believe blog1It’s a new year. 2015. Did you make New Years’ Resolutions? Have you in the past? Have you accomplished them? Maybe you failed to accomplish others. What made the difference in accomplishing versus not? BELIEVING. Believing in your ambitions, and believing in yourself to make them come true.

Nothing great has ever been done without someone first believing it could happen, hence, Possibility Thinking is our first Leadership Principle. Someone has to both have an idea, and also believe in its actualization. This Principle is absolutely crucial, as it sets the rest of the Principles into motion and calls people to action to achieve.

A closer look

Let’s take an example. In the early 1900s, on a small farm in Missouri, there once lived a boy with a love of drawing. In his heart, there lived a great vision. The little boy with the big dream was Walter Elias “Walt” Disney. Now a household name, Walt Disney was an American cartoonist, animator, film director, writer, producer, philanthropist and of course, co-founder of The Walt Disney Company.

Disney believed in his dreams, even in the face of adversity, and in some cases, the sneers of others. In 1934, following the creation and success of several cartoon series—including that of the iconic and immensely successful Mickey Mouse—Disney envisioned creating a feature-length animated film, Snow White. The film industry, however, ridiculed the project, nicknaming the endeavor “Disney’s Folly.” Though, as we know, Disney remained hopeful in his dream, and the film went on to become the most successful motion picture of 1938, earning over $8 million at its time, equivalent to over $134 million today. And so began what became known as the “Golden Age of Animation.” Pinocchio, Fantasia, Bambi, Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, and Wind in the Willows followed on the heels of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, sharing similar glory and success. 

Disney, however, didn’t stop there. He had an agenda, and set his sights on, what some would consider, even bigger, loftier goals. He envisioned an amusement park, a magical, special place for adults and children alike to experience enchantment. A place where visitors could leave reality behind, and enter a world of magic. The team behind this project was appropriately dubbed the “Imagineers”, a nod to the immense about of imagination behind the project.

On Sunday, July 17, 1955 in sunny California, Disneyland officially opened its gates. Disney gave the following dedication:

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  To all who come to this happy place; welcome. Disneyland is your land. Here age relives fond memories of the past ... and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future. Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams and the hard facts that have created America ... with the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world.

                                            ~Walt Disney

And well, the rest is history.

How this relates

Walt Disney not only believed in our first Leadership Principle, he lived it. His life and work are testaments to what can be done when you have an idea and the bravery to believe in it. Nothing great, in the business world or elsewhere, has ever been done without someone first having faith in his/her idea.

Believe in your idea. Believe in the possibility. Have faith in your work. Dedicate yourself to your efforts and to the innovation you wish to create. Remember, the great things that have been accomplished in this world exist because someone first believed in them. Don’t be afraid to dream and dream big. Because…

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When you wish upon a star
Makes no difference who you are
Anything your heart desires
Will come to you.

(Lyrics from “When You Wish Upon a Star”)






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