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Why I hate Disney

I have young children. As such, I have viewed nearly everything in the Disney catalogue over the past few years.

Please note, this entry is not about parenting. How you raise your children (or your imaginary future children, or how you feel others need to raise theirs) is your business.

I hate Disney movies.

I hate the new Disney movies, not the classics like Pinocchio, Sleeping Beauty, etc. But the new cartoons which appear once every two years or so. (To be fair, most of the episodes on the Disney Channel television network follow this same annoying game plan I am about to describe).

Each Disney story is essentially the same. Title character has to overcome a challenge or disadvantage and in doing so, accomplishes a great task.

And eventually, no matter what the Disney story, the title character or another key story character will make the following statements - "You have to follow your heart/dreams" and "Sometimes you have to break the rules and follow your heart".

In the Disney world, heart and dreams are often interchanged. However, the basic premise remains the same; all of us must follow our inner voice but beware, there are dark and insidious forces at play which will attempt to thwart our every move!

Who writes this nonsense at Disney? (My theory is that nobody writes for Disney any longer; a computer takes past scripts and cranks out a new script with slight modifications to names and places).

Who is the authority that determined that dreams cannot be realized unless rules were broken?

And consequently, who is the writer who decided that following your heart automatically meant breaking rules?

My open letter to Disney.

Dear Disney,

- There are no "rules" or "system" which each of us has to overcome in order to follow our "dreams". The only rules which hold us back are generally those of our own invention. Individual situations like lack of self esteem, poor direction and discipline.

- Not all authority figures are out to undermine our goals or plans. In fact, most authority figures, such as family, friends and *gasp* even employers actually want us to succeed.

- Breaking the rules or fighting the system is not the optimal course of action for all parties. I am delighted that my accountant, banker and insurance representative all follow the rules impeccably and are embedded well into the system.

- To Disney's credit, the philosophy of breaking the rules in order to fulfil one's dreams apparently have had some success in the business world - see Enron and Tyco.

What happened Disney? Pinocchio fought the system/rules and he became a donkey. Once he learned to be a good son to his poor father, he became a real boy. Does Disney no longer show Pinocchio at Disney Cartoon Training Camp?

Rather than sound like a full time complainer, I have some suggestions which may help freshen up your otherwise stale scripts. Please consider the following messages!

- Believe in yourself and you can do anything.
- Stand out from the crowd and others will notice you.
- Be kind and respectful to others.
- Many believe in you, don't let them down by not believing in yourself.
- Be enthusiastic in everything you do.
- Always do what is right, even if doing wrong is easier.

There you go, Disney. Now go follow those dreams and break your own rules!

Marketing open positions and separating work from life

Seth Godin points out (from an older post) how to market open job positions with your company.

It's tough filling jobs with "good" people. We all want them, but how to go best about it?

One trend mentioned is the Internet based video for the job position. I checked Monster and Dice and did not see a "Video Resume" or "Video Job Opening" on either site. That does not mean such a feature is not buried somewhere on their site.

Seth suggests a video not about the job, but about the workplace. An interesting suggestion which would probably be useful in the hip, dot-com workplace (complete with game tables, dog beds, earth friendly coffee service and a huge poster of Obama for Pres), but not useful in most places I visit.

I see many successful companies with white walls, institutional furniture, temp receptionsists, and business park locations.

What makes these companies successful are highly targeted niches, enthusiastic, low maitenance employees, a clear business plan, financial stability and a defined separation between work and leisure.

These companies and their employees know work is work.

Google can build kitchens and dorms and hold hockey games, but most employees want to work and then leave. People need a clear deliniation between work and offtime.

Many companies don't think that line should exist and do everything to make work part of life. I see burn out as a real problem in this type of environment.

Hire great people who want to do great things and then leave them alone.
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