The Secret to Walt Disney’s Success

“It’s that he never tried to make money” (observed Disney animator Ward Kimball in Richard Snow’s Disney’s Land).

Disney didn’t know exactly what his grand plan was just that as he told illustrator Herb Ryman “I just want it to look like nothing else in the world”.

Trying to chase financial success is a sure road to failure.

Trying to be the best at what you do even if you’re unsure of what that is a better bet.

How to Turn Losing into Winning

Here’s the winning mindset:

You’re not looking to bat 1.000 because no one does and aiming for unreal perfection actually assures more failure.

Batting 1.000 in effort, now that’s doable.

No quitting.

Brush off discouragement with renewed optimism.

Invest in yourself, don’t outsource it to others.

The person who never gives up or allows discouragement eventually wins.

Stopping Negative Narratives

A coach who motivates through fear or fear of loss will not last long.

Most of us eventually become our own life coach but we often turn to negative narratives to keep going.

If I don’t (you name it), I’ll get fired.

If I can’t make her happy, she will not like me. 

If I don’t give my children everything, I am a bad parent.

Even the mere thought of failure, allows it to come in.

Staying positive is not a pep-talk.  It’s respect for ourselves.

The Fear of Being Fired

Anxiety is worrying about worry.

As an air talent, I worked for a newly-hired radio program director in Philadelphia who would fire a personality every Friday until he removed every performer he didn’t like – approximately six.

The firing schedule was by design – never more than one person a week.  Always Friday.

So, you can imagine how paranoid we all became.

One day as I reached for the front door of the station, I asked one of my fellow air talents exiting “who got fired today?”  Me, he answered.  It was that surreal.

To survive in such a toxic workplace, we needed to focus on doing our best rather than trying not to get fired.

The station failed.  Our competition adopted a more person friendly approach and they won the ratings war.

It took this toxic workplace to teach a tough lesson:  stop worrying about worry because it wouldn’t save our jobs and made us even more anxious.

The Other Side of Silence

Few of us really reveal what we mean.

You can’t make a person talk.

But you can become skilled at listening for the other side of silence.

What they are not saying that speaks volumes.

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To Handle a Major Disagreement

Put aside what you think and know, consider it from the other person’s point of view.

You know what you want, what do they want?

Is there anything you can give them to settle things?

A media broker told me that he orchestrated a multimillion deal only to see the both parties blow it up over a mere several thousand dollars.

Shouting, threatening, suing would not put the deal back together again but the shrewd broker met with both parties separately and emphasized that it wasn’t the few thousand dollars that threatened completion of the deal.

What was it?

He knew and got both parties to admit they hated the other person at which point the broker just said, take the money and never talk to them again.

The deal closed.

To handle a major disagreement put aside what you know and see things from the other person’s point of view.

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It’s Not More Time Busy People Need, It’s More of This

If busy people could somehow be granted more time to accomplish all their priorities, they would most likely go out and find more things to do and more projects to take on.

More time is the great deception for – “I don’t know how to prioritize”.

No one can do everything.  Achievers know that and they do less of what is not important.

They prioritize.

What one thing today is so important it deserves the most time and first priority?

What is the most obvious thing (or things) I can get away with not doing? 

Repeat after me “I’m sorry, I cannot take that on right now” – achievers win more respect for being honest even from their bosses who may not be aware of your time crunch.

Set a deadline that includes exceeding expectations for completing your responsibilities.

There is no law that says every deadline must be when time runs out and have stressed yourself out even further.

It’s not more time that busy people need, it is the willingness to say no, say later, say this doesn’t need to be done and to build in a buffer to reduce stress.

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Hostage Negotiators’ Advice on Communicating Martial Conflicts

From the Alan Alda podcast Clear+Vivid sharing an FBI hostage negotiator’s professional technique that can also be helpful in getting through marital disagreements …

“He said interesting things like he never argues…he uses empathy to let them know that he understands what their complaint is. He doesn’t agree with him but he doesn’t argue with them. He just lets them know he’s heard them.”

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A Lesson from Radio About Teamwork

I worked for a Philadelphia radio station that was number one in the market.  Its personalities were sought after because they were among the best.

Soon a competitor with an inferior broadcast signal but a lot of money started stealing the station’s top personalities away to join their attempt to knock the station down in the ratings and elevate themselves.

Many months and lots of money later, these same superstars on the number one station were also-rans on the ambitious competitor.

The lesson appeared to be that it takes a team to be number one – promotion, the right content, a comparable signal so that these assets could be heard and of course the personalities.

Radio without the personalities didn’t work.

And personalities without the right radio station didn’t work.

It not only takes a team to succeed in broadcasting but in life.

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Depressed? These 7 Lines Can Lift You Up

Do something for someone else.

Anything.

Reconnect.

Be a good listener for them.

Build their confidence.

Spend time with them (especially face-to-face).

Often the remedy for feeling down is to help lift someone else up.

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