Disney U by Doug Lipp, a book review

Disney U: How Disney University Develops the World’s Most Engaged, Loyal, and Customer-Centric Employees by Doug Lipp, a book review

George: Doug Lipp, a consultant, public speaker and former Disney University trainer has released a new book about customers, loyalty and creating a customer-centric business. Disney U: How Disney University Develops the World’s Most Engaged, Loyal, and Customer-Centric Employees is not your standard tome of how Disney does things different. It’s a book that’s going to appeal to business leaders and Disney nerds.

disney u lipp

Jeff: I looked at Disney U from the side of a Disney nerd. I don’t own a business, nor do I have to manage of team of individuals. However, despite my not being the target audience for this book, I still found myself enjoying it, and even learning a few things. Doug manages to find the perfect balance between teaching how to keep your employees engaged and entertaining stories to keep everyone interested.

George: What most people (business leaders, trainers) are going to take away from Disney U are the 13 lessons Doug provides. They’re more than just straightforward lectures about how to run your business the Disney way. Doug uses personal and historical anecdotes to bring the lessons to life and offer so much more than just a litany of business facts. What most Disney nerds are going to take away are the stories of Van Arsdale France, Tom Eastman and so many other Disney Legends.

disney u

Jeff: The anecdotal stories are what kept me coming back for more. Every time I thought I was beginning to lose focus on the business lesson side of it, Doug would come back in, and tie it all together with yet another story. It’s an effective teaching tool, and Doug uses his arsenal of great stories to his advantage!

As for working with Tom and Van. Both men had a vision for the Disney University that was unwavering and unambiguous. There was never any doubt about what either were thinking. Most important, both embodied the vision and values of Walt Disney. I am honored to have had the opportunity of learning from them. -Doug Lipp

George: Each of the lessons is followed with a review (a really great summary) and the application of Van’s Four Circumstances: Innovate, Support, Educate and Entertain. It’s a great way for Doug to tie together the lessons and the anecdotes. It also creates a quick summary to reinforce and refresh the lessons. Doug also provides a solid index to the book to locate people and places. Another bright side is the inclusion of a notes section. Doug interviewed a lot of people and used many different resources to create the book. He doesn’t want you to take his word for granted and there is a long list of interviewees and books.


Jeff: Overall, I think a lot of people will get something out of Disney U. Whether you actually do manage a team, or are just looking to expand a bit of your knowledge, this book will not disappoint. I highly recommend it for DisNerds, and even for people who may necessarily be DisNerds, but want to run a better company.

George: Disney U is a great book for those looking to get into the Disney frame of mind. Not only will you walk away with valuable lessons from Doug, Van and Tom, but you’ll get some great history lessons!

Have you read Disney U by Doug Lipp? Van was an important figure in Disney history, do you think he deserves more attention?

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