Bob Iger spoke at this year’s Global Leadership Summit. Bob is the former CEO and Executive Chairman of the Walt Disney Company, a New York Times Bestselling Author of The Ride of a Lifetime, and one of the Fortune 25 Most Powerful People in Business. Here are some of my notes and takeaways:

  • Big risks = big wins
  • If you can’t take risk, you don’t get anywhere.
  • Keeping the status quo is not a winning strategy.
  • No one wants to follow a pessimist. Where are they going to take you?
  • But if you’re nothing but optimistic, you don’t prepare your people for what is ahead.
  • A lack of hope is as bad as it gets.

Bob’s a world class leader in so many ways, and this interview was full of insight and wisdom that was hard won.

The tension between unrelenting optimism and undeterred realism is one that great leaders know well, and Iger captured so much of what is inherent in that tension. You cannot resolve the tension, because if you do, you lose something critical.

Most of us fall on one side or the other of that tension naturally. Are you more “optimistic” in your leadership, or more “realistic?” What would your team members say if they were asked?

How do you avoid the ditch of a lack of hope, personally and organizationally, as you lead?

So much of this begins with the mindset of a leader. How can you be more intentional about the mindset you create and hold as a leader?


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