‘Ride of a Lifetime’ Offers Iger’s Lessons Learned at Disney

Disney CEO Bob Iger shocked the business world by announcing his decision to step down from the company’s top position. He led Disney through some of its largest expansions – both in terms of intellectual property (IP) through acquiring Pixar, Marvel, LucasFilm and 21st Century Fox, and parks built or expanded, including Shanghai Disneyland and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. In his book “The Ride of a Lifetime” (affiliate link), Iger allows the reader to see what he has learned during his tenure at the Disney Company, where he started at the bottom and worked his way up.

One of the keys to motivating others is being optimistic. Iger says that “people are not motivated or energized by pessimists.” Having a positive goal to move toward will keep you and your team moving forward.

“The path to innovation begins with curiosity.” In business, you “innovate or die and there’s no innovation if you operate out of fear of the new and untested.”

Risk-taking is essential” in creative endeavors. You have to have the courage to continue, even when others don’t believe it can be done. “Fear of failure destroys creativity.” Take the risk and don’t worry about failing. More importantly, reward your people for their effort, even when they fail.

Iger’s “The Ride of a Lifetime” includes nuggets of wisdom for leading a team and allowing them to flourish. Parts of it read as if he is preparing the reader for change at Disney. Whatever his intention, his book offers a look at the inner workings of the company through the experiences he accumulated.