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Key to success: Vision Key to success: Passion Key to success: Perseverance Key to success: Preparation Key to success: Courage Key to success: Integrity Key to success: The American Dream Keys to success homepage More quotes on Passion More quotes on Vision More quotes on Courage More quotes on Integrity More quotes on Preparation More quotes on Perseverance More quotes on The American Dream


Willem Kolff

Pioneer of Artificial Organs

When the war broke out I happened to be in the city of The Hague, for the funeral of my wife's grandfather. That morning of the funeral the German planes came overhead and they threw out leaflets that the Dutch should surrender, and they bombed the barracks, and so on and so on. And, instead of going to the funeral, I went to the main hospital, where I had been before, and I said, "Do you have a blood bank?" And they said, "No." And I said, "Do you want me to set one up?" They said, "Yes." And they gave me an automobile with a soldier in front because there were snipers, and they gave me purchase orders so that I could go to every store in the city and buy whatever I had to. And, in four days time I had a blood bank ready.
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Willem Kolff

Pioneer of Artificial Organs

I had one patient with chronic renal failure that was in 1943, during the war. And, I dialyzed one-half liter of blood, and had it run through that artificial kidney and gave it back to her. And then waited two days to see if anything terrible would happen. Nothing happened. And so, I then took a little more blood, and so on. By that way, at that time if either an institutional review committee for research on human patients, or the FDA had been breathing down my neck, the artificial kidney would never have been made. Never.
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Wendy Kopp

Founder, Teach for America

Wendy Kopp: I remember our first corps of 500 folks, at the end of our training institute out here in Los Angeles. They were ready to go, ready to change the world, and some of the most inspirational among them had given powerful and rousing speeches. This is not a clueless group of people, and it's not a white, privileged group of people. It's a very diverse group of people. Some of them grew up in the communities in which we were going to be placing others. Very big range of backgrounds. But I still remember, when they started teaching, they hit the wall very early on as they saw our country's greatest challenges playing out before their eyes. Kids who face extreme challenges that many of us would find to be inconceivable, who were bringing them into classrooms and schools that really were never set up to meet their extra needs. Survival became the mantra. If we can stick it out in the classrooms with the kids, that's a victory. And I think what happened was a few of those people, over time, through going through their own learning curves, figured out not just how to survive, but how to actually help put their kids on a different trajectory. That began the real journey of Teach For America. And at the heart of that journey has been really learning from the most successful among our teachers. And understanding from them what it took to actually get their kids invested in working incredibly hard in pursuit of a great education, and what it would take to actually instill in them the self-advocacy skills -- as well as the academic skills -- necessary to actually have many greater options than they otherwise would.
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Henry Kravis

Financier and Investor

We have a fear all the time. But that's what keeps us going, that's what keeps us focused. You have to have a fear. People who say, "I have no fear. I'm not afraid of ever failing," are kidding themselves. Sometimes it's the fear of failure, of not wanting to fail, that makes people as great as they are. I know that's what pushes me, a lot. I've always said -- I say it to my children, "I'm the kind of person who could fall out of a window, land on my head, I might bounce a couple times, and I'm going to come up on my feet. Because I'm going to make myself come up on my feet."
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Henry Kravis

Financier and Investor

I think one of the most important things that I've had to overcome is jealousy from the outside. Of learning that not everybody is going to be my friend. They will tell you they are, they will look at you and say one thing and then turn right around and do something exactly the opposite. Or stab you in the back. Sure, there are disappointments. There are disappointments in life. That's life.
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