Let It GO

Letting go concept: moving forward and releasing burdens.

Let It Go

“Focusing on what’s left behind blinds you to what lies ahead.” Gateau (Ratatouille)

Disney accomplished a remarkable feat by producing a movie in their shortest timeframe ever, a mere 18 months. However, the true astonishment lies in the struggles they faced during the first six months to nail down the storyline. Despite their efforts, none of the initial options seemed to click. Unlike the usual jubilation following a Disney movie screening, Frozen received silence. Initially, Elsa harbored bitterness towards her sister; Prince Hans vanished without a trace, and Anna desperately searched for him. Even Olaf, a character, was loathed, prompting one Disney employee to express their disdain in their notes. The Disney leadership, recognizing the disconnect, emphasized the need for relatability in the story. They encouraged the team to refine their ideas and assured them of their potential greatness while urging prompt action.

Consequently, the team faced tough decisions:

  1. The director had to relinquish some cherished ideas that didn’t align with the vision.
  2. Writers delve deeper into their personal experiences to infuse raw emotions into the script for a more resonant connection.
  3. The entire team collaborated to implement massive changes to the storyline, ensuring its viability.

The entire team devoted weeks to crafting a new theme, experimenting with over 40 variations, yet none seemed to click. Then, during a casual stroll through the park, two teammates reminiscing about their childhood penned the beginnings of “Let it Go.” The following day, they presented the song to the team, receiving unanimous praise. Encouraged by this, the director revamped the entire opening of the film to align with the newfound inspiration, while the rest of the team worked on integrating it throughout.

Now, you might be wondering why we’re discussing a children’s film. Well, there are valuable lessons to glean from this:

  1. When faced with challenges, don’t wallow in frustration. Instead, seek support from your inner circle. The director, recognizing the film’s divergence from his vision, sought assistance rather than persisting alone.
  2. Collaboration is key. Just as the space shuttle didn’t reach the moon with a single astronaut or America wasn’t built by one individual, great achievements require teamwork. While some may prefer solitary endeavors, true success often demands collective effort.
  3. Sometimes, progress necessitates letting go of familiar notions. Upon hearing “Let it Go,” the director realized that much of his prior work needed to be discarded for the project to advance effectively.

Can you even picture Frozen where Elsa harbored resentment towards Anna for being named Queen instead of her? Or one where Olaf, with teeth and a mean streak, served as Elsa’s protector, sparking conflict between the sisters?

It’s hard to fathom.

As humans, we become deeply invested in our endeavors. We pour our hearts into something for so long that altering our perspective becomes challenging.

Consider my experience when I was appointed as the DOT manager for Crossfire. The owner approached me, acknowledging the company’s troubles, and entrusted me with the task of fixing them. He didn’t dictate a solution because his attempts had failed. He recognized the need for fresh eyes and innovative thinking.

  1. Sometimes, finding solutions requires slowing down. As an entrepreneur with an unrelenting drive, I struggle with this concept. It’s difficult for me to pause and enjoy moments with my family; my mind is always racing.

However, slowing down isn’t always negative. Recently, I dedicated a few hours over several days to reconnect with leathercraft, a skill passed down through generations in my family. Initially, doubts flooded my mind—I didn’t have time for this, I thought. But as I immersed myself in the craft, listening to music from my high school days, inspiration struck. In those moments, not only did I complete my project, but I also unearthed three new ideas to enhance our services and attract new clients.

As I allowed myself to unwind and release the weight of my obligations, I stumbled upon solutions to problems I had been grappling with for months. By the conclusion of the fourth afternoon, not only had I completed my projects, but I had also devised over 10 solutions to longstanding issues. All it took was slowing down and allowing my mind to ease.

  1. They made a significant breakthrough by shaking things up!
    One crucial detail I didn’t mention earlier was that just before “Let It Go” was penned, Disney recognized that the Frozen team was stagnating. In response, they decided to alter the team’s dynamics slightly by appointing the Head Writer to the role of Co-Director.
    The team composition remained unchanged; essentially, the head writer and director were interchangeable. They simply adjusted her title. Sometimes, all it takes to invigorate a team is a slight shift in dynamics.

The next time you find your team at an impasse, consider elevating the individual leading it to a “team sponsor” role. This doesn’t necessarily entail financial responsibility but designates them as the meeting leader, the one driving the process. Meanwhile, you can join the team and contribute your insights as a fellow member rather than as a leader.

There’s much to be gleaned from observing others. Today, I urge you to follow Walt Disney’s example and embark on adventures that will create lasting memories!

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