Walt Disney's Way
Walt Disney presents a puzzling paradox. He was a salt-of-the-earth, hard-working artist who promoted family values. He was a tyrannical, wary, micro-manager whose associates decried the lack of charity in his soul. How, then, did he create such lovable characters and establish his empire? By utilizing all of his attributes. In fact, without his contradictions, he wouldn’t have been Walt Disney, and his fabled enterprise would almost surely have vanished long ago. We can learn a lot from his story.
Four decades after his death, Walt Disney is still hailed as a creative genius who not only gave the world Mickey Mouse, Snow White, and a host of fantasy characters, but set the all-time standard for family theme parks and forever changed the world of entertainment. Every bit the brilliant innovator he has been portrayed, Disney was also a patriot who served his country, a corn-fed populist who shrugged off critics of his G-rated view of America, and an exemplar of bootstrap enterprise, hard work, and rugged individualism.
But Disney had a most unpleasant side, too. He could be, and often was, an unforgiving taskmaster—not at all like the lovable creatures his studio created.
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