Walt Disney Had No MBA

Walt Disney didn’t have an MBA.  Neither did his older brother, Roy Disney. So?

So, maybe you don’t need an MBA to be successful.  Maybe you do. There are people in both camps – some insisting it’s mandatory, some it’s a complete waste of time and money.

Guess what?  I’m in the middle. I think you don’t need one and you do need one.  So that’s what I’ve set out to do.  Get one and not get one.

Confusing?  It won’t be.  As the days pass and we get nearer to the autumnal equinox, this paradox will become clear.

It’s a four year degree, which I began January 2008.  There are big life choices.  We all get to choose.

For example, ten years ago I chose to be healthier, so I started doing one push up each day.  The second week, two push ups each day. Third week, three a day, and so on.

Last month, I represented the United States in the Master’s Track & Field World Championships, in Lahti, Finland.

By jeff noel

Retired Disney Institute Keynote Speaker and Prolific Blogger. Five daily, differently-themed personal blogs (about life's 5 big choices) on five interconnected sites.


  1. Dear Jeff,

    Believe me, when I got my Master’s Degree, I was torn as well. With or without one to be more successful – that was the question. So once I finished it, which side did it place me on? Well, still I could see both sides, but I was thankful I had done it.

    See, it all depends on where the success lies. Once I received it, did my company where I work get all giddy and start treating me differently or paying me more or even show more respect? Was their any new clout or more money? None of that happened. I work in a company and industry with a large, older workforce of people in high positions where experience means more to them than education. Saying that I had a Master’s Degree meant nothing to a person who says, “I have been in the industry for 30 years.” And to be honest with you, they were somewhat resentful of me for having it. So from an employment side, it meant nothing. And that was discouraging at first, because so many other companies do acknowledge it in their employees and use it as a means for moving up in the companies.

    But the personal success – oh, it was so worth it! Not only did I gain more knowledge and hopefully wisdom by finishing the degree, but I knew it was a personal milestone for me, whether it was acknowledged or not. It was a testament to my desire to be a constant learner.

    Secondly, the fringe benefits turned into something I hadn’t expected. My Master’s Degree qualified me to teach at the college level as an adjunct. And now, I have been an adjunct instructor on the side for nearly 6 years. Abd you know what? That feeds my passion for teaching/training. So that was definitely a success I wouldn’t have if I hadn’t gotten my Master’s Degree.

    I think the success measurement has to first come from within you. If one gets a degree just to win approval of others, then there will be disappointment. But if one does it to better him or herself, the rewards can be great!


  2. Bob, a couple thoughts:
    1. jungle jeff is blessed beyond measure to have you following and contributing.
    2. Your insights are always thoughtful, and profound.
    3. You are an example of evaluating risk & reward, taking action and finding the good in each learning.
    There is no adequate way to thank you for that, except to try to, like right now.

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