A Tale of Two Bobs: 3 Leadership Lessons

A Tale of Two Bobs: 3 Leadership Lessons

There has been much said in the last week the firing of Bob Chapek and the reinstallment of Bob Iger as CEO of the Walt Disney Company. It’s difficult to know exactly what happened and when, but it is clear that this is a tale of two leaders, neither perfect, but one with fatal flaws that contributed to a fall of confidence in Disney. We look at a tale of two Bobs, not just to sort out what happened, but as an opportunity to learn some important lessons on leadership. This Disney at Work episode seeks to help all of us with some key concepts that are instructive in being a leader–no matter what you do or where you live, or what your role in life may be. Join us for a Tale of Two Bobs–Three Leadership Lessons.

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Below is an outline of what we cover on the podcast:

1. Success is a Chain Reaction

What is Long Term Success?

  • Profitability is Not a Short Term Proposition
  • Profitability is Sustained by Customer Advocacy

A Great Customer Experiences Must be Sustained

  • Good is Not Great
  • You Can’t Get to Great Nickel & Diming
  • Great Comes From Creating Value

Employee Engagement & Morale Are Vital

  • Chapek and Imagineer Move to Lake Nona
  • Bob Iger Holds a Town Hall Meeting Right Up Front

Leadership Excellence Matters

  • Leadership is Not Just Positional, but Spontaneous and Personal
  • We All Know a Manager Who Wasn’t a Great Leader. We Also Know Great Leaders Who Were Not Managers.
  • Organizational Leaders Need to Create Leadership Throughout the Organization

2. Leadership is Two Fold


  • Failure to Deliver a Business Model on Disney+, a 1.5 Billion Dollar Loss
  • Chapek Never Had a Solid and Unique Brand Strategy for Disney+
  • Failure to Provide Results to Wall Street Ultimately Did Him In.
  • Disney’s Strategy was to Rob Park Guests to Pay for Disney+. And Even That Approach Cost Disney a Major Loss in Shareholder Value–The Greatest Since 911.


  • Bob Chapek Abruptly Terminated Peter Rice, Head of Television in a 7 Minute Firing With No Cause.
  • Chapek Terminated Abruptly by the Chairman of the Board–Susan Arnold’s Removal of Chapek with No Cause
  • “My Way or the Highway” Mentality is Antiquated. Success Comes From Counseling & Listening to Others Before Moving on Decisions

3. Leadership is About Influence More Than Control


  • People Think It’s About Control. It’s Really About Influence
  • You Can’t Control Others–Just Yourself
  • Chapek Tried Control of Streaming Via Kareem Daniel–Kevin Feige Example
  • Iger’s First Move Was Push Control Back To Creative Heads


  • Bob Lost Influence with Bob Iger
  • Bob Lost Influence of Key Executives
  • Bob Lost Influence with Employees
  • Bob Lost His Influence with Hollywood–Fails to Have Emotional Intelligence as to How Others See Him–Scarlett Johansson
  • Bob Lost His Influence with Political Leader—Not About Being Political, It’s About Being Professional
  • Bob Lost His Influence on the Fan/Guest Community
  • Bob Lost His Influence with Wall Street
  • Bob Lost His Influence with the Board

Souvenirs for You and Your Organization

  • What is success long-term? How do you seek to create sustained long-term success?
  • Are you creating a great customer experience, or something else?
  • Are you truly motivating and engaging your workforce?
  • Do you believe that everyone in the organization can be a leader, not from a positional point of view, but from a place of influence? If so, how are you making that happen?
  • How are you being accountable for attaining results?
  • How are you being accountable for working effectively with others?

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