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Publisher's Summary

Number-one New York Times best seller

A memoir of leadership and success: The executive chairman of Disney, Time’s 2019 businessperson of the year, shares the ideas and values he embraced during his 15 years as CEO while reinventing one of the world’s most beloved companies and inspiring the people who bring the magic to life.

Named one of the Best Books of the Year by NPR

Robert Iger became CEO of The Walt Disney Company in 2005, during a difficult time. Competition was more intense than ever, and technology was changing faster than at any time in the company’s history. His vision came down to three clear ideas: Recommit to the concept that quality matters, embrace technology instead of fighting it, and think bigger - think global - and turn Disney into a stronger brand in international markets.

Fourteen years later, Disney is the largest, most admired 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 he is recognized as one of the most innovative and successful CEOs of our era.

In The Ride of a Lifetime, Robert Iger shares the lessons he learned while running Disney and leading its 220,000-plus employees, and he explores the principles that are necessary for true leadership, including:

  • Optimism. Even in the face of difficulty, an optimistic leader will find the path toward the best possible outcome and focus on that, rather than give in to pessimism and blaming.
  • Courage. Leaders have to be willing to take risks and place big bets. Fear of failure destroys creativity.
  • Decisiveness. All decisions, no matter how difficult, can be made on a timely basis. Indecisiveness is both wasteful and destructive to morale.
  • Fairness. Treat people decently, with empathy, and be accessible to them.

This audiobook is about the relentless curiosity that has driven Iger for 45 years, since the day he started as the lowliest studio grunt 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 Star Wars mythology.

"The ideas in this book strike me as universal", Iger writes. "Not just to the aspiring CEOs of the world, but to anyone wanting to feel less fearful, more confidently themselves, as they navigate their professional and even personal lives."

©2019 Robert Iger (P)2019 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

“Nurturing creativity is less a skill than an art - especially at a company where the brand alone is synonymous with creativity. That’s a lot to live up to. Bob Iger has not only lived up to ninety-six years of groundbreaking history but has moved the Disney brand far beyond anyone’s expectations, and he has done it with grace and audacity. This book shows you how that’s happened.” (Steven Spielberg)

“People have been waiting years for Bob Iger to share his leadership secrets. Now he has, and they are utterly brilliant. The Ride of a Lifetime is not merely a memoir; it’s a personal, all-access session with the wisest CEO you’ve ever met and a playbook for handling the key challenges of our age: how to drive change, leverage technology, build an enduring culture, and empower people. It’s a rippingly good, revelatory read.” (Daniel Coyle, New York Times best-selling author of The Culture Code)

“I expected a book written by the person who has led Disney for decades to be defined by both gripping storytelling and deep leadership wisdom. Bob Iger delivers, and then some! The Ride of a Lifetime is leadership gold - you won’t forget the stories or the lessons.” (Brené Brown, number one New York Times best-selling author of Dare to Lead)

Featured Article: Inspirational Entrepreneur Quotes to Kickstart Your Goals


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What listeners say about The Ride of a Lifetime

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Joins “Shoe Dog” as required biographies.

Thoroughly enjoyed this audiobook. Loved the content, flow and length. Too many biographies are far too long. This book beautifully highlighted the career of Iger without a lot of the meaningless detail. Wish more biographies were written in this fashion.

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Perfect insight in to the mind of Bob Iger

For years, I have admired watching the “Disney magic” performed by Bob Iger as President and CEO of The Walt Disney Company. Bob is an exceptional leader and I am a huge fan! If I could start over my career, I would want to spend as much time as possible under his tutelage and learn from his 45 years of wisdom and insights of leadership and hard work at Disney. In this book, he explains his background and how he climbed the corporate ladder. After becoming CEO, he discussed how Disney was able to find opportunities to add value to its brand. He gave a glimpse into how he devises a corporate strategy. He also talked about some of the things that keep him up at night and worry him the most, and what he did to address those challenges. He didn’t cover what a typical day in the office looks like but he provided some morsels of how he structures his time to ensure maximum productivity and personal development. Through his vignettes, he covered some of the qualities that make a person successful at leading a world-renowned organization. He also shared some of his thinking behind his spectacular acquisitions as CEO. He talked about his assessment process when analyzing those opportunities. Bob also talked about how he helped disrupt the traditional ways of thinking at Disney and prepared the company for a brighter future. As the public face for Disney, he shared his thoughts and feelings on how he handled controversies or responded to negative coverage. The early reviews of the book honed in on a passing comment made by Bob about Steve Jobs and how, if Steve had lived longer, there may have been an opportunity to merge Disney into Apple. I never fully appreciated the close relationship Bob had with Steve. I think Bob did very well in paying tribute to his good friend Steve Jobs. Overall, I enjoyed this book and look forward to seeing Disney build upon the successful legacy built by Bob Iger.

12 people found this helpful

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ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS I’VE EVER READ

I could not stop listening for a single moment I felt compelled to digest every single word and each description of Bob Iger’s incredible career. This book is a must for Every business owner and executive

9 people found this helpful

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Inspirational, but avoiding any controversy

Its a biography by a man leading one of the biggest politically correct corporations in the World, so there are no edges, no controversy, no true deep thoughts or reflections on bad decisions. Iger knows how to throw you a bone of buying Lucasfilm and sadness of Lucas, but never goes deep into Last Jedi fail against fandom, never tells story of James Gunn (even though tells story of firing Roseanne Barr)... Its very well ghostwriten, avoiding anything problematic, but what is the purpose then. Yeah, inspirational on leading, staying human and on the ground and building something really big. But it could have been really exceptional.

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self-absorbed

If you're interested in listening to a dull play by play of Iger's career, this is the book. However be advised it is read in a tone that makes Iger come off as a pompous egoist. I barely made it through.

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A new perspective on leadership

Storytelling at its finest. Listening to this book felt like I was along for the ride of a lifetime. I love the way the journey was laid out and the lessons in innovation, honesty, negotiation and thoughtful leadership were woven in. This one will definitely make it to the bookshelf.

6 people found this helpful

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The Book that can offer you a hundred decades of life

This is not just a book of a great story of a great man .. this is an extensive manual of how to be a real leader how to run a business correctly and more important not to lose yourself while reaching out to your goals. Listening to a very important phase of the American Media history through the autobiography of Bob is one of the things I would pay half of my life for because it adds 10 new lives to me .. I not only learned about how Bob managed the businesses he was responsible of but I learned as well about the essence of the leaders who impacted his life.. this book is a real treasure.

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Entertaining On Many Levels

Growing up in Central Florida and having visited Disney World hundreds of times as a child, the story of Mr. Iger's ascent to the top was very interesting. There are also many lessons learned in the book as he explains his decision making process, taking calculated risks, numerous successes as well as lessons learned from failures. He tells of his background, numerous jobs starting at ABC, his work ethic and foundation for being a successful leader. From the Pixar deal and his rocky start with Steve Jobs to the Marvel acquisition as well as numerous failures, this is a great book for those new to the business world as well as us seasoned veterans. He relives the Pulse tragedy, firing Roseanne Barr and other events that have shaped his life and personally affected him. Enjoy the ride!

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Incredible Journey and Lessons

I did not know much about Bob Iger before listening to his professional biography and found it difficult to stop listening to this captivating story. This book contains incredible lessons on people, management (especially risk-taking and risk management), and mergers & acquisitions. I am astonished by everything described behind the scenes.

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Interesting story, but prefer entrepreneurial stories

This was an interesting read for me. Bob has been in the right place at the right time throughout his career and used his political correctness, and hard work to get ahead. As the saying goes... Maytags work hard also or ‘the harder I work, the luckier I get”. I prefer success stories of true innovators (Walt Disney, Thomas Watson, Thomas Edison, Steve Jobs, etc.) over an employee running a company and making it grow via acquisitions versus true innovation and invention. A common thread of many success stories Ive read is a lack of success with family life - divorce, living apart, abandoning elderly parents, etc. Disney, from a value perspective has been sorely disappointing since the first park opened in 1955. I was in Calf. In 1962. The cost of one day in a park is three times what it originally was on an inflation adjusted basis. And that does not include food, parking, etc. I hope going forward the can grow through new ideas, innovation and creation. When companies buy back their stock it signals to me they don’t have a sufficient number of attractive investment ideas in-house.

1 person found this helpful