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Walter E. Disney,
A Proven Leader Who Reshaped A Culture
Krystal M. Carrillo
Woodbury University
PMBA 506 – Organizational Leadership
October 5, 2012

Abstract
Leading the world with the belief that a successful business goes far beyond finances, a great man once said “of all the things I have done, the most vital is coordinating the talents of those who work for us and pointing them towards a certain goal” ("Walt Disney quotes," 2012). Walter Elias Disney had a great character filled with integrity, compassion and a strong commitment to making people happy. Walter went from being a farmer in Marceline, Missouri to running what is now considered one of the most well-known and successful corporations in the world, The Walt Disney Company. The Walt Disney Company owes it success and recognition to the strategies that defined Walt Disney himself both as a brilliant leader and an amazing individual.

Lee Cockerell wrote a book titled “Creating Magic” which outlines the 10 strategies that The Walt Disney Company still implements today. These 10 strategies consist of the following: Remember everyone is important, break the mold, make your people your brand, create magic through training, eliminate hassles, learn the truth, burn the free fuel, stay ahead of the pack, be careful what you say and do, and develop character (Cockerell, 2008). These strategies were not developed as a structured list of guidelines but are rather the byproduct of a successful leader encouraging others to see the world through his eyes.

This paper will provide a history of Walt Disney and his transformation from a common farmer in Missouri to a world-renowned corporate leader. In doing so, this paper will explore Cockerell’s 10 strategies by analyzing how they were inspired by Walt Disney and how these strategies have defined a culture in modern day business. Conclusively, Cockerell’s 10 strategies on leadership will be compared to the articles in “HBR’s 10 Must Reads on Leadership”. If there is anything that should be taken away from this paper, it is the idea that there is no better growth strategy than personal growth itself.

Key Terms: Walter E. Disney, Leadership, Walt Disney Company, Company Ethics, Struggle, Determination, Building an Enterprise, Animation, corporate operations, Hollywood’s Development, Pioneer, innovation, Business ethics, Inclusion, organizational framework

Walter E. Disney,
A Proven Leader Who Reshaped A Culture
Walter Elias Disney once said, “Somehow I cant believe there are any heights that cant be scaled by a man who knows the secret of making dreams come true. This special secret, it seems to me, can be summarized in four C’s. They are Curiosity, Confidence, Courage and Consistency and the greatest of these is Confidence. When you believe a thing, believe it all the way, implicitly and unquestionably (Kelly 2007, p.31)” Those are the values Walter Elias Disney (Walt) brought forth in all of his personal and corporate endeavors. The Untroubled Years

Walt Disney is the 4th of 5 children with 3 older brothers and 1 younger sister. He was born on December 5th 1901 in Chicago Illinois however, shortly after his birth Walt’s mother and father, Elias & Flora Disney, moved the family to a farm in Marceline Missouri, were Walt spent a majority of his childhood. It was in this humble Missouri home were Walt learned the vale of teamwork and developed a love for trains and nature. At age 7, Walt began to show an interest in art and learned how he could profit from it, selling sketches to neighbors in his community (Isbouts, 2001). Through his younger years Walt developed his artistic skills through drawings and photography. He contributed to his High school paper and attended the academy of fine arts in the evening. Walt did not come from a family of means and was always hard working. His father was very stern and expected perfection from his boys, a trait Walt carried through into his business....
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