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  • Catalina Gardescu

Five Lessons from Pixar

Amazing management lessons come from someone who confesses that, if he was to have his way, he would be behind a computer, doing research. The management model grown organically, passionately and attentively by Ed Catmull at Pixar and later Disney Animation, is inspirational. This book is a great read for anyone who is or is not a creative and is a must read for anyone who looks to build and sustain teams of inspired staff.


The book walks the reader through the amazing story of Pixar, provides loads of stories and many insights. A few that stuck with me are below:


1. From the moment when he switches art with physics, to college and working in research, Ed Catmull's story is a testament to the importance of a vision and the appropriate mentor-ship.


2. Failure as a lesson is a phrase that is overrated these days. This book provides examples of how we learn from failure and, more importantly, how leaders model the constructive ways in which failure must be undertaken.


3. Probably the most important point in the book (from my perspective) is the chapter about the flexibility we need to allow to the hidden factors that will for sure influence what we do. Being prepared without becoming paranoid is true art that builds a strong foundation for greatness.


4. The importance of beginner's mind is never to be underestimated. The challenge is to maintain it and stay in the present, not let the past occurrences of future imaginings deter from looking at everything with a fresh eye.


5. When talking about the merge between Disney and Pixar, Ed Catmull recounts the amazing communication exercise to be done in order for the 1600 employees of the two companies to work well

together and continue to be inspired.


This is a great and captivating read for anyone working in communication, management, anyone who aspires to be a leader of people, in any field.