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Creating Something…Better!

By Mark Bowser

“In this volatile business of ours, we can ill afford to rest on our laurels, even to pause in retrospect. Times and conditions change so rapidly that we must keep our aim constantly focused on the future.”  Walt Disney

            What ever happened to the horse and buggy?  I like the horse and buggy.  Why can’t you find a good ole fashioned horse drawn carriage at your local Ford dealership?  I will tell you why.  Because Henry Ford had vision.  He saw what the future had in store and grabbed it with both hands.  He didn’t invent the car…he made it better.

Walt Disney did the same thing.  He didn’t invent the animated cartoon.  He made it better.  Walt Disney didn’t invent the amusement park.  He made it better.  Walt Disney didn’t invent customer service…he made it better.  In fact, Walt Disney lived this principle so fervently that he and the company that shares his name have become the guiding light of innovation, creativity, and service.

How about you?  Where are you making your mark? You and I don’t have to be another Thomas Edison and invent something out of nothing. We can take something and make it better.  A new creation out of the old. When we do this, we not only make our dreams come true…we birth in others the seeds of their dreams too.  Something to ponder today…something to act on tomorrow!

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Never Cut Corners…Here is the Best Way!

By Mark Bowser

Have you ever wondered why Wendy’s Old Fashioned Hamburgers make their burgers square instead of the standard round? Well, I have heard more than one explanation on this subject.  One explanation is that the kind of hamburgers founder Dave Thomas liked from his childhood were square hamburgers he found at the old Kewpee Hamburgers restaurant in his hometown of Kalamazoo, Michigan.

The other explanation I have heard for their square hamburgers is the philosophy Dave Thomas had towards quality.  The hamburgers are square because Wendy’s doesn’t “cut corners.” This is the concept I believe we should focus on for our purposes.  How can we make sure that we are not cutting corners in our places of business?

It is no secret that I am a big fan of the Disney company.  Walt Disney in particular.  Walt was a man ahead of his time.  In his book, Dream It! Do It!, longtime Disney executive Marty Sklar shared a time when Walt had to emphasize the importance of not cutting corners.

As the story goes, Marc Davis, who was one of the Disney greats in character development since the 1930s, had a scheduled meeting with Walt to discuss the storyboard for a particular park show.  This was in the early 1960s and Marc had moved by this point to the Imagineering team.

Marc made his presentation to the boss and Walt didn’t say a word.  Walt appeared to be in deep thought as he looked over the storyboard Marc had presented.  Feeling uncomfortable with the unbearable silence, Marc unwisely opened his mouth and said, “Walt, I’ve got another idea for this, and it’s a lot cheaper.”

Walt didn’t hesitate to respond now.  He said, “Marc, I have a whole floor of finance people and accountants upstairs who are going to tell me what the cheapest way to do something is.  What I pay you for is to tell me the best way!”

So, what is the “best way” for your customers?  What are they experiencing as they walk in your door?  What are your customers saying to their family and friends about you?  Are you cutting corners or are you doing it the Walt way?

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Graceful Leadership Like Walt Disney

By Mark Bowser

Famed Disney Imagineer Marty Sklar shares a fascinating story in his book Dream It! Do It!  of the graceful leadership expressed by Walt Disney.  As the story goes, one day Walt walked out of the Disney Studio Animation Building into the bright California sunshine.  As habit in those days, Walt pulled out his lighter to light his cigarette only to find that the lighter was defective and wouldn’t ignite.

Seeing Walt’s predicament, Ken Anderson promptly came to his boss’ rescue.  Ken was one of Disney’s great story and character genius’ on the animation team.  As he lit Walt’s cigarette with his own lighter, his lighter became too ambitious and Walt’s mustache caught on fire.  If that wasn’t bad enough, a large portion of the animation staff had witnessed the fiery debacle.

As you can imagine, Ken didn’t sleep very well that night.  He tossed and turned and could only imagine the worst.  The next day around noon, Ken’s nightmare became reality when he was summoned to Walt’s office.

Ken knew his days were numbered at the Disney Studios.  In his mind, he went through his resume thinking of who he could get a job with after Walt fired.  When Ken arrived at Walt’s office, the legendary studio head was waiting for him.  Walt said to Ken with a bright smile on his face, “Come on Ken –let’s go to lunch.”  Walt then led Ken to the Disney commissary where they found a table and broke bread together.

Now, that is graceful leadership in action.  By that time, Ken’s tragedy would have already spread like wild fire around the studio.  Everyone knew about it.  Walt understood this.  Taking Ken out to lunch would have been nice…but taking him to lunch in the Disney cafeteria where everyone could see them and experience the forgiveness for themselves was priceless.  Walt put back together Ken’s credibility with the animation staff.  It also lifted up Walt’s leadership too.  People knew that Walt could be demanding.  That he expected quality and their absolute best.  But, they also knew that they were loved and didn’t have to be perfect.  Hmmm, just some food for thought.

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Everything is Selling!

“In these extraordinary days we realize fully that the public is shopping more than ever for its box office fare. There is no compromise for ‘selling’ your attractions. I am confident that the future will enable us to fill this bill.”  Walt Disney

Everything is selling.  Every morning when we arise, we put on the shoes of a salesperson. It doesn’t matter whether you are a mechanic, a household executive, a student, a nurse, a teacher, a coach, an engineer, a parent, a preacher, or even a funeral director – your job is to sell.

So, what does that actually mean “everything is selling?”  Success is about influence.  Walt Disney understood this more than anyone.  Walt Disney became a tremendous salesman.  Even to this day, his influence still lives strong.  Some might even say that Walt’s influence is more alive today than when he was living.  That is a tribute to how well he understood this concept that everything is selling.

Think with me for a moment.  How did you get your first date?  How did you get your first job?  You had to sell someone, didn’t you? You had to sell them on you.  You see, the first thing we sell is our self.  The second thing we sell is our idea.

An important point to ponder as you pursue your life in the world of selling is that selling isn’t something you do to someone.  As Zig Ziglar pointed out, selling is something you do for someone because you know that your product, service, or idea is in their best interest.  That they are much better off acquiring what you have to offer than they are not acquiring it.

…Something to think about today.  Now, go out there and sell something!

*To bring Mark to your organization with a powerful, motivational seminar then please contact

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Monotony…Be Gone!

By Mark Bowser

“The only thing we should fear and be on constant guard against is getting bogged down— getting into the ruts of monotony and timeworn repetitions which the business of entertainment cannot long stand.” Walt Disney

So true of life too.  If we get bogged down in tradition for tradition’s sake, then growth is dead.  Now, don’t get mad at me.  I have no problem with traditions.  I love traditions. I love how my family does Christmas.  I love the sentimental value of doing the same things year after  year, after year.

But, to adopt that philosophy when it comes to how we run our business’ or for that matter how we run our lives will end in disaster.  We must always be about improvement.  How can we take something that has been done for years and make it better?  You don’t have to reinvent the wheel in order to be a great success.  All you have to do is come up with a new way to use the wheel or to improve the wheel itself.

So, what about you and your career?  Where are you going to improve?  What inspiration can you give to a “timeworn repetition?”  Give these questions some thought and before you know it, your magical dreams will become a reality.

*Mark Bowser is a one of the top Sales & Service experts in the nation today.  For information on how he can present a motivating keynote or seminar for your group then contact him at Empowering Enterprises, Inc. at (513)252-GOAL or email  

*Pick up one of his inspiring books at

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Have the Courage To Be Different…The Walt Disney Way

By Mark Bowser

“‘Well, in order to crack the field,’ I said, ‘I’ve got to get something a little unique, you see.’ Now, they had the clown out of the inkwell who played with the live people. So [with the Alice Comedies ] I reversed it. I took the live person and put him into the cartoon field. I said, ‘That’s a new twist.’ And it sold. I was surprised myself.”  Walt Disney

Early in his career, Walt Disney produced the Alice Comedies which was a series of films starring a cute little girl who would interact and experience the animated world. Well, they were a huge success.

So, what is the message for us? Have the guts to be different. To stand out in a positive way.  To succeed, we must differentiate ourselves.  Being the same as everyone else will never get you where you want to be in life. We must stand out and be different. Not weird, odd, or silly. But different.

Most people will never do this because they are afraid. We like to hide in the crowd. It is comforting.  Disney was willing to take a risk.  He didn’t know if the idea would work or if it would be a spectacular failure. You see, the road of success can be treacherous. It can be that mountain road that snakes around and around so close to the cliff’s edge. Oh, but think of the view from the top.

So, what makes you different? What are your strengths and how can you use them in a little different way just like Walt did?

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Don’t Give Them Power

“Almost everyone warned us that Disneyland would be a Hollywood spectacular—a spectacular failure. But they were thinking about an amusement park, and we believed in our idea—a family park where parents and children could have fun together.” Walt Disney

Mark’s Thoughts: Critics will always be there. They come out of the woodwork like cockroaches to stomp on your parade. But, just like a cockroach, they only have power if you give it to them. Don’t give it to them.

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Disney Does It Right!

“The first year [at Disneyland] I leased out the parking concession, brought in the usual security guards—things like that—but soon realized my mistake. I couldn’t have outside help and still get over my idea of hospitality. So now we recruit and train every one of our employees. I tell the security police, for instance, that they are never to consider themselves cops. They are there to help people. The visitors are our guests. It’s like running a fine restaurant. Once you get the policy going, it grows.” Walt Disney
Isn’t that a great quote from Wat Disney? That is why Walt Disney World is the most visited vacation destination in the world. Yes, they have incredible shows and rides, but it is the magical service that keeps people coming back year after year.

Great customer service takes selling your philosophy to your team members and training them on how to carry it out. Let’s do the same in our organizations.