Leaders Don't Need to Know Everything

Creating Disney Magic Episode 496 Leaders Don't Need to Know Everything

“Include others that have been there and are doing the work. They know what works. If you ask their opinion and listen with an open mind, you don’t need to know much yourself. And you can still make a good decision.”

Leaders can get more clarity during times of uncertainty by involving employees in decision-making. Never underestimate the value of frontline employee and customer insights. This is one of those skills that can impact all aspects of life. I was reminded of this as I transition from executive vice president of Walt Disney World to a retired husband.

There is a bit of a distinction between ‘authority’ and ‘actual power’, similar to domestic responsibilities versus corporate decisions. Having decision-making power in a business context doesn’t necessarily translate to personal life. It is important to understand where one’s influence begins and ends. Effective leaders must respect boundaries and recognize the specializations and autonomy of those within their teams—be it at home or work.

Knowing the strengths of your employees it makes it easier navigating moments of uncertainty in leadership. Experienced leaders involve their teams and seek out diverse perspectives to inform decisions. Acknowledging that nobody has all the answers is the sign of smart person. Leaders need to be less impulsive, gather varied inputs, and embrace a collaborative approach. Those will help them manage uncertainty and minimize the risk of costly mistakes.

Leaders should actively consult their teams, especially those on the frontline with direct customer interaction and practical know-how. This helps cultivate an environment of respect and active listening. It not only enriches leaders decision-making process but also creates a culture of inclusion and shared responsibility. Reflecting on past decisions helps leaders anticipate future challenges. This diligent practice can help reduce feelings of insecurity and provide a clearer direction.

Whether you’re leading a household or a multinational company, the principles of good leadership remain the same. Lean on experience, listen to your team, and never stop learning. That’s how you create organizational magic.

One group that always listens to the needs of their customers is Magical Vacation Planners. Let them plan your next vacation. You can reach them at 407-442-2694.


The Cockerell Academy

About Lee Cockerell

Mainstreet Leader

Key Moments

03:02 Customer and Employee Wisdom

06:12 Inclusive Decision-Making in Business

08:01 Human Ego Impacts Learning Opportunities

09:33 Reflecting and anticipating lead to better leadership.

12:20 Growth and Maturity in Management

14:03 Leading By Example Based On Experience