Stepping in the shoes of the Disney CEO for a week
Recently I finished the Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learning from 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company autobiography by Bob Iger. A lot of the book is about business acquisitions and all the tribulations it took to make them happen. Over the course of Bob’s tenure at Disney, they purchased many companies including Pixar, Marvel, LucasFilms, and 21st Centry/Fox.
These acquisitions transformed the company and did a great job breathing new life into their stagnating animation division. There are some good lessons about being true to yourself, striving for excellence, and knowing when you need outside help. Learning tips and leadership lessons isn’t what gets me excited about these types of books though…
Living someone else’s life
As these autobiographies progress, I find myself in the author’s shoes thinking deeply about what decisions I would make in the same situations. I quickly apply these struggles to my own life situation. Am I taking enough chances? Would I be upfront and honest with people when I am the one making mistakes?
Reading autobiographies transport you into their mind, location, and soul. I absolutely love it! You get to see a person’s inner workings. Something normal people like me will probably never experience in my lifetime. There is a strong slant in this book toward leadership and business skills as the book progresses.
These business and leadership type books have a large market, so I am not surprised the book heads in this direction. Or maybe it went in this direction because Mr. Iger thought that is why people are reading it. It was wonderful how candid he was revealing many of the important business conversations. There were some things, though, that were very absent with how his personal life progressed.
Business is great, but I would have been more enthralled reading this if there could have been a bit more information on his personal life. There was very little said about his first wife and children. What was the situation where he met his wife? How long did they know each other. Did some mutual friends and coworkers hook them up? Did having children make a profound impact on his attitude or how he approaches life? For me, at least, that would have made his story a little more holistic.
A Great read from cover to cover
Despite any criticisms I might have about additional details, this is still a great book. His writing style is approachable and the book is a comfortable read all the way through.
If you enjoy reading about entertainment related things, or enjoy reading autobiographies about current people, I would highly recommend it.
I mostly keep this blog to help me remember things. Writing is also a great way to understand things at a deeper level. I would highly recommend it if you don't write at all.