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Some people wait for life to happen and then there are those who make it happen. Our guest this episode, Shellye Archambeau, is definitely the latter. Blazing trails seemingly her entire life, Shellye is one of the first African American women to be named CEO of a Silicon Valley company.

Through a combination of sheer will and the strong, guiding influence of her parents, Shellye learned to persevere through whatever life sends her way.  Her parents didn’t coddle her in the face of adversity, instead they asked “What are you going to do about it? Shellye answered full throttle with “I will succeed.”

“Life isn’t fair. If you allow life’s injustices to define you, they will.” – Shellye Archambeau, Unapologetically Ambitious

Continued below…

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Shellye currently sits on several boards, including Nordstrom and Verizon. She's formerly a chief marketing officer at two public companies, began her career at IBM and has a new book out titled “Unapologetically Ambitious: Take Risks, Break Barriers and Create Success on Your Own Terms”.

In today’s episode, Shellye shares about her life and career – the successes, disappointments, love, family and how she became unapologetically ambitious.

Listen to the episode in the player below, or download and enjoy it on iTunes. If you’re so inclined, please leave us a review!

Takeaways from this episode:

  • Look for the current or as Shellye call's it, “the path to power.”
    • This can provide important cues to you as you work toward your career goals.
    • Shellye knew this and practiced it faithfully. She would identify her goal, look to someone who had reached that goal, analyze their path and then map backward. So simple yet, so brilliant.
  • Shellye applied personal disruption accelerant #5. Step Back to Grow.
    • Shellye entered the CEO market at a really tough time. Competition was stiff. What she going to do about it?
    • In response to this challenge, Shellye identified a company that was not only in need of a CEO, but that was also sorely in need of help. Through a lot of hard work, and a willingness to play where no one else was playing, she created a niche that didn’t previously exist (create versus compete).
  • Mentors matter.
    • Just as with our Episode 183 guest, former professional athlete Zaza Pachulia, Shellye understands the importance of mentors.
    • She leveraged relationships, soaking up knowledge and experience while also providing genuine feedback to her mentors. And now, Shellye is passing this valuable tradition on to the next generation of professionals.

Links Mentioned in this Episode:

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