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case 1 - Brooke Galietto Management 415 Case 1 Executive...

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Brooke Galietto January 25, 2011 Management 415 Case 1 Executive Summary: In the Michael Eisner at Disney case, the fundamental management problem is that Eisner fails to provide an adequate balance between his duties as a manager and a leader. In today’s competitive business environment, an organization is not in good hands with just a manager or just a leader. Michael Eisner proved to be just a manager. Throughout his career, he was successful in increasing profitability by reducing costs. He also earned respect for his ability to manage creativity. His four central rules for leading proved to be effective for small group work. However, Michael Eisner fails to transition his talents as a manager into an effective leader. He naturally looks to cut costs and make quick decisions without input from others. He also is attached to individual projects and processes. Therefore, if a project fails then he is going to solve the problem and redeem it. These are the qualities of a successful manager. Eisner’s talent as an employee is that he keeps a business working and improving each day. Eisner lacks the leadership qualities needed to inspire and motivate change among a large group, such as the Disney organization. Although confident and successful, he does not have the long-term, big-picture focus needed to embed a vision in an organization or create a unique and moral organizational culture. Eisner has made major mistakes in his career as CEO thus far. Severing relationships with crucial stakeholders like Steve Jobbs and Roy E. Disney tarnishes the image of Disney as an organization. Ruining the relationship with Pixar inhibited great creative opportunities for both companies to work together. Eisner’s failure to adjust his leadership style after his bad ratings and his denial of the financial crisis looming prove that he does not have the company’s best interest at heart all the time. I suggest Eisner forms a partnership with an internal person at Disney and they tackle the challenging job of CEO together. Although Eisner brings many assets to Disney, he needs help in certain departments. He needs a partner that embodies the classic qualities of a charismatic leader. He needs assistance is creating the company vision, aligning the employees, and developing the organizational culture. A duo reminiscent of the Wells Eisner duo would be beneficial for the organization as a whole and for Eisner’s career. Primary Analysis: The fundamental management problem at hand is that Eisner does not effectively balance his leader and manager roles. He tends to act too much as a manager and not enough of a leader. Consequently, he was voted one of the world’s worst CEOs by Forbes
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magazine, received high percentages of non-confidence votes, ruined important relationships for the organization, and led the company to financial loss.
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