Try, Try , Try

Try – Try – Try – : You Have the Authority to Try, Try, Try, Tr and Try! More at: www.LeeCockerell.com

One of the Cast Members’ Four Expectations for Leaders is to be treated as an individual.  Remember, the Four Cast Expectations are:

  • Make me feel special
  • Treat me as an individual
  • Respect me
  • Make me knowledgeable, develop me, and know my job.

The second one is the hardest, I would say.  It’s easier for Leaders to treat other Leaders or Office & Technical Cast Members as individuals because we have the authority to do it, generally.  With Front-Line Cast, sometimes we have seniority to deal with when it comes to schedule requests because of special personal needs of a Cast Member.

The message today is that you as a Leader, if you are a great Leader, will take the responsibility to TRY to help the Cast Member work out his or her individual problem.  For example, a Front-Line Cast Member calls me and says she really needs to be off on Friday and Saturday.  She has a child with a learning disability, and those are the only two days that a special-needs teacher is available to work with them together so she can learn how to help her child.  She says she cannot get off because she does not have seniority, and her Leader told her there is nothing that he or she can do about it. 

  • How would you feel about this answer? 
  • How does she feel with this answer? 
  • Do you think this makes her feel special? 
  • Do you think this says that we respect you? 
  • Do you think this says that we will TRY to treat you as an individual? 
  • Do you think this shows we are knowledgeable about possibilities, alternatives, and possible solutions?

“There is nothing we can do about it” is a bad answer.  Of course, there is something we can do about it.  It will take time, and we might have to make 20 phone calls.  We might even have to stay an hour later tonight, but we can do things—ranging from talking to the rest of the Cast to see if they would help her by letting her have Saturdays off for a while, to finding a job for her somewhere else at the Walt Disney World® Resort.  We could find her a job somewhere else on property for one or two days a week and have her work only two to three days in our department until she finishes her work with the teacher.  We could call the United Way and try to get a teacher who is available on other days of the week. 

The point is:  There are lots of things we can TRY to do.  Will we be successful all of the time?  No, of course not; but when we TRY, we will be successful some of the time—and more important, the Cast Member will know that her Leader tried.  When you TRY, you show that you respect the Cast Member.  You make the Cast Member feel special, and you show that you are TRYING to treat him or her as an individual.  When you don’t TRY, you will fail 100 percent of the time.

Last week I was on an airplane, and the seat assignments were all messed up.  A family of three was in three different rows, one behind the other.  The little boy was crying, mom was not happy, dad was stressed, and they did not speak English very well.  The flight attendant asked the people around them to please change seats, so the little boy could sit with his mom or dad.  Three of the passengers said, “NO” . . . and they were not two years old.  I expected them to say, “NO, MINE!” . . . but that was just a flashback.  I thought their moms and dads did not raise them properly.  I gave up my seat and was happy to do so.  The flight attendant said, “Thank you, sir.  What a nice man you are.”  I said, “I know, and I would love to have some free champagne and a steak dinner while we fly to Orlando.”  She said, “If I had it, I would give it to you”; and then she handed me my pretzels and water.  Let’s use our authority as Leaders to go the extra mile to help Cast Members and to TRY as hard as we can to treat them as individuals versus quote to them the rules and policy and not looking for possible solutions.  Is it difficult?  Yes, it is!   . . . Lee

3 Comments
  1. I have seen this story happen to so many people.
    This is a good lesson I will share with my managers, peers and team.

  2. Lee, thank you. It is very frustrating when I go someplace and hear the employees say “there is nothing I can do about it.” For one, it is a sign of a lack of creativity. In most cases it’s not really that person’s fault, they have just not been given the proper direction to unleash it. I recently re-heard one of those Nordstrom legends about the employees who gave a man a refund on a set of tires, even though Nordstrom has never carried tires. People are amazing when given the chance and freedo

  3. Again, this is perfect for my military staff. Too often we want to create “barriers” to health care – when we should be creating “bridges” with our patients so that they partner in their health care. One way to do that is make the health care worker know they are appreciated by administration and provide “the top cover” so that they will be willing to “try” and be creative in resolving issues.

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