Introduction: Energizing a Changing Workplace

Picture Walt Disney World. We are standing in the Magic Kingdom, and the grand parade that takes place every day is rolling past. The parade has been exciting and entertaining, full of genuinely magical spectacles, and here at the end, heading toward us right now, is the final float, the one that excites the children more than any other. Here comes Mickey Mouse.

With this book, that’s not what interests us. We could not possibly quantify the particular magic of Mickey Mouse. Many have tried that already, and we are not sure anyone has quite succeeded. Mickey is simply magic incarnate, we suppose. No, what interests us with this book is the guy coming up behind Mickey’s float. We’re interested not in the cast member who occupies that Mickey suit, but rather in the one who cleans up after the horse that pulls Mickey’s carriage.

This is a true story. We knew a Magic Kingdom Parade cast member whose job was to follow Mickey Mouse’s horse-drawn coach, which is always the last float in the procession of the daily three o’clock parade at the Magic Kingdom. This means that this one cast member was the last person anyone saw in the parade. His job? To shovel the horses’ poop into a large can he pushed around on wheels.

So here’s an employee who gets to parade in front of thousands of people every day as he winds his way through the Magic Kingdom, and he’s doing it all with that rancid-smelling bucket rolling along at his side. If that had ...

Get Talent Keepers now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.