Four lessons I learned from working at Disney

6:10 PM

Receiving my one-year pin at the Rotunda restaurant on the Studio Lot

In May, 2017 I embarked on new stage of my career as a Customer Success Manager and more recently, a Service Manager, for The Walt Disney Company.  This was really a dream come true!  My family is a big Disney fan and I’ve always dreamed of working for the company that brought so many wonderful memories, stories, lessons, and adventures to me and millions more around the world.

It’s been a whirlwind 2+ years at Disney and I’ve learned a lot through my time.  As I reflect back on the journey, I decided to share a few lessons I’ve learned on the journey. Through the course of getting my thoughts in writing, I decided to split this post into a mini-series to keep it at a reasonable length.

Look for the “Pixie Dusting” moments

Gearing up with fellow cast members for Mickey’s 90th Birthday Spectacular

If you attended one of the orientation days for new employees, you might hear the term “Pixie Dusting” referenced.  “Pixie Dusting” means those magical (pardon the pun) experiences that you can only get as a Disney cast member.  In essence, it’s when the fact hits you that “Oh wow, I actually work for Disney!!!”.

The reality is that no matter how good the company is, some days on the job can be harder than others and it can be easy to be bogged down by the technical details.  When I started at the company, a dear family friend who also works at Disney encouraged me  to take advantage of every opportunity I can to keep myself inspired and remind myself how special it is to work here.


5 Observations to Improve Discipline

“Discipline equals freedom” – Jocko Willink

That bold statement by Jocko Willink on the Tribe of Mentors podcast resonated deeply with me and sent me on what is becoming a year-long journey to understand the meaning of discipline and better apply those principles in all areas of my life (not just productivity). Inspired by Gretchen Rubin’s podcast, Happier I set “Discipline” as my one-word theme of the year.

Throughout the past six months, I’ve been struck by five observations about discipline:

Discipline needs a positive reward

Discipline is inherently hard.  It’s the act of denying ourselves something now for future benefit.  Charles Duhigg shares that every habit has a reward that reinforces that habit in our brains. We can effectively change our habits and be more disciplined by being intentional with how we use those rewards.  My favorite example of this is the jar of chocolates Duhigg has on his desk that he can only eat from once he’s finished a weekly review.


Reflections on the 2019 GTD Summit

GTD for the family panel discussion with Eric Mack, Wendy Haddad, Mike Williams, and David Allen

Last week I had the incredible privilege of attending and participating on a panel at the 2019 GTD (Getting Things Done) Summit in Amsterdam.  This was a special opportunity for me as I have grown up with the GTD methodology my whole life and was able to participate on a panel in the first GTD Summit in San Francisco ten years prior. David and Kathryn Allen are dear friends of my family and it was wonderful to see them again and hear how the productivity techniques they developed have helped so many people.