The Ride of a Lifetime by Bob Iger is about his business life. How he got his start, how he became CEO of Disney, and some of his thinking behind the purchases he made at Disney. During his tenure that was Pixar, Marvel, LucasFilm, and Fox.

The book is sort of a memoir, yet in the opening sentence he says its not. It’s a chronological narrative of his life. From early childhood and his family that is a catalyst for his beliefs all the way through being one of the most powerful CEO’s in the world. But beyond that the book is really a management and leadership book.

He covers some of the challenges he’s faced over the years, and how sticking to a few basic principles like honesty, integrity, and humbleness you can make it far.

What I find great about the book is Disney is a creative company and he gives specific differences on how to manage creative people which transitions well into software. Here is one paragraph on giving critiques that works for designers, developers, and pull requests:

“I never start out negatively, and unless we’re in the late stages of production, I never start small. I’ve found that often people will focus on little details as a way of masking a lack of any clear, coherent, big thoughts. If you start petty, you seem petty. And if the big picture is a mess, then the small things don’t matter anyway, and you shouldn’t spend time focusing on them.”

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and if you are in any management role, even if you manage open source software, it’s worth reading and seeing how you can take what works in one of the largest companies to managing a small project. No matter the size the same core values are the same.

If you’d like to get a copy it’s on Amazon for around $15 depending on what version (kindle, hardcover, paperback) you prefer.

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