When you're no longer a full time employee you have a little more free time on your hands. That means you can become an observer. Since my “retirement"from the mouse house I've become an astute observer of all things Disney. My blue badge provides access to the various buildings on the company campus and believe me there are quite a few. A good deal more than you might think. Inside these nondescript buildings you'll find mainly young people doing some pretty impressive things. I know because I've observed this first hand. It's clear, the house that Walt Built has changed a good deal over the past few years.

In spite of the impressive work being done and the remarkable growth of the company over the years, I've notice that something else has also changed. It's something I doubt you'd even notice. I noticed it only because of my particular perspective. That perspective being, my many years at the large entertainment company that produces, for lack of a better word, magic. It's subtle, of course. That's why I doubt you'd even notice. However, for this old veteran I can't help but find it significant. And, it's something that those in leadership positions should take seriously, although I doubt they will. You see, it's a very small thing and that's why it's seldom noticed. Let's jump back in time a few decades when we were all much younger and life was a good deal simpler. The images are not only in my memory they've also been captured on film. And, what are these images, you ask? It's employees simply coming to work in the morning and the look on their faces.

Wait a minute! That's it?

Yeah, that's pretty much it. However, it's that and a good deal more. You see, back in the old days (notice I didn't say good old days) Life was a lot less stressful and work was less stressful as well. And, yes, I do have images photographed on 16mm film of company employees arriving at work and headed into the office. What's different about this, you say? It's the look on their faces, my friend. I'm talking about stress free smiling faces, and some were even laughing. Their body language also told a story as some walked with a jaunty gait and others strolled briskly. Clearly they were happy to work at this company and no one considered it drudgery or a chore. Working was a delight. I'll say it again. Working was a delight.

If you think it's that way today I'd advise you to think again because that's not what I'm observing. Yes, there's often energy, but it's the wrong kind. It's the competitive energy that often gains promotions but robs the soul in the process. Employees are stressed and overworked but dare not say anything because in this job market - who would dare? It's a grim, corporate world we live and work in today, my friends. Hey, you might consider me totally wrong. However, I'll say it again. This is only my observation.