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Publisher's Summary

Full of empowering wisdom from one of Silicon Valley's first female African American CEOs, this inspiring leadership book for fans of Dare to Lead and Start with Why offers a blueprint for how to achieve your personal and professional goals, drawn from the author's own compelling story of how she weathered life's difficulties to build massive success.

Shellye Archambeau recounts how she overcame the challenges she faced as a young black woman, wife, and mother, managing her personal and professional responsibilities while climbing the ranks at IBM and subsequently in her roles as CEO. Through the busts and booms of Silicon Valley in the early 2000s, this bold and inspiring book details the risks she took and the strategies she engaged to steer her family, her career, and her company MetricStream toward success.

Through her journey, Shellye discovered that ambition alone is not enough to achieve success. Here, she shares the practical strategies, tools, and approaches readers can employ right now, including concrete steps to most effectively: 

  • Dismantle impostor syndrome
  • Capitalize on the power of planning
  • Take risks
  • Developing financial literacy
  • Build your network
  • Establish your reputation
  • Take charge of your career
  • Integrate work, marriage, parenthood, and self-care

Each chapter lays out key takeaways and actions to increase the odds of achieving your personal and professional goals. With relatable personal stories that ground her advice in the real world and a foreword by leading venture capitalist and New York Times best-selling author Ben Horowitz, Unapologetically Ambitious invites listeners to move beyond the solely supportive roles others expect them to fill, to learn how to carefully tread the thin line between assertive and aggressive, and to give themselves permission to strive for the top. Make no apologies for the height of your ambitions. Shellye Archambeau will show you how.

©2020 Shellye Archambeau (P)2020 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"Shellye has achieved amazing success through a clear strategy of setting goals, making plans, and intelligent risk-taking. In this book, she's now sharing these strategies with us: why to set an ambitious plan and how to achieve it. Highly recommended." (Reid Hoffman, cofounder of LinkedIn and number one New York Times best-selling author of The Start-Up of You)

"Unapologetically Ambitious is a treasure trove of strategic wisdom and practical tips, brought to life through amazing storytelling that will leave the reader inspired, empowered and appreciative. The book deals with the realities of setbacks, trade-offs and societal norms in an authentic way, while illustrating that strength and success often lie in mindset and the team you choose in life. The closing chapter serves as a master guide to navigating life, providing a penultimate takeaway for any reader early in their journey to put the wisdom and experience of the Archambeau's lessons learned into immediate action!" (Brad D. Smith, executive chairman of Intuit and Nordstrom)

"Shellye Archambeau is one of the most intelligent, hard-working and focused women I have met in my 40+ years of business. I was very pleased to have her join the Verizon board in 2013 and have watched her rise within the board to now head the Corporate Governance Committee. Her experience as an African American women rising through the ranks of both large global businesses and technology startups gives her a unique perspective to share with those entering the business world especially those people of color. Grab a pen a paper as you read this book. It is full of the guidance that will put you on a path to career success." (Lowell McAdam, former CEO of Verizon)

What listeners say about Unapologetically Ambitious

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Nice book

The book is basically the life story of author Shellye Archambeau. However, it is very inspiring to know how she set her goals, plan, build strategy and accomplish to reach her goal to become the CEO of a company. It is very well narrated with clear, concise manner. The situation for everyone is different, however, her struggle, her fighting spirit gives me motivation to move forward. I recommend the book.

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A great book to read

I listened to the Audible edition and I must say it is a jewel every aspiring leader / entreprenur must have. The plus point of your book is the way you have narrated your experience, it is very conversational and not a story telling type, I could easily connect to the narrative and picturize. I enjoyed listening to it and I have answers to some of the difficult questions

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True to the title Unapologetically Ambitious.

Loved listening to the author Shellye herself and could feel the emotions beautifully. She has been a role model and someone I have looked upto. Shows what it takes to get there, focus on goals, have the clarity of what you want, what you dont, take risks and convert them into opportunities. It's about choices we make and not treating them as sacrifices and feeling guilty about it. And, it never too late to have a plan. I was fortunate enough to know her, work with her and knowing so much more about her now through this book and learn a few tips. My respect for you has gone up a few notches. Life is never easy and we have to make the best out of it. Thanks again.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-05-21

Archembeau inspires

Awesomely narrated book with relevant content. As A young, ambitious, black female, this book spoke volumes to me on my journey to go from an EA to a CEO to my goal of becoming a COO

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  • Blessed1585
  • 09-05-21

Such an inspiring story!!

Such an inspiring story!! I would read it a million times. I can relate to the author in so many ways. Thanks for taking the time to tell your story and provide such great pearls of wisdom!

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  • MARLENA
  • 04-05-21

Amazing mentorship

⤴️I just finished reading (current book reading in #fundbox-bookclub)... I'd recommend this for any of US seeking a wonderful layout for Taking Risks and Breaking Barriers in our personal and professional lives ... remarkable read 📚🤩❣️

...seeking the next great read of your life, read on

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  • Godmother
  • 28-04-21

Great Perspective

I especially liked your tips on Mentorship and common mistakes in Women I leadership make...very insightful

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  • A. Person
  • 31-03-21

Thank you Shellye for sharing with us!

Thank you for such an intimate and transparent sharing of your journey and the ideology that went into your success. You are truly inspiring and we are blessed and made better by your sharing!

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  • Gargi thakur
  • 29-03-21

So profound

This book is a so well-written - it’s a must read for every professional young or old , women or men ! Shelley has mastered story telling in a compelling way and provides actionable steps for planning. Your career, life , asking for mentorship and going for all of it unapologetically!!

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  • Dana Sutherland
  • 16-03-21

Great book

I’m preparing for an interview and I had a lot of valuable take-aways from this book. Thank you, Shellye!

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  • Fatima
  • 15-03-21

An absolute MUST READ

As a woman in a leadership roles, this book was much needed! Some advice I wished I’d had years ago but yet there is so many useable advice. This is a book that needs to be used as reference

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-03-21

About the book

Amazing insights from an incredible woman! Highly recommended for all who seek to clearly define the direction of their careers!

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  • Melissa G Butler
  • 23-02-21

Thoroughly Enjoyed

Easy read I could not put down. Implemented some recommendations mid book with success. Helped rekindle practices I use to have and are now externally validated.

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  • Mariana stevens
  • 05-04-21

It's exactly as it says in the book!

What a great book, learning about planning ahead, set goals and go for them.
Highly recommend for the ones who are willing to put the work in and have big dreams. This book will encourage and help you going forward 👍

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  • Johnny
  • 02-12-20

100% inspirational

This book is a great story of Shellye Archambeau and at the same time it is an easy going self-help book. I like how everything seems to be about the author but in reality this book is talking about you (the reader) and how you can implement your personal goals even if those are too ambitious.

I am totally suggesting this book and especially for people that doesn't like the self-help book structure as this book has a great story anyway.

Thank you Shellye for sharing your life story with us :)

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  • Pammie
  • 18-10-20

Fascinating insight into the world of a successful female leader

This book will have the ability to motivate women at any point in their career. Whilst not all of the story will necessarily be relevant to everyone, there are certainly some real gems that you can take away. I found myself looking back over my career to find the parallels with the story. A key takeaway for me is her approach to mentoring and asking for help.

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  • Ann-Marie
  • 15-10-20

Hugely inspirational

The book is a rare insight from a black woman who’s really made it “all the way up” and her empowering advice and inspirational story sparked something in me. It’s got great practical advice that anyone can take away for their own life and career, regardless of where they are today.

Part business book and part memoir - I was pleasantly surprised by how much of her personal life is centered in the story as well as her career. Shellye is incredibly open and honest in the retelling of her life, with the advice we can take from it.

Very well read by Shellye herself, I finished it in a flash.