Talking Point: The Disney Institute Blog

Leadership Lesson From Walt Disney: Communicating a Vision

June 17, 2014 by Bruce Jones, Senior Programming Director, Disney Institute

“Of all the things I’ve done, the most vital is coordinating those
who work with me and aiming their efforts at a certain goal.”
- Walt Disney

A recent Forbes article, “The Keys of Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse Leadership,” shares four ideas inspired by Walt Disney that leaders can emulate to forge their own success.

The story details how Walt’s unwaivering perseverance, optimism, innovation and risk-taking all ultimately led to his greatest achievements. Despite facing many challenges and great adversity throughout his career, Walt couldn’t be swayed from his ideas. He was a trailblazer who forged ahead, consistently proving the naysayers and critics wrong.

In the Forbes article, the author also offers four bits of advice inspired by Walt: Chase your dream, believe in yourself, go big or go home, and don’t lose sight of what you are. I would agree, these are all great bits of advice to develop and enhance ones personal leadership skills. But, I would also add that there is another important aspect of Walt Disney’s leadership style that today’s leaders should be emulating: the ability to effectively and passionately communicate a vision.

Despite his many accomplishments, Walt did not do it alone. Recognizing this, he often attributed his success to the many talented individuals on his team: “The whole thing here is the organization. Whatever we accomplish belongs to our entire group, a tribute to our combined effort.” – Walt Disney

Walt understood that he could never be successful alone, and that he needed to inspire and motivate his team to be as passionate about a project as he was. He had mastered the art of communicating his vision of the future to his team…and that’s what truly made him a great leader.

Why is this important? Because…“The more a vision can be expressed in a vivid, imaginative way, the more it will motivate people to action in the present.”

To read how Walt effectively and passionately communicated his vision, read: Letting Go: Leadership Lessons from Walt Disney. And, for more, see: Five Steps to Creating Your Leadership Vision.

Tell us – How do you effectively and passionately communicate your vision? 

We’d love to hear from you! 
Post your response below, or respond to us on Facebook or Twitter using Hashtag #DThinkBlog.

Communicating a leadership vision is one of the key concepts we teach business professionals in our “Disney’s Approach to Leadership Excellence” program. For nearly three decades, Disney Institute has provided engaging and insightful learning opportunities for business professionals and organizations, teaching them the Disney approach to business….focusing on Service, Leadership, Culture, Brand Loyalty, Creativity and Innovation. To learn more about how you can attend an upcoming course at the Disneyland Resort in Southern California or the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, see our full Course Calendar. Not sure which course is best for you? Try our Course Recommender.

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Posted in Leadership Excellence | Tagged Leadership, Vision, Communicating, Walt Disney, Leadership Lessons from Walt, Bruce Jones

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