The Pixar Story – Lessons from Buzz Lightyear


I recently watched the Pixar Story and was inspired. We often think of companies like this and think ‘how lucky’ or ‘what timing’ these founders had and we’re jealous of their incredible success. There was no luck to what they accomplished. Here are my take-aways:
1. It takes amazing perseverance and dedication to create an ‘overnight success story’
• Pixar’s overnight success took 10 years and they were on the verge of collapse more than once
• The key players worked extremely hard, put in nights, weekends and holidays.
2. Pixar created and fosters to this day, an extremely creative and collaborative culture where everyone is excited to contribute, all day, every day.
3. Encourage risk taking and provide constant 360 feedback and review. Feedback is never personal. When the culture accepts risk, it also accepts mistakes and people naturally are willing to step outside of their comfort zone, experiment, create and innovate.
4. Share your successes with your people and allow them to grow with you. Know when to step aside and give someone else an opportunity to lead. Bugs Life and Finding Nemo were given to others in the organization to lead and direct. Neither of these employees had taken on this responsibility in the past but both were given the freedom to step up and they succeeded- Wildly I might add! “And the Oscar goes to ____________.”
5. Create partnerships to help get you to that next level. Pixar partnered with Disney and the partnership has evolved over time.
6. It’s nice to have someone like Steve Jobs as an advisor and funding source while you are on your way. We won’t all have access to Steve, but there are many successful entrepreneurs and business people – it just takes the right one that believes in you and your product or service.

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About annspoor
Ann Spoor is the Jerry McGuire to Corporate Executives and Professionals. She is an Executive Talent Agent, Executive Coach, Career Manager, Executive Branding Expert, and Social Media Coach. Ann lives in Denver with her husband Mark and their 2 kids. The Leadership Lattice is an interview series conducted by Ann Spoor CEO & Founder of Executive Lattice. The series focuses on Leadership in the private & public sector. Please subscribe to this blog to follow along in the discussion. www.executivelattice.com

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