Back To School

Back to school for our third grader.

Thank you to my wife for all her hard work to shop, organize and take care of all the preparations necessary for a successful end to summer vacation.

Third grader, nine years old, 70-plus pounds.  Who woulda thought?

Our son had a great summer at the Disney – YMCA child care facility. He learned how to dance in front of others.

And it was easier than you might think.

Part of the class culture, led by his YMCA teachers, was every day starting with music and dancing on the playground.  Every day.

What happens when you do something every day?  You get used to it. And you get good at it.  This strengthens your self-esteem.

Because of the way my brain works, it is only natural to connect this insight to business.  Yours and mine.

Great results happen when dedicated effort is practiced everyday and fun is part of the culture.

What surprised me about writing this post was that it surprised me, because I shouldn’t be surprised.

This is common sense, just not always common practice.

Carpe diem, jungle jeff 🙂

jungle jeff, Risk Taker

jungle jeff, risk taker, on The Ledge.

Friday evening, I walked to the Willis Tower (formerly The Sears Tower). The 1.5 miles took about an hour, with the numerous photo stops.

Going there was a mission.  A mission to stretch myself.

Spent two full days in Chicago, exiting, motivating and inspiring a great organization to reach even greater heights.  To go out on the ledge, so to speak and challenge themselves to do something they think can’t be done – destroy the status quo.

I felt an absolute calling to go to the ledge.  The ledge is a very scary place to be.

How can professional speakers – motivational speakers – inspire others to do impossible things if they themselves aren’t motivated and aren’t capable of doing impossible things?

Walt Disney never asked his associates to do anything he thought was impossible.  Walt always thought things were possible, even if everyone around him didn’t.

Same with me.  I’ll never ask my son, wife, or anyone else in our family to do anything impossible.

But maybe I should.  Carpe diem, jungle jeff 🙂

jungle jeff Traditions

jungle jeff traditions are inspired from Disney’s successful business models.  If it works for Disney, it can work for you and  me.

So in 1996, when my Grandmother was given six weeks to live and a few years later my Dad was fading from early onset, rapid progression Alzheimer’s, I sent many Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and other Disney Character post cards to them in Pennsylvania.

I wanted them to know that I loved them and choose a seemingly insignificant way to do so, simply placing the stamp upside down.

If, or when, our son ever notices, there will be a story behind it.  A good story.  A story to help him learn about his Great Grandmother, his Grandfather, and me in more detail, using a very simple example.

Roy Disney, Walt’s brother, recounted Walt on his death bed pointing out the hospital ceiling tiles. Walt told Roy, “In this square mile we’re gonna do this.  In that square mile we’ll do that”.

On Walt’s deathbed, he was still talking about making a 43-square mile swamp the world’s vacation kingdom.

Walt had passion, and, great people who knew how to keep his values alive, long after his death.

Will people remember what I value after I’m gone?  My son sure will. It just takes some effort on my part to ensure it with some stories from everyday life.

Carpe diem, jungle jeff 🙂

Walt Disney History

Walt Disney – the man and the company – history is preserved and perpetuated through stories.

Our country does the same thing, and maybe you’ve never wondered, “Why”?

People forget.  Important details get lost.  Values, reasons, Morales, lessons.  Roots grow shallower, not deeper, when the story is shallow.

On a trip recently, a friend was writing several postcards to important people in his family.  What a wonderful tradition.  There’s probably a story about how he got started. He said he always writes the same people – a tradition.

Had to wonder, since I send a fair number of postcards, does he put the stamp upside down, like I always do?

People think I’m careless and not paying attention to a simple little detail, which is what Walt Disney made famous – close attention to the smallest of details.

That couldn’t be farther from the truth.  I’m absolutely 100% intentional placing every single stamp, every single time, upside down.

It all started long ago when… be continued….

Carpe diem, jungle jeff 🙂

It’s Hard

It’s hard to say a lot in only a few words.  It seems my blog posts have gotten three to seven sentences too long lately.

Studying Disney the way I have since I was a child watching Walt Disney on TV in the early 1960’s, has taught me to always be evaluating service and product delivery.  Always.

In turbulent times, it’s even more challenging to be proactive – everyone is insanely busy.  Daily evaluating gives way to just surviving.

Every single day, our son sees me check GoDaddy web statistics.  He knows which days are great and which are average. The last two have been average, after a record setting day.

He just turned nine and I’ve already put him to work.  Walt Disney’s father, Elias, put Walt to work early with a newspaper delivery business.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.   Carpe diem, jungle jeff 🙂

PS.  Oh, and one more thing, what is now considered an “average” day, used to be “record breaking” day. Funnier still, it was the same for Walt Disney.  Still is, actually.