Meredith got home for Christmas and we were watching a History Channel special on Walt Disney. While pursuing a career in Animation following his passion for entertaining people, particularly young children, he began to think in 3-D. How could he insert people into the scene? How could he improve on the traditional zoo – outside looking in – and the amusement park rides – no story, limited styles?
So what does he do? He puts ideas on paper, uses his own money, and designs a place for “children of all ages.” Experts said it would not work. History has proved them wrong – 3 Disney Worlds, Disney Land, Epcot, cruise lines, vacation clubs, media, music.
He was 54 when Disney Land opened and he never did see Disney World completed. But go and visit – feel his spirit there. The Imagineers assure that the Vision of You as a Participant in the story will live on. From images on acetate in the mid-30s to a vast empire in about 30 years. From employing one draftsman to employing tens of thousands.
I also think back to the story of Wilbert Gore. He started a journey later in life that has created W.L. Gore and Associates, Inc., a multi-billion dollar enterprise, that is consistently a “Best Company to Work For.” I met Mr. Gore early during my career there. He loved people, his company, and the associates. He had persisted through the tough times and created an enterprise which thrives today. His core principles and passion are still palpable when you talk to the Associates.
What can we all learn here? Following your passion can lead to great things and provide many others with a vision to follow. Where are you going today – to a job or to work you are passionate about? Is there great leadership or just some bosses? Think about it – your future depends on you.
Happy New Year!! While there are obstacles and challenges in our future, we will face them and learn from them. If we are not successful today, let us use the lessons learned to prepare us for better things.