Unapologetically Ambitious | Book thoughts

Unapologetically Ambitious | Book thoughts
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As mentioned in my previous blog post, I aim to share any interesting reads that I’ve come across and last night, my “Blink of the Day” was “Unapologetically Ambitious” by Shellye Archambeau.


Archambeau  is an experienced CEO and Board Director with a track record of accomplishments building brands, high performance teams, and organizations. Ms. Archambeau currently serves on the boards of Verizon [NYSE:VZ], Nordstrom [NYSE: JWN], Roper Technologies [NYSE: ROP], and Okta [NASDAQ: OKTA]. She is also a strategic advisor to the Royal Bank of Canada, Capital Markets Group and Forbes Ignite.

In her book “Unapologetically Ambitious”, she shares her journey to the top of the corporate ladder despite facing several hurdles as an African American woman as well as the challenges and expectations of being a working wife and mother. As such, she offers a blueprint for how to achieve personal and professional goals by taking risks, breaking barriers and creating success on your own terms.

My takeaways

There are 6 key ideas as summarised by Blinkist:

  1. Don’t let impostor syndrome hold you back
  2. Decide on your goals and create a strategy to achieve them
  3. Be as strategic about choosing a life partner as you are about your goals
  4. Know when you’re taking on too much, and find harmony by integrating different aspects of your life
  5. Be vocal about what you want career-wise – and if something blocks your progress, find a way around it
  6. To increase your opportunities, stay flexible and be willing to take a few risks

While I was listening to my Blink, it reiterated certain points to me, mainly the one where if you feel unsure about a certain role or something, sometimes it is merely psychological and you do need to pump your confidence up by just faking it until you make it. That said, it doesn’t mean that you don’t put in the hard work to make up for any lack of knowledge and/or experience.

The part about being strategic about choosing a life partner was interesting to me, but…I’m not sure whether I’ll follow that plan to a T. Mainly because, finding a life partner isn’t the same as finding a business partner. After talking to a relationship coach (in an interview…which will be published soon! *crosses fingers*), I had the epiphany that we don’t look for someone to complete us or to fill in where we lack. Nonetheless, it is true that you do need to have a few criteria that go into your ‘must-have’ and ‘hell NO’ lists. For example, I would definitely not date someone who is disrespectful to his parents.

The other points reminded me of when I was fresh out of university and in my first job, and when I realised that I wasn’t progressing within the team, I sought opportunities out there and I had certain goals that I wanted to reach. Listening to “Unapologetically Ambitious” made me wonder where did my ambitions go to and I used to be so systematically driven to achieve them. In some ways, I think this is what made male friends tell me that I’m ‘intimidating’.

The book is like a word-version of a motivational coach. If you’re feeling a funk in your life, it’s a good read to put some fire in your belly and perhaps, you’d be motivated enough to write down some goals and plan out a strategy to achieve them!

Image: Shellye.com


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