5 Considerations for Strong Leadership in the Amusement Industry

strong leadership

This year has been challenging, and for a good reason. As we round the corner into 2021, the amusement and entertainment industry has faced challenges that nobody imagined. We’ve learned a lot in 2020, and one of the biggest lessons we learned was how important strong leadership is for businesses, big and small. 

Individuals in amusement leadership roles have had to navigate everything from new concession food safety protocols and quickly rehiring to new ways to communicate with guests effectively

Whether it’s a carnival, arcade, ski resort, or giant theme park, businesses need managers that understand how strong leadership translates into action. Some operators are lucky enough to have experiences who have the training to lead.

What do you need to consider for strong leadership? It’s time to take an honest look at where your business is, what’s working, and what needs to be adjusted to hit the ground running in 2021.

Clear communication is still king

While facing new and never-before-seen challenges, the game plan can change at a moment’s notice. Change is difficult for people, and short-notice change is even more difficult.  Without quick and clear communication about policy changes, resentment can quickly damage company morale.

Strong leaders ensure critical communication reaches everyone via email, phone calls, texts, and staff meetings. Strong leaders deliver the message themselves to everyone ensuring the message is clear and timely, and nothing gets lost as it often does when critical communication is delegated.

Hire the right managers

A good manager can be worth his or her weight in gold. A great manager is like a great coach. They develop team members to perform at the highest level and keep their staff motivated. When you have a great manager, you reduce your employee turnover, and profits increase.

A good manager always goes first and is willing to do and demonstrate any ask. They have an eye for hiring high-energy individuals that show up on time, work hard, and can keep a smile when it’s 95 or 35 degrees outside. When you find a great manager, make them feel appreciated, and reward them for the value they bring.

Make training more interesting

Nothing is more tedious and less effective than passive training. Safety is number one in the amusement and entertainment industry. Engaged employees are an effect of involved employers. If managers walk the walk and show commitment and energy to training, employees are much more likely to buy-in. 

Start by letting employees know the statistics — 4,600 workers are killed every year, and over 1 million are injured in workplace injuries. Create training that enables employees to problem-solve relevant scenarios they may face on the job. The more active and engaging the training, the better prepared and motivated employees will act when they need to.

Learn from successful amusement and entertainment leaders

Disney knows a thing or two about running successful amusement parks. During his decade-long role as Executive V.P. of Operations at the Walt Disney World Resort, Lee Cockerell was in charge of over 40,000 employees. Cockerell developed Disney’s “Great Leader Strategies,” which developed more than 7,000 leaders at Walt Disney World. Seven essential lessons are highlighted in Disney’s “Great Leader Strategies.” 

  1. Everyone is important
  2. Create magic through training
  3. What professionalism looks like for you
  4. Get employees on board
  5. Hire right
  6. Training is key
  7. Treat people right

Check out the full interview where Lee Cockerell discusses his favorite leadership tips and customer service insights from his decade long career at Walt Disney World.

Strong leaders protect what’s important

The greatest characteristic of a strong leader is recognizing what’s important and having a plan in place to protect it. This includes having the right insurance coverage.

McGowan Allied Specialty Insurance is an expert in the art of insuring amusement and entertainment risks. With more than 35 years of expertise and risk management in the amusement and entertainment industry McGowan Allied is ready for whatever comes your way today, tomorrow, and beyond. 

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