Leadership Wisdom from Disney

Mark Rucker joins me and shares secrets from his Life and Leadership files. Mark worked with Disney for 32 years, has served as an executive with Great Wolf Lodge, and recently authored the book Coffee with the Mouse: Life and Leadership Wisdom from 32 years at Disney and Beyond.

Early in life, Mark started collecting lessons on leadership into his drop file. Over time, it morphed into life and leadership lessons that he has since shared over coffee and now in a powerful book. Character is important. You will never know if being nice and humble will get in the way of advancement, but you must be true to yourself. Authenticity is key to succeeding in your own life. However, it is not a lack of humility to express a desire to improve to your leaders. That is how you manage your career while maintaining your integrity.

When you make a leap in leadership and move to manage more, it is necessary to take on an adoption mind sent. An adoption mindset is built on the communication and understanding of caring for your team, leading with compassion, and treating them as individuals. Get to know them. Connect and let them know you really care.

Whether leading in the office or at home, there are parallels. You, as the leader, provide values, speak the truth, and provide wisdom and direction. As those under your leadership grow, give freedom for them to walk in what they have learned, and the space needed to grow. Don’t worry about being like everyone else; it may have served you well in high school, but now you will benefit from standing out.


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“How you treat people and what you say to people and how you say it to them can have a lifelong effect.” MR

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Jody Maberry