How to lead like Walt

Walt's Frozen Head's picture

1. Connect with People on a Personal Level

"Whenever anyone called him Mr. Disney he got upset. It was always Walt. And he always knew your name. In the early days, we didn't wear name tags, but Walt still called you by your first name. Once he knew your name, he never forgot it."
- Gary Carlson, Disney Sound Engineer

2. Encourage People to Learn

"Walt ran the studio like a university. We were learning all the time and a few of us were going to art school at night. Walt would drive us there and pick us up later."
- Les Clark, Disney animator

3. Stop Being Afraid

"The rest of us live in fear. Walt had no fear."
- Jim Korkis, Disney historian

There is a poem by Christopher Logue that perfectly sums up that 'have no fear' instinct of Walt's and how it could inspire others to take risks and achieve things they never thought were possible. It's a perfect summing up of how leaders inspire people to achieve more than they think they can:

Come to the Edge (poem)

Come to the edge, he said
They said: We are afraid
Come to the edge, he said
They said: It is too high
Come to the edge! he said
They came
He pushed them
...and they flew

 

Up from the Hub archives. Originally published in 2012.

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