Book review – The Ride of a Lifetime

Recently I finished reading The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned from 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company. The book is about the journey of Robert Iger who grew from a small position in ABC all the way up to CEO of Disney, he writes about the numerous lessons learned as course of this journey.

The book contains a lot of highlight-worthy quotes which can be implemented in real life and will definitely help in succeeding in one’s life.

It starts with describing the necessary qualities for leadership (Optimism, Courage, Focus, Decisiveness, Curiosity, Fairness, Thoughtfulness, Authenticity, The Relentless Pursuit of Perfection) and throughout there are different situations/instances where they are applied.

My favourite one from the above list is The Relentless Pursuit of Perfection. Almost everyone takes shortcuts and avoids perfecting the solution to a given problem. It makes sense when there is time and/or financial constraints, but in order to really make it a good solution, perfectionism is necessary. There are a bunch of studies/articles which say being a perfectionist can make one stressed out or can drive them towards depression.

Life is all about balance, too much or too less of anything – and you have a problem.

My three favourite quotes from the book:

  1. A company’s culture is shaped by a lot of things, but this is one of the most important—you have to convey your priorities clearly and repeatedly.
  2. There’s nothing less confidence-inspiring than a person faking a knowledge they don’t possess. True authority and true leadership come from knowing who you are and not pretending to be anything else.
  3. Priorities are the few things that you’re going to spend a lot of time and a lot of capital on. Not only do you undermine their significance by having too many, but nobody is going to remember them all. “You’re going to seem unfocused,” he said. “You only get three.”

Overall, it was a nice and interesting read. It is a mix of biography, stories about the entertainment industry, a bit of history about Disney. Definitely one of the books one should read as a starter for anyone aspiring to be a leader of any kind.

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