The actor Dean Jones once described Walt Disney the following way, "He was very accessible, he seemed more like a tourist from Duluth than a studio head."
Walt always asked a lot from those around him. He expected everyone to work hard, give their best, and he demanded the same of himself. He rarely pulled rank on people when they were doing their jobs. The story is told by Jim Haught, a Disneyland employee, who recalled a time when Walt Disney walked into a warehouse at Disneyland smoking a cigarette. The man who was working in the warehouse and in charge did not recognize Walt. Respectfully he said to the creator of the theme park, "I'm sorry sir, but there is no smoking in this warehouse."
"Oh?" Walt asked. "Who says so?"
"Walt Disney himself," the worker replied.
"Well..." Walt smiled as he stubbed out his cigarette, "that is good enough for me."
The man was doing his job and doing it well.
During the construction of New Orleans Square at Disneyland, it was fenced off and security officers were placed at gates surrounding the construction area. Walt wanted to go in and take a look around and walked to the gate and said, "I'd like to go in."
The security officer was new and did not recognize Walt. He replied, "No one goes through this gate without a pass."
Walt said, "I don't need a pass, I'm Walt Disney."
The officer said back, "Sure you are...and I'm King Tut! You still need a pass!"
Walt found someone in charge who quickly went over and explained to the security officer what had just happened and that the man trying to get in was really Walt Disney. The security man was terribly upset and apologized over and over.
Finally Walt just grinned, brushed it off with a wave of his hand and said, "Relax, don't worry about it. You were just doing your job."
There is something about knowing that people will just do their job that brings security and comfort. The faith that those around you will do what they are supposed to and do the right thing makes life a bit easier. In your life there are people who count on you to do what you are supposed to do, they count on you to do your job, complete your task, and do what you are responsible for...and as a result our lives just all tend to work out better.
Sometimes the world we live in tells us way too much...relax, take it easy, take a break, let someone else do it...there are moments we all have to take a break and relax. But there is also a need for each one of us to step up and do what we are supposed to do, not just for ourselves, but because it makes life better for others as well.
Perhaps it is time that we roll up our sleeves and get to work, it will make the world a better place, and it will make our lives better as we do so...