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Leadership Style of Michael Eisner

The Disney Company has had two charismatic leaders in its history: Walt Disney and Michael Eisner. Disney's tenure was followed by lackluster performance at the company after his death, and none of the executives at the organization possessed a personality strong enough to bring the company out of its malaise. It took an outsider, from the movie industry, to help the company not only regain its former glory, but move forward to become one of the largest entertainment companies in the United States. Michael Eisner accomplished this change in the company through charismatic leadership; it remains to be seen whether he has provided the company with the transformational leadership necessary to see it into the next century. Both Disney and Eisner used transformational leadership to provide direction to the company, but it was Eisner who led the company out of the doldrums and helped to shape it into a media giant. This research examines the leadership style of Eisner, and the factors which contribute to his success at Disney.

Charismatic leadership, in which the personality of the leader provides the motivation for personal loyalty and performance beyond expectation by subordinates, is sometimes considered a subset of the broader category of transformational leadership (Luthans 357). Charismatic leadership theories hold that charismatic leaders are able to inspire their subordinates through sheer will of personality; through this personality, they communicate their vision and inspire personal loyalty among their workers. There are disadvantages to this type of leadership, however; most notably, a lack of leadership can occur if the leader is suddenly removed from the environment.

Transformational leadership involves the leader effectively communicating his (or her) vision to subordinates and providing them with the tools and discretion to achieve that vision. Where transactional leaders provide tools for solving specific situ...

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Leadership Style of Michael Eisner. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 17:00, December 07, 2021, from