I read Disney CEO Bob Iger’s autobiography – “The Ride of a Lifetime” recently.
The first and most important thing to say about the book is that it is fantastic. I read an Amazon review where the reviewer described the second half of the book as “business school gold” – I agree.
He is surprisingly candid and thoughtful in describing both his career prior to becoming Disney’s CEO as well as his exceptional ~15 year run as CEO. And, while I can talk about the many great anecdotes in the book, there were two things that stood out to me.
The first was how straightforward Iger was in describing his ambition to become the CEO of Disney (once ABC was acquired) and how stressful he found the selection process. There was no false humility about never having imagined himself as CEO at any point when there could have been. His natural candor and directness really came through.
The second was the patience he exhibited throughout his career. He was 54 when he became the CEO of Disney. And, even after a stellar career, he went through an excruciating process before he was chosen because he was seen as a stalwart of the Michael Eisner regime whose reputation had soured within the company and its board. However, he kept his patience and finally made it to that dream job. And, after doing so, he made his experience count.
Fascinating story and great book.
Thank you, Bob, for sharing your journey with us.