The history of Walt Disney is full of amazing stories where people recall their memories of the man and the legend that was Disney.
This is one that makes me laugh and makes me wonder what I would do in this situation.
This story begins with a man named Bob Broughton who was hired as a courier at the Disney studio.
He was told by men at the studio, “Everyone calls Walt by his first name. Don’t ever call him Mr. Disney, he hates that! If you see him in the hallways or bump into him on the elevator, be sure to say Hi Walt.”
As you might imagine it did not take long for the first encounter to happen. Bob stepped onto an elevator and there was the man himself, Walt Disney.
So Bob remembered what he had been told, he said, “Hi Walt!”
And Disney said nothing. He gave no reply, no response, he was completely lost in thought about some project they were working on.
The elevator ride was extremely uncomfortable and when Disney got off the elevator, Bob finally exhaled.
He was convinced that he had been conned by the other men who worked at the studio. He had met his boss and called him by his first name and been ignored. He was sure he was going to be fired and the job would disappear.
Bob made the only decision he could make. He would do his best to avoid Walt and he would never make the same mistake again.
It was later on the very same day that Bob was walking down the hall. As he rounded the corner he saw Walt coming down the hall in his direction.
There was nowhere to go or nothing to do. But being extra careful, Bob walked right past Walt, he didn’t say a word or didn’t acknowledge him in any way.
As soon as he passed him he once again exhaled slightly but then halted as he felt a hand grab him on the shoulder.
He turned and looked into the face of Walt Disney who stared at him and said, “What’s the matter? Aren’t we speaking?”
That story is common and classic among those who recalled their experiences with Walt. He did his best to create an atmosphere where you could be on a first name basis
because he believed it opened the lines of communication and ultimately creativity.
Did it always work? Of course not, being a part of a innovative Hollywood studio where the future would sometime rise and fall on the next release could be tough and high pressure. But the end results were that there was a creativity that emerged from the studio that lives to this day.
In our lives and in our world it is important that we try to give people the chance to get to know us.
It isn’t because we are so wonderful because we all are in touch with our flaws and shortcomings.
But it is important because your life, your life experiences, you gifts, and your talents are not an accident and you have something to offer to make the world a better place.
You change the world one life at a time and allowing people to feel comfortable around you where you can connect and communicate is a great first step.
So relax, don’t take yourself so seriously, and try your best to be on speaking terms with everyone you meet.
You never know what you might or hear or say…it could change and brighten your day.