“Is it real or is it Disney?”

As I mentioned yesterday, I am attending a convention in Orlando this week, and am staying at one of the resorts associated with Epcot.  Disney came in and offered us a half-day “leadership training,” which in my mind was rather worthless, but did provide an unintentional lesson, that is very powerful, figure out a way to leverage.

What I found amazing was the pervasive Disney culture, that soaked into their employees, to such a point that they seemed to drip Disney.  The employees, seemed to have a cultish attachment to the company, unlike any other group of employees that I had ever seen.   It was almost like the soul of the people had been sucked out, and replaced with Disney created, allegences.

Honestly, it was rather off-putting,  however, the fact that a company was able to instill this level of culture, and allegiance, took my breath away.

So I wondered, how could they pull this off?  How do they make robots out of men?

My gut is that Disney is able to create a story that their employees buy into – and ultimately, sell themselves on – due to the fact that Disney is so focused on creating an production.  In fact, even our leadership training, seemed like nothing other than another Disney production.

Of course, it is ironic that Disney workers would buy into a false story and treat it like it was true.  But that does seem to be the magic of Disney.

Let’s bring this all home, and point out some practical lessons for business.

First, create a story that involves meaning, and make sure that your employees buy into it, in a real way.  Second, lets remember not to allows others stories to manipulate us, unless we are looking to be manipulated.

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