30 Bob Iger Quotes on Leadership and Optimism

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Bob Iger’s road to success is worthy of admiration. His story began with ambition and continued with his diligence and passion to create and innovate. Here are 30 Bob Iger quotes to inspire you to be the driving force of your life.

Bob Iger was born on February 10, 1951. He graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in Television and Radio. Shortly after, he joined ABC in 1974 where he started doing low-grade jobs on TV sets.

Over the years, his role in the company expanded. In 1989, Iger became the head of ABC Entertainment. From 1993 to 1994, Iger was the president of the ABC Network Television Group. He was also president and chief operating officer of Capital Cities/ABC, ABC’s corporate parent company.

When The Walt Disney Company acquired Capital Cities/ABC in 1996, he stayed president until Disney made him president of Walt Disney International in 1999. The following year, he became Disney’s Chief Operating Officer. Iger ultimately succeeded Michael Eisner as CEO in 2005. It was under his leadership that Disney acquired Pixar, Marvel Entertainment, Lucasfilm, and 21st Century Fox.

The company also saw a massive development in its theme park resorts in East Asia with Hong Kong Disneyland Resort and Shanghai Disney Resort. Over a 13-year period, Disney’s market capitalization value increased from $48.4 billion to $257 billion. In February 2020, he stepped down as CEO. He currently serves as Executive Chairman on Disney’s Board of Directors.

In his decades of experience as a media executive, the one thing we can learn from the former Disney CEO is that taking bold steps is crucial in order to initiate changes. These 30 Bob Iger quotes reflect his views on leadership and success.

True authority and true leadership come from knowing who you are and not pretending to be anything else. – Bob Iger

And I tend to approach bad news as a problem that can be worked through and solved, something I have control over rather than something happening to me. – Bob Iger

One of the most important qualities of a good leader is optimism, a pragmatic enthusiasm for what can be achieved. – Bob Iger

bob iger qualities quotes

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. – Bob Iger

Ask the questions you need to ask, admit without apology what you don’t understand, and do the work to learn what you need to learn as quickly as you can. – Bob Iger

bob iger questions quotes

When hiring, try to surround yourself with people who are good in addition to being good at what they do. Genuine decency—an instinct for fairness and openness and mutual respect—is a rarer commodity in business than it should be, and you should look for it in the people you hire and nurture it in the people who work for you. – Bob Iger

These are the ten principles that stikes me as necessary to True Leadership: Optimism, Courage, Focus, Decisiveness, Curiosity, Fairness, Thoughtfulness, Authenticity, The Relentless Pursuit of Perfection, and Integrity. – Bob Iger

Don’t be in the business of playing it safe. Be in the business of creating possibilities for greatness. – Bob Iger

bob iger business quotes

Don’t start negatively, and don’t start small. People will often focus on little details as a way of masking a lack of any clear, coherent, big thoughts. If you start petty, you seem petty. – Bob Iger

I learned from them that genuine decency and professional competitiveness weren’t mutually exclusive. In fact, 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. – Bob Iger

At its essence, good leadership isn’t about being indispensable; it’s about helping others be prepared to possibly step into your shoes. – Bob Iger

bob iger leadership quotes

You can do a lot for the morale of the people around you (and therefore the people around them) just by taking the guesswork out of their day-to-day life. – Bob Iger

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. – Bob Iger

If you approach and engage people with respect and empathy, the seemingly impossible can become real. – Bob Iger

bob iger empathy quotes

Those hours aren’t for everyone, but however you find the time, it’s vital to create space in each day to let your thoughts wander beyond your immediate job responsibilities, to turn things over in your mind in a less pressured, more creative way than is possible once the daily triage kicks in. – Bob Iger

I think it is important for people who are given leadership roles to assume that role immediately. – Bob Iger

The riskiest thing we can do is just maintain the status quo. – Bob Iger

bob iger risk quotes

I think it is incredibly important to be open and accessible and treat people fairly and look them in the eye and tell them what is on your mind. – Bob Iger

It’s in our best interest to put some of the old rules aside and create new ones and follow the consumer – what the consumer wants and where the consumer wants to go. – Bob Iger

Optimism sets a different machine in motion. – Bob Iger

bob iger optimism quotes

Even in the face of difficult choices and less than ideal outcomes, an optimistic leader does not yield to pessimism. Simply put, people are not motivated or energized by pessimists. – Bob Iger

Sometimes I feel like I’m a contestant in a reality show that probably would be called The Apprentice Survivor Millionaire. – Bob Iger

What I’ve really learned over time is that optimism is a very, very important part of leadership. – Bob Iger

bob iger learning quotes

As a leader, you should want those around you to be eager to rise up and take on more responsibility, as long as dreaming about the job they want doesn’t distract them from the job they have. – Bob Iger

Empathy is a prerequisite to the sound management of creativity, and respect is critical. – Bob Iger

The heart and soul of the company is creativity and innovation. – Bob Iger

bob iger innovation quotes

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. – Bob Iger

People still love a good story, and I don’t think that will change. – Bob Iger

bob iger story quotes

The people you lead need to feel confident in your ability to focus on what matters, and not to operate from a place of defensiveness and self-preservation. – Bob Iger

I get up at 4:30 in the morning, seven days a week, no matter where I am in the world. – Bob Iger

Share these 30 Bob Iger quotes as his words are the kind that inspire greatness in others.

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