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B-Time with Beth Bierbower

Apr 30, 2021

The Ride Of A Lifetime is a book on leadership by Robert Iger, the former CEO of Disney.  Serving as CEO of Disney for 15 years, Iger walks us through several pivotal and critical moments in his time at Disney and even goes back farther into his time at ABC/Capital Cities.

I enjoyed two aspects of this book, the first which is an inside peak at Disney leadership.  It’s always a bit comforting to know that all organizations have their politics and quirks.  But Iger doesn’t tear down former colleagues, rather he shares his approach to dealing with new cultures and organizational dynamics.  While Iger worked at ABC, it was acquired twice and he brilliantly leveraged those experiences when he became the acquirer.

The second aspect I enjoyed was that Iger shares his thinking at the time he made the decision.  He helps the reader understand the context at the time, what thoughts were running through his head and how he sorted out what to do and perhaps most importantly what not to do.  

Throughout the book, Iger shares leadership lessons that are practical and useful.  He lists these 45 lessons at the end of the book which is a nice touch and serves as good reinforcement.  If I had to choose one word to describe Iger’s leadership style it would be “decent”.  Iger treated people with thoughtfulness and respect.  He didn’t lead people on in negotiations.  He was straightforward but kind when terminating someone.  He seems like the kind of guy that you’d like to have a beer with.