Bill Wednieski 248-343-6027

The symphony in your head


Visionary leadership and entrepreneurship have been around forever, and there is something that is so dang cool about business people who create something from nothing. For example, look at Steve Jobs, Henry Ford, Mark Cuban, Oprah Winfrey, Richard Branson, Thomas Edison, John Rockefeller, Colonel Sanders, Elon Musk, and the iconic, Walt Disney. Sidenote, about 10 years ago, The History Channel created a series about The Men Who Built America. If you haven’t seen it and you love business, it’s worth the binge-watch.


In 2003, I married into a Disney family. Let me explain. When my wife was growing up, every single year her family went to Orlando, Florida for a family vacation at Walt Disney World (WDW). Fun fact: my initials are WDW too. And the family drove there from Michigan every single year. The whole thing was a process of packing the car, timing of the departure, bathroom breaks, and the snacks they packed for the ride. When I married into the family I was going to need to ‘go along and get along.’ Now, I’ve been to WDW no less than 20 times since I met my wife. We generally fly but we have made the drive several times as well.


Vision (and Perseverance)

Extremely rare individuals have the ability to see something nobody else can. To name a few, Steve Jobs did this with the iPhone, iPod, and iTunes (plus Pixar too), and Henry Ford with mass-produced automobiles with low enough costs so everyday people could afford them. Yes technically speaking, Walt Disney saw a mouse but he also saw something else – good clean amusement parks. And not like the local carnivals that maybe pop up around your town each summer run by ‘carnies’ that wear faded heavy metal t-shirts and smoke cigarettes while they run the Tilt-a-Whirl or Screamer. You know the kind of rides where you wonder, “Is this safe?”

Walt Disney saw something nobody else saw and he made his pitch to bankers 300 times. He was turned down 299 times but he persevered. First came the animation and movies followed by Disney Land in Anaheim. I’m not a Disney historian, but to me, Walt’s final lasting vision was the family vacation kingdom of the world.

Orlando and the Magic

In 1966, Walt Disney passed away, and in 1971, Walt Disney World or WDW opened in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. To me and many others, Lake Buena Vista is synonymous with Orlando. Walt had an older brother named Roy, and he was the construction guy or project manager that made WDW come to life. Although, WDW today is not what it was then and it all simply started with the Magic Kingdom.

About 10 years ago, an old-school Disney employee shared a cool story with me on one of my many trips that really stuck with me. At that grand opening in October 1971, a reporter asked Roy, “Wouldn’t it have been great if your brother Walt could have been here to see this?” He replied, “I can assure you that my brother Walt saw this long before anybody else.” Walt literally built a legendary, sparkling clean, family-friendly amusement park along with a couple of hotels in the middle of Florida . . . in a swamp.

The symphony in your head

I don’t have any musical talent. I can’t play a single instrument, and I sing so poorly that I just kind of lip-sync the hymns at church. If I sing in the shower, I don’t even like the sound of my own voice. However, I do get occasionally get inspired by music and I grind. Man, do I grind. Also I often work things out while a song is stuck in my head. Sometimes it is alternative music, Eminem, Radiohead, Queen, Rolling Stones, Dr. Dre, or other old-school rap and sometimes it really is a symphony.

I can’t be 100% certain but I do believe Walt had a full-blown 50-person orchestra playing in his head, and he was the only one that could hear the music. The same could be said for all the greatest entrepreneurs and business leaders. Basically, what I’m getting at is that if there is a song in your head that comes and goes, listen to  it – maybe you can see a future or solution that others can’t.

Recruiter Bill Wednieski is the Managing Director for The Headhunters. Learn more here.

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