Walt Disney had an amazing knack for finding, inspiring, and developing creative talent. There are a lot of reasons for this…Walt was a visionary, Walt wasn’t afraid to push and challenge you, and Walt was always pushing himself to go beyond where he had been and as a result push others. Sometimes that process was easy, usually it was difficult, but the results are the stuff of history.
Bill Walsh is one of those stories. Bill worked in the world of print media for 25 years before he crossed paths with Walt Disney. Bill went to work for the company and months passed. He had no contact with Walt and was fairly convinced that Walt didn’t even know his name.
That all changed one day in 1950 as Walt burst into his office with a smile.
“Bill,” he said, “you’re going to be a television producer.”
“Me?” Walsh said a bit stunned and taken back. “I don’t know anything about being in television!”
Walt Disney shrugged and with a wink said, “Who does?!?”
In that moment, just that quickly, Bill Walsh became a television producer. He produced the first two Christmas specials Walt did and then went on to produce Disneyland, the Sunday night television show on ABC.
4 years later in the winter of 1954, after Disneyland was an established success, Walt again approached Walsh.
“Bill,” Walt scratched his chin. “I’m taking you off the weekly TV show.”
Bill Walsh breathed a sigh of relief. He had found that being the producer of an hour long television show each week was exhausting.
“I am going to put you on a new show.” Walt continued. “It is called The Mickey Mouse Club, and it is an hour long show, five days a week.”
Walsh groaned. He had just went from producing one hour of television each week to producing five hours of television each week. But he jumped on the new challenge, tackled the project and wrote up the plan for the new show…The Mickey Mouse Club! (Which of course, if you are reading this, you already know became yet another hit)
Walsh didn’t think he could do it, he didn’t believe he had it in him, and he never would have dreamed he had the energy to pull it off. But long before Bill Walsh believed he could do it, Walt Disney did. Walt knew what he wanted to see, found the right person to do it, cast the vision to get started, and then helped make it happen.
How many times in your life do you not start a new challenge because you are convinced you don’t have the time, the talent, or the resources?
It might be writing a story, writing a song, painting a picture, tackling that project, learning a new skill, or. . .?
Maybe all you need is a gentle reminder or a gentle nudge to get you moving.
My hope and prayer for you is that you would boldly embrace and tackle the unknown, the new, and the challenging…who knows what might happen? You might find yourself doing something you have never done before and you might find yourself doing exactly what you were destined to do.