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Senior Correspondent

"A dream is a wish your heart makes." Jiminy Cricket

As our leaders put the finishing touches on a just in time deal to raise our country's debt limit last week, I found myself longing for a different kind of leadership. Wondering, is it too much to ask for leaders who listen to one another and maybe even listen to those of us who elected them? Or, leaders who disagree with one another, and still show a little respect. Leaders who would actually accept responsibility instead of placing blame. What would it be like to put party interests aside and focus on what's truly best for our country and it's citizens. Or, to have leaders who could see beyond the next election cycle? I wish I may, I wish I might…

Alas, no amount of wishing, magic, or pixie dust helped. Apparently, S&P was not impressed either.

Looking for inspiration in all the wrong places, I finally decided to visit The Quality Coach Library where lo and behold, I found one of my favorite books on leadership, The Disney Way, by Bill Capodagli and Lynn Jackson. Named Fortune Magazine's Best Business Book in 1999, the ideas in this book will surely cause you to "whistle whilst you work." I began to feel a touch of hope as I reconnected with the Disney story and the legendary leadership that launched and sustained the Wonderful World of Disney.   

Walt Disney spent his early years on a farm in Marceline, Missouri, about 100 miles east of Kansas City. In between farm chores, Walt would lie in the grass and gaze up at the sky or watch insects and butterflies flit overhead. The story suggests that it was during this time, the young Disney formed beliefs and values from which he never deviated. He believed that "When values are clear, decisions are easy."

Walt Disney also believed that every individual has two choices…either we wait and hope that something or someone will provide the motivation needed to act, or we take control of our own dream and work to see it through. Obviously, the latter became the foundation for Disney.

What are you waiting for? A sprinkling of pixie dust? Perhaps we don't need a title to be a leader. In fact, in our wonderful country, we all have the opportunity to lead our own life. Dream. Dare. Believe. Do. That's the Disney way.

"My only hope is that we never lose sight of one thing…that it all started with a mouse." Walt Disney, 1954

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