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Analysis of Disney Co.: Bob Iger’s Leadership Style

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The new-found success at Disney Co. is mainly attributable to the change of leadership from a structural style in Eisner to a combination of Human resources and symbolic styles in Iger. Although Eisner saw much success with Disney during his 20-year tenure, his style of leadership was out of date for the rapidly evolving entertainment industry that Disney is in. On the contrary, Iger provided a fresh perspective on how the company should move forward for the future.

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Bob Iger’s leadership style is a combination between two of the four leadership frames that Bolman and Deal established. This “multi-frame perspective” is a perfect approach for Iger to take as a new CEO. While Iger worked at Disney for a long time, it was obvious that he didn’t individually possess all the skills needed to single-handedly push Disney into a new growth period. Instead of trying to be a part of every little deal, he gave his colleagues more autonomy to help facilitate his goals with organizational needs. He even kept away from potential deal meetings until the very end because he knew that he had effective teams with the necessary skills to get it done faster and better without him.

He adopted a human resources frame by putting colleagues needs before his. As mentioned above, he gave them the opportunity to perform their jobs well by taking a step back but made sure they knew he was there to coach them in times of struggle. This opportunity of autonomy helped to counter the lack of motivation and commitment that started to arise during Eisner’s “Where’s my wow?” period. Also, from the beginning, he made it clear that he wanted more open communication throughout the company. By making morning meetings more casual, putting his office in a hallway with more traffic and moving executive offices closer to his greatly improved communication throughout the company by making it more inviting. From his move back to animations and again becoming more family oriented to making a deal to put Disney movies on the iPod and creating a superior online presence, Iger has pushed Disney to a new level of growth. It was evident that he was a major part of the company’s new growth as Disney’s stock price jumped 51% just in his first 15 months as “Head Mouse”.

He also adopted a symbolic frame by leading by example and giving his colleagues a sense of purpose in their work. By giving his colleagues more autonomy, he allowed them to get more creative when making deals. This is especially seen when Iger got Peter Murphy, Disney’s top strategic planner, to make a $70 million per year deal with Comcast. Murphy could make the deal his way, which resulted in Disney making more money than his previous deals. This frame is similar to the one used by Linus Torvalds at Linux. He gave the programmers more autonomy to be creative, which resulted in software that was more efficient and effective than Microsoft’s software.

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In conclusion, the combination of two or more leadership frames creates a more productive and efficient company that keeps all employees happy. Iger created a more inviting work environment that sparked the creativity that Disney leadership had been lacking.

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Analysis of Disney Co.: Bob Iger’s Leadership Style. (2020, July 14). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 28, 2023, from
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