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Leadership at Disney

The Walt Disney Company is an American institution closely identified with Mickey Mouse and world-famous theme parks. However, the company, which has had only two leaders of note in its long history, is a multinational entertainment conglomerate which has moved out of traditional "family" entertainment into providing entertainment for many different audiences around the world. It embraced new technology with its acquisition of ABC/Capital Cities in the late 1990s, and international diversity with its expansion first to Japan, then France and now it has announced that it will be building a theme park in China. The company's leadership, and its ability to transcend the tenure of its current leader, will be tested in coming years as the company encounters new challenges previously unimagined. This research considers the company's leadership orientation, the challenges the company is likely to face in the near future, and recommendations on how the company can thrive in this new environment.

Founded by Walter Elias Disney and run by Walt and his brother Roy (who handled the finances), the Disney transformed American movies and entertainment in a way which few other companies have done. Disney introduced full-length animation features to the American public with Snow White, and brought out animated shorts featuring Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and a host of singing animals and plants. Walt used his own charismatic and transformational leadership skills to communicate his vision to the rest of the organization: Disney movies never challenged audiences, but offered entertainment which parents could comfortably take children to during the 1950s and 1960s (Flower 22).

Walt Disney also possessed transformational leadership qualities in that he was always seeking to improve his knowledge base and take advantage of new opportunities. For example, he developed a new idea for an amusement park, which he termed a theme park, which offere...

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Leadership at Disney. (2000, January 01). In Retrieved 11:30, February 21, 2017, from