Consulting Solutions Manager Craig Abbott, is back, discussing a lesson in business perspective from Walt Disney.
Just recently I was at Walt Disney World with my family. If you know me or have read any of my guest blogs, you know that I am a big fan of Walt Disney the person and the company culture he has left behind at Walt Disney World and Disneyland. A few weeks ago I was in line with my two sons, Reagan (14) and Austin (11), at the Tomorrowland Speedway at the Magic Kingdom. Across from us a family of four caught my eye. They were all wearing the same tie dye t-shirt. The family was made up of a mom, dad and two boys; my guess is they were about 7 and 5-years old. The back of their shirts read, “Make a Wish Foundation” and under this was the Disney logo. Now I paid more attention to the individuals than I did at first glance. Of course this meant that one of those kids likely had cancer or another disease that would shorten their life.
Suddenly my impatient 14 year-old did not seem so bothersome to me. My tired and hot 11 year-old was no longer grinding on my patience. I was suddenly much happier to just be caught up in the moment of waiting in line at Disney World with my family (my wife Sherri was in the bleachers sitting this one out!)
I looked a little closer at the parents, the whole time thinking how difficult it would be at the place were magic happens and know that these memories would have to last a lifetime. Likely no future visits to build upon. Yes I was tearing up as I imagined being in their shoes. I did not want to stare but I could not help looking in the eyes of those two parents. There facial expressions and body language showed signs of happiness as they interacted with the two excited boys who were about to drive an Indy Race Car, if only in their imagination. But their eyes looked very sad and tired. It was a look that I will never forget and I hope that I never do forget. Three weeks later this moment not only stands out more than the hundreds of other family memories but actually makes those other memories that much sweeter.
So what is this doing in a blog that has to do with technology and how we use it to run our business? The answer is twofold, nothing and everything. I say nothing because this advice will not provide you any insight to decide what accounting software is best for your business. But I say everything because this story can help you keep things in perspective. I think we all make better decisions when we keep things in perspective. The obvious perception is no business decision is more important than your family and your health. But the less obvious could be just as important. Keeping your business issues in perspective with your company’s progress and goals makes you that much better at what you do. I know I struggle with both of these on a daily basis and I function better as a father and a manager when I keep everything in perspective.
I will never know what the future holds for that family. Maybe it is better that I don’t. They will likely never know how they impacted my life and who knows how many other lives while standing in line at Disney attractions. But I am not going to waste the experience they gave me in both my professional and personal lives.