Working Together (2010)
In business there are always unique individual achievers, but pull down the veil and you’ll often find someone alongside them. Working Together does just that. Using his own successful collaboration with Frank Wells at Disney as a launching point for examining other famously successful and rewarding partnerships, Eisner takes an inside look at some of the most successful business partnerships and what makes them tick, offering unconventional wisdom and unexpected insights about the true nature of leadership and success.
“The highs and the lows, the successes and the failures, the feeling of being with someone you know is smarter than you are, all the while confident they think the same way. Working together is much better than working alone.”
- Michael D. Eisner
“One plus one with Charlie and me certainly adds up to more than two.”
- Warren Buffett, on his fifty-year partnership with Charlie Munger
“I’ve never done anything solo. Except take tests. But with the exception of that, I would always seek someone out.”
- Bill Gates, on the power of partnerships in his life
For those who have been there, there is no forgetting the sounds and smells of summer camp: of dusty playing fields, platform tents, and wood cabins; of mist rising off the water at dawn and the sparks of a Sunday night campfire sailing up into a cold night sky. Now Michael D. Eisner shares a deeply personal memoir of his own experiences at one remarkable Vermont summer camp, of the life lessons he learned there and how they helped turn him into the man he is today.
Camp is Eisner’s ode to Keewaydin, a summer camp that was already a family tradition when he was a boy and that continues as a tradition today. As he recounts his experiences at Keewaydin, from his own first night away from home to his years as a counselor to dramatic return visits back as the father of a new generation of Keewaydin campers, Camp becomes a guide to growing up: learning to rely on yourself as you work in a team, developing the tools of leadership, competing to win but finding pride and growth in defeat, discovering the wonder of nature as well as the nature of the men and women who have gone before you. Eisner talks about his family’s commitment to helping less advantaged young people experience Keewaydin, the lifelong friendships he forged there, and how moments from those summers return when he is hard at work in Hollywood or alone with his wife or children.
A rare glimpse into the inner life of an American corporate executive, Camp is an important personal chronicle of success: the kind of success that a child can find in a remote corner of the Vermont woods – and never ever leave behind.
Work In Progress (1998)
Scores of books have been published about business, but rarely has a figure as prominent as Michael Eisner written so intimately about his life and work. In Work in Progress, Eisner describes the daily challenge of a rapidly changing marketplace, countless creative choices, painful set-backs, and dramatic triumphs.
Having spent his life helping other people to tell stories, Eisner now tells his own – with humor, insight, and unstinting honesty. He recounts such significant events as the extraordinary revival of Disney’s animation business and the negotiations for one of the largest acquisitions in corporate history – Cap Cities/ABC – which began in an Idaho parking lot. Blending the personal and the professional, he tells the stories of the tragic death of his partner and closest confidant, Frank Wells; his own emergency quadruple bypass surgery; the high-level personnel changes that followed; and the emergence of a new generation of young leaders at Disney.
Throughout Work in Progress, Eisner grapples with the often paradoxical choices that he faces each day in managing a creative company. What is the proper balance between art and commerce…tradition and innovation…short-term profit and long-term growth…pragmatism and excellence…the company’s good and the greater good? Like no other business memoir, Work in Progress is a riveting tale of high-pressure life at the top – an ongoing drama about risking failure and surviving success.