Talking Point: The Disney Institute Blog

2015 Leadership Challenge: Close the ‘Saying-Doing’ Gap

January 08, 2015 by Bruce Jones, Senior Programming Director, Disney Institute


In this recent post, The Key to Transformational Leadership: Know How to Empower Your People, we discussed the importance of closing the "knowing-doing gap.” Clearly, great leadership first requires knowing what to do and how to do it really well.

But, given that many of us have just made New Years resolutions, I would like to suggest that we begin this year by closing the "saying-doing gap." This is the classic scenario where we, as leaders, fail to walk the talk and actually deliver on these commitments. Not only does this gap frustrate your best people, it erodes the trust that binds the organization together.

In our Disney’s Approach to Leadership Excellence professional development training course, we share that a leader’s role is to establish, operationalize, and sustain the values and vision by which their organizations thrive.

Its usually not a challenge for leaders to say that developing future leaders is important, nor is it difficult to say that we have a vision of future success. However, with the pace and complexity of business today, it can be an enormous challenge and opportunity to operationalize and sustain these commitments.

In addition to the December post, here are four more recent posts where we’ve shared tips and strategies on leadership development: 

 So how can we begin to close the "saying-doing gap" in 2015? Here are some suggestions: 

  • Start team meetings by discussing these posts, generating new ideas that are unique to your organizations culture and specific business environment.

  • Ask each team member to write down on a sheet of paper and share with the team the one thing they are going to do differently this year to develop the leaders of the future. Then, have everyone pair up and sign each others paper indicating that they will hold each other accountable for acting on what they have written.  

Tell us, whats the one thing you are going to do differently this year to close the “saying-doing gap” and develop your future leaders?

We would love to hear from you!
Post your response below, or respond to us on Facebook or Twitter using hashtag #DThinkBlog.

Disney Institute uses business insights and time-tested examples from Disney parks and resorts worldwide to provide relevant illustrations and engaging stories that help you deliver the type of long-term results your organization is capable of delivering. Ultimately, Disney Institute can help you operationalize and sustain business results through leadership, culture, service and more. Explore our solutions for a team or an organizational initiative by visiting Our Approach page. To learn more about options available for an individual, please explore our Scheduled Courses.

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Posted in Leadership Excellence | Tagged 2015 Leadership Challenge, Leadership, Transformational Leadership, Empowerment, Employee Empowerment, Leadership Training, Leadership Styles, Management, Executive Coaching, Bruce Jones

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