As I strolled around the streets of Disneyland last month, I wondered what Disneyland had to teach me. As you can imagine I was brailing the culture and attempting to connect with my kids and my own inner child. Here are a few thoughts I had about life, leadership and connecting deeper while waiting in a few non fast-pass lines:
- Connection: The brilliance of Walt Disney was his ability to enter into the mind of a child and connect. Leadership at its most basic level is to wholeheartedly walk down the street of Disneyland while enjoying the smells, the feeling, the creativity, and slowly wandering alongside the mind of those you need to lead. Connection is not only seeing with their eyes but feeling their experience.
- Music Matters: I entered Disneyland at 7:30 a.m. to “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” from Toy Story and departed to Mary Poppins, “A Spoon Full of Sugar.” As you move through the park it is sheer genius how Disney assimilates your emotions depending upon the moment. It’s easy for me when leading to forget some of the most basic emotional connection points.
- Disneyland vs California Adventure: We asked our kids after going to each theme park which they preferred. We quickly realized our 6-9 year olds enjoyed California Adventure more than Disneyland. Why? Because they connected with Buzz Light Year, Cars and all of the animations over the past 10 years. If we desire to connect we must connect not only at their level but within their culture.
- Book to Read: Clued In by Lewis Carbone states at the core that every family (I added team we manage) is built upon “an experience” that will be remembered. How will yours be remembered?
- Details Matter: Did you know Disney keeps their ice cream at a certain temperature just to ensure that kids and parents will not have bad memories of melting ice cream? I often forget to apply the principle “minor details matter” to my leadership.
The video above is how I applied what I’m constantly re-learning.