I received a copy of the Wisdom of Walt for free in exchange for a review. All opinions are entirely my own.
About a month ago I heard about a book called the Wisdom of Walt, by Jeffrey Barnes. I contacted him and he was kind enough to not only send me a copy of his book, but to autograph it as well! The subtitle of the book, to give you an idea for what it’s about, is “leadership lessons from the happiest place on earth.” It also advertises “success strategies for everyone” on the cover.
I can tell you that the cover does not lie – there are great strategies for everyone in here. Basically this is a self-improvement leadership book that draws its inspiration from the life of Walt Disney and how he pulled off things that were seemingly impossible. I highly recommend it to anyone who is looking to improve in any area of life – whether it’s career, a hobby, blogging, etc. It was laid out well, easy to read, and really inspired me!
Each chapter has a particular focus on an area of leadership. Some chapters are long, some are short. They start with a Walt quote, include stories from Disneyland and lessons, and end with a “souvenir stop” – this is one of my favorite things about the book. Each chapter has an exercise for how to apply the leadership lesson to your own life. So instead of just reading words you’re really starting to work to make it happen.
In addition, Jeff includes a lot of interesting, funny, and touching personal stories throughout the book. It makes you feel like you get to know him well by the end of it. That personal touch helps it feel like more than just a standard leadership book. Jeff is a funny guy good at telling a story – and he teaches a university class on the History of Disneyland. How cool would it be to attend that class?
I also wanted to highlight just a few of my favorite takeaways from this book. Maybe it will help to inspire you too!
- Walt sat by himself on a park bench doing nothing when the idea for Disneyland came to him. Instead of being on your phone or constantly busy, take some time to just do nothing – it can lead to the best ideas.
- We have to be able to face fear and failure: a quote that really resonated with me was about how as adults, we are so afraid to be wrong. We feel that “it is far better that we censor ourselves than we risk judgement and expose ourselves to the ridicule of our fears.” I especially feel like that is what I need to get over.
- Failures can also be a lesson – turn them around and learn from them. Don’t deny them, embrace them – we tend to take credit for our successes, but blame our failures on external sources.
- If you’re trying to sell or promote something, don’t just think about the product. Think about the experience.
- Great things take time – just like waiting in line for a ride at Disneyland, you might have to wait it out to reach success. Just keep at it and remember why you are in line, and what is waiting for you.
I honestly think anyone looking to improve in anything will be inspired by reading The Wisdom of Walt. If you’re a Disney fan this is especially true, but even if you don’t consider yourself a huge Disney geek you can’t deny that there is a ton to be learned from a guy like Walt, arguably one of the most successful men ever.
If you’re a blogger I think you need this book too – I’ve been so inspired with my blogging from reading this that I think I’ll be doing another post next month with all of the blogging lessons I learned from it!
The best place to get your own copy of The Wisdom of Walt is from Jeff’s website here. You can also find it on Amazon if you’re interested in the e-book and audiobook editions!
Does the Wisdom of Walt sound like a book you’d be interested in reading?