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The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons in Creative Leadership from 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company Paperback – 1 October 2019
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'One of the best business books I've read in years.' BILL GATES
THE #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
A SUNDAY TIMES BOOK OF THE YEAR 2019
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. Morale had deteriorated, competition was intense, 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."
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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.
Leaders have to be willing to take risks and place big bets. Fear of failure destroys creativity.
All decisions, no matter how difficult, can be made on a timely basis. Indecisiveness is both wasteful and destructive to morale.
Treat people decently, with empathy, and be accessible to them.
The story of life at the top of Disney is a thoughtful tale of surviving disruption. ― Financial Times
Iger’s tenure as the leader of the world’s most lucrative dream factory has been one long CEO highlight reel. Iger is unassailable. He’s transformed his company from a stuffy media doyen into a sexy cultural force. ― TIME - Businessperson of the Year 2019
Nurturing creativity is less a skill than an art―especially at a company where the brand alone is synonymous with creativity. That’s a lot to live up to. Bob Iger has not only lived up to ninety-six years of groundbreaking history but has moved the Disney brand far beyond anyone’s expectations, and he has done it with grace and audacity. This book shows you how that’s happened. ― Stephen Spielberg
The Ride of a Lifetime is an entertaining example of a business memoir whose author does not pretend to be a superhero. Iger’s book works as an argument for the importance of emotional intelligence in business. ― New Statesman
- Publisher : BANTAM PRESS (1 October 2019)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 272 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1787630471
- ISBN-13 : 978-1787630475
- Dimensions : 15.3 x 15.3 x 23.4 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: 4,405 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The problem is this, corporate career type people are just like politicians. They never tell it straight. There's always some politics going on. There isn't a lot of boldness in this book. I would recommend a book written by an entrepreneur instead, they tend to be more bold and actually take a meaningful view on something (right or wrong).
It was pointed out to me despite promising this wasn’t an autobiography it felt and read almost like one with its chronological approach but it lacked the personal depth to truly explain what was going on at various stages and the true emotions, perhaps because of the political ambitions touched on at the end something was held back.
Stories are often most fascinating as a journey and in true Disney style this book was no different, a seemingly broken animation company to arguably the dominant entertainment player is indeed a ride worth reading about.
There appeared to be far more lessons articulated in the early part of the story for me, the latter became far more of a narrative of various acquisitions which whilst interesting in terms of the negotiations and fulfilling a what seems sound strategy felt rather matter of fact.
The tine of disappointment on finishing reading this book is what leads be to only give it 4 out of 5 stars I would say but still a great read for the insight into strategy building, being gutsy and particular the way Bob came together successfully with Steve Jobs and the emotion attached to that retelling alone was the greatest value I took away.