RIP Herb Kelleher

Disney's Grand Floridian Resort
Last night, heading home from dinner at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa.

Inspired by this article…

20 Reasons Why Herb Kelleher Was One Of The Most Beloved Leaders Of Our Time

What you see in each bullet point is the author’s original attribute followed by (and separated with a -) my Disney-insight similarity. Herb was better than great because he did the basics brilliantly.

  1. Be interested – seek out Guest contact
  2. Be approachable – demonstrate appropriate body langauge at all times
  3. Look beyond titles and status – first name company, never go a day, or an hour, without your nametag
  4. Hire for attitude, train for success – we hire for attitude, not aptitude
  5. Put employees first, customers second – Cast first, the guest is always at the center of all we do
  6. Jettison tribalism and office politics – destroy silos, think ‘One Disney’
  7. Be yourself. Allow people to be themselves – everyone is a VIP, Very Individual Person
  8.  Be trustworthy – our (Disney’s) vision is to become the world’s most admired company
  9. Leave your ego at the door – great ideas can, and should, come from anywhere
  10. Be irreverent – balance timelessness with timeliness (maintain your heritage, and remember your heritage includes “impossible innovations’
  11. Be tough but not mean – aim for perfection, settle for excellence
  12. Don’t take yourself too seriously – Walt is famous for saying, laughter is no enemy to learning
  13. Spend time on what you value – actions speak louder than words
  14. Cultivate a warrior spirit – dog an idea until it’s done and done right (Walt)
  15.  Forget strategic planning – Guest Satisfaction Measurement (flipping the proverbial organizational pyramid upside down, allowing frontline Cast to change things that inhibit Guest and Cast Satisfaction)
  16. Managing the good times to protect the company in the bad times – balance the three-legged stool of Cast, Guest, and Business
  17. Be decisive, move with speed and agility – Walt said, “I believe in being an innovator.” Also, “80% and go”
  18. Culture is the boss – Michael Eisner said in 1984 when he became CEO, “The Disney Culture, and maintaining it, is my #1 priority.”
  19. Define the business as a cause – We create happiness (our Unifying Goal)
  20. Kelleher’s golden rule: it’s okay to break the rules – Walt said, “It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.”

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Published 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 different sites.