March 20, 2020
Welcome Guest Reviewer: Abby
*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.
Hello from Seattle, Washington! My name is Abby, and I’m a cousin of Carol’s! Actually, my dad is Carol’s cousin, so I guess that makes us 1st cousins once removed. I posted on Instagram that I had just finished a book when Carol asked me to do a bit of a review for her blog.
I wish I could say I’m an avid reader, I’m not, but I’m trying to do better. My goal for 2020 is simple: to read one book a month. Thankfully, my husband heard that goal prior to January and stocked me up at Christmas with some of the books that were on my wish list!
I tend to gravitate to biographies, leadership books and inspirational reads with an occasional fiction thrown in the mix. As a life-long Disney fanatic and Disneyland Park enthusiast it’s no surprise that The Ride of a Lifetime by Robert Iger was at the top of my “to read” list for 2020.
Genre/Categories: Nonfiction, Organizational Leadership, Business Biography
In The Ride of a Lifetime, Robert Iger weaves his philosophical bits and pieces of wisdom by telling the stories of how he began at ABC Network and made his way up the food chain to become the CEO of the Walt Disney Company in 2005.
Iger’s story, The Ride of a Lifetime, is meaningful for us Disney fanatics – in my opinion – he will go down in history as the CEO that saved our beloved Disney brand after Michael Eisner’s leadership lacked that Disney magic. Eisner lead Disney as a corporation instead of the magical creative universe that it is, and that lead to movies that completely flopped, and the launch of Disney California Adventure, which was also a bit of a miss.
Eisner also landed himself in some hot water with the board of directors becoming enemies with Roy Disney and other board members that had been running Disney for quite some time. The Ride of a Lifetime highlights why some fans became disenchanted with Disney and why park attendance, design, and movies surged under Iger’s leadership.
Upon his appointment to the CEO Chair, Iger’s top three priorities were:
- To increase the amount of high-quality branded content created
- To advance technology both in the ability to create more compelling products and to deliver those products to consumers
- To grow globally
The Ride of a Lifetime then walks us through Iger’s acquisition strategies, and how he befriends Steve Jobs who, at the time, owned Pixar Animation Studios. Iger’s dream was for Pixar to rejuvenate Disney Animation Studios. Disney needed the creative jolt that Pixar brought and after the acquisition, you saw a huge jump in quality of product from Disney Animation.
Also of note is the acquisition of Marvel Entertainment, the Star Wars Universe and Lucas Film and last, but not least, 21st Century Fox.
These acquisitions are probably the largest ear marks of Iger’s career, but the rejuvenation of Disney California Adventure, Hong Kong Disney, and the opening of Shanghai Disney will be notable as well since it brought that much-needed magic back to the parks!
Recommended: Overall, I think The Ride of a Lifetime is a solid read. If you like reading about leaders and what they do to make their world go around, it’s worthwhile to pick it up. As a Disney fanatic I digested the facts as quickly as I could, and couldn’t put it down, but everyone might not be as hungry for this information as I am.
Robert Iger’s 10 Leadership nuggets are quoted in this Forbes review in December of 2019. I think you’ll find the quotes thoughtful and they definitely highlight the take-a ways from Iger’s book.
Thanks for the review, Abby!
Meet the Author, Robert Iger
Robert Iger is chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company and he previously served as president and CEO beginning in October 2005 and president and COO from 2000 to 2005. Iger began his career at ABC in 1974, and as chairman of the ABC Group, he oversaw the broadcast television network and station group, cable television properties, and guided the merger between Capital Cities/ABC, Inc. and The Walt Disney Company. Iger officially joined the Disney senior management team in 1996 as chairman of the Disney-owned ABC Group and in 1999 was given the additional responsibility of president, Walt Disney International. In that role, Iger expanded Disney’s presence outside of the United States, establishing the blueprint for the company’s international growth today.
Are you a Disney fanatic like Abby?
Do you enjoy books about interesting and innovative leaders?
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Unless explicitly stated that they are free, all books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library.
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