Many people will have a leadership title at some point in their careers. But what sets managers apart from true, standout leaders? Mark Rucker, former Global VP of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, is here to share his years of wisdom and how you can not just glean it, but apply it.
Mark Rucker is the CEO of The Golden Company, a speaker, and author. In addition to being a former Global VP for Disney, he is also a former SVP for Great Wolf Resorts. Over his 32 year career at Disney, Mark worked in over 15 different roles, spanning from an industrial engineer in parks and resorts to systems, transportation, corporate, and eventually Global Walt Disney.
Leadership is a journey, and leaders aren’t born, they're made, over time and through lessons learned. There is no one specific situation that makes you a leader. There are, however, pivotal moments that set your course. Document those key moments and lessons through a journal or a drop file. This allows you to build a solid foundation along the way for your leadership. The best way to grow your understanding is to seek it out.
Reach out to friends you admire and respected colleagues and ask to grab coffee with them. Don’t be shy about talking to people about things they are experts in. Taking the first step and seeking out wisdom will allow you to gain nuggets over time from others' experiences. And if there is one thing you want as a leader, it is wisdom.
There is a difference between wisdom gleaned and wisdom applied. It isn’t enough to ask and take notes. Standouts take it a step further. They figure out how to apply what they learn to their lives and put it into action.
The biggest lesson you can learn as a leader is that you are not an island. Whether you face a small problem or have a large endeavor, you don't have to do it alone. Those you lead are no different. Whatever stage you are at, you need to have a team around you. Not only mentors. You need a full team – at work and in life. Everyone is completely different, and how we treat each other should be different, unique, and special.
If you want to be a standout leader, you have to have a leadership adoption mindset. Get to know those who you work alongside. Give them care and love and the benefit of the doubt. Make it your goal to help them grow. The greatest joy of a leader is seeing someone you have led move up and flourish. As you grow others, you must also grow yourself. Lead yourself well, and you will lead others well. Treat yourself as the first person you have to lead, develop and grow.
If you can take anything away from Mark and apply it immediately, it is this: You need a board of directors for your life and career. If you take one nugget, it is to start setting up coffee chats and searching for your board of directors.
Rise. Shine. Impact. Learn from others and give back.
Over Coffee with the Mouse: Life and Leadership Wisdom from 32 Years at Disney and Beyond by Mark Rucker (Preorder)
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