I just returned from a family vacation in Europe that felt like the Twelve Days of Christmas, but in July. It was the perfect medicine for my soul.  We had the opportunity to spend time with my father’s family in Barcelona, our first au pair, my mentor Karen Slatford, and my AchieveUnite colleague, Fiona Coughlan.  Then we headed off to 7 nights on the beautiful Disney Dream Line® cruise ship. This story is not an advertisement for Disney, but rather a tale of shared values and trust. This trip reminded me that:

  1. Family and friends are really what’s important in life.
  2. Conversations with new people and new experiences are one of the best ways to educate ourselves and our kids.
  3. Holidays and vacations where we allow ourselves to truly disconnect rejuvenate the soul and build resilience. I have always had a hard time with this, and I was able to do it this time – and it was absolutely a magical dream!

One of the highlights, while we were at sea, was meeting Santi and Franco on the Disney Dream cruise ship. They are the Chief Engineer and Head of Electrical Engineering, and they keep the entire ship running smoothly, immaculate everywhere, and maintain all the equipment.  These gentlemen were two of the kindest and friendliest people I have ever met. Their pedigree and deep maritime experience, incredible knowledge of the ship, and of everything engineering related was off the charts!  Both are from the same island in Sicily, and both are extremely customer and team focused: they truly inspired me.

Santi and I spoke about his philosophy on leadership.  How do you keep this whole team who are on a ship for weeks at a time aligned and working together?, I asked him.

  1. He believes in hiring for empathy, and a deep sense of accountability and responsibility.
  2. He believes the team is all about trust and his relationships with every member of his team are all based on trust. I had the opportunity to share with him the incredible work we are doing on PQi® and our ability to measure trust and speed up trust, and help others accelerate their own trust-building abilities!
  3. He believes that reviewing your employees is not about a number and an annual review; it’s an ongoing conversation and it’s all about in the moment feedback and helping people achieve their own goals as well.
  4. Santi took time to explain very clearly what and how things work in a language my husband Drew and I, and both our boys could understand and stay interested in.
  5. Santi loves passion, energy, and people who care deeply about what they are doing and take pride in their work. He hires to this.
  6. He believes it’s all about the culture and the team and how you constantly build and help them achieve their success.

As I talked with Santi, I thought for sure he knew our company and understood about trust and our Partnering Quotient Index, PQi®.  But he had no idea; Santi and Disney are just ahead of their time and are living what AchieveUnite, Partnering for Success, and PQi are all about. Santi has a team of about 90-100 people who work on the ship – they are the people we weren’t often aware of because they make everything run perfectly on the ship. They are part of the 1500 crew members aboard the Disney Dream ensuring travelers are safe, comfortable, and living the Disney Dream.

Santi and Franco were the highlights of our Disney Dream cruise, and we are so grateful they went out of their way to talk to us because my husband and I are always fascinated about how things fit together and work to make the ship operate so smoothly. I was absolutely blown away to have been able to have this level of conversation on trust and people and culture with a Disney Dream leader while on holiday in the Mediterranean Sea with my family.  It was truly a gift.

Santi has been with Disney for 15 + years which also says a lot about Disney’s loyalty to their people, and their desire to give their people challenges and experiences that motivate them. Santi clearly has an incredible IQ in his domain – engineering, financial budgets, and maritime. He has profound EQ and PQi in people – I bet trust building is one of his superpowers, and he would score very high across the 5 partnering profiles in PQi.

Have you ever had a vacation like this that felt like a huge gift?  Could a tool like PQi help your organization embrace the power of trust? Contact us today!