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The Ride of a Lifetime

Lessons in Creative Leadership from the CEO of the Walt Disney Company
Written by: Robert Iger
Narrated by: Robert Iger, Jim Frangione
Length: 8 hrs and 45 mins
5 out of 5 stars (73 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

The CEO of The Walt Disney Company shares the ideas and values he has used to reinvent one of the most beloved companies in the world, and inspire the people who bring the magic to life.

In 2005, Robert Iger became CEO of The Walt Disney Company during a difficult time. Morale had deteriorated, competition was more intense, and technology was changing faster than at any time in the company's history. "I knew there was nothing to be gained from arguing over the past," Iger writes. "The only thing that mattered was the future, and I believed I had a clear idea of the direction Disney needed to go." It came down to three clear ideas: 

  1. Create the highest quality content Disney could produce. 
  2. Embrace and adopt technology instead of fighting it.
  3. Think bigger - think global - and turn Disney into a stronger brand in international markets.

Twelve 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 Iger is recognised as one of the most innovative and successful CEOs of our time. 

Now, he's sharing the lessons he's learned while running Disney and leading its 200,000 employees - taking big risks in the face of historic disruption; learning to inspire the people who work for you; leading with fairness and communicating principles clearly. This book is about the relentless curiosity that has driven Iger for 45 years, since the day he started as a studio supervisor 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 evolving Star Wars myth. 

"Over the past 14 years, I think I've learned so much about what real leadership is," Iger writes. "But I couldn't have articulated all of this until I lived it. You can't fake it - and that's one of the key lessons in this book."

©2019 Robert Iger (P)2019 Penguin Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Leadership lessons wrapped with his experiences. BRILLIANT!!!

Bob has the knack to teach us valuable leadership classes wrapped in his memoir.
1. Take risks
2. Be optimistic

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Best book i have read so far

One of the must read books. Loved it completely. You will thoroughly enjoy it if you have interests in business

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how to grow as a professional and take decisions

loved it
the best book and the narration I have read so far.the tone of the narration is well augmented with the storyline

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Instils a sense of fearlessness in thought

The stories are gems because getting a fly-on-wall feel is what one expects from a title like this. There is an element of honesty (reasonably managed modesty is possibly more apt) in the stories where one can usually get carried away in one’s storytelling and try to sound a righteous.

What didn’t seem very real though are Bob’s reactions to some crises where he makes it look overtly simplified .. everyone knows that situations like those present multiple layers of complexity and opinions .. and one doesn’t always have the liberty of taking the ‘right’ decision.

It’s a must read/hear for anyone in the media and entertainment business for sure. That’s what made me seek this title.

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  • Bert
  • 06-11-19

Awesome Insights

Gives good insight into how Robert ran Disney and made it into the success it is today in an ever more volitile business environment.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Vikram Koppikar
  • 05-03-20

the most powerful man in entertainment.

contains some great business lessons. gets too self congratulatory at times! the voice performer was great

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  • Hassan Jameel
  • 27-02-20

What a journey!

What a journey! I have always respected Mr. Robert for the way he transformed Disney, and after finishing the book I have became an admirer of him.

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  • warwick jackson
  • 21-02-20

Leadership is important

Excellent book with interesting historical component . Lessons on leadership and relationships that are as useful to small business and regular life , as they are to big corporate life.

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  • Bisher Dukmak
  • 14-02-20

Amazingly concise and beneficial

Amazing book, enjoyed every second of the story of this amazing man. I've always adored Bob Igor for his sense of compassion, respect and honesty in the business world, and how it benefited his career. But it was beautiful knowing the realities of the events and how everything was going on.

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  • Frank Zane
  • 10-02-20

Insightful

A phenomenal insight into the latest iteration of Disney. I have learnt so much!

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  • Robert Sutherland
  • 08-02-20

Fascinating and enthralling

A great telling of a good story. This book was gripping and educational. Worth reading with Steve Jobs and Ed Catmulls books.

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  • Oluwaseun Okunfolami
  • 18-01-20

A read of a lifetime

What a book!

Detailed, informational, engaging, instructional... What more can I say.

Itching to see what becomes of Bob’s remaining years at Disney

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-01-20

My book of 2019

I’m a TV executive and this book was not only inspiring, but a fantastic story with so much take home. Highly recommend.

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  • ricardo
  • 22-11-19

Sopresivo

Me sorprendió cómo comentó sobre experiencias que hacían referencia a la vida privada de otros. Quizá fueron eventos públicos, ojalá que haya tenido el consentimiento de los mencionados.

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  • Tarjinder
  • 25-09-19

Disney and leadership

I enjoyed this and i found it helpful as a buissness information source the constant quest for continual perfection is one of the things i found useful such as the constant quest for improvement and great political speeches. also im very impressed with the job the bob iger has done for Disney his actions where roseanne bar and john the dirty exec were honourable

1 person found this helpful

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  • Tantrwm
  • 30-03-20

Much more than disney

I knew nothing of Robert Iger and choose this book on a whim. He reads it with the inflection and tone of some of the best audiobook narrators. But the content outstrips the quality of the reading. It is an excellent insight into the mechanisms of the worlds largest media brand. enjoyable and a good listen

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  • Anonymous User
  • 25-03-20

Thoroughly enjoyable

Bob Iger is a legendary CEO and this book provides both interesting stories about his biggest deals as well as insights into his views on leadership and strategy. The biggest takeaway - Innovate or die.

Terrific read.

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  • H Bansal
  • 22-03-20

Beautifully written memoir

Bob Igers story is full of ups and downs, of hard work and luck. He has told his story in a very transparent way, explaining the gamut of politics that goes into leading companies and how to tackle it.

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  • MGS
  • 16-03-20

A Compassionate Approach to Leadership

This is a remarkable account of a rise from a young man through the corporate ranks to a peak of one of the biggest jobs in the world. It offers true honest stories and guidance.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-03-20

Thanks for sharing such a rewarding career

Few people made it. So happy to hear how is it like. I enjoyed the book very much. Thanks!

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  • Muffin Man
  • 09-03-20

Enjoyable if a bit one paced

Overall I enjoyed this book and am glad I listened to it. I would classify it more as a story of (interesting and impressive) chronological events rather than a typical self help management (7 Habits/How to win friends and influence people etc) book, although Bob touches on recommended management tools, styles and techniques throughout.

It's hard to put my finger on why I didn't absolutely love this book. I think it's because at times it felt like a continual stream of similar mini stories that all paint Bob as an almost perfect leader, which I'm sure he is but it got a bit repetitive and dull, particularity within the acquisition phase of the book where Disney purchases Pixar, Marvel, Lucas film and 20th Century Fox with the message being treat the acquisition of the personnel as the priority.

I feel a bit overly critical for saying this as I did enjoy the book and I found Bob's story interesting and impressive but it was also ever so slightly boring and I'm glad it's finished and I can move onto the next book. it certainly piqued my interest in Disney products though, particularly the new Disney+ platform, which I am now considering buying so the timing of the book is commercially astute from that perspective.

4 out of 5 stars. Would recommend bit not the best book ever written.

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  • Mark R Geary
  • 03-03-20

Brilliant

An excellent book (recommended via a podcast). Robert Iger’s narrative is genuine and his story compelling. The business and people lessons are invaluable.

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  • T. W. Burton
  • 26-02-20

An amazing story of the story

Well worth a listen if you like leadership and management books. But also a great story of Bob Iger and his Disney journey

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  • Anonymous User
  • 18-02-20

all about his ego. 0 about management.

just listen out the appendix. last chapter.
recommendation: use people based on ability not on years of experience. no shit

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Komal Rehman
  • 19-10-19

great story of an ordinary mans rise to the top

the one thing i could've used more of was a slightly deeper analysis of the creative process and what makes separates good creative decisions from the bad ones.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Daylan
  • 01-10-19

Great look behind the curtain

I really liked this one. Quite different from other leadership/business books. Tangible insights and advice. A very interesting peek behind the curtain of the effort and process of landing a big wig job. The first chapter was incredible. Unexpectedly heart breaking. Really enjoyed this

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 27-03-20

Could have read this on Wikipedia

Don't get me wrong, it wasn't a wasted book. However, I feel like most of the information that was in this book could have been summarized on his Wikipedia page.
The book lacked that edge that makes you want to keep reading, the piece that keeps you enthralled.
Not disappointed that i read it, but wouldn't reccomend it to my friends

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  • Paul
  • 16-02-20

Fantastic book a great example on how to lead

Fantastic book a great example on how to lead. Found it hard to stop listening.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 22-01-20

Be Candor to Grow

Truly great story and life lessons for the man who brought Disney to be the greatest in the entertainment industry.
Robert Iger demonstrates how candor plays probably one of the biggest factors in success and building your own self. How many times have you refused to hear criticism and appear vulnerable? How many times have you taught you are entitled to a title? That the only when the title comes it determines you standards and way of life, not the other way around?

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  • Josh
  • 02-01-20

Great read!

Really informative book about Robert Iger’s career with Disney. Traces the highlights of a long work history.

Book is well written and narration is great. I would have preferred a little more detail on some of the financial analysis and predictive models used in the acquisition process, but that’s just me.

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  • Matthew Chen
  • 14-12-19

Insightful and Interesting Business Autobiography

Great book, it was a perfect balance of Bob Iger's personal life and his insights from his personal business experience. Particularly his perspective on the various difficult decisions he has had to make to date.

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  • Nadia
  • 13-12-19

Loved this inspirational story of business

I really enjoyed this story told by Robert iger. He really experience business to the maximum and evolved Disney into the company giant it is today. What a human.

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  • Peter levy
  • 06-12-19

I loved It

Having read Disney wars and the journey of Pixar, this continued the real life adventure into Disney and its future.
Well worth listening to.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-12-19

Brilliant leadership wisdom.

I Loved it - very inspirational - am now even more a greater fan of the Disney Brand!