Unapologetically Ambitious

Unapologetically Ambitious

I absolutely love this book. And I so wish that I had read this book in my youth. Because of those and many other reasons, I have starred this as one I’ll gift again and again to the young people in my life. What a thoughtful, motivational journey author Shellye Archambeau has outlined. From the constant moving around the country in her youth to her teenage declaration of her career goals and beyond, this is a woman who shows you how to get it done. And following through on the innocent declaration as a young woman—she did in fact realize her dream of becoming a C.E.O. and one of the few leading African American women in the technology sector.

“Success begins with figuring out what you want, then making the choices that will get you there.”

Tempering her goal-infused ambitious success plan with humor, personal wisdom, eye-opening stories and insights only few could share, Archambeau delivers a riveting read about a young girl’s dream come true.

Of course, she is honest about the challenges and setbacks she’s faced. As a youth during the height of the civil rights unrest, she was bullied, ostracized and beaten by classmates and like many young girls, fell into the pattern of internalizing cruelty. She also faced blatant sexism, intentional bias and imposter syndrome as she entered the world of work but found strength in her parent’s insightful wisdom, such as no matter the circumstances you have power to advance in your life.

But this is a true book about success and how you can too rise above challenges and achieve your dreams. And in the honest telling of her experiences, you do not detect one ounce of bitterness. While I’m certain she’s felt marginalized based on the difficult climb she’s endured, she learned early that excuses would not fly in her family or beyond. Rather, she learned early to turn her focus to what she could control and shares how hard work and ambition helped her through. She gives the reader applicable success steps that she’s learned along the way including how to make the most of networking, tapping into your strengths, modeling professionalism and giving value to others.

Now, thanks to her vast experience as an ambitious and courageous leader, she sits on the board of Verizon, a Fortune 50 company. And yet with her achievements and C-suite status, she’s not forgotten the importance of helping others achieve their dreams too. By modeling the importance of mentoring and “informational interviewing,” Archambeau encourages everyone to remember that it’s not all about the goal but also the journey. When you dream, plan, ask, dare and dedicate yourself, you’ll find you are capable of amazing things, no matter where you came from.

Image Courtesy of Grand Central Publishing 

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