29 Quotes from The Ride of a Lifetime book by Robert Iger

Hello friends. This post is a colection of quotes from the book - The Ride of a Lifetime by Robert Iger.

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.

Prologue Quotes

One of the most important qualities of a good leader is optimism, a pragmatic enthusiasm for what can be achieved. Even in the face of difficult choices and less than ideal outcomes, an optimistic leader does not yield to pessimism. - The Ride of a Lifetime, Prologue

All decisions, no matter how difficult, can and should be made in a timely way. [...] Chronic indecision is not only inefficient and counterproductive, but it is deeply corrosive to morale. - The Ride of a Lifetime, Prologue

The path to innovation begins with curiosity. - The Ride of a Lifetime, Prologue

Be genuine. Be honest. Don't fake anything. - The Ride of a Lifetime, Prologue

If you're in the business of making things, be in the business of making things great. - The Ride of a Lifetime, Prologue

Part 1 Quotes

Innovate or die, and there’s no innovation if you operate out of fear of the new or untested. - The Ride of a Lifetime, Chapter 1

It's a delicate thing, finding the balance between demanding that your people perform and not instilling a fear of failure in them. - The Ride of a Lifetime, Chapter 1

In your work, in your life, you’ll be more respected and trusted by the people around you if you honestly own up to your mistakes. It's impossible not to make them; but it is possible to acknowledge them, learn from them, and set an example that it’s okay to get things wrong sometimes. - The Ride of a Lifetime, Chapter 1

Be decent to people. Treat everyone with fairness and empathy. This doesn't mean that you lower your expectations or convey the message that mistakes don't matter. It means that you create an environment where people know you'll hear them out, that you're emotionally consistent and fair-minded, and that they'll be given second chances for honest mistakes. - The Ride of a Lifetime, Chapter 1

True integrity - a sense of knowing who you are and being guided by your own clear sense of right and wrong - is a kind of secret weapon. - The Ride of a Lifetime, Chapter 2

My instinct throughout my career has always been to say yes to every opportunity. In part this is just garden-variety ambition. I wanted to move up and learn and do more, and I wasn't going to forgo any chance to do that, but I also wanted to prove to myself that I was capable of doing things that I was unfamiliar with. - The Ride of a Lifetime, Chapter 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. - The Ride of a Lifetime, Chapter 2

A delicate balance is required between management being responsible for the financial performance of any creative work and, in exercising that responsibility, being careful not to encroach on the creative processes in harmful and counterproductive ways. Empathy is a prerequisite to the sound management of creativity, and respect is critical. - The Ride of a Lifetime, Chapter 3

I didn't want to be in the business of playing it safe. I wanted to be in the business of creating possibilities for greatness. - The Ride of a Lifetime, Chapter 3

When the two people at the top of a company have a dysfunctional relationship, there's no way that the rest of the company beneath them can be functional. It's like having two parents who fight all the time. The kids feel the strain, and they start to reflect the animosity back onto the parents and vent it at each other. - The Ride of a Lifetime, Chapter 4

Do the job you have well; be patient; look for opportunities to pitch in and expand and grow; and make yourself one of the people, through attitude and energy and focus, that your bosses feel they have to turn to when an opportunity arises. - The Ride of a Lifetime, Chapter 5

At its essence, good leadership isn't about being indispensable; it's about helping others be prepared to possibly step into your shoes - giving them access to your own decision making, identifying the skills they need to develop and helping them improve, and, as I've had to do, sometimes being honest with them about why they're not ready for the next step up. - The Ride of a Lifetime, Chapter 5

As is so often the case in life, the thing I'd been striving toward was finally here, and now the hard times were about to begin. - The Ride of a Lifetime, Chapter 5

You have to convey your priorities clearly and repeatedly. In my experience, it's what separates great managers from the rest. If leaders don't articulate their priorities clearly, then the people around them don't know what their own priorities should be. Time and energy and capital get wasted. People in your organization suffer unnecessary anxiety because they don’t know what they should be focused on. Inefficiency sets in, frustration builds up, morale sinks. - The Ride of a Lifetime, Chapter 7

I can't overstate how important it is to keep blows to the ego, real as they often are, from occupying too big a place in your mind and sapping too much of your energy. It's easy to be optimistic when everyone is telling you you're great. It's much harder, and much more necessary, when your sense of yourself is being challenged. - The Ride of a Lifetime, Chapter 7

Part 2 Quotes

A little respect goes a long way, and the absence of it is often very costly. [...] If you approach and engage people with respect and empathy, the seemingly impossible can become real. - The Ride of a Lifetime, Chapter 8

People sometimes shy away from taking big swings because they assess the odds and build a case against trying something before they even take the first step. One of the things I've always instinctively felt is that long shots aren't usually as long as they seem. - The Ride of a Lifetime, Chapter 9

A lot of companies acquire others without much sensitivity regarding what they're really buying. They think they're getting physical assets or manufacturing assets or intellectual property. In most cases, what they're really acquiring is people. In a creative business, that's where the value truly lies. - The Ride of a Lifetime, Chapter 9

I've been in the business long enough to have heard every old argument in the book, and I've learned that old arguments are just that: old, and out of step with where the world is and where it should be. - The Ride of a Lifetime, Chapter 10

The worst thing you can do when entering into a negotiation is to suggest or promise something because you know the other person wants to hear it, only to have to reverse course later. You have to be clear about where you stand from the beginning. - The Ride of a Lifetime, Chapter 11

The decision to disrupt businesses that are fundamentally working but whose future is in question - intentionally taking on short-term losses in the hope of generating long-term growth - requires no small amount of courage. Routines and priorities get disrupted, jobs change, responsibility is reallocated. People can easily become unsettled as their traditional way of doing business begins to erode and a new model emerges. It's a lot to manage, from a personnel perspective, and the need to be present for your people [...] is heightened even more. It's easy for leaders to send a signal that their schedules are too full, their time too valuable, to be dealing with individual problems and concerns. But being present for your people - and making sure they know that you're available to them - is so important for the morale and effectiveness of a company. - The Ride of a Lifetime, Chapter 12

I know why companies fail to innovate. It's tradition. Tradition generates so much friction, every step of the way. - The Ride of a Lifetime, Chapter 12

It's not always good for one person to have too much power for too long. Even when a CEO is working productively and effectively, it's important for a company to have change at the top. I don’t know if other CEOs agree with this, but I've noticed that you can accumulate so much power in a job that it becomes harder to keep a check. - The Ride of a Lifetime, Chapter 14

Maybe this is the case for many of us: No matter who we become or what we accomplish, we still feel that we're essentially the kid we were at some simpler time long ago. Somehow that's the trick of leadership, too, I think, to hold on to that awareness of yourself even as the world tells you how powerful and important you are. The moment you start to believe it all too much, the moment you look yourself in the mirror and see a title emblazoned on your forehead, you've lost your way. - The Ride of a Lifetime, Chapter 14

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