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Without Roy Disney, there would be no Mickey Mouse, Disneyworld, and most certainly we all might actually be talking about Bruno. But, Roy’s name neglects to be included with Disney. We all typically think of his brother Walt; yet, Roy was critical to the formation of the Disney company. It turns out Walt Disney wasn’t that great of a business guy. In fact, he failed every single business endeavor until he called his brother, Roy.
Walt Disney Gets a 2 out of 10
Walt Disney was a creative extraordinaire. Beyond an animator, he envisioned what Mickey Mouse could become. However, he didn’t possess all the skill sets needed for the next level. With a trail of failures, he turned to his brother Roy for help.
Walt was a remarkable salesperson. He could walk into any room and sell everybody. He was also a remarkable leader so if you were rating Walt Disney on leadership and marketing, you’d give him a 10 out of 10. Organizational skills and processes, however, were a major blind spot. He would score a solid 2 out of 10 on that scale. This is where he needed help and thankfully Roy was able to step in to be that help.
It turns out Roy Disney was an excellent manager. Management is all about productivity and profitability. He knew how to build the systems and process as well as discover the appropriate talent, team, and contractors for the many projects Walt needed. With Roy, the success metrics are better balanced. Now, Walt is operating 10/10 in leadership, marketing, and now management.
We have a Disney company not because of the singular effort from one individual but a complement of resources and teams that pushed the vision forward.
You can’t scale success from singular brilliance.
Building a Team
The typical leadership caricature is the obsessive person spending countless hours toiling at their desk coming up with new ideas or busying themselves with the workings of their business. You probably have leadership figures spring into your mind….Steve Jobs, Walt Disney, Jack Dorsey, Elon Musk. These are the names we associate with success. But, we have to remember that these individuals would be nowhere near the top if it weren’t for the team behind them.
You manage teams by learning to manage individuals. After all, teams are just aggregates of individuals. If you want to win as a manager or leader, your best bet will be to know about individual personality sets. Every person within an organization from the lowest to the highest paid has a distinct personality. And, while, you cannot be expected to know all parts of every single person; you CAN learn consistent personality traits. Uncelebrated or unacknowledged talents and personality traits will severely constrict your ability to succeed. Don’t avoid…celebrate these differences by learning about them.
The Lion and the Otter
Gary Smalley offers a DISC-type personality assessment that uses animals to represent each personality type. This assessment is extremely informative because it not only exposes the advantages of each personality trait but also their respective blind spots.
Iron Man, Steve Jobs, Navy Seals, and Rocky Balboa. These names and titles don’t really belong together unless you did a personality assessment. You’d find out that they are considered the Dominant personality type or as Gary Smalley refers to them, lions. There are two fundamental things that everybody should understand about the D personality.
The first is that respect is their core value. If you don’t show someone who has a dominant D personality respect, they won’t feel like their contributions and accomplishments matter. Secondly, they’re fundamentally determined to win. Second place is the first loser in their eyes. They’ll sooner have the absolute tar beaten out of them before they quit.
What Does FUN Look Like
If you ask the question or know someone that asks the question, “What does fun look like?” then you’re probably dealing with an ‘I’ type personality, or Otter. You know the ‘I’ personality when you see them. When they walk in, you’re laughing more and enjoying work. Fun becomes more central to the process. Their core value is freedom.
The “S” personality type is the Golden Retriever. These are the steady people in a group that really care about balance. They are very loyal, calm, and even keeled. However, they may be easily offended and miss opportunities.
The Beaver represents the “C” personality because they are obsessed with reliability. They want to know if a process will work over and again. They are consistent, accurate, factual, and orderly. However, they may take things a bit too seriously and be averse to spontaneous changes in mission scope or projects.
Of course, this is the bird’s eye view of personalities. Gary Smalley has greater detail about personality and its corresponding temperament in his inventory. A leader knows these personalities as well as their associated benefits and blind spots.
Hiring can make or break an organization. 80% of an organization’s problems are directly linked to hiring practices. Knowing personality style and primary strengths go a long way in alleviating headaches. The problem is we tend to hire people similar to ourselves when we really need to hire someone that complements existing strengths and personalities.
To reach our greatest potential, we must mature our hiring practices.
Understanding and recognizing diversity can bring remarkable strengths to your business. Not only do you reap the benefits but they do too. Rising tides raise all ships.