Roy Disney and Bob Iger- Ego and Respect

Bob Iger, in his so far excellent book “The Ride of a Lifetime,” shares a story about he went about diffusing an ongoing public outcry from Roy Disney, nephew of Walt Disney, just after he was appointed CEO.

Roy Disney had been public in his unhappiness with former CEO Michael Eisner and eventually resigned from Disney’s Board in protest. And, he wasn’t happy with Bob Iger’s selection as the latter was COO during the last 5 years of Eisner’s rein.

After a conversation with Roy, Bob Iger shared that he realized there were a lot of pent up emotions behind Roy’s behavior. He felt he had been slighted and disrespected by Eisner and the rest of the board. And, most importantly, he was hurting at parting with the legendary company founded by his uncle.

So, Bob Iger went about making a few small changes – he gave Roy Disney the title of Chairman Emeritus and made arrangements for a small consulting fee and an office at Disney headquarters. Roy, for his part, agreed to call off the lawsuit.

The lesson Bob Iger shares is the recognition that most people just want a bit of respect. And, in difficult situations, it is so important to not let our ego get in the way of that happening.

It resonated.