“as the story goes, walt disney had a key piece of advice to the executives planning the magic kingdom: build the castle first. disney understood that everyone involved in achieving his vision - from the madison avenue advertisers selling it to the guys hacking their way through the mosquito-infested florida swamp - needed literally to see the beauty of this vision to remind them what they were working toward. so the first thing to rear up out of the swamp was, in fact, cinderella’s castle, which, with its fluttering flats and whimsical turrets, was the very embodiment of the magic he intended to make.”

this is from a post on harvard business review's blog and an extension of a piece of advice i heard a couple of times during business school: build the castle first.

the advice boils down to this: leadership is bringing a vision to a group. with a new idea, people need to see something, have something to hold onto, they need to feel it before they can get on board.

hence, the castle.

in order to lead in a new direction - and break down barriers - you have to provide that *littlesomethingspecial* for people to build from. whether you’re selling friends and family on a new startup idea or building out a new venture within a corporate structure, think about building your castle first - the prototype, the logo, whatever your symbol may be. it shows people you’re for real and gives them just enough of the tangible stuff so that they can dream with you.

castle illustration by amy broadwell.