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Simple Values Produce Great Leaders

“It takes a great leader to run a Mickey Mouse operation” – JSP

Who hasn’t heard of Walt Disney? Walt and his brother Roy formed Walt Disney Productions, which eventually became one of the best-known motion-picture production companies in the world. Walt Disney (an innovative animator), created the cartoon character Mickey Mouse, he also won 22 Academy Awards using his vivid childlike imagination. He founded both theme parks Disneyland and Walt Disney World.

The name Walt Disney usually isn’t the first one that comes to mind when we think of great leadership. Disney is at the top of the list of the most innovative inspiring team developing leaders who left an awe-inspiring legacy that just keeps growing.

The Simple Values of an Inspiring Leader

Disney had a high level of integrity. It’s said that whenever Disney made a promise he made good on it. He not only kept his promises but always exceeded expectations in delivering on them! He was also a relentless perfectionist when it came to his work and was more critical of his creations than anyone else could be.

Walt Disney maintained humility in the face of immense success; he was famous for saying, “I hope that we never lose sight of one thing – that it was all started by a mouse.” These simple down to earth values and the ability to model and impart them to those who worked with him developed a culture of excellence.

It’s my opinion that Walt Disney’s commitment to these simple values made him an exceptional leader who produced some of the most productive leaders who continue to assemble amazingly creative teams.  Disney was a tenderhearted tough minded leader whose passion added value to everyone connected with his vision.

Douglas R. Conant in HIS insightful article “What do great leaders have in common” wrote; “At a high-level, in a nutshell, I’ve observed that the very best leaders approach their work in a way that is tough-minded on standards and tender-hearted with people. They are experts at doing both; they deftly marry the “head” and the “heart.” Masterfully, they can simultaneously prioritize people and performance — and do so in a way that is humble, brave, and authentic to who they really are.” (1)

“Good managers model consistency and good leaders model growth” – JSP

I enjoy reading the stories of highly successful leaders, their victories and their failures along the way. I’m encouraged by how they handled failure and inspired by their commitment to learn and to win. I’m energized by their desire to develop the best in others and doing it while they’re developing the best in themselves. Walt Disney embodied and produced both good managers and good leaders.

If you’re like me, you enjoy developing those around you. My advice to all would be leaders is simple; “Develop your strengths, address your weaknesses and be honest about both.”  I like keeping things simple so here’s my basic “ABC….D’s” approach to helping others grow.

Appreciate every person for who they are and for what they do Believe in their abilities and their commitment to developing them Congratulate them on every success and encourage learning from every failure Dedicate yourself to their personal growth while modeling your dedication to your own.

“The person who figures out how to harness the collective genius of the people in his or her organization is going to blow the competition away!” – Walter Wriston

(1) “What do great leaders have in common” by Douglas R. Conant

*** This article was authored by John Picarello, Chief Leadership Officer at Lions Pride Leadership Co.***

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