The summer months have always been a reprieve for me. A time for recharging, dreaming, reflecting, and even learning. I love to read, and I often fill my iPad with a variety of books to get the brain working. This summer isn’t going to be any different. What is different this summer was beginning this July with a trip to Disneyland. Sure, that may sound like a normal thing to do during a summer holiday, but as a child, that would have been totally out of the question for me coming from a farming background in southern Saskatchewan in the nineteen fifties and sixties. What I didn’t realize until recently, I was born the same year Disneyland was open. What a notable coincidence for me.
Off to Disneyland we went with Grandson #1 in tow. After experiencing what is called a 3 Day Hopper Pass, I can say I felt all ‘Disneyed’ out! One night during the five total days we spent in Anaheim, I watched a movie on Netflix called ‘Walt Before Mickey’. Although the acting was quite poor in the show, it did help me get ‘behind’ the life of Walt Disney and the reason I titled this writing ‘Creative, Quality Leadership’! Here was a man who lived to dream, and spent his entire life working to make that dream happen. He was painfully unsuccessful for many years, until his perseverance paid off and his creativity led him to Mickey, a cartoon mouse who would change his entire life. Walt was an artist. He was a dreamer and I believe he was a leader. His leadership skills led him to stick it out, make some amazing plans, invited others into his world, and even today, 50 years after his death, continues to impact the world. One characteristic most striking for me is ‘quality’! The movie often speaks of his deepest desire to create the very best cartoons possible. As I spent the 3 days walking between Disneyland and The California Experience, I too couldn’t help but notice the quality. The place is immaculately clean. The music is perfectly timed. The ‘fake scenery’ is precise and appropriate down to the last detail. I loved watching the parades, and listening to how the music literally ‘moved’ along the route in the speakers behind us as the floats wound their way through the streets of Disneyland.
This is what leadership calls us all to be about. Bring on the creativity and the quality. Be the best we can be as we reach for our dreams and hopes. Thank you Walt for being this kind of leader. As we celebrate the 60th Anniversary of Disneyland, these qualities will surely bring us sixty more years.