Buy In — How to Influence Performance and Drive Success

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Action comes about if and only if we find a discrepancy between what we are experiencing and what we want to experience. – Phillip J. Runkel, Professor of Psychology and Education, University of Oregon What’s in it for me? In today’s society that is the question many people (including our employees) ask themselves when they are asked to do something…especially if it is something new or different from what they are used to. Whenever we teach the tenants of Operation: Pineapple’s Five Star Sales program we work to determine the most effective way to achieve “buy-in” with the team; that is the key to success. This could mean creating a […]

Efficient Operations

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How to affect change and leave denial behind “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” James Baldwin The Nile River Tour was a 15-minute boat ride that transported guests along the interior perimeter of the LuXor Hotel showing them recreations of some of the most famous Egyptian tombs and paintings while sharing a brief lesson in Egyptian History. I was part of the opening team and we experienced immense popularity as soon as the hotel opened. Each morning the line would start to build right at opening – 9 am – and by midafternoon we usually had an hour plus […]

Happy New Year!

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Happy New Year! Happy New Year! Welcome back! It is hard to believe that the holiday season is over. As the holiday rush settles back into our regular day-to-day business, we start to make our plans for the new year: new marketing, new promotions, maybe new exhibits or attractions – all planned with the aim of bringing in new guests or enticing current guests to return more frequently. Focusing on our guests is definitely important, but don’t focus so much on your guests that you forget the most important feature of your venue: your Team Members! As the craziness of the holidays settles back into the routine of regular business […]

Achieve New Heights

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Best Practices for Emergency Preparedness “Be Prepared!” – Boy Scouts Motto It was a clear day in March and the Team Members had just finished a round of the capsule answering guest questions and pointing out landmarks. It was business as usual on this run of the SkyTower and there were a wide variety of guests ranging from 3 – 73, one of whom was VERY pregnant. The capsule started its decent and then…BANG!!! With a loud noise and a jolt, the two-level observation capsule slammed to a stop 240 feet in the air. Everyone screamed except for the two Team Members on board who, after their initial surprise, gathered […]

Family Togetherness

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How cell phones can bring families together when they visit Last month, after enjoying Thanksgiving dinner with my family, we decided to spend the evening at one of our local theme parks. As we walked through the park I was amazed to see how many people had their cell phones out and were so absorbed in their own little cyber-world that they were not enjoying the park (or time with their family and friends). I couldn’t help but wonder why people would spend money on admission to the park, and then not even look up from their phones…and then, as we were waiting for a show, I realized that my […]

Don’t Panic!

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Best Practices for Keeping Cool in a Pinch “Fast is slow and slow is fast” – John Maxwell Irma was nervous. She could not locate the guest’s reservation. She had searched everywhere…the ticketing system, the pre-printed will call tickets, and even the VIP List. “Are you certain that the tickets were booked in your name?” she asked as calmly as possible. “Of course,” the guest said, starting to sound a bit agitated, “Why, can’t you find them?” Irma said nothing as she pounded madly on the keyboard. Just moments later Irma was finally able to find the reservation, but the damage had already been done; the guest left a complaint […]

Get It Done!

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Four Leadership styles for getting things done I’ve never considered myself a “follower”; while I don’t mind taking direction from others, I do like to understand the “why” behind the “what” I’m being asked to do. I find it is much easier to accomplish the desired result if I understand the reasons behind what I have been told to do. This is true not only in business, but in my personal life as well; many years ago, when my 18 year old son was just a baby I took him in to see the pediatrician to help figure out why he was constantly crying. I made an appointment with a […]

Oreos and the Creamy Center

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Four Ways to Find your Facility's Sweet Spot I love Oreos. When I eat them, I’m often caught doing what I’ve been doing since I was a kid – that is eating the creamy center first – essentially, eating my Oreo from the inside out. Why? Because while I like the chocolate cookie, it’s the creamy center that makes the treat. That’s where I find the most satisfaction and the most enjoyment. In our attractions world, our facilities have their own “creamy centers” – that is, the areas and activities that people love. At any of Disney’s Magic Kingdom parks, the “creamy center” are attractions like Space Mountain, Pirates of […]

Honesty, Trust, Integrity… and Salesmanship?

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Honesty. Trust. Integrity. …Salesmanship?” How these corporate values can work in harmony. “Words from the thread on which we string our experiences” – Aldous Huxley Honesty, trust, and integrity; as corporate values go these are very important and we all want these to be cornerstones of our culture. But at the frontgate we should also consider including another cornerstone; Salesmanship. We can certainly all think of examples where sales people were at odds with the first three values noted above, but can salesmanship coexist within an environment of honest selling, integrity, and trustworthiness? The answer is absolutely, YES! The definition of Salesmanship is “the skills and methods used in selling […]

Hard Habits to Break

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How to break free of "Order Taking" and do more! Bad habits are HARD to break! Have you ever tried to quit smoking or to stop overeating? It is not an easy thing to do – and many people who do try ultimately fail. After a few days, a week, or maybe even a month, people who try to break a habit end up right back where they started…unless they find the right motivation and follow through to successfully break their bad habit for good. Below are six steps that will help to break a bad habit: 1. Decide that the habit is wrong 2. Associate Pain with the old […]