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Talking Point: The Disney Institute Blog

Leadership 101: Developing Your Next Generation of Leaders

December 05, 2013 by Bruce Jones, Senior Programming Director, Disney Institute



In a 2013 Forbes article, How Millennials Are Disrupting The Global Workforce, a 20+ year researcher of generational differences shares his insights about why millennials leave companies after a brief period of time and what organizations should do to retain them. His advice? Stop thinking something is wrong with the younger employees--after all, they may just be leaving to figure out their lifes work.

Citing a laundry list of reasons for leaving (everything from boredom to financial need), he advises that, instead of asking how to retain millennials, managers focus on how to keep them engaged and productive during their tenure. Then, create a succession plan to bridge the gaps as more Boomers retire over the next several years. 

At Disney, we know that leaders must be proactive in order to sustain the values and vision in the next generation of leaders. To successfully develop these leaders you must believe that leadership is not just a training initiative. While the typical organization believes that few people are leaders, the values-driven organization believes that most people are leaders. You must recognize this potential and intentionally focus on the development of your team members’ leadership skills.

In our Disneys Approach to Leadership Excellence professional development training course, we share several ways that Disney places intentional focus on developing leadership skills of our younger Cast Members. One example of developing new skills within potential leaders is the job rotation program available to Disney Cast Members, especially those in front-line operations. Every few years, these leaders-in-training are rotated to new lines of business, new theme parks, new resorts, and sometimes to new cities. The broad scope of experience is just one way Disney cultivates its next generation of leaders. 

Tell us — How do you identify and grow the next generation of leaders within your organization? 


Disney Institute is ready to help you apply strategic rigor to your customer experience efforts - call us at 321.939.4600 or complete our Contact Form




Posted in Employee Engagement | Tagged Employee Retention, Employee Engagement, Employee Engagement Ideas, Employee Turnover, Leadership Training, Leadership Development, Bruce Jones | 1 Comments


1 Responses to Leadership 101: Developing Your Next Generation of Leaders

  • Jim says:

    on December 06, 2013

    I also have noticed Disney's willingness to allow cast members opportunities to try different roles. I think that is brilliant and must be one of the keys to longevity and productivity of cast members.


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