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

4.45  ·  Rating details ·  9,849 ratings  ·  891 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
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published September 23rd 2019 by Random House
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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.
Kobe Bryant
Jan 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: big-ideas
Im a huge admirer of Disney as an organization, and it was fascinating to follow Igers career there and [learn] how he shaped the company. There are countless lessons in this book, and its an excellent resource on leadership and problem-solving. ...more
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
Ross Blocher
Nov 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Feb 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Overall: This book is amazing! An incredible true story of Bob Iger's career and journey to his current role as CEO of Disney. Not the typical leadership book I expected but an amazing story of perseverance, passion, focus, forward thinking, and drive. So inspiring and well written, and he narrates the audiobook himself. Highly recommend this to all, it is an incredible story and will leave you inspired in more than one way.

True authority and true leadership come from knowing who you are and not
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
Jan 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
As hard to believe as it is, there are many aspects of my life I could probably improve upon. To name just a few: I eat way too many pies. The pies I eat do not contain enough fruits or vegetables. Many folks are shocked at the overabundance of whipped cream topping my pies. And often times I will eat my pie extremely quick (sometimes even without breathing) so I do not have to share pie with my family or close friends. But like most people I see the New Year as a chance to start over and ...more
I finished reading Robert Igers 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 ...more
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.
Scott Rhee
Jan 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
While you cant, rightfully, attribute any companys 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
Mario Tomic
Feb 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book contains a lot of key lessons for success. The first big lesson that stood out to me was the importance of developing relationships and how Bob Iger, over time, become one of the most respected and trusted CEOs. This was crucial for Disney's success as they were acquiring other companies. It's clear that Bob viewed acquiring companies through the lens of taking care of people that works at that company, respecting their work, and putting them in a position where they can succeed.

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
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
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:

Nov 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I didn't really know who Bob Iger was until I read this book. I read it because it showed up on NPR's Favorite Books of 2019 and he's the CEO of Disney (who doesn't love Disney?). Even though I'm a teacher with degrees in science, I love a good business memoir and this book did not disappoint. It was amazing! I have no much respect for Iger and the ethics and morals he brings to big business. I really enjoyed reading how he negotiated with Steve Jobs to purchase Pixar, and with George Lucas to ...more
Feb 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ive been intrigued by Bob Iger for the last year given everything hes doing with transforming Disney and the entertainment world. This is a cool take that, believe it or not, gives a down-to-earth look at what it might be like to run the most compelling brand in the world. Really cool look at leadership, disrupting the industry youre in, acting quickly, decisively and with compassion, and following your instincts. Not to mention, its cool to read a business book that talks about Pixar and ...more
Joshua Hunt
Jan 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
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!
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
Dec 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
My dad forced me to read this.
Neelam Babul
Feb 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I finished reading Robert Igers Ride of A Lifetime: Lessons Learned From 15 Year as CEO of Walt Disney Company last night and I am still amazed by the insights he shared and how much I have learned. I watched Disney movies as a child and even as a grown woman I still do. When I saw this book last year, I decided to purchase it and never read it until I saw it two days before.

Robert Iger provides a roadmap and lessons that everyone can benefit from in his book. As someone who loves learning
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
Feb 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
A great start for reading this year. Mr. Iger's autobiography is warm, welcoming and candid. With the exception of Shoe Dog, I'm yet to see an autobiography that's so frank and personal. Mr. Iger discusses his shortcomings, his failures, and what went wrong in great detail. The book gets that right, but what's better is a peek into the life of one of the best media and entertainment executives of this generation. Bob Iger's taken Disney into the stratosphere with his aggressive acquisitions and ...more
Hudson Christmas
Mar 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
The Ride of a Lifetime by Rober Iger describes how he went from a humble worker at a news station to one day become the CEO of the Disney Company. Iger takes readers behind the scenes of his career, all the while describing leadership skills he learned along the way. Thoughtful, interesting, and insightful, The Ride of a Lifetime is an excellent autobiography for any Disney fan or business professional. Very rarely do these two areas meet, and yet, here we are. Good book, worth the read.
Feb 03, 2020 rated it liked it
I saw Robert Iger plugging this book on Ellen's show, and I was impressed by him and intrigued by the idea that he'd written this book. It was an interesting story of his rise to the top seat in the Disney corporation with nuggets of advice strewn in through each step of his journey. I also felt, educator friends, that his advice and situations carried over amazingly smoothly to the realm of education.
Kori Sulewski (korireads)
Feb 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2020, audiobooks
I found this really fascinating! I appreciated Igers honesty and feel like I actually took away a few real life lessons learned. I especially loved hearing about the acquisitions of Pixar, Marvel, and Lucasfilm! ...more
Gunjan Srivastava
Jan 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Really like how candid Bob is in this book. Its fast paced and is full of interesting anecdotes and incidents. It has very good management lessons, explained through experiences. The ups and downs of Bobs career is a great learning lesson for anyone at any stage of their professional careers! ...more
Jan 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Short and succinct, the appendix at the end is perfect re-read material for leaders very regularly. Insightful too for Marvel, Lucasfilm and Pixar geeks like me.
Huyen Chip
Mar 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed the book. Bob has an unbelievable career with great anecdotes and advice.

Some books read like they're well-written. Some books read like they're well-edited. This book falls into the second category: reasonable, sanitized, family-friendly. There are so many things left unsaid which makes me feel a bit unsatisfied.
Stefan Bruun
Mar 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
An honest story about the ups and downs of leading a business and the path and coincidences to getting there. Includes a few somewhat controversial points on management. Great to see someone tackle them head on rather than sharing the usual "PR approved" pleasantries.
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