40 Spectacular Michael Eisner Quotes

Michael Eisner is an American businessman best known for his time serving as Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company from 1984 to 2005. Prior to Disney, Eisner worked as CEO of Paramount Productions and served for a brief time at NBC, CBS, and ABC. With a net worth of over one billion dollars and several published books, here are some memorable Michael Eisner quotes that will encourage you.

“A brand is a living entity-and it is enriched or undermined cumulatively over time, the product of a thousand small gestures.”

“A decision will be made before it’s too late or soon thereafter.”

“Balanced emotions are crucial to intuitive decision making.”

“Content has always driven the business. Now it’s no longer the queen to a king of distribution; it is the king, king, king, because the consumer has complete choice.”

“Creativity can flourish within sensible financial limitations.”

“Diversity is a great force towards creativity.”


“Doing stuff that I don’t have to talk about because I’m not in a public company is fantastic.”

“Failure is good as long as it does not become a habit.”

“Fear of failure is a far worse condition than failure itself, because it kills off possibilities.”

“I don’t think individual achievement in business is the most meaningful way for it to operate.”

“I find that no matter how long a meeting goes on, the best ideas always come during the final five minutes, when people drop their guard and I ask them what they really think.”

“I think when you get inured with the past, you get committed to the past, you stop growing.”

“If it’s not growing, it’s going to die.”

“If you’re really good, you should express yourself…a lot.”

“I’m not sure I was a typical head of a company. Most people that run big companies come out of sales and they come out of marketing and they’re quite serious and they have MBA’s from very good schools and things like that. I’m an accidental CEO, thank the Disney Company.”

“In every business, in every industry, management does matter.”

“Management is not a science, it is an art.”

“My best idea was to not accept my wife’s negative reaction when I asked her to marry me.”

“My strength is coming up with two outs in the last of the ninth.”

“Privacy laws are our biggest impediment to us obtaining our objectives.”

“Recovering from failure is often easier than building from success.”

“Sometimes you have to be worn out and burnt out to become authentic and original.”

“Succeeding is not really a life experience that does that much good. Failing is a much more sobering and enlightening experience.”

“The company should be run from a creative point of view rather than a financial point of view.”

“The movie business has always been like the wild-catting oil business. Everyone wants a gusher.”

“The odds of being successful are the same for every group that is educated in America. It’s just that the group that is not wealthy is 95 percent of the population.”

“The only thing that gives [new technology] purpose is the kind of creative content we all produce.”

“The whole business starts with ideas, and we’re convinced that ideas come out of an environment of supportive conflict, which is synonymous with appropriate friction.”

“There’s a fine line between what would characterize you as a troglodyte and what would characterize you as a brilliant, avant-garde, forward-thinking genius. There’s some middle ground.”

“There’s no good idea that cannot be improved on.”

“To punish failure is yet another way to encourage mediocrity.”

“User-generated content is not done by professionals. The best user-generated content eventually becomes those people gravitated in the professional world.”

“We all know that the Disney brand is our most valuable asset. It is the sum total of our seventy-five years in business, of our reputation, of everything that we stand for.”

“We have no obligation to make history. We have no obligation to make art. We have no obligation to make a statement. To make money is our only objective.”

“Well, when you’re trying to create things that are new, you have to be prepared to be on the edge of risk.”

“When I read biographies, I’m only interested in the first few chapters. I’m not interested in when people become successful. I’m interested in what made them successful.”

“Years later, I found myself running a network television division and then a movie studio and now an entire entertainment company. But, much of the success I’ve achieved can be traced to the direct and metaphorical lessons I learned in building those campfires.”

“You can’t succeed unless you’ve got failure, especially creatively.”

“You either play by the rules, change the rules, or get out, altogether.”

“You just have to make sure the model you’re working on does not undersell your product.”

Michael Eisner takes some moments to discuss his departure as CEO of Walt Disney Productions.

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