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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 (136 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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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Engaging Read

Good reference for people who are in leadership position and how to manage their teams and decision making temprament.
The end summary of anecdotes from Iger's career is very intersting to hear. You feel as if the whole book is unfolding for you. Overall, his story and lesson keeps you engaged and are relatable, even if you are not at a telescopic view that he was, across his career.

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Some good real life lessons

This book is so relevant to people who want to be running businesses at some point in their career

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Awesome

One of the best audio books. The author is an amazing story teller. The summary is awesome as well.

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Absolute joy

Full of wisdom on business and life. Must read for all CEOs and aspiring business leaders👍

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awesome content

great book.. narrated with zeal and honesty by person who worked very hard to become ceo of one of the best companies in the industry

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ROLLERCOASTER RIDE

Candid script, measured articulate narration. Humility of the author shines through. Importance of organisational culture clearly highlighted. Educative read.

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Worth Listening

Loved it, awesome, positive . Honestly mentioned the journey he went through.Good insight to leadership

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Once upon a time in a galaxy, there’s a whole new world!

I’m such a huge fan of popular culture and fictional universes in general and Star Wars and Disney in particular. This book was a must read because the behind the scene stories of building Disney in the 21st century would have to be enthralling. But the best part was what the plumbing inside of Iger’s head reveals - a good human being and a good leader. Like all of pop culture heroes, you are initially attracted to them for their superior strength but learn to love them for their character. Iger comes across as one such.

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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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  • Anonymous User
  • 26-04-20

Amazing book on leadership and life lessons

If I can summarise, the book is like having a mentor that assists you through their own experience of life and business to make sense of the world, leadership together with what it takes to create a successful business. It also gives one a view of what Disney is all about. I had little knowledge to the scope
Of the business and the priority of the organisation but through Robert Iger book. I can see myself as a future investor in this organisation.

1 person found this helpful

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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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  • Bradley Shaw
  • 20-04-20

Achievements everywhere

Listening to this book really puts into perspective whag Bob Iger achieved over his tenure with Disney. He transformed the business more than I think even Walt homself could ever have imagined. If you work in Technology. Telecoms or Media. This book is a must read.

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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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  • 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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  • Andreas
  • 04-06-20

Brilliant!

I have a passion for leadership books, and furthermore for good stories and biographies. That’s a brilliant mixture of all these, learnings & real stories on different spots of Bob’s career. I could not recommend it more👌 One of the audiobooks I enjoyed the most, I am a member since... ever !

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  • Moo
  • 01-06-20

Thoughtful, Insightful and Interesting

Very thoughtful book with some excellent take aways.

Not only are there some great business lessons, but it's interesting to hear about Disney as a company, how they operate, and the challenges they face.

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  • Lenny McCarthy
  • 01-06-20

interesting but far to much self praise. .

It's an interesting story in terms of his journey but i expected more insight into various career roles. He doesn't talk enough about day to day difficulties or challenges and learnings from mistakes. The appendix was of most interest to me - maybe i wasn't the target audience and should have researched the book more before hand.

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  • Matthew Hurley
  • 21-05-20

Brilliant read

Cannot recommend this book enough, not just a brilliant management book but just an incredibly interesting life story!

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  • Sipho
  • 29-04-20

Excellent

Loved the leadership lessons and life wisdom imparted here: focus and dedication over a long period can lead to remarkable results.

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  • Jordan
  • 20-04-20

A true insight

True words about real people.
Truth that people have bad days and good days
Motivating from start to finish

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  • Amazon customer
  • 17-04-20

not as great as the reviews suggested?

some good leadership lessons interwoven within the largely autobiographical account. However, it slowly dawns on you that this is almost a personality manifesto which becomes even more annoying when you learn of the authors intention to run for Presidential Office. Theres a consistent formula of [controversial incident + Bob Igers pc reaction to it = Bob is a great person]

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  • Max Paasovaara
  • 16-04-20

Collected & Camouflaged Complaints of a Successful CEO

“I don’t think about those moments so much...” and by the 5th time within first half an hour I hear the man complaining how hard his life (which he wisely enough admits that it wasn’t that hard after all) was and how his (superficially) learned morals were challenged.

I am now 1 1/2 hour in with the audible book and I think that I have given enough time to say that (at least first 1 1/2h) are without real lessons or even good stories. There is practically no leadership advice that I was expecting from a figure like him. No stories about Creative Leadership. Maybe the book gets better after the first chapters? You will do so much better with Philip Knight : Shoe Dog.

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  • Davis
  • 06-04-20

Better than I expected!

I have always enjoyed Disney content in all shapes and forms. Therefore, I decided to give this book a chance. I kind of expected a book that delivers the 'classical' business content; however, I was wrong. The story is logically told and portrays a 'human-like' approach to business and life. A truly enjoyable listen!

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    3 out of 5 stars
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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

2 people found this helpful

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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.

2 people found this helpful

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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.

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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  • Kindle Customer
  • 03-06-20

Worth the time!

Well worth the listen as you are taken not just on a personal journey, but the many changes in the information and entertainment industries.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 28-05-20

one of the best autobiographies I've read

one of the best autobiographies I've read

Great leader, inspirational, heartfelt. so many great stories inside

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  • Jodie Nixon
  • 05-05-20

A great read

Such an enjoyable book from a great leader. You should be mindful that Bob Iger only reads the first chapter of the book before another narrator takes over

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  • W*BvK
  • 28-04-20

Inspirational But Snap and Crackle

Having read the publishers summary, I thought this would be a Harvard Business Review or London School of Economics level of young Roberts career and the unparalleled success this man has earned and enjoyed. I regret it was more snap and crackle.

In the first chapter, read by Robert, I wanted to call in Jimmy Cricket, Walt's fixer as Robert needed Disney motivation.
In essence, this is a good book, a light enjoyable inspirational book about a man who would have made Walt proud. I have studied the Pixar/Disney business models and history and smile, about some parts.....

If you like me, wanted a more in-depth explanation of Robert's exemplative life, the postscript or appendix is the primary reason to buy this book. I kind of pray, Robert would consider taking a chair at Harvard or London School and teach his genius.

I would highly recommend also reading To Pixar and Beyond, By Lawrence Levy as this explains a lot more about the Pixar / Disney relationship and opens up about Robert's real success, taking Disney from complacency to the industry dominate powerhouse it is today.

I highly recommend reading but hope there will be a more in-depth HBR book to follow young Robert.

Inspirational.....

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  • Anonymous User
  • 24-04-20

I couldn't stop listening! Highly recommend!

Robert Iger's journey is incredibly inspiring and I am so grateful to him for sharing his story. I found it so interesting to hear about the challenges and the process of acquiring other businesses. This is definitely one of my favourite books!

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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.