The Quality Service Contractors held its Power Meeting XIV Feb. 1-3 at Walt Disney World's Coronado Springs Resort in Orlando, Fla.

The fair weather was not what drew the record-setting 219 attendees to the meeting, and neither was Disney's legendary service. These factors certainly weren't drawbacks, but they were far overshadowed by the information shared to help QSC members improve their businesses.

QSC members learned the philosophies and practices that drove the Disney company's success in two seminars presented by the Disney Institute - "Service, Disney Style," and "Leadership, Disney Style."

The speakers told the group that, for a business to be successful and have someone besides the owner employed, there must exist a mutually beneficial relationship between the company and its employees. What makes this relationship a success?


Once upon a time, in Orlando, a very large construction project was in the works for Disney. This project required the personal attention of some executives from Disney's headquarters in Anaheim, Calif. The executives flew in and found the CEO at the construction site. It was evening and there was no white-collar business going on - the workers were laying sod. The well-dressed executives asked the CEO if there was anything to do, since it appeared there was no use for them to be there.

The CEO motioned to the rolled-up strips of sod. The executives were confused and said "We don't know anything about sod." Then the CEO said "Well boys, it's very simple. Green side goes up."

This is a true story.

To this day Disney has a saying - "green side up" - that stands for pitching in where it's necessary, even if it's not what you were hired to do.

This is applicable to just about every company in any industry. Disney knows that. QSC know that, too. Stories like this are incredibly valuable to anyone in a position of leadership, and even more valuable to businesses looking to improve their day-to-day operations that may be hampered by difficulties ranging from hiring and keeping good employees, to maintaining customer relations.

Attendees learned that the "green side up" ideology applies to each and every individual in the company - even the owner. In Disney World, some may notice it is exceptionally clean. The primary reason for this is that it is every Disney employee's duty to pick up trash, not just the duty of the maintenance crew. Leading by example is a powerful way to show your employees what you expect of them, while at the same time not overloading them with tasks that you refuse to do yourself.

The Disney speakers said the nebular effect of leadership is felt in every nook and cranny of the organization. Better leadership leads to easier bookkeeping, which leads to a healthier bottom line. Better leadership allows for greater individual attention for both customers and employees. Happy employees, as well satisfied customers, is the key to a healthy business.

Besides leading by example, other suggestions offered to QSC members included solutions for screening potential job candidates and advertising for positions you need filled.

Along with spending a couple of days with the Disney Institute, QSC members saw Bob Losyk introduce "Building Blocks For The Building Business - Who Has Time For Time Management," and "Generation X-ceptional," which were replete with ideas to fortify management techniques. He offered strategies for recruiting and motivating young employees. Losyk stressed that Gen Xers are the most abused and neglected generation in history. He offered suggestions on ways of motivating this group, who generally have a reputation as poor employees.

Additionally, two new programs for QSC members only were unveiled:

  • "The Customer Care-Part II" manual ("How to Build Bridges to New Clients")
    This manual by Ron Resnikoff provides proven programs with techniques for acquiring and keeping new clients. It also shows how these programs can be customized to match your capabilities, your market, and the way you do business.

  • A QSC Consumer Finance Program (revolving customer charge card)
    The card, offered by Conseco, provides a 1 percent rebate to contractors and eliminates the normal user fees along with a host of other benefits.
In other QSC news, Chairman Scott Ziegler was re-elected, and Rebecca Gold was re-elected as trustee. Paul Nebrasky stepped down from his trustee position and Steve Birch was elected to take his place.

QSC will hold its Power Meeting XV Sept. 12-16 in Reno, Nev., in conjunction with the PHCC-NA Annual Business meeting. Call 800/533-7964 for more information.