5 Takeaways From Oprah’s Interview With Bob Iger Yesterday
The one and only Oprah sat down with Walt Disney CEO Bob Iger yesterday during her “Super Soul Sunday” show. Iger is currently making the media rounds to promote his new book “The Ride of a Lifetime.” During their time together, Oprah and Iger covered a wide range of topics from Iger’s childhood, the Pulse nightclub shooting and even Steve Job.
Though there’s a lot to unpack from this interview and it’s definitely worth checking out on Oprah.com, Variety compiled a handy list of the key talking points which we here at MickeyBlog thought it would be helpful to pass on to you!
According to the original interview, Iger had planned on releasing the book in conjunction with his retirement, however, that’s not exactly how things worked out in the end.
Iger had this to say about his delayed retirement, “I thought the timing would work,” he said. “Little did I know that the timing didn’t really work because I’m still at work. I thought this would be a perfect time to create a retrospective of my own of this incredibly wonderful personal experience.”
Iger, who has been CEO since 2005 made the decision to push back his retirement due to massive Disney developments like the launch of Disney+, the opening of Galaxy’s Edge and more! As of going to print, Iger plans on officially stepping down in 2021.
No One Wants To Be Lead By A Pessimist
In one of our favorite anecdotes from the interview, Iger earlier in his career recalls and interaction he had with a big boss at ABC News. When asked how his day was going Iger recalled saying “Some time I have a tough time keeping my head above water.” To which the boss replied ” Get a longer snorkel.”
Those words of wisdom were the start of a greater lesson for Iger, that nobody wants to work with or be led by a pessimist. Iger added further reflections on this encounter “Often people settle for something that they may feel is good, when with more work, more time, more resources just — a longer snorkel — you can make it great,” Iger said. “So why aren’t we in the business of always trying to make something great?”
Life Lessons From Dad
Throughout his childhood, Iger’s father struggled with manic depression. When Iger set about his career first with ABC’s sports and entertainment units he was determined to work hard and learn as much as he could so as to never experience his father’s sense of failure. In an excerpt from the book. Iger adds, “I didn’t have a clear idea of what success meant, no specific vision of being wealthy or powerful, but I was determined not to live a life of disappointment. Whatever shape my life took, I told myself there wasn’t a chance in the world I was going to toil on in frustration and lack of fulfilment.”
A Poignant Moment With Steve Jobs
After Disney’s acquisition of Pixar, Steve Jobs asked Iger to go for a walk where sitting on a park bench he revealed to Iger that he was diagnosed with cancer and offered Iger a chance to get out of the Pixar deal. Iger replied, “I don’t really know what the right thing to do here is from a corporate perspective, but my sense is we should go through with this. I won’t back out, I appreciate the opportunity.”
According to the piece in Variety, Lorraine Jobs later revealed to Iger, at Steve Jobs’ funeral, that she and her husband had debated whether they could trust Iger with Jobs’ diagnosis, and that he had told her: “I love that guy.” In the book, Iger added that the feeling was mutual.
Standing By ‘Roseanne’ Decision
ABC was swift in cancelling the “Roseanne” revival in 2018 after Roseanne Barr tweeted disparaging comments about former Obama aide Valerie Jarrett,
When Winfrey asked Iger why he didn’t talk to Barr before making the decision to cancel the show, he replied that he “didn’t think that there was any circumstance that would make that right” and that what she had said was “blatantly racist.” He added, “It took about five minutes to know what we had to do.”
Finally, we’ll end with a video where Iger discusses with Oprah why he won’t run for President
You can watch the interview in it’s entirety here.
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