CIO Lessons From A Mouse

by drjim on May 27, 2009

The Chairman Of Disney, Robert Iger, Has Lessons For CIOs

The Chairman Of Disney, Robert Iger, Has Lessons For CIOs

Robert Iger is the CEO of the Walt Disney Company. You know, the guys with the mouse. When you are in charge of a company that is that big, and that diverse, you need to have a special set of skills to keep everything together. Iger has a lot to teach CIOs who want to do their own management job better.

All About Bosses

Iger told the New York Times that he encountered his first boss when he accepted a job at ABC. To this day Iger remembers that once upon a time that boss told him that he “…was not promotable.” Clearly, this was not a good boss.

In thinking back over his other bosses Iger credits them with showing him how to be a perfectionist – teaching him how to do top-notch work every time, trust – especially when it comes to managing people, and creativity – in everything that you do.

The most important leadership lesson that his past bosses have taught him is that the ability to always have optimism is a very important part of being a successful leader. Keep in mind that some realism must come along with this or nobody will ever believe you. The flip side to this is to realize that nobody will every willingly follow a pessimist.

Advice To CIOs

Iger says that patience is extremely important. Too often people set goals for themselves and for their departments that are just flat out unrealistic. When you don’t achieve these goals, that’s when people get impatient and state to make poor career decisions. Clearly that is a big mistake to be avoided.

How About Time Management

Iger’s day starts at 4:30am. He’s a habitual multitasker and so he uses this quiet time to surf the net, watch TV, and exercise. He says that the key to having a successful day is to make sure that you stay focused all day. Even realizing that, Iger admits that during the course of a long day, he too starts to unravel at times.

When he needs to unwind, Iger unplugs and spends time playing Scrabble – he’s got a love for word games.

Questions For You

Do you think that you have the patience that it would take to run a company as large as Walt Disney? What do you remember about your worst boss? How about your best boss? How do you start  your day? Leave me a comment and let me know what you are thinking.

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Coming Up Next Time…

Just what do CIOs spend their time doing? Many people thing that a CIOs time is spend pondering grand strategy decisons. However, the reality is that a great deal of a CIOs time is spent worrying about internal controls – not terribly glamorous, but critical if a CIO wants to keep his / her job. Just what controls need to be worried about is the key to long term CIO success…

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