A reading club with a view to the future

548 Robert Iger: The Ride of a Lifetime

“The Ride of a Lifetime” is a memoir by Robert Iger, former CEO of The Walt Disney Company, sharing his leadership lessons and experiences in shaping Disney’s success.



"The Ride of a Lifetime" by Robert Iger is a captivating memoir that takes readers on a journey through his tenure as CEO of The Walt Disney Company. Iger shares his personal and professional experiences, offering valuable insights into the strategies and leadership principles that guided Disney's growth and transformation. From the acquisition of Pixar, Marvel, and Lucasfilm to the launch of Disney+ streaming service, Iger provides behind-the-scenes anecdotes and lessons learned from key decision-making moments. The book explores Iger's emphasis on innovation, creativity, and fostering a culture of collaboration. "The Ride of a Lifetime" serves as an inspiring and practical guide for aspiring leaders and those interested in the world of entertainment and business.


  1. Title: The Ride of a Lifetime 
  2. Author: Robert Iger 
  3. Publishing Year: 2019 
  4. Publisher: Random House 
  5. Length in Hours: 8 hrs and 45 mins

5 main ideas

  1. Leadership and Decision-making: Iger discusses the challenges he faced as CEO and the importance of making tough decisions while maintaining a clear vision for the company's future.
  2. Innovation and Creativity: The book highlights Disney's commitment to innovation and the creative process, showcasing how Iger encouraged bold ideas and embraced new technologies.
  3. Acquisitions and Partnerships: Iger shares the strategies and considerations behind Disney's successful acquisitions, including Pixar, Marvel, and Lucasfilm, and the importance of cultivating strong partnerships.
  4. Navigating Disruption: Iger explores how Disney adapted to the changing media landscape and the rise of digital platforms, including the launch of Disney+ and the company's evolving content distribution strategies.
  5. Company Culture and Values: The book emphasizes the significance of fostering a positive and inclusive company culture, with a focus on diversity, integrity, and empowering employees to contribute their best work.

5 funny quotes

  1. "There is a joy in defying expectations."
  2. "I've never been one to dwell on reversals."
  3. "My not-so-secret sauce is knowing I don't have all the answers."
  4. "Having fun at work is a serious business."
  5. "I still believe in the power of a handshake."

5 thought-provoking quotes​

  1. "The riskiest thing we can do is just maintain the status quo."
  2. "If you don't innovate, you're dead."
  3. "The heart and soul of a company is creativity and innovation."
  4. "It's one thing to have a vision; it's another to communicate it effectively to others."
  5. "Long-term success in our ever-changing world requires being open to possibility."


5 dilemmas

  1. Balancing the preservation of beloved franchises and characters with the need for innovation and fresh storytelling.
  2. Navigating the complexities of international expansion and cultural adaptation while maintaining brand identity and values.
  3. Addressing the disruption caused by digital platforms and streaming services while staying ahead of changing consumer preferences.
  4. Fostering a culture of creativity and risk-taking while managing the financial risks associated with large-scale acquisitions and investments.
  5. Managing the delicate balance between honoring the legacy of a company's founders and pushing forward with new ideas and strategies

5 examples

  1. Pixar - The book explores Disney's acquisition of Pixar Animation Studios and the collaborative relationship between Disney and Pixar.
  2. Marvel - Iger discusses Disney's acquisition of Marvel Entertainment and the integration of Marvel's characters and stories into Disney's portfolio.
  3. Lucasfilm - The book covers the acquisition of Lucasfilm, including the Star Wars franchise, and the successful relaunch of the film series under Disney's ownership.
  4. Apple - Iger shares insights from his interactions with Steve Jobs and the partnership between Apple and Disney, including the integration of Apple products into Disney experiences.
  5. ESPN - The book discusses the challenges faced by ESPN and the strategies employed to navigate the evolving sports media landscape.

Referenced books

  1. "Steve Jobs" by Walter Isaacson
  2. "The Innovator's Dilemma" by Clayton M. Christensen
  3. "The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses" by Eric Ries
  4. "Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike" by Phil Knight
  5. "The Outsiders: Eight Unconventional CEOs and Their Radically Rational Blueprint for Success" by William N. Thorndike

Share a quote

"Having fun at work is a serious business."

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