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Work in Progress: Risking Failure, Surviving Success Paperback – September 15, 1999


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Kingswell; 1st pbk. ed edition (September 15, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786885076
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786885077
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.1 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #980,417 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Disney CEO Michael Eisner's legendary self-reliance comes through in his narration of Work in Progress. He takes you with him as, again and again, he plunges into uncharted waters and comes up a stronger swimmer than he was before. There's not a lot of emotion in his narration, but there's a lot of emotional content. As he recounts his growing string of achievements in the entertainment industry, you can feel the swelling confidence, the growing power. Best of all, you never stop liking Eisner, mostly because he's also willing to tell you about the projects and relationships that didn't work out so well--which makes one really anxious to hear Jeffrey Katzenberg's autobiography. (Running time: four hours, three cassettes) --Lou Schuler --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Recently scheduled for fall?so recently that the book is not yet titled?this memoir covers Eisner's rise from ABC to Paramount to Disney, where he is now chair.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

For four decades, Michael D. Eisner has been a leader in the American entertainment industry. He began his career at ABC, where he helped take the network from number three to number one in prime-time, daytime, and children's television. In 1976 he became president of Paramount Pictures, turning out hit films such as Raiders of the Lost Ark and Saturday Night Fever. In 1984 Esiner was appointed chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company and, in the ensuing twenty-one years, transformed it from a film and theme park company with $1.8 billion in enterprise value into a global media empire valued at $80 billion. In 2005 Esiner founded The Tornante Company, a privately held corporation that makes investments in and incubates companies and opportunities in the media and entertainment space. Visit his website at www.michaeleisner.com.

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By S. H. Towsley on July 9, 1999
Format: Hardcover
From about 1985 I was the senior executive assistant to Disney's Vice President of Strategic Planning, Lawrence P. Murphy. I therefore read this book with a special eagerness, and I was not disappointed. It teems with the wonderful people who make up the cast of top management at The Walt Disney Company headquarters in Burbank, California.

Mentioned herein are many, but not all, of the bright and driven executives who comprise Michael's well known "Dream Team", those brilliant businessmen and women who increased the company's market value from $2 billion to $75 billion in a scant 15 years. While many attempts have been made recently to explain the magic of Disney management (wouldn't everyone like to succeed this well), Eisner's book reveals a great chunk of the truth: As strategic planner Peter Murphy phrases it at one point, "We are a compulsive culture".

As important as smiling employees and customer satisfaction are, Disney management tests its own mettle on a daily basis, working incredibly long and hard upon every operations detail, research task, acquisition project and growth enterprise that captures its attention. No one can expect to duplicate Disney's success without emulating this crucial aspect of its management work ethic -- its people work tirelessly, passionately and often single-mindedly, and find immense joy and personal satisfaction in achieving the desired results.

This is a fine book and highly recommended for any executive who wishes deeper practical insights into how a brilliant but prudent Disney management team transformed the company's future.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Seano on March 31, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Turning around the Disney organization was no small task for Mike Eisner...and a task he was prepared to accomplish. What this book succeeds in illustrating was the organizational culture of Disney pre-Eisner, the changes necessary to make things move forward, and a somewhat objective assessment of major initiatives since that time.
Certainly Eisner has a point of view. His heart attack changed his life. So there is a thematic construct here...change, change and more change. Change in management, how the organization does business, change in how Disney is viewed by others and itself.
Expecting that the book would be more critical of the organization is unrealistic. I found Eisner to be relatively self-critical and when I finished the book, having learned of his education and values, with a better opinion of this guy.
Readable, informative, balanced, this is a good book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 3, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Having read most books about Michael Eisner and Disney, I was most anxious to see what his perspective was of the events and people that have made Eisner one of Americas icons. True to his personality, he does discuss the warts (Disney's America etc) and the personality conflicts with some of his closest associates, as well as the glowing successes that have taken place since he moved to Disney in 1984. The most interesting thing to me is his modesty and his constant reference to his wife and family. It is obvious that he has his priorities in order when he discusses a $19 billion acquisition of ABC in much the same tone as his son's hockey talents. No study of Disney would be complete without reading this book.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By RememberOct1971@aol.com on March 28, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book is truly one of the best books I have read in a while. I bought copies for all of my friends and realatives. I learned much about management and people in general. You may not like Eisner personally (I do) but you cannot argue with the success of the company. This book is a MUST read for anyone who even casually likes the Disney corporation. I came to understand many things about Disney that I did not know.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By gdb@gdbinc.com on September 24, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Here's a man who has influenced the lives of people all over the world for decades - through films, television shows, theme parks, stores, TV networks, sports teams... And here's a great, accessible, enjoyable book about the inside workings of world media. The stories and insights are candid and authentic (and several are downright amazing). There's a reason some people have the kind of impact they do, and Eisner's style -in writing and, apparently, in running Disney, must be it. I read this book nearly straight through in a few sittings, because it held me and because I was learning. Very few people have the experience of running a firm with a 160,000 employees and worldwide impact; and very, very few could have written about it as interestingly. Gavin de Becker, author The Gift of Fear.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 2, 1998
Format: Hardcover
This book is 464 pages of boring self-glorification. It also neglects to mention anything negative in Mr. Eisner's life. You get the impression that he views himself as a perfect specimen of mankind and incapable of doing anything wrong. Reading through these 400+ pages of self gratification is also extremely BORING! He doesn't mention anything about the other people at Disney or the contributions they made to build his empire.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 29, 1999
Format: Hardcover
The book is very well written and a pleasure to read. If you have any interest in the entertainment industry, the book does not disappoint with vignettes of Eisner's experiences at ABC, Paramount, and finally Disney.
Anyone who grew up in the 70's and 80's will find it fascinating to read about Eisner's early career at ABC and Paramount, and his influence in some of the television programs and movies that shaped our generation. And for the fan of Disney, the book is a must read. You won't be able to put it down.
The only criticism I have of the book is that some of Eisner's stories were too short -- more details about his experiences would have been fascinating to read.
From a business point of view, I found the whole story about Eisner's reshaping of Disney -- his very human experience of seeking the job with the Disney board is well told by he and Tony Schwartz. He doesn't try to compare himself to Walt Disney, but instead relates on how he is trying to continue Disney's dream of what the company could be.
If you are thinking about ordering a copy, do it today! You won't be disappointed.
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