Home Books The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned from 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company

The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned from 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company

by Rovin Vazirani
Shows book cover


This book chronicles the rise of one of the most influential leaders and CEO of our times, Robert Iger. “Ride of a Lifetime” describes the humble beginnings of a man who would later become one of the most renowned CEO’s of Disney. This book is an autobiography where Robert has documented his journey to the top, which wasn’t always smooth sailing.

As he climbs the ladder of the corporate world, he develops leadership principles that help him reinvent Disney at a time where it was at rock bottom. His vision came down to three ideas – Commit to Quality, Embrace Technology and Think Global. 5 things that stand out about Robert Iger in the book:

  1. His ability to push aside his ego for the greater good.
  2. He constantly learns from mentors, peers and juniors.
  3. He takes big risks and does not fear failure. Gives others the permission to fail.
  4. His integrity and authenticity are unparalleled to all other leaders.
  5. He inspires everyone who works for him by focussing on the bigger problems.

My Thoughts

I picked up this book not knowing who Robert Iger was and I am pleasantly surprised how inspired I was by his leadership principles. Before the book, I was under the impression that your career can only grow when you jump from one company to another, but Robert has changed my outlook. He started off his career 45 years ago at ABC at the lowest rung of the ladder. He was recognized for being the hardest worker in the room and he went on to become the VP. ABC was ultimately acquired by Disney where Robert later rose to become the CEO.

Here are 10 things that I learned from this book that will accompany me in the ride of my life:

  1. Be optimistic in the face of uncertainty
  2. Be courageous. It is the foundation of innovation.
  3. Focus on the big problems you want to solve. Don’t get stuck on minutia.
  4. Be decisive and communicate in a timely fashion
  5. Be curious. Always ask questions and never stop learning.
  6. Be a fair leader and have empathy
  7. Be thoughtful when you make your decisions
  8. Be authentic. Honesty will always appreciated.
  9. Relentlessly pursue perfection. Do not deliver or accept mediocrity.
  10. Have integrity. The way you do anything is the way you do everything.

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