Walt Disney once said, “Courage is the main quality of leadership. Courage to initiate something and keep it going, a pioneering spirit, and adventurous spirit, the courage to blaze new ways in our land of opportunity.”

Walt was not perfect as a leader to be sure.

The record and history reveals the imperfections and at times his quest for perfection drove him to be tough to work with at times.

But people loved Walt and understood his desire to be the best made them better as well.


A former Disney engineer, Wendell Warner once shared, “Walt expected his people to take a chance and fly high. If you failed, you better not shift the blame to others.

Walt was never easygoing about failure. But if you took a chance and failed, he wouldn’t fire or berate you. He wanted you to learn and grow from the experience.

There were times when I made a mistake on a project, and I’d go to Walt and say, ‘I blew it’ I tried to pull something off and I failed.’

Walt would say, ‘Well, did you learn anything?’

And I’d say, ‘Yes, absolutely!’

And Walt would respond, ‘Okay, then it’s not a total loss, is it? Keep trying-and keep an eye on what other people are doing around the shop. See what you can learn from them.’

Walt made it seem as if failure could be redeemed.

Failure doesn’t feel good. But Walt wanted you to keep working and keep risking until you achieved success.”


That is such a valuable way to view life and the world around you.

Each of us have to learn and live life in “real time.” We don’t get the luxury of always knowing what is coming our way next and we don’t ever get a “do-over”…that means that there are moments when the world around us might consider a setback a failure.

The real question is…do you consider yourself a failure?

Walt got it right when he asked the question…did you learn anything?

Then it’s not a total loss.

What we learn in the midst of a failure or setback might be the first step into our greatest success or comeback.

The only way to really fail is to not try at all…that is a disaster.

Remember that life lesson…keep trying…keep learning…you never know what might happen next!