisor if they are interested in hearing your ideas and input about your job. Be clear that when you bring an idea forward, you are willing to work it yourself and not put more work on your supervisor.
Understand, you may not be able to have any impact on change in the organization. If that is the case, don't be willing to stay in that environment too long if it frustrates you.
Referenced in this episode is the book Winning by Jack Welch.
The Time Management Magic Course is now available. You can find it here.
What is the best excuse you have heard from an employee?
Send in your excuses and we will use some of them on an episode of Creating Disney Magic. The top 5 excuses will receive an autographed copy of one of my books.
The Time Management Magic Online Course is now available.
Based on the book, Time Management Magic, this course goes deeper into the content and concepts behind the book. The book introduced you to the idea of Time Management Magic, the course will walk you through every step of implementing this system into your life.
The course includes a workbook to help you walk through the course material and discover the most important things in your life, set goals, work towards priorities, and have a better life.
You can enroll in the Time Management Magic Course HERE.
If you are business and would like to offer this course to your entire team, reach out and ask about special pricing for organizations.
This material in this course is the same material I taught to leaders at Walt Disney World, at the Disney Institute, and to organizations around the world.
This course is not just a how-to on using a Day-Planner. This is a system to uncover your responsibilities, discover your top priorities, and use your time to get the things done that really matter.
CLICK HERE to enroll in the Time Management Magic course.
Today, many people are skeptical of leadership. How can you overcome this?
People will remain skeptical until you build trust. You have to show you are credible, reliable, do what you say you are going to do, keep your promises. That is how you build trust and begin to create an environment where people are not skeptical of leadership.
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Is there an "It" factor? Do some leaders just get it?
Yes, some leaders have it and some don't. But it is possible for you to learn it, enhance it, build it. You have to understand your impact on the people around you and consider leaving a legacy before you can get the It factor.
If you focus on it, you will eventually get it.
In this episode, Lee discusses communication with vendors. A key to working with vendors is to get as much information as you can and be prepared. With more knowledge, you will understand if you are getting treated fairly.
Use your judgment on how much information you should share. You have to give enough information to allow them to help you solve your problem.
When working with vendors you have to be clear about what you want.
Does it ever make sense to take a voluntary demotion?
At one point in Lee's career, he took a voluntary demotion when he was passed over for a promotion. In this episode of Creating Disney Magic, Lee explains the situation that led to the voluntary and why it was good for his career.
Get Lee's newest book, Career Magic, HERE.
If you want to be one of the first to know when the Time Management Magic Course is ready, get on the list HERE.