Why Leaders Should Build The Castle First
(Note: This post originally debuted on Sept 24, 2014.)
When Walt Disney started the process of building Disney World in Orlando, Florida, it was an enormous undertaking that many thought he was crazy for envisioning. Yet while Walt had a dream for what this would become, he knew that in order to get others to be a part of this and have it all come together he would need everyone else to see his vision.
So, he instructed the project crew that their first task was to build and complete Cinderella’s castle first.
Disney realized that once the castle was erected, everyone would have a visible, tangible icon of what the amusement park could become. Thus each person involved would be inspired and overcome the obstacles and disbelief that shrouded the project.
The castle became a rallying point for everyone, and after the project was complete had become both a landmark for the park as well as the brand icon for the Disney corporation.
What are some leadership lessons we can draw from Walt’s example?
- Vision needs to be communicated for it to be effective
- People respond better to tangible evidence of the goals and mission at hand
- Rallying points serve to motivate people beyond the challenges they face
- The first step in completing a project can create the momentum needed to finish the job
- Knowing what your people need and meeting that need will make you a more effective leader
- Brands are built around a solid vision and iconic product
Walt Disney’s legacy continues to live and the vision he created has touched the fanciful lives of millions.
Want to inspire your people to bigger and better goals? Build the castle first.