I was shocked to read about the Sony-Disney standoff and reacted saying, “Oh God! what now?” It didn’t matter who’s responsible, but I felt Spiderman had to be in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Tom Holland made a drunk weepy call to Robert Iger that helped patch things up.
Within days, I read that Bill Gates recommended to read a book named ‘Ride of a Lifetime’. Intrigued, I went on Amazon and glanced the index page and saw a chapter on Marvel. I was sold.
Ride of a Lifetime is about Robert Iger’s journey to the CEO of Disney. Likewise, he shares the lessons he learned and his experience on ideas like building a culture of trust, embracing change, fuelling a deep and abiding curiosity and inspiring that in people around you, fostering risk-taking and creativity, and operating with integrity.
His journey indeed looked like a Ride of a Lifetime. Just imagine yourself as the CEO of Disney, taking creative decisions about characters you cherished and grew up watching. Wouldn’t it be the ride of a lifetime?
The story is well narrated and arranged chronologically. I didn’t find it difficult to understand. It got gripping, hotter, and interesting as the story unfolds. I felt the seriousness and the overall mood despite it not being as descriptively written as shoe dog (Review coming soon)
Some of the lessons I learned are:
- Relentlessly pursuit of perfection – create an environment in which people refuse to accept mediocrity.
- Optimism emerges from faith in yourself and in the people, who work for you.
- Hold on to your awareness of yourself even as the world tells you how important and powerful you are. The moment you start it to believe it all too much, the moment you look at yourself in the mirror and see a title emblazoned on your head, you have lost our way.
- Sometimes, even though you are “in charge”, you need to be aware in the moment you might have nothing to add. You trust your people to do their jobs and focus your energies on some other pressing issue.
The story of Marvel was stunning. If you are a Marvel fan, I’m going to leave by saying this: sometimes a CEO needs to do things they don’t like but for the sake of the entire business they need to. I’m a Marvel fan and I’m glad he did it. It was difficult but necessary. You can spend some time and wonder about it.
Oh, and one more thing, he doesn’t just talk about Marvel. He talks about acquisitions of Pixar, Star Wars, and 21st Century Fox in specific chapters.
Overall, I found (not much experience to judge it) the lessons shared in this book are universally applicable to any field. It’s a great book to read especially if you run a business or manage a team or collaborate in pursuit of a common goal.