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

4.38  ·  Rating details ·  2,119 ratings  ·  206 reviews
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
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Hardcover, 272 pages
Published September 23rd 2019 by Random House
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Average rating 4.38  · 
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 ·  2,119 ratings  ·  206 reviews


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John Katsanakis
Sep 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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.
Avneesh Mehta
Oct 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Ursula Johnson
Sep 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: film-tv, audible
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
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Aaditya
Nov 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
John
Nov 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nacho Santos
Oct 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobooks
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
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Noah
Oct 07, 2019 rated it liked it
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.
Jarrod
Oct 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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
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Gareth Otton
Nov 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
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
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Dale Duncan
Oct 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
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, ...more
Dale Wyant
Sep 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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.
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.)
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Ethan
Oct 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
"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
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Carlos Garcia
Nov 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Allyson
Oct 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone!
Shelves: business
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 ...more
Aristidis Marousas
Nov 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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
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Vaidotas Juknys
Nov 02, 2019 rated it liked it
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
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Ben Mattson
Oct 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book was very engaging and will be especially compelling for a few types of people.

1) People who are interested in Disney should read this book. It provides fascinating history and insight into the decisions the company has made over the last 15 years, as well as a look into the lives of Bob and others who made the company what it is today.

2) People who want to be great leaders should read this book. Bob Iger is undoubtedly an exceptional leader and he skillfully integrates his lessoned
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Einaras
Oct 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
One of the best business books I’ve read. Real page turner. Arguably the best leadership book in recent years.
Mediaman
Oct 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Fairly unique "leadership book" written while a CEO is in office where Disney chief Iger discusses a bit of his younger years, has a strong middle section where he throws many industry leaders under the bus, then wastes the last third of the book with vague details about acquiring other major companies. Overall very worth reading, but once he acquires Pixar the rest of it is pretty dull, including his claim to have thought about running for president in 2020 (as a Democrat). The title is also a ...more
Sergio Diaz
Oct 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Practically I read this book in a couple days, the back stage of the company that many admired, more that just a history of success, is and history of a human been with all the feelings to involve working in a environment with a lot of different personalities from Steve Jobs to Roy Disney, and how to mange those different personalities and egos, I love this book and I admire more the work of Bob
Judy
Oct 06, 2019 added it
Thanks to Penguin Random House for sending me this goodreads giveaway. Robert Iger comes across as an honest, hard working, even likable man. He states this book is not a memoir instead lessons he's learned. However given this story every chance, I was not able to finish and give an honest rating. There were too many sentences beginning with "I" and it became a challenge to count how many appeared in each paragraph defeating the purpose of reading. Sorry.
Tiffany
Oct 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Highly highly recommend this book, a hugely inspirational journey of his path to Disney CEO and a compelling overview of key decisions he had to make esp around acquisitions. Really heartening to see what can happen when people put the customers and product first and stay true to a mission
David
Oct 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
“Life’s an adventure,” she said. “If you don’t choose the adventurous path, then you’re not really living.”

Rating: 5/5

I’VE WORKED FOR the same company for forty-five years: twenty-two of them at ABC, another twenty-three at Disney, after Disney acquired ABC in 1995. For the past fourteen years, I’ve had the enviable task of being the sixth CEO to run the company since Walt founded it in 1923.

There have been difficult, even tragic, days. But for me this has also been, to steal from a phrase, the
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Dennis Keithly
Sep 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As a big fan of Disney, Pixar, Marvel, and Star Wars, this book naturally called to me. Robert Iger writes a book that is part memoir, but really, it is a view from the top on how Disney acquired all of those companies plus Fox to become the entertainment giant that it is today. Along the way, Iger has plenty to offer about running the company, but it is really a book on being on CEO, looking to the future, and how to be a leader, and less a book about Disney World. In fact, there is really very ...more
Marc
Nov 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Schwarzman, Iger, Randolph. In September this year three American businessmen published their memoirs. One a financier, one a corporate executive and one an entrepreneur, they added their contribution to the canon that is the business memoir.

You know the genre. Businessman becomes successful, retires, writes about it. It’s an easy genre to critique. Not only are these books born out of selection bias, because who wants to read the memoir of an unsuccessful businessman, but they layer in all the
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Li Li
Oct 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A powerful book well written - succinct but not dry at all. Bob presented some most important leadership lessons in the must humble way. Highly recommend to anyone who wants to live a life with no disappoints and regrets.

Sometimes, even though you’re “in charge”, you need to be aware that in the moment you might have nothing to add, and so you don’t wade in. You trust your people to do their jobs and focus your energies on some other pressing issue.
Do what you need to do to make it better. When
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Matt Payne
Nov 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Bob Iger openly said his autobiography wasn’t a memoir or a business book - and he was right.

The Ride of a Lifetime is an absolute thrill ride equal to that you would probably have at one of the Disney themeparks he is boss of!

I could barely put this down in the short time that it took to read it.

Think about this - Iger became CEO of the Disney corporation in a hostile environment after the highly public Michael Eisner walked away. Bob walked in with the Disney family at the point of waging war
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Vivek Srivastava
Oct 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A fluent read and wonderfully articulated by Rob. From humble beginnings to top of the ladder in one of the most famed company is the story of this book, telling us about important management and leadership lessons. The book focuses on learning, taking care of employees and customers (more importantly showing humane side), negotiation considerations and integrity. Key points from summary in the last chapter are:
1. Innovate or die
2. Pursuit of perfection is a mindset
3. Take responsibility of
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*mk*
Oct 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
I decided to read this book because I worked at Walt Disney World for almost 4 years post-college, and I knew my thoughts and feelings as a minimum-wage worker, so I was intrigued to see the other side of it, from the literally the highest peak of the Disney tier.

As a writer, Iger is solid. The book drags a bit at the end, but he writes a strong opening and he shares interesting parts of Disney history without the book sounding like a gossipy tell-all (though it does get a little boring in the
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