As head of The Walt Disney Company, Bob Iger oversaw the acquisitions of Pixar, Marvel, and Lucasfilm and has regularly been named one of the best CEOs in the world. Who would have guessed that this industry titan started off as a humble weatherman? Here are five career lessons that you can learn from the man at the helm of one of the world’s most beloved (and powerful) companies.
Take advantage of your college resources.
Consider joining some of your college’s clubs or organizations that relate to your career goals; it is a great way to start building experience. Iger’s media career began at Ithaca College, where he hosted a university television show called “Campus Probe.”
Don’t be afraid to change your course.
After college, Iger got a job as a weatherman with the ambition to become the next Walter Cronkite. However, at the age of 23, he realized that he was better suited to be behind the camera than in front of it, and he shifted his career goals accordingly.
If you’re asked to do something unethical, refuse.
In his first year at ABC, Iger was asked by a supervisor to do things that he considered to be dishonest. When Iger tried to expose the wrongdoing, the supervisor relieved him of his position—eventually, Iger found another job within ABC, and the supervisor was led out of the company in handcuffs.
Recognize that you still have much to learn.
When Iger became head of ABC Entertainment, he impressed the company’s employees by acknowledging his status as an entertainment industry novice and being willing to learn. By treating his career as a learning process, Iger continuously improved his performance.
During his time as ABC’s head of programming, Iger interacted with and developed great respect for creative minds. At Disney, he would go on to acquire some of this generation’s most iconic properties, allowing the company to stand out and avoid stagnation.