Leadership is something that you grow into. If you told me 25 years ago that I would be sitting here today in what is a tremendous leadership role, I’m not sure I would have believed it. The career progression has really helped me define myself as a leader.
One of the first things I always talk about in terms of leadership is that the teams you build around you are critical. Especially as you elevate in an organization, it becomes more and more important that you lean on and rely on the teams around you to get things done. In an organization the size of Disneyland Paris, I don’t know everything that’s going on, so I really need a team that surrounds me, who are experts at what they do, and who I trust wholeheartedly in their daily jobs.
I rely heavily on teamwork and collaboration, constantly reinforcing that people work together. At the end of the day, our collective success is what’s going to shine through.
Courage is also important. You have to be able to make bold moves. You have to do things that are difficult. You want to make sure that when you’re making those decisions, you have the right counsel behind you. I think teams do expect leaders to be able to make these difficult decisions.
Being approachable is something I hold dear. I want people to feel comfortable speaking up in front of me, whether it’s for positive reinforcement or to share concerns. I want people to be able to be transparent, to raise issues and flag concerns. I think it’s important to set that culture within the company.
As I’ve grown as a leader, I find that spending time with our cast members at different levels of the organization energizes me tremendously. I am constantly inspired by them, and it’s also a tremendous source of information. I like being out talking to cast members so I can hear from them directly about what their experience is like, where the challenges are, what they appreciate in their roles.