The Ride of a Lifetime by Robert Iger, CEO of Disney is worth checking out for any career-minded ambitious individual, simply because it shows the requirement of true grit, perseverance, and most of all humanity in all of us. For those of you who don`t like to read a whole book, The Ride of a lifetime has an appendix section at the end which includes all the lessons Robert Iger has learned over the forty years of his career.
“Value ability more than experience, and put people in roles– Robert Iger
that require more of them than they know they have in them.”
Robert Iger starts the book by talking about the very beginning of his career and takes the reader on an emotional rollercoaster ride. Reading about everything that happened behind closed doors leading up to his appointment was truly eye-opening in terms of what it means to put in all you have and have true grit.
“If you walk up and down the halls constantly telling people “The sky is falling,” a sense of doom and gloom will, over time, permeate the company. You can’t communicate pessimism to the people around you. It’s ruinous to morale. No one wants to follow a pessimist.”– Robert Iger
Everything he did at Disney was new and completely challenged the traditional way of decision making. Reducing the analytical team that made decisions and letting the individual leaders have more power over decisions was key in revitalizing Disney. Robert Iger says that although these analytical projections are necessary, the final decision comes from the gut instinct.
“If something doesn’t feel right to you, it won’t be right for you.”– Robert Iger
The acquisition of Pixar and how he naturally formed a close friendship with Steve Jobs was quite fascinating. However, reading about his conversations with Steve Jobs during his last days was heartbreaking indeed. How these two great minds lead their people to create movies that we all loved such as Ratatouille, Brave, and Inside Out are described in the book in such a storytelling way it’s hard to put down the book without reading the next chapter.
“Now more than ever: innovate or die. There can be no innovation if you operate out of fear of the new.”– Robert Iger
Robert Iger certainly did create something truly amazing. There`s a level of caring humanity in him that makes all things possible for him. Whenever there`s a crisis in the world Disney has a system to track down their employees, so they can help their employees. When several Disney employees were affected by a shooting at a nightclub, Disney immediately sent the trauma and grief counselors – arranging mental health services. Disney has created an incredible caring family of employees; a work environment that enables them to produce high-quality content to the world.
The Ride of a Lifetime is certainly a must-read for anyone who is starting off their careers. I certainly would`ve made different choices early in my career if I had read this book in my twenties ☺