„The personal brand for me was built upon all of those different jobs and experiences that had taught me different things. Sometimes it was marketing, sometimes it was sales, finance, operations, or creative content development. But along the journey, I got experience in all of those areas, and that was building my brand. And so when I got to Disneyland, as intimidating as it was, that we were closed, and all of these people were home, I felt very confident that I had the skill sets and the experience to be able to manage through this real gigantic disruption.
My focus was recognizing that it was a unique opportunity to reinvent the business. And then, that leads to, especially in a business that's 68 years old like Disneyland - you don't reinvent it. It's a tradition-laden business and people are very hesitant about change. And in fact, I had always heard stories about if you were going to move a bench, there were guests that would handcuff themselves to it because Walt had put this bench there.”
While the 100th Years Anniversary celebration of the Walt Disney Company in Disneyland has started a couple of weeks ago, Ken Potrok is opening up about his professional journey at Disney – how it started, and how challenging it was to become the President of Disneyland, at the very beginning of the pandemic.
We have also discussed:
📍 leading a 34.000-employees organization, that includes six generations,
📍 company culture and belonging – creating a Disney difference,
📍 extraordinary educational program for the company’s employees,
📍 the "zig-zag career path", that provides a set of skills helpful in succeeding in crisis-oriented situations,
📍 the role of the family and the Polish roots,
📍 the cost you pay for having the career you want,
📍 the dark sides of leadership and situations that might break you up.