Talking Point: The Disney Institute Blog

Encouraging Leadership: The CEO of You

February 13, 2014 by Bruce Jones, Senior Programming Director, Disney Institute

What words come to mind when you hear the title “C.E.O.”?

Leader? - Successful? - Respected? - Expert? - Passionate? - Responsible?

How do words evoked by the term “C.E.O.” differ from the qualities you see, or would like to see, in yourself? At Disney Institute, we do not believe a job title defines leadership qualities. As Jeff Noel, a facilitator at Disney Institute, discusses in the below video, everyone is leader. Beyond that, everyone is called to be the “C.E.O. of you.”

 To be the C.E.O. of you, redefine the way you look at leadership and success:

  • Leadership: Many organizations believe leadership is a noun. However, because leadership is dependent on the action one takes rather than the position one holds, we encourage everyone to view leadership as a verb. Therefore, despite job title, everyone should be the C.E.O. of himself or herself.
  • Success: Just as a C.E.O. strives to increase the success of an organization, an individual should proactively strive to be successful in his/her specific role, career and personal life. Think about how you measure success in your specific role. Compare that to how you measure success of those in more senior positions. Are they the same? If they are different, consider why you hold particular individuals to different standards than you hold yourself.

Jeff also shares an insight on how to inspire leadership at all levels: the differentiation between task and purpose. To empower all employees to take on leadership roles, it is important that everyone understands the larger purpose behind a task. Employees should be immersed in the broader context of a project so they clearly can identify the importance of their role and how it impacts the organization. As Jeff says, “that’s when the magic happens.”


How does your organization encourage leadership at all levels?

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