You probably know by now that I am a leadership freak. I am fascinated and drawn to anything (movies, books, articles and music) that teaches me something about leadership.

I believe that.  “Everything stands or falls on leadership,” to quote John Maxwell. That’s why, by his grace, I have for many years, and will continue, to give my energy, time and life in helping to equip and empower the next generation of leaders in local churches.

I read a very interesting article in the LA Times about Marty Sklar. Marty worked 54 years for the Disney Corporation. 

Quoting from The Times, “He embodied the very best of Disney, from his:

  •  Bold originality
  • Joyful optimism
  • Relentless drive for excellence

I love these three marks of leadership: Originality, optimism and excellence. There are too many carbon copies today and two few originals. There is too much pessimism today (with good reason perhaps) and not enough optimism. There is too much mediocrity today and not enough excellence. I want (by his grace) to embody these traits and motivate others to do the same.

Marty Sklar distilled what he learned during his time at Disney into what was called, “Mickey’s Ten Commandments” which according to the LA times became  “A widely circulated creed that remains a touchstone in the theme park industry and which became a cornerstone of Marty’s 54 year career at Disney.” 

Here are “Mickey’s 10 commandments; lots of wisdom here on leadership for your group, company, organization or church.


1.  Know your audience – Don’t bore people, talk down to them or lose them by assuming that they know what you know.

2.  Wear your guest’s shoes – Insist that designers, staff and your board members experience your facility as visitors as often as possible.

3.  Organize the flow of people and ideas – Use good story telling techniques, tell good stories not lectures, lay out your exhibit with a clear logic.

4.  Create a weenie – Lead visitors from one area to another by creating visual magnets and giving visitors rewards for making the journey

5.  Communicate with visual literacy – Make good use of all the non-verbal ways of communication – color, shape, form, texture.

6.  Avoid overload – Resist the temptation to tell too much, to have too many objects, don’t force people to swallow more than they can digest, try to stimulate and provide guidance to those who want more.

7.  Tell one story at a time – If you have a lot of information divide it into distinct, logical, organized stories, people can absorb and retain information more clearly if the path to the next concept is clear and logical.

8.  Avoid contradiction – Clear institutional identity helps give you the competitive edge. Public needs to know who you are and what differentiates you from other institutions they may have seen.

9.  For every ounce of treatment , provide a ton of fun – How do you woo people from all other temptations? Give people plenty of opportunity to enjoy themselves by emphasizing ways that let people participate in the experience and by making your environment rich and appealing to all senses.

10.  Keep it up – Never underestimate the importance of cleanliness and routine maintenance, people expect to get a good show every time, people will comment more on broken and dirty stuff.