William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody
Samuel Cody Martinez
Buffalo Bill’s Life on the Frontier
Longest continuous pony express ride Killed 12 buffalo with 11 bullets. He hunted
buffalo to feed the Kansas-Pacific railway
Rescued a group of soldiers in a blinding
blizzard by orienting based on how the wind
was hitting his ear.
Hero in battle field even as a civilian scout
with no obligation to fight
Led soldiers to within 50 yards of an
opposing army’s encampment
Received a medal of honor.
“Buffalo Bill’s Wild West”
• After life on the frontier, founded the Wild West show.
• Show ran for about 30 years.
• Show traveled throughout the US and Europe, performed in over 1000
• 600 cast members, 400 horses, herd of 20 buffalo.
• In addition to entertainment, education of attendees a priority
Integration: Work and Community
• The cast of the Wild West show became Bill’s community
• Treated cast members like family, treated all cast members fairly
• Bill became a strong advocate for native Americans, often commenting in
the public sphere on their behalf
• Bill was also devoted to developing infrastructure in the west, founded
Cody Wyoming, and spent much of his personal wealth on development
• Bill had a rocky family life. Wife loved stability and simplicity in her life. Bill
had a passion for adventure. Differences created significant strain in their
• Bill tried to adjust his life around his family (tried stage acting, and hotel
management), but always found himself unhappy and craving the excitement
of the road
• The difference between this picture of Bill with his family and the previous
picture of Bill with some of his professional and community stakeholders
highlights a contrast in the level of integration in Bill’s life domains.
Total Leadership Lessons
• Bill demonstrated significant flexibility in
leveraging talents and passions
– He was happy with very diverse career paths at
different stages of his life as long as the path fed his
passion for excitement, risk, and adventure
– Bill’s professional life became his community life.
• Bill life is an example of how constraints among
various life domains can come into conflict.
– Bill’s marriage and family life created friction primarily
because his wife didn’t share his passion for
excitement, risk, and adventure.