Walt Disney Leadership Case Study is a part of Leadership Stories, a series of biographies of great leaders in history that have impacted the world in a huge way.
Walt Disney Leadership
Who was He?
Walt Disney is the famous founder of Mickey Mouse, the loveable cartoon character that has permeated almost every country and culture in the world. He is the co-founder of Walt Disney Productions and one of the most influential motion picture producers in the world.
He is also the creator of the world famous Disneyland, considered by many to be the best theme park in the world.
A Quick History
Walt Disney was born into the family of Elias Disney, of Irish descent. Elias Disney moved to California in search of gold from Canada, but ended up as a farmer.
Walt Disney’s developed a love for drawing at a very young age. He would get paid to draw a neighbour’s horse. In his high school, he was the cartoonist for the school newspaper.
He would drop out of high school at 16, and go on to the Army where he would drive an ambulance.
At an age of 19, he started his first commercial company called "Iwerks-Disney Commercial Artists". However, it got to a rough start, prompting Disney to leave for another ad company.
After working for the ad company, Disney started his first animation business with his colleagues from that company and made his first ever animated series called "Newman Laugh-O Grams”.
Following that, it began his many attempts to create successful cartoon series. He faced with many failures and setbacks through the way before he finally created the Mickey Mouse Character in late 1920s.
The Mickey Mouse character was very well received by the public and even overshadowed the then popular Felix the Cat. It served as a springboard to Disney’s stellar career of making many successful movies like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and The Three Little Pigs.
In the late 1940s, he began envisioning a plan for an amusement park. Eventually, Disneyland would open in 1955, with the vision of becoming a source of joy and inspiration to the world.
Awards and Honours
These are some of the awards and honors that Walt Disney has received:
• Inaugural recipient of a star on the Anaheim walk of stars
• Congressional Gold Medal on May 24, 1968
• Minor planet, 4017 Disneya is named after him
• Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award in 1949
• And many Best Short Subject Awards…
Walt Disney Leadership Lessons
1. Never stop dreaming
Walt Disney was a dreamer. He never stopped trying out new things, creating new cartoons no matter how successful he was.
As a leader, you must also never stop innovating and dreaming about new possibilities. Truly the possibilities are only limited by your imagination. If you want to build something worthwhile, constantly think about more creative ways you can achieve it.
Never underestimate the power of your imagination to do something different from the rest of the crowd.
2. Keep on keeping on
Disney suffered many setbacks in his career. Most of us would like to believe that Walt Disney just thought of creating Mickey Mouse one day and became an overnight success, but a quick read of his biography will make you realize that Disney went through many discouraging moments before his success with Mickey Mouse, about 10 years after his first attempt at a business.
As a leader, you need to have a tenacity to keep on going. Every person will go through tough times, especially when he/she’s chasing after a huge dream or goal.
It is your tenacity that will cause you to stand out from the rest and attract people to follow you.
Related Books on Walt Disney Leadership
Best Quotes from Walt Disney Leadership
“The more you like yourself, the less you are like anyone else, which makes you unique.”
“The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.”
‘”There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island.”
“We allow no geniuses around our Studio.”
“A man should never neglect his family for business.”
“Of all the things I've done, the most vital is coordinating those who work with me and aiming their efforts at a certain goal.”
“Or heritage and ideals, our code and standards - the things we live by and teach our children - are preserved or diminished by how freely we exchange ideas and feelings.”
“We are not trying to entertain the critics. I'll take my chances with the public.”
“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”
“You reach a point where you don't work for money.”
“Disneyland is a work of love. We didn't go into Disneyland just with the idea of making money.”
“Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world.”
“I always like to look on the optimistic side of life, but I am realistic enough to know that life is a complex matter.”
“I believe in being an innovator.”
“When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way, implicitly and unquestionable.”
“When you're curious, you find lots of interesting things to do.”
“I do not like to repeat successes, I like to go on to other things.”
“I have been up against tough competition all my life. I wouldn't know how to get along without it.”
“I'd say it's been my biggest problem all my life... it's money. It takes a lot of money to make these dreams come true.”
“If you can dream it, you can do it.”
“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.”
“All the adversity I've had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me... You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.”
“It's kind of fun to do the impossible.”
“Of all of our inventions for mass communication, pictures still speak the most universally understood language.”
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» Bill Gates Bill Gates is consistently the richest man in the world; and the co-founder of Microsoft, the creator of the commonly used Windows. He is best known for being the entrepreneur that revolutionized the computer industry.
» Ray Kroc Ray Kroc is the man behind the multimillion dollar fast food empire, MacDonald’s. In his life, he has built the fast food chain from a simple hamburger restaurant to a multi-billion dollar franchise that has reached almost every part of the world today.
» Andrew Carnegie
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» Henry Ford
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» Sam Walton
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» Donald Trump
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» John D Rockefeller
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