#1 NEW YORK TIMESBESTSELLER • A memoir of leadership and success: The executive chairman of Disney, Time’s 2019 businessperson of the year, shares the ideas and values he embraced during his fifteen years as CEO while reinventing one of the world’s most beloved companies and inspiring the people who bring the magic to life.
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY NPR
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.
Today, Disney is the largest, most admired 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 learned while running Disney and leading its 220,000-plus 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.”
As a longtime Disney enthusiast I was aware of the journey the Walt Disney Company had taken following the death of Walt Disney, and how Disney ultimately found its way, but I did not have a comprehensive overview of that journey until I read this book and understood how Disney’s leaders managed it. Beyond this is Mr Iger’s own, very American story; starting at the bottom and working his way up, having his company acquired and then moving up from there,and eventually taking his new company to heights that no one could have previously imagined. Beyond the fact that its writing is honest and clear, what makes this a great read is that the person telling his story, Mr Iger, appears to be one those rare people of considerable ability who remains more aware and appreciative of what those around him have to offer. This allowed him to work for (and with) any number of out-sized but talented personalities (including Roone Arledge , Michael Eisner, Michael Ovitz, Steve Jobs, George Lucas and Rupert Murdock) and not only do well for himself and those trusting him, but come away from the encounter a better and more capable person.. The fact that someone as brilliant and difficult as Steve Jobs could grow to like and trust Robert Iger as a good friend is itself no small thing. The fact that Robert Iger managed to tell this story with empathy and a dose of humility, is nothing short of amazing. If you like reading about: large corporations thriving in a time of disruptive innovation, or all things Disney, or learning how to be a better leader, you are going to really like this book.55
Absolutely fantastic book. Learned a lot and this book made me pick up the habit of reading again55
If you’re a Disney fan, this book is an absolute must read and pairs quite nicely with The Imagineering Story, the documentary series that was released on Disney+. From his early days to the premier of Avengers: Endgame, what’s great about this book is how it covers nearly all the most recent Disney related events. It’s often frustrating reading biographers that are many years outdated as some of the challenges and questions within them have been publicly addressed and resolved. This book concludes at the end of 2019. But beyond the obvious Disney connection, what helps this book along is how approachable the writing is, making even all the multi-billion dollar business decisions that helped get Iger to where he is today an understandable affair. And if you’re fascinating by the world of corporate America and the challenges a CEO faces, there are lots of good lessons to be learned here. Can’t wait for Iger to write more.55
This book was fantastic. Iger is as great a storyteller as he is a CEO & human being. Great read, would recommend to any Disney fan or anyone looking to improve themselves. Highly recommend.55
I have always been interested in Disney and I enjoyed reading this book. Never dull, Robert does a great job of outlining his career and how he got to be the CEO of Disney. Back stories, headlines.....all covered in interesting detail and a very human touch to the book to boot. Enjoyable reading for a layman and also good subject matter for future leaders...whether it be in large corporations or small non profit charities.55
Definitely a book you need in your library55
What Bob Iger has out in this book, everyone should read. Most especially business leaders, managers, and anyone who had to iterate on the day-to-day for others. Bob is concise and insightful and what he puts forward in this book may seem like common sense, but in reality is needed all offer the world.55
I enjoyed this book and think Bob tells his story and the stories of his colleagues well. It is a memoir of his professional life more than a book on leadership. He gives a few pieces of practical advice that are highlighted at the end of the book such as “Find good talent, ...trust your instincts, etc.”. The rest of the book describes his jobs in the entertainment business in detail and throughly explains his leadership decisions to acquire Pixar and other giant companies. Overall it’s a great book I recommend to anyone interested in the entertainment industry.45
This book is one of the most inspiring I’ve read. Bob’s purpose is not to just showcase his notable achievements, but also, to tell how they came about with struggles. I would definitely recommend to anyone. It is a great read for young and aspiring leaders.55
This book is fantastic. Just buy it.55