Wednesday, July 22, 2015

My reivew of "The Wisdom of Walt" by Jeffrey A. Barnes

"Big dreams require big canvases."

As I started reading Jeffrey Barnes book "The Wisdom of Walt - Leadership Lessons from the Happiest Place on Earth", this particular sentence on page 51 hit me upside the head. Like all good advice, it's succinct but powerful. Not only did it resonate with me, it also set the stage for the remainder of the book.

Mr. Barnes is an author, professional keynote speaker and university professor who gives a wonderfully unique and interesting perspective about using lessons from Walt Disney's life, and the creation of Disneyland, as inspirations for success.

With chapters titled "Taking Care of Your Team", Listening to your 'Walter Ego'", "Using Forced Perspective" and my personal favorite, "Telling Stories," Mr. Barnes relays how you the reader can gain leadership skills by using the lessons of Walt Disney and the creation of Disneyland.

One of my favorite sections of the book is Chapter 6, "Mastering the 4 Cs" of Curiosity, Confidence, Courage and Constancy." I've re-read this section a few times - SO many great lessons.

I also really enjoyed that Mr. Barnes gives you space within the chapters to write down your own ideas and thoughts; this was a nice surprise, something you don't see in other books. He asks questions related to the chapter material, and then encourages you to think about what you just read and apply it to your own life. I jotted down some of my own notes; it'll be very interesting to read those a year from now, 5 years, etc and see if any of the answers have changed, or what action steps I was able to put into place.

Some of you might wonder if this book is a good fit for you; I would argue that we're all working towards a goal. Maybe you're working on accomplishing a dream and are looking for some inspiration as you start your journey. Do yourself a favor, and pick up this book!

There's so much I could talk about in relation to the book but we'd be here all day (and for quite a few days, actually). If you're a Disney fan and always like learning more about the history of Disney (from Walt's life to the theme parks), this book is for you. If you're someone who's looking for a "how-to" to jumpstart moving towards your goals, this book is for you. Even the non-Disney fans (or perhaps, not as passionate fans) in your life will really enjoy "The Wisdom of Walt." I plan on sharing it with my parents, my uncle and brother, as I think there are great principles and ideas they could apply to their particular businesses.

As Mr. Barnes states, "Reading this book will change the way you see and experience Disneyland. Instead of being a place of escape, Disneyland will become for you a model of success. Learn how the Park can challenge you to live your dream, inspire you to take action, and teach you how to create your own magic so that every day for you is as fun as a day at Disneyland."

You can purchase the book through Mr. Barnes' website or on Amazon. Please treat yourself and pick up this book - you'll be glad you did!

Have a magical day!

I was provided a complimentary copy of Mr. Barnes book for my review. All opinions are my own.

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