Perseverance is the first lesson I take from Disney.
While it’s easy to think of the company as a media juggernaut. Which has been through its share of ups and downs. Not only has the company gone through its dark periods of poor sales and low market prices, but its creative professionals have struggled through layoffs, budget cuts and studio closures – all to emerge on the other side as a dominant force in entertainment. If they can do it, so can you.
“It all started with a mouse”
A plaque at Disney World reminds visitors that it “It all started with a mouse”. The Disney empire is all the result of a man who decided that he wanted to create something more; a change in the way animation was done, a vision of how a theme park should operate, or even a brilliant dream of how people would live in the future. It all comes back to the dreams of a single man and his ability to implement those dreams.
A commitment to excellence is the foundation for everything Disney.
Employees at Disney is held to an exacting standard, from the top down. Corners are never cut, and everything has to be in service to that greater vision. Walt Disney himself used to ride the Jungle Cruise ride at Disneyland to make sure that the boat’s operators followed the script exactly, making sure that each guest had an “magical” experience. That is the kind of commitment to vision which has helped the company stand head and shoulders above its competition.
Imagination and innovation require taking risks
It’s easy to remember that Disney created classics like Snow White (which was widely ridiculed as a waste of money at the time). Disney’s successes have been tempered by a string of failures like The Black Cauldron. It’s the willingness to take risks – even when they don’t work out – that has allowed the company to consistently create new properties that speak to the masses. While their failures hurt the bottom line, they often lead to new techniques which allowed their future successes.
What can creatives learn from Disney?
- Take creative risks.
- Commit to a grand vision.
- Rigorously maintain a high standard of excellence.
- Follow the leader.
- Be afraid to fail.
- When you fail, give up and not learn from it.