In 1974, Robert Eiger, current chairman and former CEO of the Walt Disney Company, began his career as a choreographer for ABC TV. From there, we meet various people, learn, struggle, and succeed.
The road to success has been uneven. At the time Eiger took the lead, Disney was smaller than it is now, the animation business was declining, and the organization was exhausted by years of internal conflict.
One of the challenges we have started is improving the relationship with Pixar, which deteriorated in the days of the former CEO. In the face of everyone's opposition, he managed not only to improve the relationship, but also to buy Pixar. It is Eiger's way to retain the company's character even after the acquisition, and as a result of leaving Pixar's character of Pixar, the animation that was the basis of Disney is revived. After that, we succeeded in major acquisitions such as Marvel, Lucas Film, and 21st Century Fox, and succeeded in D2C business to respond to the changes in the world, and Disney became a huge global company.
In this book, the ten principles that Eiger has cherished at the beginning are presented, followed by a brief life of Eiger. Throughout the text, episodes that support the principle are told, and it is a mechanism to understand how Eiger has led the organization as a leader. This is a book that should be read by many business people as well as the leaders of corporate leaders and teams.
Main points of this book
The ten principles of leadership that the author has practiced are: being positive, having courage, focusing, making decisions, being curious, being fair, being thoughtful, being natural, Always pursuing the highest and being honest.
It is the author's constant policy that he will die if he does not innovate, and that he will continue to pursue perfection.
A true manager is someone who has a vision that is easy to understand and can convey it repeatedly.
Challenge from the bottom
Robert Eiger's Ten Principles
The author, Robert Eiger, spent the first 22 years of his career at the US network television station ABC and worked for Disney from 1995 to 23. He has been the CEO of Disney for the last 14 years and retired in February 2020. Having joined Disney as a result of ABC being acquired, he has worked for the same company for 45 years.
Disney's management, which is a global company that everyone knows, is "the happiest work in the world" for authors to create a pleasant experience. This book introduces the author's experience over time, explaining the leadership he has learned and practiced.
The ten principles of the author's leadership are: Being positive, having courage, focusing, making decisions, being curious, being fair, being thoughtful, being natural, always seeking the best, and being sincere. It is.
What I learned from the runes
The author grew up in a less wealthy family in the United States and joined ABC in 1974 after graduating from Ithaca University. I was in charge of choreography for all the programs produced in the studio, which was the lowest paid position in ABC.
The job at ABC was tough, but the experience at that time gave me diligence. I'm still up early every morning because I've been in the studio at 4:30 in the morning. One time in the morning helps improve productivity and creativity.
The move to ABC Sports changed the life of the author. ABC Sports at the time was the dollar box department within the station and was able to fly around the world to cover various sports championships. The top is Rune Arridge. The author was strongly influenced.
Rune was the first person to revolutionize television broadcasting with technology, and he was keen on innovation and was always looking for new ways to attract the attention of the viewer. To die without innovation, to continue to pursue perfection is the rune's teaching and the author's constant guide.
From big selection to big success
Don't pretend to know
In 1985, he became vice president of ABC Sports at the age of 34. ABC will be acquired shortly thereafter. The encounter between new business owners Tom Murphy and Dan Burke will change the life of the author again.
The authors, recognized by the two, will continue to advance and become the president of ABC Entertainment, who will be responsible for rebuilding the entertainment division. Of course at that time, I had no experience of entertainment. I feel like jumping off a cliff.
In order to lead the entertainment department, I always asked two excellent men to teach. Knowing who you are and not pretending to be someone without knowing it is one of the things you need to be a true leader.
Success and failure of "Twin Peaks"
The broadcast of the drama "Twin Peaks" was a big bet. A drama that was too strange and too dark to be broadcast on the national internet at that time was pushed away from the opposition of executives and monitors who saw the pilot version. Rune's teaching pushed me to die, unless I innovate.
The author won the bet and "Twin Peaks" was a huge success. Until then, the author had little trust in the industry and few acquaintances, but his reputation in Hollywood skyrocketed and he could establish a new network of contacts.
However, after half a year, I was doubtful about the cloud. "Twin Peaks" director David Lynch is a good movie director, but lacks the sense and skills necessary for a TV drama producer. He listened to David's opinion and changed the story, which made the situation worse. The author is still not confident that he made the right decision.
The author will continue to step up, becoming president of ABC in 1993 and president and COO of Capital Cities/ABC in 1994. Shortly after taking office, CEO of Walt Disney Company, Michael Eisner, offered to acquire Capital Cities/ABC and negotiations began.
The road to Disney's successor
As a changer
Following negotiations for the acquisition, the author topped Disney's media division. However, the company was chaotic due to the deterioration of business performance and internal conflict.
After the conflict, CEO Michael retires. The author will be Michael's only successor in the company, but the majority of the board had the opinion that "the top should be invited from the outside." The author, who had been the COO for five years and was seen as akin to Michael, needed to be admitted to be a changer.
The worried author was advised by his former colleague that "I can't win if I fight in my current position. I have to talk about the future without excuses." decided. If there are too many, you can't remember them, and you can't see the priority. Show an easy-to-understand vision and communicate it as often as you can. A true manager can do that.
The following three have been thought out. First, focus management resources on creating high-quality content, and guide consumers' actions with great brands as weapons. Second, connect with consumers in new ways that match the times, making maximum use of technology with determination, enthusiasm and speed. Finally, deliver content to consumers around the world, including emerging markets, and become a truly global company.
What the author had to do was to tell the ten directors that this was the way Disney should follow its strategy for the future, and that it would be the one who could achieve it. At that point, it was nice to have no trust from the directors.
Difficult and stressful road
The half-year since the first meeting with the board was one of the most tested times in the author's career. Thinking carefully, I did my daily work while processing a lot of information in a short period of time. The choice of a successor to Disney has attracted public attention, and the media also reported, but most criticized the author.
Some of the 15 interviews were humiliating. Even authors, who are proud of their strong stress tolerance, have had occasions of stress causing a panic attack or arguing out loud.
But because of that, the board decided to assume the post of CEO.
[Must read point!] Leading a giant company Disney
"You can also buy a Pixar."
The next CEO, the author, has set about rebuilding Disney. One of the first issues to solve was repairing the worsening relationship with Pixar.
At the first board meeting, Disney Animation presented the results of the last 10 years. So, the directors were informed that there were no big hits in 10 years, a few big mistakes, about $ 400 million despite spending over 1 billion dollars in production and advertising costs It was a loss. At the same time, a survey of mothers with children under the age of 12 found that Pixar was loved by far more than Disney.
For Disney at the time, animation was the cornerstone of all business. So that rebuilding is a top priority. The place was noisy when the author said, "There is also a way to buy Pixar," at that seat. Some directors were very against it, and a few people were on the sidelines, concluding that the acquisition is difficult but explores its potential.
Ally Steve Jobs
At that time, the author and Steve Jobs were working together on a new iPod. The next morning after the Disney Board of Directors, he braveed his courage and asked, "I have an ridiculous idea, so why don't you go talk?" So I asked, "How about Disney buying Pixar?" Will Steve hang up or blow out? That moment seemed forever. Steve's reply was, "Oh, that would be ridiculous." This is the start of the acquisition plan.
A few weeks later, at Apple headquarters, the author and Steve were in front of a huge whiteboard. To discuss the plan. It took two hours to write down the advantages and disadvantages of the acquisition, but there were few advantages compared to the disadvantages. To the author, who thought it wasn't possible, Steve said, "The advantages are few, but sure, and more important than the many." Being deceived by the many demerits and not losing sight of the weight of merit and what you want to achieve, that is the awesomeness of a person named Steve Jobs.
The author, who was taken to Steve by Pixar, experienced the finest staff and cutting-edge technology, and made a firm decision to acquire. But the team's reaction was chilly.
Certainly, in theory, the acquisition of Pixar doesn't pay. But I was confident that the acquisition would transform Disney.
Steve said that if John Lasseter and Ed Catmal both agree, they would like to think positively. The author eats with John and Ed with Steve's permission. If the acquisition is realized, I want to leave the animation department to John and Ed. Don't lose the Pixar character even if you buy it. Such a message was transmitted, and their agreement was successfully obtained.
The final challenge is the approval of Disney's board. Despite many oppositions, the author passed a sneak peek at the final board meeting, finally approving the Pixar acquisition.
On the day of the press release, Steve confessed that the cancer had recurred and his death was imminent, with the prelude that he would only know his wife, Lauren, and his doctor. The author asks, "Why can you tell me why now?" Steve's answer is, "I'm going to be Disney's largest shareholder and a board member, so I thought I'd have to let you know about the illness and give you the opportunity to withdraw from the deal." It was a thing.
Of course, I was not shocked. And only 30 minutes until the announcement. I couldn't process the information in my head. I also wondered what I should explain to the directors if I cancel the acquisition.
But in the end, he decided not to cancel the acquisition and went to a press conference. Next to Steve and the author were John and Ed, with nearly a thousand Pixar employees in front of them. When the author started talking, a Pixar employee gave me a Luxor lamp, a symbol of Pixar. Ever since, Pixar's lamp has been illuminating Disney.
Recommendation of reading
Robert Eiger isn't the sort of person who got an MBA from a super-famous university. He started his career at the bottom of the TV station and, on his own, reached the top of Disney. That's why I think this book is packed with useful information for many business people.
One of the things he cherished was "respect for the other person." Although not mentioned in the summary, after the acquisition of Pixar, he succeeded in acquiring huge companies such as Marvel and Lucas Film, promoting fusion with the members who work there, and succeeding in becoming a huge company. Perhaps it was because the respect they had was transmitted to the other person.
Throughout this book, his respect for the other person can be seen. This is one form of completed leadership.