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The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned from 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company

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A grand vision defined: The CEO of Disney, one of Time's most influential people of 2019, shares the ideas and values he embraced to reinvent one of the most beloved companies in the world and inspire the people who bring the magic to life. Robert Iger became CEO of The Walt Disney Company in 2005, during a difficult time. Competition was more intense than ever and A grand vision defined: The CEO of Disney, one of Time's most influential people of 2019, shares the ideas and values he embraced to reinvent one of the most beloved companies in the world and inspire the people who bring the magic to life. Robert Iger became CEO of The Walt Disney Company in 2005, during a difficult time. Competition was more intense than ever and technology was changing faster than at any time in the company's history. His vision came down to three clear ideas: Recommit to the concept that quality matters, embrace technology instead of fighting it, and think bigger--think global--and turn Disney into a stronger brand in international markets. Twelve years later, Disney is the largest, most respected media company in the world, counting Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm, and 21st Century Fox among its properties. Its value is nearly five times what it was when Iger took over, and he is recognized as one of the most innovative and successful CEOs of our era. In The Ride of a Lifetime, Robert Iger shares the lessons he's learned while running Disney and leading its 200,000 employees, and he explores the principles that are necessary for true leadership, including: - Optimism. Even in the face of difficulty, an optimistic leader will find the path toward the best possible outcome and focus on that, rather than give in to pessimism and blaming. - Courage. Leaders have to be willing to take risks and place big bets. Fear of failure destroys creativity. - Decisiveness. All decisions, no matter how difficult, can be made on a timely basis. Indecisiveness is both wasteful and destructive to morale. - Fairness. Treat people decently, with empathy, and be accessible to them. This book is about the relentless curiosity that has driven Iger for forty-five years, since the day he started as the lowliest studio grunt at ABC. It's also about thoughtfulness and respect, and a decency-over-dollars approach that has become the bedrock of every project and partnership Iger pursues, from a deep friendship with Steve Jobs in his final years to an abiding love of the Star Wars mythology. "The ideas in this book strike me as universal" Iger writes. "Not just to the aspiring CEOs of the world, but to anyone wanting to feel less fearful, more confidently themselves, as they navigate their professional and even personal lives."


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A grand vision defined: The CEO of Disney, one of Time's most influential people of 2019, shares the ideas and values he embraced to reinvent one of the most beloved companies in the world and inspire the people who bring the magic to life. Robert Iger became CEO of The Walt Disney Company in 2005, during a difficult time. Competition was more intense than ever and A grand vision defined: The CEO of Disney, one of Time's most influential people of 2019, shares the ideas and values he embraced to reinvent one of the most beloved companies in the world and inspire the people who bring the magic to life. Robert Iger became CEO of The Walt Disney Company in 2005, during a difficult time. Competition was more intense than ever and technology was changing faster than at any time in the company's history. His vision came down to three clear ideas: Recommit to the concept that quality matters, embrace technology instead of fighting it, and think bigger--think global--and turn Disney into a stronger brand in international markets. Twelve years later, Disney is the largest, most respected media company in the world, counting Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm, and 21st Century Fox among its properties. Its value is nearly five times what it was when Iger took over, and he is recognized as one of the most innovative and successful CEOs of our era. In The Ride of a Lifetime, Robert Iger shares the lessons he's learned while running Disney and leading its 200,000 employees, and he explores the principles that are necessary for true leadership, including: - Optimism. Even in the face of difficulty, an optimistic leader will find the path toward the best possible outcome and focus on that, rather than give in to pessimism and blaming. - Courage. Leaders have to be willing to take risks and place big bets. Fear of failure destroys creativity. - Decisiveness. All decisions, no matter how difficult, can be made on a timely basis. Indecisiveness is both wasteful and destructive to morale. - Fairness. Treat people decently, with empathy, and be accessible to them. This book is about the relentless curiosity that has driven Iger for forty-five years, since the day he started as the lowliest studio grunt at ABC. It's also about thoughtfulness and respect, and a decency-over-dollars approach that has become the bedrock of every project and partnership Iger pursues, from a deep friendship with Steve Jobs in his final years to an abiding love of the Star Wars mythology. "The ideas in this book strike me as universal" Iger writes. "Not just to the aspiring CEOs of the world, but to anyone wanting to feel less fearful, more confidently themselves, as they navigate their professional and even personal lives."

30 review for The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned from 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company

  1. 5 out of 5

    John Katsanakis

    I really enjoyed how candid Iger chose to be here. Not a lot of sugarcoating at all. The narratives of the Pixar, Marvel, and Lucasfilm acquisitions were all fascinating.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Avneesh Mehta

    Part business lessons, part personal journey, and part the rise of today's dominant entertainment empire, this book is endlessly fascinating and consistently engaging. Chapters such as the acquisition of Pixar are written with the sort of nail-biting edge of your seat intensity that would make thrillers envious. Who knew board room meetings and phone calls could be so exciting? I think Bob Iger struck the perfect balance of personal and professional. A genuinely interesting and surprising Part business lessons, part personal journey, and part the rise of today's dominant entertainment empire, this book is endlessly fascinating and consistently engaging. Chapters such as the acquisition of Pixar are written with the sort of nail-biting edge of your seat intensity that would make thrillers envious. Who knew board room meetings and phone calls could be so exciting? I think Bob Iger struck the perfect balance of personal and professional. A genuinely interesting and surprising personal touch was his relationship with Steve Jobs, I had no idea how close the two were. As someone's who's followed every move Disney has made for years and been in awe of Bob Iger's ability to navigate the evolving media landscape and make calculated acquisitions to position Disney at the top, this book was an invaluable inside/behind the scenes look at how so many defining deals went down. His personal journey chronicling his 45 year rise to the most powerful man in entertainment was also a marvel and came with some valuable insights, lessons and exciting "how will he make this happen" moments. I loved this book and only wish it were longer and even more detailed.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Ross Blocher

    Bob Iger is the CEO of Disney and the kind of person who shows up on lists like Time's Most Influential and Forbes's Most Powerful People (at #49). He's been at the company for 45 years, CEO since 2005, postponed retirement a couple times, and now commands a $65.7 million salary (he's #9 on that particular list). This is his first, much anticipated book, authored as the more formal "Robert Iger". I was interested in reading it for a number of reasons: I happen to work at Disney, and Iger's Bob Iger is the CEO of Disney and the kind of person who shows up on lists like Time's Most Influential and Forbes's Most Powerful People (at #49). He's been at the company for 45 years, CEO since 2005, postponed retirement a couple times, and now commands a $65.7 million salary (he's #9 on that particular list). This is his first, much anticipated book, authored as the more formal "Robert Iger". I was interested in reading it for a number of reasons: I happen to work at Disney, and Iger's decisions have directly affected the last 11+ years of my life. He's perceived as a fair and wise decision maker, has made a string of successful large-scale acquisitions, and his thoughts on leadership are naturally relevant. I've seen him speak at studio events, but wanted additional insight into what makes Bob Iger tick. At the same time, I expected a buttoned up, public-image-friendly narrative that wouldn't reveal much, make headlines or worry shareholders. Any hesitation was curtailed when my boss's boss kindly bought me a copy (her boss's boss's boss being Bob), and I started reading right away. While The Ride of a Lifetime is guarded in many respects, I was pleasantly surprised at how engaging and personal the storytelling was. It was legitimately hard to put down (unusual for any management book), and I finished it within a week: coincidentally on the launch date of Disney+, Disney's latest venture into direct-to-consumer delivery and a big player in the narrative. It starts off with a story of things going terribly wrong. The Pulse Nightclub shooting (which had a surprising Disney connection) and the death of a child in an alligator attack both happened in Florida as Iger was in China preparing to inaugurate Shanghai Disneyland. This was a project he'd worked on for 18 years, and he shares his conflicted reactions, the organizational structure he'd set up, and how he tried to maintain a sense of humanity and connection from afar. He then unpacks the pillars of his leadership philosophy: optimism, courage, focus, decisiveness, curiosity, fairness, thoughtfulness, authenticity, the relentless pursuit of perfection, and integrity. None of these sound revolutionary or controversial, but are illustrated as Bob leads you, like the Ghost of Christmas Past, chronologically through his career. Almost the entirety of Bob Iger's work life has been with Disney (or companies eventually acquired by Disney). He has a brief stint as an Ithaca weatherman, but in 1974 starts as a factotum at ABC television. He tells memorable stories of working under intense sports TV producers, getting a lighter from Frank Sinatra, covering the winter olympics, seeing a workplace jerk expose himself... stuff like that. He eventually rises into the ranks of management, and when ABC is acquired by Capital Cities, he wins the favor of the new owners. Put in charge at ABC Television, he is responsible for hits like Twin Peaks, Roseanne and Doogie Howser, but also for flops like the musical series Cop Rock (I'd never even heard of this). As he shares these stories, he talks about the lessons that have stuck with him, such as the value of taking big risks, accepting blame, rewarding well-intentioned failure, not letting good-enough ever be good enough, and letting acquired companies maintain their culture. Bob is quickly catapulted (a little too quickly, even by his lofty expectations) to EVP of the combined companies shortly before they are in turn acquired by Disney under the leadership of Michael Eisner. This sets off a rocky decade as Bob tries to find his place. He advocates for his newly-subsumed division of the juggernaut, and tries to maneuver himself into the number two position under Eisner, who alternately trusts and pushes Iger away, only letting him see certain parts of the whole picture. Eventually Eisner's leadership begins to falter, the company suffers, and an intense board battle with Roy E. Disney (Walt's nephew) rocks the company. At this point, the stories gain added interest for me as they overlap with my own outside recollections. I was an animation student in Burbank at the time, and remember meeting Roy and reading his Save Disney website and its bitter missives about the misguided leadership of animation, the parks, merchandising, and the shattered relationship with Pixar. When the board begins its search for a new CEO, Iger is the only internal candidate. He details the frequent interviews, intense grillings, public scrutiny and press coverage. Bob works hard to focus on his vision for the future without throwing Eisner under the bus or defending his role in the past decade of bad decisions. Eventually he is chosen as CEO (spoiler alert), and sets about acting on his three-part vision for the company: high-quality branded content, embracing technology, and becoming truly global. From this point forward, the book is largely structured by major acquisitions that Iger negotiates and executes. It's fascinating to contemplate just how much our global business landscape is driven by the personalities and gut feelings of the people at the top. Apart from board/shareholder approvals and regulatory checkboxes (thank goodness for those), it's all about who's ready to retire, is worried about a legacy, or is feeling slighted or underappreciated. I'm intentionally avoiding the masculine pronoun, but virtually all the players in this story are men. Bob is able to form a friendship with Steve Jobs, and their initial deal to put ABC shows on the video iPod blossoms into the 2006 purchase of Pixar, with Pixar's John Lasseter and Ed Catmull put in charge at Walt Disney Animation Studios instead of shuttering Disney's Animation division (as Jobs wanted to do). Iger rightly recognizes Animation as the heart of the company, from which all other divisions flow: "As Disney Animation goes, so goes the company." This is where the story gets even more personal for me, as I started at the studio in 2008, dying to work on a project that never would have happened without that deal in place. Steve Jobs ends up on the board, and we learn a lot about their friendship. Next comes the Marvel acquisition (Steve didn't like the idea, but acquiesced to Iger's passion). Then Lucasfilm. Then Twentieth Century Fox. For each massive, multi-billion-dollar deal, we learn how the conversation was initiated, how Bob convinced the board, and how he guided the pieces to make something seemingly impossible move inexorably toward reality. Each could have gone horribly wrong, but ends up as a massive success (the Fox acquisition is too fresh to judge, but signs look good). We are treated to a single counter-example, when Iger gets cold feet about acquiring Twitter. The pieces and approvals are all in place, but his gut tells him Disney isn't in the business of monitoring online communication. Probably another good call. Finally, Bob talks about seeing the writing on the wall with traditional content delivery (cable, broadcast and theatrical) being subsumed by direct-to-customer streaming. Enter Disney+. It's a move that will involve cannibalizing some of Disney's own hundreds-of-millions-of-dollars revenue streams, but with a path toward future profitability. This portion of the book is a peek into the future, and a pitch for the new platform (I'd already pre-bought 3 years' access, so mission accomplished). Iger concludes with a helpful chapter of bullet points in which he extracts the various leadership lessons from the book. To pick a quick example that could double as a Yoda quote: "Pessimism leads to paranoia, which leads to defensiveness, which leads to risk aversion." I'll give you a couple other short ones. "It should be about the future, not the past." "If something doesn't feel right to you, it won't be right for you." "If you're in the business of making something, be in the business of making something great." The Ride of a Lifetime sparked a lot of contemplation about art, creativity, commerce, global impact, and a host of other factors. It's amazing that people like Bob Iger exist, stepping confidently into roles in which their decisions will influence the careers of thousands and whose taste-making affects the lives of millions. It's a strangely parallel world to politics, and it's not surprising that Iger admits his own political aspirations, having contemplated a direct run for the presidency. He just happens to have the right combination of intelligence, good looks, self-assurance, and drive to make these kinds of massive deals happen. I'm still not entirely sure where Iger's compass comes from, but I'm glad he has it. There's not a lot about Walt Disney here beyond a stated sense of admiration, but the drive to expand while showcasing the best in art and technology is clearly alive. Disney as a company has always balanced on the tightrope between creating art and selling product, and has endeavored a proof-of-concept that good money can be made while leaving the world a better, happier place. It's easy to point to instances where the company has fallen short of that goal, but there's a lot it gets right. Iger's legacy furthers that funambulism, measuring success in stock price and shareholder approval while insisting upon quality and integrity. Right as I was finishing the book, MasterClass announced a new series with Bob Iger on business strategy and leadership. It's a good corollary to this book, and you can hear these same management philosophies outlined, illustrated and told in Bob's own comforting monotone.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Vaidotas Juknys

    Interesting but somewhat shallow read. This book is an autobiographical victory lap Iger wrote about his career. He frames the book as a set of leadership lessons with the focus of the book being his work at Disney. He has many useful lessons to offer but the most fascinating parts of the book deals with how he managed to secure the big acquisitions made by Disney (Pixar, Marvel, LucasFilm & Fox). However, I found the book be underwhelming on a more personal side. For an autobiography there Interesting but somewhat shallow read. This book is an autobiographical victory lap Iger wrote about his career. He frames the book as a set of leadership lessons with the focus of the book being his work at Disney. He has many useful lessons to offer but the most fascinating parts of the book deals with how he managed to secure the big acquisitions made by Disney (Pixar, Marvel, LucasFilm & Fox). However, I found the book be underwhelming on a more personal side. For an autobiography there seems to be a surprising lack of openness. And at the times he did offer candidness it felt more like calculated PR than true honesty. He has a full chapter about firing of Roseanne due racists tweets. Iger details on how you must stick to your guns, lead by values and prioritize integrity instead of bottom line. This is all very nice and welcome but it contrasts jarringly Disney's involvement with China as there is a healthy chunk of the book devoted to describe expansion over there with zero mentions of any moral qualms about the censorship China extorts over Disney.

  5. 4 out of 5

    BookOfCinz

    I finished reading Robert Iger’s “Ride of A Lifetime: Lessons Learned From 15 Year as CEO of Walt Disney Company” two days ago and I am still blown away by the insights he shared and how much I have learned. If you are a CEO, Entrepreneur, Manager, in HR, part of a team or looking to learn about how you can advance in your current role, Robert Iger provides a roadmap and lessons that everyone can benefit from. As someone who loves learning about brands and how to tell a great brand story, I finished reading Robert Iger’s “Ride of A Lifetime: Lessons Learned From 15 Year as CEO of Walt Disney Company” two days ago and I am still blown away by the insights he shared and how much I have learned. If you are a CEO, Entrepreneur, Manager, in HR, part of a team or looking to learn about how you can advance in your current role, Robert Iger provides a roadmap and lessons that everyone can benefit from. As someone who loves learning about brands and how to tell a great brand story, getting a behind the scenes look into Walt Disney the brand was exhilarating. Five key insights: 1. Robert Iger have worked for the same company for 45 years, he started out as a studio supervisor and is currently the 6th CEO to run the company since Walt founded it in 1923. Throughout the book Iger referenced how his career progressed and how we prepared himself for each opportunity that was presented to him. This really resonated with me because even though he was at a company for 45 years, he was able to show his growth, how he changed with the times and why he is and will continue to be an asset to Disney. 2. Iger made numerous mention of his Chief Communication Officer Zenia Mucha, he said “she always has the interests of the company at heart”. As someone who is in Marketing and Communications, hearing from the CEO of Walt Disney on how ways I can be more of an asset to an organization was impactful. 3. If you are in HR or will one day have the hard task of firing someone, Iger goes through step by step on how accomplish this difficult task. 4. Iger explores in-depth the principles that are necessary for true leadership, they included; Optimism, Courage, Focus, Decisiveness, Curiosity, Fairness, Thoughtfulness and Integrity. I admired the fact that curiosity made the list because one point really stuck with me was the need to innovate and in order to do this, you have to remain curious. 5. “Don’t be in the business of playing it safe. Be in the business of creating possibilities for greatness.” This is definitely a book I will be recommending and re-reading in the future, it is packed with key lessons that everyone can learn from. I highly suggest you add it to the list of books you read to help with your development.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Noah

    I was really hoping for more insights into how Disney was run and his leadership style. Was a light version of both. Some cool stories about buying Pixar but would have preferred way more details.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Ursula Johnson

    A Positive, Life Affirming, Uplifting Read This was a wonderful book about Robert Iger's amazing life, career and positive outlook. With so many CEOs who aren't always good people, good for their business or don't care for their employees, it is a breath of fresh air to hear from someone who is grounded in reality, treats people the way they should be treated, forward thinking and committed to quality and his customers. His insights to years at ABC are fascinating, horrifying, and give an A Positive, Life Affirming, Uplifting Read This was a wonderful book about Robert Iger's amazing life, career and positive outlook. With so many CEOs who aren't always good people, good for their business or don't care for their employees, it is a breath of fresh air to hear from someone who is grounded in reality, treats people the way they should be treated, forward thinking and committed to quality and his customers. His insights to years at ABC are fascinating, horrifying, and give an insightful look at the evolution of a major network. His Disney career was frought with challenges, but he rose above them and remained the better man. His visionary view of knowing that the stale model Disney operated under needed to be upended. Many criticized his choices, decisions and views, but they were proved spectacularly wrong. I loved the stories about Steve Jobs, the acquisition of Pixar and how things turned around. My favorite parts of the book were about Marvel and Star Wars, since I am a huge fan of both. The tremendous success of Marvel films lies in the fact the films are made by fans for fans and are high quality with strong stories, wonderful characters and excellent production. He mentions Black Panther as one of his personal favorite projects, not believing naysayers that claimed films about women and blacks would not do well. The incredible success of both films proved him right. Despite some Star Wars fans misgivings, I am grateful that Disney bought Lucasfilm and gave us new Star Wars content. New films, books and shows are being created and I have already signed up for Disney +. As I write this, it was just announced that Marvel's Kevin Fiege will be working on a Star Wars film. I can't wait for that, it Wil be epic! Throughout the book, he shares his tips for successful business and management. A good portion is common sense, which is in short supply in many areas. I read this book using immersion reading while listening to the audio book. Mr. Iger reads two portions at the beginning and end of the book and is a wonderful narrator. The rest of the book is ably handled by Jim Frangione. A wonderful, positive life affirming, uplifting read.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Aaditya

    Bob, I hope you read this someday. I love Disney. Many of the films made by Disney have made a deep impact in my life. I decided to read this book because I wanted to know what was happening in the background. Little did I know what ride I was in for. I cannot state all the things that I liked about this book because that will be too long. I just want to tell you that this book has given me a lot of satisfaction of some kind, and much-needed courage to handle difficulties in life. I am really Bob, I hope you read this someday. I love Disney. Many of the films made by Disney have made a deep impact in my life. I decided to read this book because I wanted to know what was happening in the background. Little did I know what ride I was in for. I cannot state all the things that I liked about this book because that will be too long. I just want to tell you that this book has given me a lot of satisfaction of some kind, and much-needed courage to handle difficulties in life. I am really glad that you shared these experiences with us. I don't think we could have had a better leader than you to run our most beloved company.

  9. 5 out of 5

    John

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. There are numerous business lessons scattered throughout the book and a nice summary of Iger’s lessons in “lessons to life by” towards the end. Iger’s passion and intensity can be felt throughout the book and this guy is a real go-getter (he gets up at 4:30am each day to workout!). I was also amazed by his high level of empathy as a leader and how he has dealt with numerous difficult situations over the years. This is a good quick read/listen and I enjoyed it - if I were to pick at the book, you There are numerous business lessons scattered throughout the book and a nice summary of Iger’s lessons in “lessons to life by” towards the end. Iger’s passion and intensity can be felt throughout the book and this guy is a real go-getter (he gets up at 4:30am each day to workout!). I was also amazed by his high level of empathy as a leader and how he has dealt with numerous difficult situations over the years. This is a good quick read/listen and I enjoyed it - if I were to pick at the book, you do have to wonder if this novel is a bit of a PR move to set up Iger for something greater down the line (i.e. President of U.S.). Nonetheless, this is a great business read and should be a good holiday gift for the 2019 season. If I were to take one lesson/story from the book: Don’t be the greatest trombone-oil manufacturer in the world / i.e. don’t spend time on low ROI projects, focus on what matters. Here are some of my other favorite quotes and stories from the book: 1. And I tend to approach bad news as a problem that can be worked through and solved, something I have control over rather than something happening to me. Iger has the ultimate internal locus of control - he seems to feel that hard work and passion will win the day - this is a great mindset to have. 2. The Relentless Pursuit of Perfection. This doesn’t mean perfectionism at all costs, but it does mean a refusal to accept mediocrity or make excuses for something being “good enough.” If you believe that something can be made better, put in the effort to do it. If you’re in the business of making things, be in the business of making things great. When I talk about this particular quality of leadership, I refer to it as “the relentless pursuit of perfection.” In practice that means a lot of things, and it’s hard to define. It’s a mindset, really, more than a specific set of rules. A common theme throughout this book - the pursuit of excellence. 3. Their business strategy was fairly simple. They were hyper vigilant about controlling costs, and they believed in a decentralized corporate structure. Meaning: They didn’t think every key decision should be made by the two of them or by a small group of strategists in corporate headquarters. Tom Murphy and Dan Burke had a great influence on not only Iger’s direction in life, but also his management style. Their emphasis on a decentralized corporate structure was something Iger ultimately tried to emulate at Disney when he become CEO. 4. I never start out negatively, and unless we’re in the late stages of a production, I never start small. I’ve found that often people will focus on little details as a way of masking a lack of any clear, coherent, big thoughts. If you start petty, you seem petty. And if the big picture is a mess, then the small things don’t matter anyway, and you shouldn’t spend time focusing on them. Great feedback lessons here. 5. Dan handed me a note that read: “Avoid getting into the business of manufacturing trombone oil. You may become the greatest trombone-oil manufacturer in the world, but in the end, the world only consumes a few quarts of trombone oil a year!” He was telling me not to invest in projects that would sap the resources of my company and me and not give much back. It was such a positive way to impart that wisdom, though, and I still have that piece of paper in my desk, occasionally pulling it out when I talk to Disney executives about what projects to pursue and where to put their energy. Love this story and this may end up being my #1 story from the entire book - don’t get into small side-projects that consume lots of time. 6. Michael’s biggest stroke of genius, though, might have been his recognition that Disney was sitting on tremendously valuable assets that they hadn’t yet leveraged. One was the popularity of the parks. If they raised ticket prices even slightly, they would raise revenue significantly, without any noticeable impact on the number of visitors. The value of DIS’s IP - probably a nice parallel to today and the upcoming streaming wars which are just beginning. 7. Michael had plenty of valid reasons to be pessimistic, but as a leader you can’t communicate that pessimism to the people around you. It’s ruinous to morale. It saps energy and inspiration. Decisions get made from a protective, defensive posture. Optimism sets a different machine in motion. Especially in difficult moments, the people you lead need to feel confident in your ability to focus on what matters, and not to operate from a place of defensiveness and self-preservation. This isn’t about saying things are good when they’re not, and it’s not about conveying some innate faith that “things will work out.” It’s about believing you and the people around you can steer toward the best outcome, and not communicating the feeling that all is lost if things don’t break your way. The tone you set as a leader has an enormous effect on the people around you. No one wants to follow a pessimist. Another great leadership nugget - no one likes to follow a pessimistic leader! Be an optimist. 8. Priorities are the few things that you’re going to spend a lot of time and a lot of capital on. Not only do you undermine their significance by having too many, but nobody is going to remember them all. “You’re going to seem unfocused,” he said. “You only get three. I can’t tell you what those three should be. We don’t have to figure that out today. You never have to tell me what they are if you don’t want to. But you only get three.” Good story for when Iger was interviewing to be the next CEO of Disney - he kept his priorities to just 3 (or was coached for this) and has labored at these points for years. 9. PEOPLE SOMETIMES SHY AWAY from taking big swings because they assess the odds and build a case against trying something before they even take the first step. One of the things I’ve always instinctively felt—and something that was greatly reinforced working for people like Roone and Michael—is that long shots aren’t usually as long as they seem. Roone and Michael both believed in their own power and in the ability of their organizations to make things happen—that with enough energy and thoughtfulness and commitment, even the boldest ideas could be executed. I tried to adopt that mindset in my ensuing conversations with Steve. Great story as it relates to going after Pixar and a great life lessons too. Take big shots in life, you never know and the odds are better than you think. 10. I entered the boardroom on a mission. I even took a moment before I walked into the room to look again at Theodore Roosevelt’s “The Man in the Arena” speech, which has long been an inspiration: “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. Always a great speech to remember and this helped Iger when he spoke to the board before proposing the Pixar acquisition.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Scott Rhee

    While you can’t, rightfully, attribute any company’s success to the work of one person, the right type of person---a leader, versus just a manager or a chief executive---at the head of a company can make a huge difference. The history of the 20th century is the history of business ascendant and the history of powerful businessmen and women: Coco Chanel, Henry Ford, Bill Gates, Martha Stewart, Steve Jobs, Oprah Winfrey. These are just a few names at the top of a long list of people who have made While you can’t, rightfully, attribute any company’s success to the work of one person, the right type of person---a leader, versus just a manager or a chief executive---at the head of a company can make a huge difference. The history of the 20th century is the history of business ascendant and the history of powerful businessmen and women: Coco Chanel, Henry Ford, Bill Gates, Martha Stewart, Steve Jobs, Oprah Winfrey. These are just a few names at the top of a long list of people who have made an impact in the world---for good or ill---through business. There’s one name that, I’m sure, almost everyone will agree has made a positive impact in the lives of people throughout the world, and, regardless how one feels about business and the corporate world, it is highly unlikely that one has not been entertained or found pleasure in something that was created by this person. I’m talking, of course, about Walt Disney, who went from creating a short black-and-white cartoon in 1928 that starred, for the first time, a mouse named Mickey to building a legacy that has become his posthumous empire of entertainment. The Disney brand has become the brand of high-quality entertainment that all members of the family can enjoy, and it has branched out into not just amusement parks but resort hotels and cruise lines. And, like the classic “Steamboat Willie” cartoon, Disney is still making great, memorable films, only now the Disney umbrella has grown to include the story-making juggernauts of Marvel and Lucasfilm. It is, literally, unstoppable. The success of Disney can’t, of course, be credited to one person. It’s a team effort, and Disney has an amazing team of talent in its animation departments, park and resort managers, and Imagineers, the men and women who churn out idea after wonderful idea. But the history of Disney, as a corporation, is a history of the importance of finding the right person to steer the ship. Without a captain---a good captain, especially---no ship can maneuver well in any waters. In 2005, Robert Iger was named the CEO of Disney during a turbulent time for the company. Michael Eisner, the previous CEO, who inherited the position in 1984 during another rough time, had turned the company around and had successfully more than doubled Disney’s global footprint, but it was, unfortunately, during the last ten years of his tenure that Eisner’s reputation became tarnished by some very public mistakes, failures, and decisions that the Board of Directors deemed ultimately disastrous for the company. They had lost faith in Eisner, and, as former Board member Roy E. Disney once said, “Eisner had lost his focus”. Iger, who had worked closely with Eisner as the company’s President and COO, was seen as a natural successor to Eisner. He immediately went to work repairing some of the damage, including rebuilding the failing Animation Studios (the last ten years had seen a string of box-office failures for a studio that once made three films---”The Little Mermaid”, “Beauty and the Beast”, and “The Lion King” back to back---that had won multiple Academy Awards and broke box-office records at the time for animated films) and acquiring Pixar, a move that Eisner fought for years and nearly destroyed a very lucrative relationship with Steve Jobs. (According to Iger, years later, Eisner told him that he had been so wrong about Pixar.) Iger also went on to make a historic deal with China with the opening of Shanghai Disney, a multi-billion dollar project that could have been a multi-billion dollar disaster. It wasn’t. He also oversaw the acquisition of Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm, both of which have flourished under the Disney umbrella without destroying their integrity or their originality. “The Ride of a Lifetime” is Iger’s memoir/blueprint for being a successful business leader, and he comes across as being a somewhat humble, intelligent, and likable businessman. Those are three words, by the way, that I would almost never have attached to anyone in business, as anyone who knows me knows that I detest the business world. I despise corporate mentality and what I call the “MBA”-ification of the world, so it is definitely a big deal that I actually read, and enjoyed, Iger’s book. Iger proves that one can actually have a soul and a penchant for empathy and compassion in business. One doesn’t need to be the soul-sucking, avaricious, greed-monster that I so often (and, admittedly, probably unfairly) imagine most CEOs to be. Disney’s success isn’t solely attributable to Iger, but they probably couldn’t have picked a better person to steer their ship.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Joshua Hunt

    Chock full of fascinating stories and details of Robert's career, close relationship with Steve Jobs, experience with Frank Sinatra, Disney's acquisition of of Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and 21st Century Fox, among many other things. Peppered throughout with invaluable wisdom for living and working with integrity, patience, and courage. Highly recommend —captivating read! Chock full of fascinating stories and details of Robert's career, close relationship with Steve Jobs, experience with Frank Sinatra, Disney's acquisition of of Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and 21st Century Fox, among many other things. Peppered throughout with invaluable wisdom for living and working with integrity, patience, and courage. Highly recommend — captivating read!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Dale Duncan

    I worked at the same company as the author, Capital Cities/ABC. He was a star then, in sports working for Roone Arledge, and quickly rose through the ranks under Chairman Tom Murphy and President Dan Burke. He not only survived our acquisition by Disney (I did not), but emerged to eventually succeed Michael Eisner, as Head Mouse. This book about his experience and thoughts on leadership can serve as valuable guidance to anyone seeking a career in corporate America. His focus on self-awareness, I worked at the same company as the author, Capital Cities/ABC. He was a star then, in sports working for Roone Arledge, and quickly rose through the ranks under Chairman Tom Murphy and President Dan Burke. He not only survived our acquisition by Disney (I did not), but emerged to eventually succeed Michael Eisner, as Head Mouse. This book about his experience and thoughts on leadership can serve as valuable guidance to anyone seeking a career in corporate America. His focus on self-awareness, basic strategy, negotiation and bedrock values provides a roadmap to success. It’s a quick read. The stories behind the headlines are compelling.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Nacho Santos

    Ride of a lifetime by Robert Iger This is a different kind of review, since its more of a lesson oriented book I'll share with you what stood out to me from the book. (Consists of mostly direct quotes) Cherish waking up early. It is time for yourself before the rest of the world wakes up. (Learned from Roone) Do what you need to do to make it better. The relentless pursuit of perfection. It's a mindset more than a specific set of rules.It about creating an environment in which you refuse to accept Ride of a lifetime by Robert Iger This is a different kind of review, since its more of a lesson oriented book I'll share with you what stood out to me from the book. (Consists of mostly direct quotes) Cherish waking up early. It is time for yourself before the rest of the world wakes up. (Learned from Roone) Do what you need to do to make it better. The relentless pursuit of perfection. It's a mindset more than a specific set of rules.It about creating an environment in which you refuse to accept mediocrity. What he learned from Sushi documentary: Sushi Chef still trying to perfect his art at 80. Specific details that make the experience its best. Again embodying the relentless pursuit of perfection. Michael Ovitz saw things that people did not see and demanded it. See the details. Great is often a collection of very small things. If you approach people with respect and empathy, the seemingly impossible can become real From the Appendix A company’s reputation is the sum total of the actions of its people and the quality of its products. Demand integrity from your people and your products at all times. Sweating the details can show much you care. Great is often a collection of very small things. The downside of micromanagement can show that you don’t trust the people who work for you. Always be open to change. Be clear about your priorities, especially when toward your employees. Don't let them do the guesswork. -This is what we want to be, this is how we are going to get there

  14. 5 out of 5

    Gunjan Srivastava

    Really like how candid Bob is in this book. It’s fast paced and is full of interesting anecdotes and incidents. It has very good management lessons, explained through experiences. The ups and downs of Bob’s career is a great learning lesson for anyone at any stage of their professional careers!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jarrod

    I didn’t know who Bob Iger was until I heard an interview with Oprah recently. He came across as an authentic and genuine man with integrity. I loved his mild and calm demeanor and decided to buy the book. I thoroughly enjoyed it. He spends little time on his own life and rather focuses on his time at ABC and Disney. Whilst giving credit to many of his colleagues, the book shows that he is a man of integrity and is very well respected by his colleagues. I loved the summary of his wisdom at the I didn’t know who Bob Iger was until I heard an interview with Oprah recently. He came across as an authentic and genuine man with integrity. I loved his mild and calm demeanor and decided to buy the book. I thoroughly enjoyed it. He spends little time on his own life and rather focuses on his time at ABC and Disney. Whilst giving credit to many of his colleagues, the book shows that he is a man of integrity and is very well respected by his colleagues. I loved the summary of his wisdom at the end. A quick read, certainly worth the money spent....and now I know who Bob Iger is!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Gareth Otton

    This was a fascinating read and I really enjoyed it, but there's a huge caveat to that... I'm not sure how much I trust it. This books gives an inside Disney view to a lot of situations I have read/heard about from the other side before. Having read Steve Jobs biography, read multiple books on Pixar, been a fan of the MCU both on and off screen, and just generally been interested in news relating to this man in the past, I have heard a lot of alternate view points on some of the events in this This was a fascinating read and I really enjoyed it, but there's a huge caveat to that... I'm not sure how much I trust it. This books gives an inside Disney view to a lot of situations I have read/heard about from the other side before. Having read Steve Jobs biography, read multiple books on Pixar, been a fan of the MCU both on and off screen, and just generally been interested in news relating to this man in the past, I have heard a lot of alternate view points on some of the events in this book before. Not all were contradictory, but there were enough variations to familiar stories to give me a little doubt. Beyond that the book felt a little too clean to the point where even the negative parts were explored in a positive light. It basically felt like finely crafted politics, never quite lying but also not really the whole story either. Basically I'm saying, read this book but keep an open mind. It's definitely enjoyable, but it's also very agenda driven.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Dale Wyant

    Iger is blatantly honest and sincere in this memoir. I read "Disney Wars," by James Stewart and was happy to get the next phase of the Disney story. Iger's list of how to succeed as a leader is a must read for any and all heads of companies or organizations.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Joy

    My dad forced me to read this.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Halordain

    The leadership components of this life story are enlightening and applicable. But what I picked up this book to learn was in-depth insight into managing the creative process, negotiating difficult personalities, and creating a unique creative culture at Disney and subsumed companies. Although the book told a coherent, clear storyline with interesting vignettes, it ultimately glossed over key moments in the general sense, rather than diving deep and mining their emotions. Some examples: 1.) The leadership components of this life story are enlightening and applicable. But what I picked up this book to learn was in-depth insight into managing the creative process, negotiating difficult personalities, and creating a unique creative culture at Disney and subsumed companies. Although the book told a coherent, clear storyline with interesting vignettes, it ultimately glossed over key moments in the general sense, rather than diving deep and mining their emotions. Some examples: 1.) Characters -- A story involves interesting personalities and the dynamics between them. Some of them -- like Steve Jobs -- required no introduction, but others did, and they often popped into Bob Iger's story without the proper introduction or backstory. He spends a lot of time on his father, and later his most successful hires, like Alan Horn, but I wanted to know more about his wife, his closest colleagues, John Lasseter, and his relationship with Disney's lifeblood animators. Give them a name and a face for us! Where do they come from, and how did they influence you? The most emotional scene with the most well-painted character -- Roone -- touched me not because Roone was dying, but because of all they had been through together. Roone's relentless pursuit of perfection, and his extravagance in getting there, provided memorable scene after memorable scene, and it was because Bob described his character and their shared journey -- from the early day on-calls to the Olympics to the New Year's 2000 coverage -- so deeply, through so many moments. But then "highly confidential" dynamics like the John Lasseter relationship were handled within a single paragraph, with no insight into John's background or their shared experiences. I found myself mixing up all the Toms, Johns, and Michaels as the book went on, because their motivations, character quirks, and backgrounds hadn't distinguished them in my mind. Much of what has made Disney such a well-known brand in storytelling is its characters. I expected more complete characters. 2.) Depth -- Disney is, at its heart, a creative company. Their acquisitions, like Pixar and Marvel, are also creative companies. Show us more of the creative side! What makes their artists and animators tick, and how do you manage creative souls into a large corporate culture? The book goes into some of the challenges, especially early on with the ABC show ideas (Twin Peaks et al), but as the story continues, it increasingly takes a high bird's-eye view, rather than a deep-down look in the trenches with the creative minds. It captivated me discussing George Lucas' struggles with creative control, including meetings on the script, but many of the later events came from the media, like interviews, and few were dramatized in-scene, moment-by-moment conflict, as was so skillfully done in the Olympic coverage. How did Disney animators and creative teams handle the new IP? What were their storytelling strategies? What kinds of challenges cropped up? I don't want to hear that "fans loved it" or that Iron Giant 2 was grossing $75 million (or however much) at the box office; what's of interest is the blood, sweat, and tears that go into such a creative endeavor, and how Bob Iger managed a lot of talented egos, bridging the past to the future. What matters is the journey, not the result. 3.) Emotion -- The opening scene -- Disneyland Shanghai's opening and the Pulse shooting and alligator attack -- captivated me because of the difficult phone conversation the author describes, and how his wife supports him through that moment. The final conversation with Roone also elicited feeling, because of what the two had been through, and how close the author described their relationship. The rest of the book didn't deliver those moments on a consistent basis. Descriptions of potentially emotional moments were couched too much in generals and facts, like Steve's confidance of cancer being viewed through the lens of the impending deadline, counting down minutes to a public announcement, or John Lasseter's departure. They were described too much in the general sense, as difficult moments, without diving into the specifics of what made them so complicated and emotional for the individuals involved. As a result, it was hard to grasp the nature of the inner conflict, and feel the storyteller's emotion. Make no mistake: The book had meaningful conflicts -- like shareholder votes and phone calls -- but they didn't generate as much emotional payoff in me because they didn't have the buildup, depth, or detail into what was motivating or driving each individual in the battle. It's hard to relate to people when they haven't received the introduction they deserve, but more than anything, I wanted to feel more emotion from happenings and events, rather than the cool, calm, collected recap: "This happened, then that happened" or the common "That was difficult, but after months of work, we persevered" type of narrative. I enjoyed the story and devoured it quickly, but ultimately came away unsatisfied with how little I knew about the people involved, or their motivations.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Ethan

    "True authority and true leadership come from knowing who you are and not pretending to be anything else. Robert Iger, Bob as everyone calls him, is the CEO of one of the largest corporations in the world. As the head of the Walt Disney Company, he has the unenviable task of honoring the legacy of the famed company's founder while keeping it relevant and profitable in modern times. The way in which entertainment is created and consumed is drastically different from dear old Walt's days. In his "True authority and true leadership come from knowing who you are and not pretending to be anything else. Robert Iger, Bob as everyone calls him, is the CEO of one of the largest corporations in the world. As the head of the Walt Disney Company, he has the unenviable task of honoring the legacy of the famed company's founder while keeping it relevant and profitable in modern times. The way in which entertainment is created and consumed is drastically different from dear old Walt's days. In his book The Ride of a Lifetime, Iger writes about his journey from starting at the bottom of ABC to becoming the head of the Disney company at a time when it was in a state of turmoil. Iger presents his managerial advice through a chronological look back at his remarkable career. He started as a studio grunt at ABC nearly 45 years ago. His undying curiosity combined with a willful work ethic to help him start to climb the ranks of the company. Iger credits the mentorship of his bosses during that time for not only teaching him aspects of the business but showing him the qualities needed to be a leader. After cutting his teeth in the sports section of the network, bosses took a chance on him and thrust him into the role of head of prime time. Thrust into a role he really didn't know about, Iger learned to admit what he didn't know and be gracious to the people who could teach him. It seems that those early years really prepared Iger for taking on the job of running Disney. At the time he took over, Michael Eisner's tenure was coming to a tumultuous close. The company was floundering creatively and suffering financially because of it. Most alarming, Walt Disney Animation the once bright spot on which the company was grown, was completely out of touch with what made it special. Iger turned to an unlikely partnership with Steve Job's Pixar to reinvigorate the culture of creativity at the company. In an unprecedented move, Disney purchased Pixar and brought in their leadership to help rebuild Walt Disney Animation. This move not only breathed new life into the company, but foreshadowed the bold move of acquiring Marvel, Lucasfilm, and 20th Century Fox. In The Ride of a Lifetime, Bob Iger reflects back on his remarkable professional triumphs and challenges with refreshing candor that really draws you in. Yes, he runs one of the largest media conglomerates in the world, but he seems so genuine and down to earth in how he deals with his people. I especially related to the way he owns what he knows and doesn't know, never "bossing" the people who are more knowledgeable than he is. The book works as both a practical managerial thesis and a compelling memoir, the kind of read that will reveal different layers to different readers. I highly recommend it to those in leadership positions and casual Disney fans alike.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Ganesh Muthupalani

    We were at Kinokuniya. Yu Hao put this book in my hands and said "Read the first chapter... And you would want to finish the book". I read the first chapter and I did finish the book as he said. I was really impressed when I found out that Hotstar, the largest streaming platform in India, was owned by Disney. A company known for its animated cartoon classics like Mickey Mouse & Lion King surprisingly managed to remain undisrupted in today's world. Disney's survival strategy was simply We were at Kinokuniya. Yu Hao put this book in my hands and said "Read the first chapter... And you would want to finish the book". I read the first chapter and I did finish the book as he said. I was really impressed when I found out that Hotstar, the largest streaming platform in India, was owned by Disney. A company known for its animated cartoon classics like Mickey Mouse & Lion King surprisingly managed to remain undisrupted in today's world. Disney's survival strategy was simply acquisitions. The book shares about Disney's Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, Fox acquisitions and the interactions at the top-level. I valued this book for Robert Iger's sharing on his corporate life in great detail. I got a glimpse of how people at the top think and act. He hired a corporate lawyer to vet through his own Disney employment contract (after Disney's acquisition of ABC). I remember having little say in my contract for my first job. He had a political consultant to guide him on how he could convince the Board to be the next CEO of Disney. Brought his wife along to a meeting with a possible business partner so that she could help to lighten the mood and get to know his partner on a more personal level. He also explained the need for a leader to remain optimistic even though there may be plenty of valid reasons to be pessimistic. And he explained that with a very vivid story (which was the very interesting first chapter) of how he had meetings scheduled with senior Chinese politicians and business leaders in lieu of the opening of the Shanghai Disney theme park when he heard that an alligator attacked a two-year-old boy at Disney World in Florida. He was so devastated, but he had to trust that his staff in Florida were prepared to handle this and carry on with the meetings.

  22. 5 out of 5

    CV Whitfield

    Although Bob Iger walks you through his career in this book, it’s definitely not a true autobiography. He only briefly mentions his childhood. The book mainly starts with his first job back in the 1970s at ABC. Continues with how he climbed the ladder and found success at ABC Sports and later ABC Entertainment. And as you’d expect, the book ends with the events of 2019 — the original year of his retirement from Disney. If history had happened differently, and Disney had not acquired Capital Although Bob Iger walks you through his career in this book, it’s definitely not a true autobiography. He only briefly mentions his childhood. The book mainly starts with his first job back in the 1970s at ABC. Continues with how he climbed the ladder and found success at ABC Sports and later ABC Entertainment. And as you’d expect, the book ends with the events of 2019 — the original year of his retirement from Disney. If history had happened differently, and Disney had not acquired Capital Cities/ABC Company in the early 90s under Michael Eisner, Bob Iger may have never achieved the CEO chair at Disney. Since he’s going to be part of Disney a couple more years, I expect there to be a supplement on how Bob Iger (at least in his own mind) is the greatest CEO of Disney and most likely any major company. I felt the book read more like an Wikipedia page about all of his triumphs and historical moments in his life. There was absolutely no mention of any of his failures. Nearly The “Lesssons Learned” are clearly just a retrospective of his philosophy of doing business and art of closing the deal. Since he’s still the CEO of the Disney Company, there is absolutely nothing negative mentioned about his career or the company. To call this a safe and politically correct narrative is an understatement. Bob Iger is painting his portrait to hang in the Disney Hall of Fame. The ironic thing is he details situations and events that he believes are noble and brilliant when they are clearly considered failures. I’m mainly referring to decisions around Star Wars and Marvel MCU that have brought divisive lines to the fans. I find this typical of a man that clearly doesn’t understand the consumer nor average American ideals and beliefs. After reading this, I felt Bob Iger wasn’t trying to run Disney with Walt’s dream in mind. He was clearly consumed with growth and acquisition of other IPs (intellectual properties - i.e. Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilm). The book concludes on the success of the purchase of 20th Century Fox and the beginning of Disney+ and the future of streaming. Not once did he mention or delve into the legacy of Walt Disney. Nor did he seem to believe in securing the success of Disney Parks as Walt envisioned. Walt never cared about the money. He wanted people to get lost in the magic of the theme lands. He wanted to outshine Eisner, grow a corporation and leave a legacy in his wake. With all that, I did find some of his theories (and lessons) very interesting. Many were motivation and inspirational. I was not aware of his close friendship with Steve Jobs (another CEO and innovator that I greatly admire). I felt he was very sincere of his feelings for Jobs and felt that sorrow he felt for his friend. If Bob Iger was able build this empire and not be as ruthless or impersonal as Steve Jobs then that is an achievement. Yet, I doubt Bob Iger allowing or exposing a darker side of his character. Maybe we’ll get that one and it’ll be a much more interesting book. Perhaps I feel this way as I read another biography at the same time. I read Becoming Superman the life of J. Michael Straczynski and I can say I have more respect for Joe Straczynzki for writing a insightful look into his life and mind. One day, maybe we’ll get that of Bob Iger....

  23. 5 out of 5

    Karthick

    I think this is the first book that made me want to leave a review. I normally don't read management books. But for some reason, I've always been fascinated with the way Disney steam rolled and bought over several major IPs this past decade or so and was curious to hear the story from the CEO of Disney. Apart from the fact that this provides what could be a behind the scenes [Pretty one-sided] view of what went during these acquisitions, the early years in corporate life for Bob Iger and his I think this is the first book that made me want to leave a review. I normally don't read management books. But for some reason, I've always been fascinated with the way Disney steam rolled and bought over several major IPs this past decade or so and was curious to hear the story from the CEO of Disney. Apart from the fact that this provides what could be a behind the scenes [Pretty one-sided] view of what went during these acquisitions, the early years in corporate life for Bob Iger and his ascendancy to the top of the Disney Empire, this is one of those rare books that provide vital management lessons on what it takes to be a leader and a honest appraisal of all the things that could go wrong in being a leader. Great book for any would be and current Leaders. If most of the corporate world did practice at least part of what Bob teaches in this book, we would have more human leaders at the top level.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Constantin Ursu

    A well-written and equally entertaining combination of Ray Dalio's Principles and Phil Knight's Shoe dog. The book has a few essential lessons on leadership and life in general. He talks a great deal about humility, empathy, respect, innovation and luck, which explains most of his and Disney's success, however at times it's a bit difficult to believe that he's as humble and empathic as he thinks he is, a clear example of that being the way he disregarded George Lucas completely in the new Star A well-written and equally entertaining combination of Ray Dalio's Principles and Phil Knight's Shoe dog. The book has a few essential lessons on leadership and life in general. He talks a great deal about humility, empathy, respect, innovation and luck, which explains most of his and Disney's success, however at times it's a bit difficult to believe that he's as humble and empathic as he thinks he is, a clear example of that being the way he disregarded George Lucas completely in the new Star Wars series (which are quite shit in my opinion and made me lose all interest in Star Wars, having been a fan previous to that). Also, being close friends with Steve Jobs, who is known for anything but humility or empathy, makes his character a bit questionable. Although he mentioned he will not be running for POTUS, I can definitely see this book as being part of his pre-announcement campaign. I'm not saying that he would be a bad president, but the timing is curious and the 'very democratic' vibe of the book would make one think he's seriously considering running.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Carlos Garcia

    I loved how he talked about his acquisition of the different companies throughout his stay in Disney. He shared the friends, mentors, lessons learned, and challenges he experienced along the way of making Disney what it is while climbing the ladder. He’s a huge inspiration to not falter in front of challenges and to face adversity with calmness and critical planning. It was also nice to hear his perspective as to the rapid growth of the company which has sparked a negative view amongst others I loved how he talked about his acquisition of the different companies throughout his stay in Disney. He shared the friends, mentors, lessons learned, and challenges he experienced along the way of making Disney what it is while climbing the ladder. He’s a huge inspiration to not falter in front of challenges and to face adversity with calmness and critical planning. It was also nice to hear his perspective as to the rapid growth of the company which has sparked a negative view amongst others who don’t know the full story. It taught me to listen to both sides before judging as well. Lastly, the fact that the CEO of one of the biggest companies in the world wakes up at 4am everyday reminds me that I have no excuses to continue to work on myself, with others, and towards a better future.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Anna

    I started this book (as an ebook), got two chapters in and put it down. A few weeks later, the physical copy became available. I started reading it again and I'm glad I did! The beginning is a bit slow and hard to connect with. However, the writing style is easy to read which made the more interesting chapters (starting with Disney purchasing ABC) fly by. I enjoyed getting insight into the inner-workings of the Disney company and the evolution of their business. Additionally, Iger had some great I started this book (as an ebook), got two chapters in and put it down. A few weeks later, the physical copy became available. I started reading it again and I'm glad I did! The beginning is a bit slow and hard to connect with. However, the writing style is easy to read which made the more interesting chapters (starting with Disney purchasing ABC) fly by. I enjoyed getting insight into the inner-workings of the Disney company and the evolution of their business. Additionally, Iger had some great leadership insights that he gained through his work. My only real negative is that it didn't seem like Iger faced much adversity throughout his career (at least, not mentioned), so his experiences might not be relatable for some. But, he seems like an overall inteligent person with the right ideas about how to run a business while still being a decent human.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Bartosz Majewski

    Short autobiography of a guy who transformed Disney. He did it through 3 things. Strategy and vision. Execution. Transformative acquisitions. It took him 15 years and a tremendous amount of dilution of existing Disney's shareholders and limited the profits of the company by several billion dollars. I'm not sure if he was the right steward of capital according to the norms of maximizing this year's IRR for the shareholder base but I'm sure that Disney is positioned to be among the greatest Short autobiography of a guy who transformed Disney. He did it through 3 things. Strategy and vision. Execution. Transformative acquisitions. It took him 15 years and a tremendous amount of dilution of existing Disney's shareholders and limited the profits of the company by several billion dollars. I'm not sure if he was the right steward of capital according to the norms of maximizing this year's IRR for the shareholder base but I'm sure that Disney is positioned to be among the greatest companies in the world in the long run. Not bad for a guy who worked in one organization (but got taken over 2 times during this time) in his life.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Yu Hao

    Excellent book. Have always appreciated biographies that goes beyond what is available on the internet. This book surely provides an in-depth look into Iger as a person - has enough content for you to draw your own learnings from his struggles, long journey from the bottom etc. Apart from that, it also provides an in-depth view of Disney as business - i.e. how it rode the tide of disruption from streaming services, the strategy that it undertook to achieve tremendous growth in its stock price Excellent book. Have always appreciated biographies that goes beyond what is available on the internet. This book surely provides an in-depth look into Iger as a person - has enough content for you to draw your own learnings from his struggles, long journey from the bottom etc. Apart from that, it also provides an in-depth view of Disney as business - i.e. how it rode the tide of disruption from streaming services, the strategy that it undertook to achieve tremendous growth in its stock price through 2000s and 2010s. Well-deserved five stars.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Allyson

    Incredible man, incredible career. I listened to the audible of this book, and highly enjoyed it. In fact, I was sad when the booked ended and have since spent time finding podcast interviews he has done (i.e., Oprah's SuperSoul conversations). This is book is focused on his career and weaves in life lessons throughout the book. I felt everything was highly applicable to a wide swath of people and provided many lessons in leadership. Felt very relatable. Would highly recommend to anyone, for Incredible man, incredible career. I listened to the audible of this book, and highly enjoyed it. In fact, I was sad when the booked ended and have since spent time finding podcast interviews he has done (i.e., Oprah's SuperSoul conversations). This is book is focused on his career and weaves in life lessons throughout the book. I felt everything was highly applicable to a wide swath of people and provided many lessons in leadership. Felt very relatable. Would highly recommend to anyone, for business or for fun.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Aristidis Marousas

    4.5 stars but only because I was hoping for more behind the scenes on the creative operation at Disney. In this book, Bob Iger does a fantastic job of providing both a memoir and general guide to his brand of leadership. Having read this book, I can’t help but feel that what he is espousing is what leaders of organizations of all types and sizes (including political) should hope to espouse themselves. Very well written and easy to digest. This is definitely a book I’d recommend to anyone 4.5 stars but only because I was hoping for more behind the scenes on the creative operation at Disney. In this book, Bob Iger does a fantastic job of providing both a memoir and general guide to his brand of leadership. Having read this book, I can’t help but feel that what he is espousing is what leaders of organizations of all types and sizes (including political) should hope to espouse themselves. Very well written and easy to digest. This is definitely a book I’d recommend to anyone interested in business, leadership, creative culture, the history of the Disney company, and more.

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