FREDERICK, MD—Class will be in session again as the National Auto Auction Association makes lesson plans for another Dynamic Leadership Institute in 2013. The inaugural two-day program presented by the Disney Institute this past April in Orlando, Florida, proved to be such an outstanding success with the sold-out seminar's 100 students that it's being brought back by popular demand.
"The event exceeded all expectations in every way, from the at-capacity class of participants and professional presentations by the Disney staff to the creative activities, delightful surroundings and perfect weather," stated NAAA President Charlotte Pyle. "It was an ideal program with a consistent overall message on leadership and teamwork development."
President Pyle opened the session with a surprise drawing for 10 gift presentations, including certificates to Hilton properties and a round of golf on the championship Rees Jones-designed course at the Waldorf Astoria resort during the upcoming annual conference in October. Then students learned about the Disney Leadership Excellence Model and how to adapt it to their businesses.
Following a poolside lunch, the class caught a behind-the-scenes glimpse of Disney as members were whisked through the back entrance to Epcot Center for their teambuilding exercise, "The Incredible Race." There the group was divided randomly in 17 teams, splitting up work colleagues and friends, mingling the representatives of both independent and corporate auctions.
"We wanted to our members to meet new people and share their experiences from various business backgrounds to tackle the challenges of the race, which were designed to improve their
ability for critical-thinking, problem-solving, decision-making and communication," Pyle explained. "They were pretty evenly matched and the competitve spirit was very high."
One test faced by NAAA President-elect Paul Lips and his team was to create lyrics and a dance performed to the iconic theme song of Disney's popular attraction "It's a Small World"—in the shortest time possible. "It was an amazing teambuilding experience," he said. "Not only was it fun and creative, but it was great to work with people other than my fellow ADESA employees. Plus, it felt really rewarding to win the race!"
NAAA Vice President Jack Neshe said the team mixing exercise offered a constructive benefit: "As a GM, I found it of terrific value to spend time with younger middle managers and see our future leaders at work."
The top three teams received gold, silver and bronze medals—as well as bragging rights—while all participants were given an exclusive "Incredible Race" collectible pin. Later, at a grand celebration dinner, all graduates were awarded a Disney Institute Certificate along with a special desktop memorabilia trophy designed by the artists who created the Academy Awards' Oscar, a golden statuette of Mickey Mouse appropriately called "The Mousecar." A spectacular fireworks display, "Illuminations: Reflections of Earth," viewed from a private patio closed the event with a bang.
"Without exception, the Disney Institute is a first-class organization that provides the best training in the world" remarked Frank Hackett, NAAA's chief executive officer. "They made our Dynamic Leadership Institute a worthwhile event and overwhelming success. I believe our association recognizes that and will continue to support the program."
Pyle said the event would not have been possible without the enthusiastic response from the membership and the generous assistance of the four NAAA Chapters. "The chapters deserve a special note of thanks and my sincerest gratitude for each donating $10,000 to sponsor this leadership development initiative. Because of them, 100 individuals were helped to identify a vision of how to be a better leader and empowered with a plan to carry it out."
She encouraged every member of the class to spread their newly gained knowledge by implementing some of the strategies they learned within 10 days of returning to the office.
"Professional development is worth sharing because it improves business results to the benefit of all."
As an alumnus of the Class of 2012, Lips agreed that the educational effort should be continued and has already chosen the topic for the curriculum. "I'm looking forward to being involved next year when we'll return to the Disney Institute for a program focused on customer service!"
NAAA Posted 5/9/2012