Book of the Month – March, 2020

At the beginning of each month, we spotlight a staff-favorite book that meets our objective of thoughtfully sharing stories to help our audience experience their world in a smarter, healthier, and happier way.

The March Book of the Month is:

The Ride of a Lifetime

What is it?

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A memoir of leadership and success: The former CEO of Disney, Time’s 2019 businessperson of the year, shares the ideas and values he embraced to reinvent one of the most beloved companies in the world and inspire the people who bring the magic to life.

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY NPR

Robert Iger became CEO of The Walt Disney Company in 2005, during a difficult time. Competition was more intense than ever and technology was changing faster than at any time in the company’s history. His vision came down to three clear ideas: Recommit to the concept that quality matters, embrace technology instead of fighting it, and think bigger—think global—and turn Disney into a stronger brand in international markets.

Fourteen years later, Disney is the largest, most respected media company in the world, counting Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm, and 21st Century Fox among its properties. Its value is nearly five times what it was when Iger took over, and he is recognized as one of the most innovative and successful CEOs of our era.

In The Ride of a Lifetime, Robert Iger shares the lessons he’s learned while running Disney and leading its 200,000 employees, and he explores the principles that are necessary for true leadership, including:

• Optimism. Even in the face of difficulty, an optimistic leader will find the path toward the best possible outcome and focus on that, rather than give in to pessimism and blaming.
• Courage. Leaders have to be willing to take risks and place big bets. Fear of failure destroys creativity.
• Decisiveness. All decisions, no matter how difficult, can be made on a timely basis. Indecisiveness is both wasteful and destructive to morale.
• Fairness. Treat people decently, with empathy, and be accessible to them.

This book is about the relentless curiosity that has driven Iger for forty-five years, since the day he started as the lowliest studio grunt at ABC. It’s also about thoughtfulness and respect, and a decency-over-dollars approach that has become the bedrock of every project and partnership Iger pursues, from a deep friendship with Steve Jobs in his final years to an abiding love of the Star Wars mythology.

“The ideas in this book strike me as universal” Iger writes. “Not just to the aspiring CEOs of the world, but to anyone wanting to feel less fearful, more confidently themselves, as they navigate their professional and even personal lives.”

Amazon.com description

What are our thoughts?

In this book, Bob Iger does a fantastic job of providing both a memoir and general guide to his brand of leadership. Having read this book, I can’t help but feel that what he is espousing is what leaders of organizations of all types and sizes (including political) should hope to espouse themselves.

Very well written and easy to digest. This is definitely a book I’d recommend to anyone interested in business, leadership, creative culture, the history of the Disney company, and more. 

– GoodReads review by The Motley Experience founder and editor, Aristidis Marousas

Why should you read it?

We are all familiar with the Disney brand and this book pulls back the curtains to reveal how the magic is created. Additionally, readers will learn from the experience of one of the most successful CEOs in recent history. The writing comes across as down to earth and good intentioned. This is an enjoyable read that will leave you with some food for thought on how to approach work, how to treat others, and much more. The lessons in this book can be applied to our lives both professionally and personally.

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