As a person who drove Disney’s procurement of Pixar, Lucasfilm, Marvel, and a large portion of 21st Century Fox, Iger can take you inside the functions of a gigantic media organization and show how he considered structure on its qualities while supporting its shortcomings. This is a short, clear book with keen bits of knowledge, and en route he encounters some bright characters.
Iger works superbly clarifying what it resembles to be a CEO. You’re constantly stressed, “Which thing am I not spending enough time on?” As Iger writes, “You go from plotting growth strategy with investors, to looking at the design of a giant new theme-park attraction with Imagineers, to giving notes on the rough cut of a film, to discussing security measures and board governance and ticket pricing and pay scale… there are also, always, crises and failures for which you can never be fully prepared.” Despite the fact that I never needed to manage those particularly large issues, the general picture he draws is very precise.
“Iger decides to try to buy the most successful animation company out there: Pixar.”
One of the most essential pieces of the book happens in 2006, soon after Iger is Disney’s CEO. Although the organization had manufactured its notoriety on movement, when Iger dominated, Disney had encountered a long arrangement of film industry disillusionments. Instead of attempting to modify the studio, Iger chooses to attempt to purchase the best activity organization out there: Pixar, whose CEO and dominant part proprietor was Apple fellow benefactor Steve Jobs.
Iger takes you through all the exciting bends in the road of the arrangements with Steve. A few people thought the $7 billion or more sticker price they chose was excessively high, however Iger was persuaded it was the best way to go. Nobody else had figured out how to take care of the issue by reconstructing from inside, and Iger didn’t think he could do it either.
There’s a particularly a poignant moment towards the end of the story. Only 30 minutes before the question and answer session where they will report this monstrous merger, Steve takes Iger aside and shares some devastating news that only his significant other and specialists know: After years abating, his pancreatic malignant growth has returned and had spread to his liver.
“I am about to become your biggest shareholder and a member of your board,” Steve tells him. “And I think I owe you the right, given this knowledge, to back out of the deal.”
Iger decides to proceed with it. For reasons unknown, the acquisition is a splendid move, rapidly restoring Disney at the bleeding edge of liveliness. By holding his self image under tight restraints and understanding that he wasn’t the person who would reconstruct Disney’s animation studio, Iger had made a major bet that took care of itself amazingly well.
Another enormous bet that Iger made was to establish a real time feature that would have the entirety of Disney’s content. It might appear glaringly evident now, however at the time when Iger settled on the choice, it was viewed as a hazardous move. Disney would need to take their content off different administrations, where it was producing solid income streams for the organization. Would they be tearing up their business, just like the ABC broadcasting company? Would they be able to draw in enough supporters of make this move beneficial?
Iger realized that, to draw enough of a group of people, Disney would require an enormous measure of incredible content. That is the reason he was eager to conceivably overpay for Pixar as well as for Lucasfilm, Marvel, and the non-news divisions of 21st Century Fox. As Iger clarifies in the book, his technique was to double down on great content and put it into a cutting edge format via a streaming service. I think any reasonable person would agree the procedure worked: Disney+ gained more than 28 million endorsers in its initial three months.
Iger finishes the book with a rundown of what he calls “lessons to lead by.” Normally, I am hypersensitive to records like this since they’re so vacuous. But Iger’s is very insightful. For instance, he advises, “Value ability more than experience, and put people in roles that require more of them than they know they have in them.” And he writes, “I became comfortable with failure—not with lack of effort, but with the fact that if you want innovation, you need to grant permission to fail.”
Recently, Iger ventured down as CEO of Disney following 15 years and reported that he intends to resign from the organization in 2021. He has had a splendid vocation. I figure anybody would appreciate this book, regardless of whether they’re searching for business bits of knowledge or simply need a decent read by a modest person who rose up the professional bureaucracy to effectively run perhaps the greatest organization on the planet.