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How to Shape Thinking and Influence Executives with Retired Walt Disney World Parks President, Meg Crofton (Ep81)

Unsure how to influence executives as a consultant or coach? Here's what you need to know

Join me for a powerful conversation with Meg Crofton, the former president of Walt Disney World Parks and Resorts. Meg imparts her wisdom on how she used her power skill of "shaping thinking" to lead change and ultimately become the first woman President of one of the world's most beloved organizations.

This episode is a treasure trove of insights. We explore the value of moving leaders across different departments to garner a holistic view of the organization. Meg shares her thoughts on shaping thinking, a concept borne of her career journey, and its importance in translating a company's vision into meaningful activity. Gather around as we discuss the intricacies of building credibility, gaining a deep understanding of an organization's language, and the power of storytelling in captivating your audience.

Our conversation also takes a deep look into the shift from non-profit to for-profit boards, tackling imposter syndrome, and the power of an outside perspective. Meg beautifully encapsulates the continuous learning journey, even in leadership roles, and how she has balanced board service, pro bono work, and personal development. Ready to absorb leadership wisdom from the top? Meg Crofton awaits. Tune in and let's start the conversation.

Where to dive in:

(0:00:05) - Leadership Journey (14 Minutes)

Today on the show, I'm so excited to have Meg Crofton with me. Meg was the president of Walt Disney World Parks and Resorts and I was fortunate enough to have worked with her as an OD consultant. We talk about leadership and how honing influence skills can truly benefit consultants and coaches in their effectiveness within an organization. Meg shares her journey to the top spot, what it means to be a woman in a leadership role, and how marketing shaped her perspective on leadership. We also discuss the concept of shaping thinking and how it is essential in the workplace. Meg's story is full of inspiration and I'm so grateful to have her here today.

(0:14:11) - Developing Executives Through Diverse Experiences (5 Minutes)

Meg Crofton, the former president of Walt Disney World Parks and Resorts, and I chat about her experience and expertise in developing executives. We discuss the importance of moving leaders around and how it gives them a holistic picture of the company. We also explore the idea that having a diverse portfolio of different functional experiences may help to develop influential skills and shaping thinking. Finally, we talk about the need to understand how people think in different departments in order to drive work through the organization.

(0:19:11) - Shaping Thinking (15 Minutes)

Meg Crofton and I explore her experience in developing executives. She explains how her time working with her father in the space program and her education in marketing had a major impact on her approach to shaping thinking. We look at how Meg's early work experience at Disney and her Leaders as Teachers program at the Disney University helped her create her own definition of shaping thinking. Meg shares how her definition of shaping thinking is all about translating a company's vision and mission into meaningful activity that helps people develop conviction for their work.

(0:34:34) - Leadership and Development for Consultants (9 Minutes)

Meg and I discuss essential skills for great leadership and how to foster successful relationships with clients. We explore the importance of balancing listening and learning with influencing to build credibility and trust. Meg shares her experience working with top executives at Disney and how understanding the language and body language of an organization is key to delivering successful results. Lastly, she stresses the importance of being able to read the room and getting out of the water when faced with difficult questions.

(0:43:47) - Building Credibility and Connection in Presentations (11 Minutes)

Meg Crofton and I discuss how to be successful in the role of a facilitator. We touch on imposter syndrome and how to shift your thinking. We emphasize knowing your audience and the impact of stories when presenting. Meg shares her experience in media coaching and how to build relationships with clients. Lastly, we talk about essential skills for great leadership and the importance of balancing confidence with receptivity.

(0:54:28) - Lessons From Non-Profit to for-Profit Boards (4 Minutes)

Meg Crofton and I discuss the importance of recognizing and shifting apology energy. We explore the need for reframing our insecurities in order to effectively present ourselves in interviews. Meg shares her experience with sponsors who helped her reframe her experiences, and we examine the power of an outside perspective in balancing positional authority. Finally, Meg shares her experience since leaving Disney and offers her advice for those who want to stay in a learning environment.

(0:58:36) - Leadership Lessons and Personal Development (7 Minutes)

Today Meg and I look into the importance of recognizing and shifting apology energy. We examine how to reframe our insecurities to effectively communicate, and how to take ownership of our skills and ability to foster successful relationships. We stress the need to be open to learning, even when we're in positions of leadership, and the impact our legacy has on others. Meg shares her journey of balancing board service, pro bono work, and self-development, as well as her plans for writing a book someday. She also speaks to the power of connecting with a diverse range of clients and how it can help organizations move faster. Finally, Meg invites listeners to reach out to her on LinkedIn and share their own experiences.

About the guest: As an accomplished senior leader, Meg Crofton was extremely fortunate to build a 35-year career with The Walt Disney Company, helping to shape this prestigious global brand. With direct accountability for multifaceted operations and 100,000+ “cast members”, together we delivered record levels of revenue and profits, developed world-class leadership talent, focused on continuous improvement of guest experiences, and drove strategic change to include the integration of physical and digital experiences. In 2015, she retired from Disney and is making the most of my leadership experience through contributions to corporate and philanthropic boards. In addition, Meg truly enjoys and welcomes speaking opportunities aimed at leaders who are focused on their own development, customer service, culture building, and change management. During my presentations, she use storytelling and Q&A dialogue to share my career journey and lessons learned. With a passion for developing leaders, Meg derives great satisfaction from empowering high-potential talent to become the best possible version of themselves. She is interested in mentoring roles for executives and consulting projects on change management initiatives. Meg is confident that the wisdom and experiences she shares can bring game-changing results. Meg is a lifelong learner and inspirational leader who is highly motivated to engage in meaningful work that will be of service to others. She believes it is both a responsibility and a privilege to share our experiences in life and leadership, and to pay it forward. As an avid collector of inspirational quotes, one of my favorites is “leaders don’t force others to follow, they invite them on a journey.” (Charles Lauer)

About me: Betsy Jordyn is a Brand Positioning Strategist that helps consulting and coaching business owners clarify their brand positioning and messaging, create a website presence that positions them as sought-after experts, land clients with ease and integrity, and take their place as thought leaders and influencers in their niche. Her mission is to help consultants and coaches monetize their best-at strengths and authentic passions to make a bigger difference in the world. Check out her brand strategy, messaging, and design services at https://www.betsyjordyn.com


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Schedule a consult call to talk about what you need to do to nail your messaging and rock your copy so you can stand out in the market and attract clients: https://betsyjordyn.com/schedule 

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