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How to Lead and Cast Vision Like Walt Disney

Walt Disney used to stand at the exit of Disneyland wishing the guests a farewell at the end of the night.  According to him, no one left before closing time.  One night, a family walked by and was leaving the park before closing time, and Walt stopped them.  He asked them why they were leaving early, worried that maybe an employee was rude or something bad happened.  They said everything was wonderful, but when they were on the sky ride (aerial cable cars), they saw the highway and could see there was a lot of traffic.  They wanted to get a head start home to beat the traffic.  Walt would have none of it, so he decided that day he would build a bigger park and make it a “world” instead of just a “land.”  He wanted it to be that once you enter Disney World, you have no ties with the outside world.

Since Disneyland was in the middle of the city and was so small, he couldn’t do that.  With a new world, you are engulfed in all that is Disney.  Thus, the idea for Disney World was born (which project was later renamed “Walt Disney World” by brother Roy Disney to honor Walt who did not live to see opening day).

The press conference to announce the new park was held in 1965.  Walt Disney sat down with Gov. Haydon Burns in downtown Orlando to share the vision.  46 years later, Walt Disney World is the largest amusement park in the world.  It covers over 47 square miles and attracts over 47 million guests each year.  Below is the video footage from this classic event.  As you watch this, you can see how Walt led and cast vision.

Here are some tips I picked up while watching the footage.

It takes a team.  You will notice Walt constantly refers to his team and their abilities.  It’s faster to do something by yourself, but it’s more effective to do something as a team.

Change.  Update.  Reshape.   Walt talks about constantly changing, updating, and reshaping his vision.  Past victories don’t guarantee future successes.  Don’t let your “Disneyland” keep you from creating your “Disneyworld.”
Great leaders and great vision casters are willing to take great risks.  Did you pick up on his comments about the world fair?  They were willing to move out of their comfort zone.  When is the last time you took a big risk for your vision?
Check out the video and share with us what you learned about leading and casting vision from Walt’s press conference.  You can post your thoughts in the comment section below.