Journal 3: Leadership Academy

Q: What did you learn at the Leadership Academy today that makes you like Disney more? Less?

A: The Leadership Academy allowed room for open discussion about leadership styles and how to effectively lead with language and communication barriers. This Leadership Academy seemed to include much about how to be an effective leader and how to utilize your team as a leader, but very little about how Disney uses these leadership styles in their everyday work relationships. At one point of the tour, we visited the costuming department that creates and repairs all costumes for many divisions of the Disney Company including the parks and the Disney Cruise Line. The amount of attention and precision these cast members put into every detail of every costume truly astounded me. It did encourage me to approve of Disney more and even feel more satisfied with the price of admission knowing that a portion of my admission costs ensures that the talent in that Bungalow is appropriately managed and the costumes continue to strive for the highest quality. I do hope to one day work in a multi-national company so discussing the details about how the workers communicate despite language differences, did help my professional maturity.

There were aspects of the tour, however, that seemed to dissuade my approval of Disney. First, the tour guide seemed very unwilling to give a straight answer to most questions about Disney that did not relate to the central topic — leadership. It did feel that she was circumventing questions in order to stay on topic and not to please the guest, which is the second Key to the 4 Keys (Safety, Courtesy, Show, and Efficiency). Second, the organization of the tour deterred from the main reason for attending this specific Workshop: applying new knowledge learned to the Disney corporate structure. Although most information about the Disney corporations’ corporate structure is public knowledge as Disney is a publicly traded company, the leadership styles could have been supplemented by personal anecdotes of how these leadership styles work in everyday, professional life. Finally from past leadership training, I have learned to gauge the responsivness of the audience and especially my team to ensure that our common goal can be met with enthusiasm and without grumbling. I think our Group Leader, Jill, did not gauge the enthusiasm of our group and instead continued without pausing with the group activities instead of polling the group’s opinions. It seems as though she wanted to accomplish her own goals and agenda and not truly teach the youth in front of her. This reflected poorly on Disney, in my opinion because it showed that Disney only wanted to complete the task and not take into account the collective emotions of the group.