A Word About Disney

I have spent so much time in business and talking to people about business that I have lost the feeling of wonder about what successful companies really do.

Companies that stay in business for decades do wonderful things  and make wonderful products.  I could pick many companies as examples and never have to mention a company that is outside the United States.

Today, I have decided to raise my performance standards. For my standards of performance, I am going to use Disney as my benchmark, because it is the best company at bringing wonder to the people it serves.

The way that the Disney company approaches business is to take a product or service and design it to be the best it can be. Then the company steps back and ask, what can we do now, before we go to market, to make it even better?

Walt Disney, the man, was known to be an exacting task master.  Steven Jobs, who was the largest Disney shareholder, likewise measured performance with a 40-inch yardstick.  They both succeeded in creating products that were excellent to a level of creating a sense of wonder.

Annually Disney, with registration thr0ugh its ESPN division, holds runs.  They bring out all the Disney characters and make every mile magical. They provide details for spectators and of course, ensure that everyone is included. This is the list from the kids events:

“Disney Kids’ Races Age Groups

  • 12 months and under – Diaper Dash for crawlers[“Diaper Dash” is just fun to say!]
  • 1-3 years old – 100m dash
  • 4-6 years old – 200m dash
  • 7-8 years old – 400m dash”

I am have found new inspiration and rediscovered the wonder of what companies do from what Disney has done with this event. None of this would have happened if it weren’t for the fact that the woman in the picture is my daughter, Heather Tran, who slightly less than a year ago was giving birth to my second grandson.
The tutu she is wearing, as you can see from other runners in the background, was worn in the in the spirit of the event.

She ran the half marathon.  For my own sake, let me say that again, maybe in a different way.  She is a new mother of eleven months, and she ran 13.1 miles without stopping!

Thank you, Mrs. Tran, for awakening me to the wonder of American business and perhaps to the wonder of what is possible for me in my own life.  You are an inspiration.


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