I am a firm believer, and I believe this in all aspects of my life, that when we come from a place of gratitude, magical things happen.
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– Hey everybody, Drew McLellan here from Agency Management Institute. This week, I am coming to you from the Walt Disney Suite at the Grand Floridian in Orlando, Florida. In last week’s video, I showed you some of the artwork from this amazing suite. And behind me you’re going to see, so all the artwork in this entire remarkable suite of rooms so all the artwork in this entire remarkable suite of rooms are from the Disney or the Imagineering Archives. So for example, this is a piece of concept art for Nautilus, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, at Disneyland Paris. So all of the rooms are filled with this amazing sort of historical look at Disney and some of the iconic attractions, and sort of Walt’s life, so it’s been really remarkable to be surrounded by this. And it’s really been inspiring in terms of being able to stay in a room that sort of celebrates one of my biggest heroes, one of my biggest sort of mentors, even though obviously I never met him. I aspire to be as innovative and creative, and build a team like Walt did. So, a lot of you have been asking me, how did I get the opportunity to stay in this room, which no normal person probably could ever afford? So I can’t even imagine what this room cost rack rate. But the way that I am able to stay in this room for the time that I am doing all of these workshops on property, is, in a single word, gratitude. So, I’m a firm believer, I like to work with the same people over and over again, and especially when we work well together. So I have worked with the same sales team on the Disney team for probably the last decade as we’ve been holding events here. And I have worked very hard to build a great relationship with them. They do an amazing job as you might imagine, Disney standards. And so I’m really very clear that I want to show gratitude And so I’m really very clear that I want to show gratitude when they do an exceptional job. So I’m constantly filling out surveys, sending notes to their supervisor, making sure that everybody at all levels of the Disney organization know that my team has once again exceeded even Disney standards and my expectations, by creating a great event for me and my participants. I’ve also created a personal relationship with these people. So, we get together and we have a drink when I’m down here, I try and remember their kids’ birthdays, I try and be connected with them, but most of all, I just am really, really genuinely grateful for how well they take care of us. So, last year, after I had signed a contract, locking us into certain days of the workshop, they reached out to me because they had a big group, much larger than my group, that wanted the same days that I had contracted for. And so, I worked with them, and it wasn’t easy to try and rearrange what we had already done, what we had already set into place, but I worked with them, and I said to her from the very get-go, “I want to help you do this, I just have to figure out how that we can do it, but I’m committed to helping you do this so that you can honor that large client and fulfill your goals, but also I need to take care of my folks and my goals.” So we worked for about a month, trying to figure out how to flip flop schedules and move things around so it worked for my needs, but more importantly, worked for her and her other client. And we were able to do that. So, as a gesture of gratitude, this is what I got as a thank you. So, she didn’t have to thank me. Disney didn’t have to thank me for doing that. But they did. And, this is it. So, I got to stay in this amazing suite for the entire stay, so I’ve been here for about ten days, so think about the revenue that that cost them. Because I am only paying my regular room rate, right? Which is, I’m sure, significantly different. But it all stems from creating a relationship, and coming from a place of gratitude. Now I know a lot of you are great at this already. But one of the things I do notice is that account service people don’t always come up through the ranks, understanding the importance of gratitude. So one of the things I think that you as agency owners and leaders need to do is you need to infuse the spirit of gratitude through your organization, and show, not just tell, but show your people how to demonstrate gratitude for co-workers, for clients, and for the opportunities that they are afforded inside the agency. So, every one of you probably has a culture around gratitude. So I’m not going to prescribe how you should do that, but I am going to prescribe that having an attitude of gratitude inside the agency, and especially with long-time clients. So, whether you have a client love event where you are sort of showering them with appreciation, whether you hold an annual meeting, where you celebrate the good work you got to do together, and you thank them for their business, whether AEs are empowered to show their gratitude in smaller ways, whether it’s taking clients out to dinner, or sending gifts for their kids on their birthday, whatever it is, you’ve got to figure out how your agency expresses gratitude, and you need to weave it into the DNA of your agency. Because I am a firm believer, and I believe this in all aspects of my life, that when we come from a place of gratitude, magical things happen. Whether you’re on the magical grounds of Disney World or not. Magical things come out of gratitude. And you can help sort of imbibe that inside your agency by living it, by showing it, and by teaching it. Alright? So go and talk to your leadership team about how would we rate our level of gratitude expression, both internally with each other, and also externally with vendors and clients. Would we give ourselves an A, a B, a C, and what can we do to up our game there? What can we do to institutionalize it? How do we make sure that we are doing it on a regular basis, that it’s not just when someone thinks of it? And put it into the playbook of how your agency is run. It’s really, really valuable and there’s… It’s a valuable attitude, and there’s a huge ROI on it, absolutely. Okay? I’ll talk to you next week.