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The Difference of Business Management and Leadership: Lessons from the Disney Brothers

Within the company, leaders are required to take the company on predetermined results. Good and regular management is also needed to maintain the stability of the company, whether internal relationships, or external relationships.

This is where we know how business management and leadership are two very important and interrelated things. In this business management and leadership, we can learn from the success of Disney in building his business empire.

"I dream, I test my dreams against my beliefs, I dare to take risks, and I execute my vision to make the dreams come true." (Walter E. Disney)

Leadership is different from management. However, these two things are complementary, complementary and both vital to the success of the organization. If we study the link of the two, we can highlight the civil rights movement of the 1960s in the United States with its great leader, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dr. King inspired the world with his vision and with his ability to make speeches, and he managed to change the way Americans live together. The United States is different now because of Dr. King.

However, this pastor is not a good manager. The civil rights movement championed and led by it may fail to fall apart if Dr. King is not supported by support staff consisting of people who have outstanding management talents.

This example is practice in the socio-political world. In the business world there are also few cases related to the topic "leadership - management" which can be used as study materials. An interesting example we can take from the Disney brothers success story.

Lessons Of Disney Brothers About Business Management And Leadership Differences

Have you ever looked at the Disney giant company and its founding figures, two brothers, Walt E. Disney [1901-1966] and Roy O. Disney [1893-1971]. Walt Disney (Full Walter Elias Disney) is one of the most famous names in the world. However, not so with Roy Oliver Disney.

Roy O. Disney has a son named Roy Edward Disney [1930-2009] who also worked at Disney from 1954-2009 and was a Vice Chairman at Walt Disney Company and Chairman of Walt Disney Feature Animation.

In this paper, we will highlight about Walt Disney and Roy O. Disney. Although Roy is not as famous as his sister, his role in the development and success of Disney companies remains vital, but with a different role than Walt.

When we highlight the differences in the behavior of these two brothers in their business, we can use a list of "differences between a leader and a manager".

Walt is a creative leader and Roy is the manager or "finance man" in their organization. He is a "goalkeeper". The success of the Disney group's efforts is the fruit of the success of complementary contributions from both of them. Their story provides an interesting picture of how leaders interact with their followers and situations differently from what managers do.

WALT DISNEY, True Leader 

The signing of Walt Disney's name in a particular film means that the film has gained a personal touch from him, in the form of rigorous personal supervision in the making process, a quality assurance, and of course the fullness of the cinema.

Walt has always been committed to producing the best products, from souvenirs to films. Walt also has a sixth sense regarding what will appeal to American, young and old cultures. He strongly believes in his intuition and judgment and dare to take risks in order to realize his ideals.

One of Walt's many personal qualities is the personal drive to experiment and discover new ways to improve the quality of film. Walt himself is an innovator, but more importantly, that he encourages and encourages those who work with him to be innovative as well.

The studio is always "on the move", filled with the passionate ambience of the people who work there. Walt wanted his studio always at the threshold of technological skills in the field of animated art and he never fell prey to the rigid and dry procedure of SOP and the like 1,2,3 in doing something.

From the start of their company, Walt handled the creative side of the Disney productions, while Roy handled financial work to fund the production of their cartoons. Walt was never interested in "making money" as an end in itself, but rather as a means to produce even better movies / quality.

Walt will not compromise his own values about film quality with the increase in corporate profits. In reality Walt is a "gambler" who will bear any risk for an idea (idea) that he believes. Walt's enthusiasm for the creative process is so "contagious" and spreading among the people who work for or with him. They are more dedicated to art than the company's profit and loss.

On the other hand, as a person engaged in the world of animation in his day, Walt was aware of the importance of all things in detail. There is one example: Walt allowed nearly six months to complete a sequence of only three minutes in SNOW WHITE. This is an episode where the dwarfs walk through the forest while singing "Heigh-Ho".

Here Walt realized that the Snow Princess's cheeks looked too pale. Therefore, the people have to fix the existing pictures, tens of thousands in number. In fact, the film should be aired in cinemas in the not too distant future.

Imagine how much more costs should be incurred? All for the sake of ideals, for the sake of the vision for the future coveted. Perhaps the decision made by a profit-oriented company manager will not emulate Walt's attitude and actions in the same way.

In fact, this is only for a duration of three minutes. Many think this duration is not important. It must also be forgotten and unnoticed. But, precisely this is where the benefits of Disney. He was very attentive to detail. The main purpose is the work itself. Some say that Disney's secret of success is precisely that he never tries to "make money". Money for Walt is a means, not a destination!

Walt is a genius in terms of seeing people who have talent. He surrounds himself with creative people like himself, including those who are "unique". Those who worked with Walt believed they were pioneers who changed the nature of the mass media.

Walt creates an energetic and informal environment. He opposes rigid procedures and also bureaucracy, but those who work with Walt believe that he runs the best studios in the world.

One way that Walt uses to inspire a strong commitment among his followers is through his own commitment to their creative development and involvement in studio work. Walt succeeds in making them donate the best, a quality work that goes beyond their own confidence in their abilities.

Walt wanted everyone who worked with him to feel that they were making the necessary contribution to the project as a whole. He encourages and encourages his people to use their own skills to come up with solutions to challenges, rather than just finding what they want them to do.

To encourage a closer bond with those who work with it, Walt emphasized the need to address each other with first names (first name, not family name). For example our boss named Mr. Thomas Crouse called Tom instead. Crouse.

This practice also applies to Citibank N.A. It is difficult for us from the cultural background of feudalism to practice such a thing. We are used to greeting our superiors with "Pak" or "Bu", and he greets us with the word "Brother" or "Sister".

Walt also conducted a "direct inspection" to see the progress of their work. As long as they produce good works, Walt will be tolerant of anything, except "laziness," "dishonesty" or "negative attitude."

If there are employees who are sad (prolonged of course), then according to Walt the employee should not work in Disney company, because "We are selling happiness!".

Ray Kroc had been working in a unit led by Walt. Ray Kroc is the founder of McDonald's Corporation. Ray Kroc says the following about Walt Disney: "Disney was regarded as a strange duck, because whenever we had time off and went on the town to chase girls, he stayed in the camp drawing pictures"


The difference between a leader's and manager's orientations is seen in the disagreement between Walt and Roy in terms of ideas relating to a new "amusement park." Perhaps we imagine that what we know as Disneyland is a success since it was proposed by Walt.

This is truly wrong, because at first Roy opposed this project. For Roy this is just another crazy idea from Walt, and he's only willing to give $ 10,000 out of studio finance as part of the funding of this new project. This is the risk he wants to bear.

What about Walt? Walt put more confidence in his own vision than the risk-averse attitude of his brother. Finally, Walt did his own project funding, borrowing $ 100,000 on his own life insurance policy. He also sold his vacation home in Palm Springs, California, and began to raise funds through his TV series, Disneyland, on the ABC television network.

Now we already know how successful Disneyland in California, Disneyworld in Florida, in Tokyo, in Hong Kong and so forth. But at that time, in the beginning, what made Walt so committed to his own vision?

His vision is an amusement park named DISNEYLAND, where his ideas and his creations characters such as Mickey Mouse and so on. can come alive. Here I will quote a few words that Walt himself says about his vision.

The idea of Disneyland is a simple idea. Disneyland will be a place for people to find happiness and knowledge. Disneyland will be a place for parents and children to spend pleasant times as friends with each other. A place for teachers and students to find greater ways of understanding and education.

Here the older generation can recapture their past nostalgia, and the younger generation can enjoy the challenges of the future. Here is where the beauty of Nature and Man is to be seen and understood by all people.

Disneyland will be based on and dedicated to the ideals, dreams and facts that have created America. And this Disneyland will be uniquely equipped to dramatize dreams and facts and send them all as a source of courage and inspiration to the whole world.

Disneyland will be a kind of "fair", an "exhibition", a "playground", a "community center", a "museum of living facts", a place of "beauty and magic" performances.

Disneyland will be filled with achievements, joys and hopes for the world in which we live. And Disneyland will remind us and show us how to make those beauties part of our lives. " It is a vision with power that can make transformations within the organization concerned.

This vision relating to Disneyland contains elements that need to be in a good vision for the future, for example (1) the vision is appropriate for the organization concerned and appropriate for the future. The vision is appropriate when it is associated with organizational history, organizational culture and values shared and consistent with the current situation of the organization; (2) this vision sets standards of excellence and reflects high ideals; (3) this vision clarifies the purpose and direction; (4) this vision inspires enthusiasm and encourages the commitment of anyone involved in the organization; (5) this vision is well articulated and easily understood; (6) this vision reflects the uniqueness of the organization; (7) this vision is ambitious, expanding organizational horizon.

Bill Capodagli & Lynn Jackson, in the preface to his book testifies as follows: "Neither one of us visited Disneyland or Disney World as children. But we have fortunate to experience the park through the eyes of the chilren in our families. "

This is one proof of the power of vision of Walt Disney about the new "amusement park", which manifests itself into reality.

Conclusion Notes

The differences between Walt and Roy - even after his death - illustrate the difference between leadership and management. As a result of the absence of the creative leadership of Walt Disney, their studio fell into the hands of "Roy Disney people" who for two decades can be said to be successful, but not optimal (moderate only), because based on less creative creative management formulas.

Only after the helm of Michael Eisner, Walt Disney's "people" who understood popular culture, their studios again took the lead in American business.