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

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#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A memoir of leadership and success: The CEO of Disney, Time’s 2019 businessperson of the year, 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.

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.

Fourteen 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.”

3 comments on “The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned from 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company”

  1. A magical insight into leadership This book is surprisingly candid from the CEO of one of the world's most admired companies. I enjoyed that the book does not preach Bob's lessons, but rather uses clear examples to demonstrate how rational and emotional decision-making should be balanced. As a young professional, I admire the longevity of Bob's career, and this book offered multiple inspirational learnings that I will lean on for years to come.

  2. I Got More Than I Bargained For In A Positive Way With the Purchase of this Book I admit that I am both logically and intuitively aware that I am completely and very much outside the target audience for this kindlebook that is The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned From 15 Years As CEO Of The Walt Disney Company by Robert Iger especially since I’m aware that it is outside my career destiny to work for Disney. Still, after being exposed to multiple insightful details in this book I realize that one of the multiple reasons I was inspired to look at this kindlebook is for me...

  3. The second-half of the book is business school GOLD While I read the book cover-to-cover in two sittings, the second-half of Bob Iger's pseudo-memoir is amazing and incredibly fast and entertaining - picking up after he succeeded Michael Eisner. Iger details the sequences of events in acquiring Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm, Fox, and putting together the digital distribution strategy behind ESPN+/Disney+. Really worth the read about the trials and tribulations of deal-making at a massive Fortune 500 multinational corporation.

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