Over the past month Disney movies have dominated the movies both on television and in the cinema, with Mary Poppins Returns leading the way. But Walt Disney wasn’t just a showman he was a visionary and leader that pioneered and went where others had not even dreamed to go.
In his seminal book “21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader” the final quality he lists is vison, and he states, “A great leader’s courage to fulfill their vision comes from passion, not position.”
Vision is therefore everything for a leader, it leads the leader, it paints the target, it sparks and fuels the fire within, drawing the leader forward and it is also the fire lighter for others who follow that leader.
Based on some of his most well know quotes are a few thoughts around vision and leadership, often in short supply but is without doubt the lifeblood of every leader and their organization.
Dream Big “If you can dream it, you can do it.”
What if money, time, looks, and gender were no object? What would your biggest dream be? Often, we short-change ourselves. We listen to other people putting us or our organisations down, and internalise them. It’s hard to remember our dreams. Harder still, to imagine that we could achieve a dream. Take Walt Disney’s words to heart. Start dreaming. Then believe that you can achieve your dream.
Be Grateful “The more you are in a state of gratitude, the more you will attract things to be grateful for.”
What are you grateful for? We all have endless reasons to be grateful. What do you take for granted? Chances are that you’re blasé about your health, your comfortable home, your loving family, and about your job. Even if you have none of those things, you can be grateful for being alive. Studies have shown that gratitude improves your health, your relationships, and makes you happier.
Be Courageous“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.”
It takes courage to step outside your comfort zone. However, achieving your dreams always means that you’re doing things you’ve never done before. Practice being courageous. Today, do something you haven’t done before. Propose a new project to your boss. Ask that question. Start writing that business plan for that idea that has been rattling around in your head for months. Being courageous doesn’t mean that you’re unafraid. It means acting in spite of your fear.
Be Yourself “The more you like yourself, the less you are like anyone else, which makes you unique.”
We all wear masks. We try to be what we think people want us to be. We try to emulate role models. What if you were just yourself? Discovering who you are underneath all the masks is challenging. It’s hard to be authentic if you’re not sure who you are. Just for today, be yourself. Say what you mean, rather than saying what you think someone wants to hear. However, be appropriate—being “like yourself” isn’t a license to be outrageous, or to say hurtful things.
“I have been up against tough competition all my life. I wouldn’t know how to get along without it.”
Competition is essential to help you to achieve your dreams. If there were no competition, you’d have nothing against which to measure yourself. Competition makes you better and stronger than you might otherwise be. In business, competition fosters innovation. If you’re uncomfortable with competition, or envious of competitors, ask yourself why, maybe your vision needs adjusted?
“The difference in winning and losing is most often… not quitting.”
You can’t succeed at anything without failing and failing a lot. Failure is the way we learn, it is why it is so important we change our education system and embrace experiential learning. Here’s what Thomas Edison said: “The three great essentials to achieve anything worthwhile are, first, hard work; second, stick-to-itiveness; third, common sense.”Everyone fails their way to success. Look on your failures as speed bumps in your journey towards success and keep going. Don’t quit, and if you haven’t watched it, take some timeout and watch “Saving Mr. Banks” Disney just would not quit!