One of the most successful people that we all know and love is none other than Walt Disney. Walt Disney is the famous voice and creator of Mickey Mouse and the founder of Disneyland. The Father of Mickey Mouse was a Lean Thinker before Lean became well known.
Here are five valuable lessons of competition, the impossible, bias for action, curiosity, and improvement that demonstrate Disney was a Lean Thinker
Competition is Good
“I have been up against tough competition all my life. I wouldn’t know how to get along without it.”
Competition makes you stronger, it makes you better, it keeps you on your toes. Never shrink away from competition; never fail to see the value of competition. Your competitors can provide you with more value than your friends. Learn from the competition, and you will grow.
It’s critical that you embrace competition as well as adversity, Walt Disney said, “All the adversity I’ve had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles have strengthened me… You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.”
Do the Impossible
“It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.”
Walt Disney said, “If you can dream it, you can do it.” Life is too short to spend it doing the possible. Learn to pursue the impossible, pursue what others say can’t be done, pursue what has never been done before, pursue your dreams, and turn them into a reality.
You must believe in the beauty of your dreams. Walt said, “When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way, implicitly and unquestionable.” If you’re going to believe, you might as well believe all the way.
Action Always Trumps Inaction
“The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.”
I always say that “well done” is better than “well said,” so quit talking and start doing! Quit planning and start practicing; a plan is good, a good plan is even better, but if that plan doesn't get put into action it’s as useless as a four fingered glove. Learn to get into action, start today, whatever you've been postponing …just do it. If you wait for the perfect time, you’ll never accomplish anything.
Curiosity Brings New Solutions
We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious, and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.
I don’t believe in shortcuts because they take too long.
But if there ever was a shortcut, it’s asking for advice from people who are further down the path to you. Find others who do what you want to do, and seek support from them. Let their past mistakes and failures guide you towards your dream.
If the thought of reaching out scares you, remember that they are a lot like you. At some stage, they've also asked for help on what to do next. Don’t be afraid. Be nice and show them respect. It works.
Get Better Daily
“Whenever I go on a ride, I’m always thinking of what’s wrong with the thing and how it can be improved.”
Every day you should become a little better than you were the day before. If you can become one percent better daily, you can recreate your life every 100 days. Learn to get better daily; look for ways to improve, to be kinder, more intelligent, and more helpful.
Disney’s work continues to inspire us and his world-famous cartoons live on. But some of Disney’s best lessons are about how he approached life with an endless dose of curiosity and determination to entertain and awaken the child within us.
Wouldn't you say these are the mark of a Lean leader? Do you think Walt Disney demonstrated such?