I am fortunate to be a father. It definitely is the most rewarding but also the toughest job I do. One of the great wonders of being a parent is experiencing the world though innocent eyes (and doing your best not to apply your lens to what your children see).
This is why I love to see well-crafted and thought provoking movies with the kids. [It’s also true that I like talking animals — but don’t tell anyone.] I love to see these movies with the kids because we both have different experiences and I get to hear their version of the story.
There are no better movies for kids and parents than those carefully crafted by Disney. The story lines are multi-faceted and lessons abound.
Walt Disney valued hard work, courage, kindness — and made darn sure that his films reflected those values. I believe these lessons bear repeating — and we could all benefit from a refresher course at times.
I often watch movies with my parent and Aha! CEO thoughts. Both require patience and leadership, so I have handpicked 34 of my favorite quotes from Disney films that inspire me. I hope they do the same for you.
1. “The only way to get what you want in this world is hard work.” – Princess and the Frog
2. “It’s better to use your head than break your back.” – Swiss Family Robinson
3. “Life’s not a spectator sport. If watchin’ is all you’re gonna do, then you’re gonna watch your whole life go by without ya.” – Hunchback of Notre Dame
4. “Reach for the sky!” – Toy Story
5. “To live would be a big adventure!” – Peter Pan
6. “Don’t just fly, soar.” – Dumbo
7. “There’s the whole world at your feet.” – Mary Poppins
8. “Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming…” – Finding Nemo
9. “Giving up is for rookies.” – Hercules
10. “The flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of all.” – Mulan
11. “You’ll be surprised what you can live through.” – Aladdin
12. “The past can hurt. But the way I see it, you can either learn from it or run from it.” – Lion King
13. “If you focus on what you left behind, you will never see what lies ahead.” – Ratatouille
14. “I never look back, dahling! It distracts me from the now.” – The Incredibles
15. “If you don’t know where you want to go, then it doesn’t matter which path you take.” – Alice in Wonderland
16. “You gotta earn your mark by doing something big for something bigger than yourself.” – The Good Dinosaur
17. “Sometimes the right path is not the easiest one.” – Pocahontas
18. “Change is good.” – Lion King
19. “You must not let anyone define your limits because of where you come from. Your only limit is your soul.” – Ratatouille
20. “The moment you doubt you can fly, you cease forever to be able to do it.” – Peter Pan
21. “Venture outside your comfort zone. The rewards are worth it.” – Tangled
22. “Hakuna Matata.” – Lion King
23. “I want to tell you a secret that will see you through all the trials that life can offer: Have courage and be kind.” – Cinderella
24. “You don’t have time to be timid. You must be bold and daring.” – Beauty and the Beast
25. “If you’re scared, just be scarier than whatever’s scaring you.” – Bambi
26. “You’re mad, bonkers, off your head! But I’ll tell you a secret: All the best people are.” Alice in Wonderland
27. “Can you paint with all the colors of the wind?” – Pocahontas
28. “If you don’t think, then you shouldn’t talk.” – Alice in Wonderland
29. “Look for the bare necessities, the simple bare necessities. Forget about your worry and your strife.” – The Jungle Book
30. “Always let your conscience be your guide.” – Pinocchio
31. “Like so many things, it is not what outside, but what is inside that counts.” – Aladdin
32. “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothin’ at all.” – Bambi
33. “Say ‘please’ and ‘thank you,’ even if you’re feeling grumpy.” – Snow White
34. “A little consideration, a little thought for others, makes all the difference.” – Winnie the Pooh
Yes, being a great leader takes a bit more than faith and trust and pixie dust. But sometimes leadership lessons can be found in the unlikeliest of places.
The Disney legacy will continue to inspire generations to stay curious and lead with courage, kindness and integrity.
Have I missed any? What lines from Disney have inspired you as a leader?