The Secret to Disney’s New CEO Heir Apparent? | Media Training

Major story in today’s New York times about who will replace Disney (NYSE: DIS) CEO Robert Iger when he steps down in a few years. For the last five years, the battle has been between two top executives: Thomas Staggss versus James Rasulo. Staggs was just appointed chief operating officer and is now the CEO-in-waiting.

In the lengthy article from the Times, here is what stood out to me:

“Judson Green, who worked closely with both men during his 10 years of running Disney’s parks and resorts division, said both were strong candidates. ‘Bob had an embarrassment of riches,’ he said. But of the two, ‘Bob may have felt that Tom is a little more polished, a little more charismatic. He has great presentation skills and is a little more Disney-like than Jay.’”

“HAS GREAT PRESENTATION SKILLS” is what jumped out to me.

Here is the lesson: you don’t get to be the CEO of a huge successful company just for having great presentation skills. But when it comes down to the final selection, all the candidates are going to be smart, hardworking and capable. Having great public speaking skills can be the tie-breaker, they can make all the difference in the world.

And what’s the difference between ending your career as a senior vice president or division president versus ending up as CEO of a large, publicly traded company?:It can be one billion dollars in take-home pay including bonuses and options over the long haul )Just ask Jack Welch).

And it is why insanely ambitious people do not view public speaking skills as “fluff,” or an “extra,” or a so-called “soft-skill.” Presentation skills can be and often are what separates the billionaires from the millionaires.

TJ Walker trains CEO’s and aspiring CEOs presentation skills. Please call Media Training Worldwide at 212.764.4955.


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