Executive Update

Leadership: Succeeding and Failing and Other Paradoxes

Michael Eisner, former Chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company and founder of The Tornante Company, spoke at the Chairman’s Lecture about the importance of creativity and innovation, and his experience running a company that was always growing and changing.

Eisner suggested following certain steps to achieve success, including “creativity in a box.”

“Early in the process of developing a new undertaking, you determine how much you want to spend on that undertaking. This is your financial box,” said Eisner. “But what goes into that box? Whatever project, there is one crucial element necessary in order to obtain optimal results: creativity. Creativity is essential for any endeavor there is.”

Eisner also emphasized the importance of micromanaging, and what he believes is shorthand for good managing, saying that management should be involved in every operation, as well as brand-building and establishing partnerships. Citing many examples of successful ideas, outcomes and partnerships, Eisner explained the importance of failure to achieve success.

“Punishing failure is another way to encourage mediocrity, which is what fearful people will always settle for. But failure is a necessity for success, and an intelligent stumble is nothing to be ashamed of.”