Michael Eisner is one of the most controversial leaders of the 20th century. While at the helm of The Walt Disney Company, he accomplished unprecedented success for himself and for the company but also became infamous for the heavily criticised Michel Eisner leadership style.
Michael Eisner had been responsible for the roaring success of several ventures of Disney. He is credited with numerous accolades and he steered the company to breathtaking profits. However, he was an autocratic leader. Michael Eisner leadership style is not exactly categorized as autocratic because he was more of a dictator, in its truest sense.
The tenure of Michael Eisner at Disney was marked by massive media coverage and almost all of it, barring a few exceptions, was against him. Michael Eisner was a man who did not listen to anyone. He had no ear for others’ opinions, he was not patient with anyone around him and he simply did not think anyone in the company to be worthy enough of his time or interest. He micromanaged the company, put his stamp on everything that the company did and he did not allow anyone to have any say when he had made up his mind. Certain accounts recollect how viable alternatives suggested by some employees were not even considered simply because Michael Eisner had a different plan. According to the details that are available in public domain, Michael Eisner was a leader who everyone hated, from the employees working for him to the people in the press and media.
However, none of that bad press or dislike among the employees dilutes or reduces the importance of what Michael Eisner achieved. It is believed, even by some of the greatest leaders and entrepreneurs across different eras, that great leadership is not always about listening to everything that others have to say. Michael Eisner leadership style may have been an extreme since he did not pay heed to anything that came his way from others but not being open to others’ opinions is often a preconceived mechanism of a leader to have a very lucid understand of what is wanted, needed and what had to be done to achieve that target. Only when a leader opens himself or herself to multiple opinions is there a chance of the leader being confused or uncertain. It is to sustain this certainty, determination and single-minded pursuit that the Michael Eisner leadership style makes a lot of pragmatic sense.