First Disney Podcast episode, first question

Disney Employee Speakers
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Who is jeff?

Jeff Noel, like most people, is a simple guy balancing many of life’s familiar titles: child, spouse, parent, relative, neighbor, owner, artist, volunteer, athlete, writer, secretary.

He also has some obscure titles – to everyone but the most fanatical Disney fans – such as the Partners in Excellence Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, The Walt Disney Legacy Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, Disney Institute’s most requested and highest rated speaker.

Jeff has also spent many years in Disney’s Flagship Resort as Concierge Manager as well as time as a Custodial Manager in Disney’s Magic Kingdom Theme Park. He was a Disney Trainer, a Disney Traditions Instructor, a member of many high-profile Theme Park and Resort Hotel opening teams as well as the inaugural and leadership paradigm-shifting Guest Satisfaction Measurement Team in the early 1990’s.

Fall had just begun in 1998 when the phone rang in the backstage Concierge Manager’s office on the third floor of Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort’s main building.

Would he answer it?



Because phone calls to the manager’s phone have a 90% chance of adding additional work to your already overloaded day, usually in the form of solving something (creating Magic) no one else can solve (or create).

And if you don’t answer, the caller will likely try another solution – hopefully, one that doesn’t add more work to your insanely busy day. And being on a great Disney team meant whoever took the call had the skill and ability to solve just about anything.

How busy could it be?

If you arrived at the Resort just before 7am to begin your shift, a good day was when you got to go to lunch just after 2pm when the closing manager arrived. A glorious day is when you got 30 minutes of uninterrupted time to eat. This happened roughly five times each year.

Not joking.

Carol, the Disney secretary, asked, “May please speak with Jeff?”

“Speaking” i said.

She proceeded to get right to business, “I need to schedule your lunch meet and greet meeting with Steve Heise, The Director at Disney Institute.”

i quickly replied, “You got the wrong Jeff.”

“You’re Jeff Noel, right?”

“Yes.”, i said, bewildered.

This random, unexpected call changed the course of my life and led me to be telling you this now.

Six months after Carol Main’s call, i received notice that Disney Institute wanted me on their team of Professional Development Facilitators.

Since then i’ve spoken to over one-million people and roughly 2,000 different organizations from every industry sector.

When asked, “What do you do?”, the short answer is, “i preach the Gospel (good news) according to Walt and a spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down.”


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By jeff noel

Retired Disney Institute Keynote Speaker and Prolific Blogger. Five daily, differently-themed personal blogs (about life's 5 big choices) on five interconnected sites.