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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


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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Nicholas Kristof

Journalist, Author & Columnist

Nicholas Kristof: Journalistic ethics often don't work in the real world. They're important principles, but there are times when principles just don't work. For example, you should obey the law, but not if that is going to lead to the execution of somebody who's helped you. One of the principles of journalism is you don't lie. You never lie. You're in the truth business. In the Congo, I was once caught by a Tutsi leader who was busy massacring Hutu. I shouldn't have been there. I was very worried about my own safety, and I lied through my teeth to this guy. I told him that his commander, General Kabila, had authorized me to be there and sent his greetings. Well, this commander didn't believe a word of it. Why would the commander send me into an area where he's busy exterminating one tribe? But he couldn't reach his commander on the radio, and didn't quite know what to do. So finally, after about 45 minutes or an hour, he let me go. Well, it was at some level utterly inappropriate to lie. On the other hand, if you're trying to save your own life or somebody else's, absolutely. Lie.
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Nicholas Kristof

Journalist, Author & Columnist

I'd been traveling through Poland, partly because I had some relatives there, and then we just arrived in the town of Krakow when martial law was declared. I had worked for The Washington Post as a summer intern, so I knew that they would want stories. So I went out to the big steel plant, where there were a lot of workers facing off with a bunch of soldiers, and I explained that I wanted to write about things. They took me around the fence, away from the soldiers, and showed me how to climb over the fence. I got inside, went around and talked to people and I got some very good stories. And I was able to get them out of Poland to The Washington Post by having people carry them out. Other reporters, the real reporters, weren't able for the most part to get stories out. So The Washington Post was very grateful. My stories attracted a certain amount of interest at a time when there was tremendous curiosity about what was going on and very little information. So that certainly helped my journalism career as well.
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Nicholas Kristof

Journalist, Author & Columnist

Nicholas Kristof: There was one point when we were inside the steel mill, when suddenly the word spread that the army's going to attack in ten minutes. There was a moment there that was scary. But by and large, I'd say it felt reasonably orderly, and in general I found that when you're in a nasty country where there's order, where there are police and soldiers and a dictator who controls things, that then you tend to be rather safer. The places that scare me are those where there is no rule of anybody, just a bunch of drunken soldiers. When I was at Oxford I had another trip, my first real trip through sub-Saharan Africa with a friend there, Dan Esty. And we kind of backpacked through West Africa. And there was one occasion when we were traveling through Ghana, which had just had a coup and was under military control. We were stopped at a roadblock by two drunken soldiers, and that was very, very scary, because you realized that these soldiers, they might let you go, or they might kill you and throw your bodies in the underbrush.
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Nicholas Kristof

Journalist, Author & Columnist

Nicholas Kristof: They had guns. There was really nothing we could do about it. We could try to influence that decision at the margins, we might or might not succeed. And in the end they robbed us, but they did let us go. But I think that that was a very useful lesson early in my journalism career, that things can go very badly wrong. At one moment you can be going down a road and things are perfect, and the next moment you've got some drunk soldiers who just may kill you. That fear that I felt when they were holding us for maybe 45 minutes or so in the jungle, that has never entirely left me. And that lesson, that things can go very badly wrong very quickly, I've always remembered that. And I've tried to use the lesson of that, the need to be as safe as one can, in difficult situations.
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Nicholas Kristof

Journalist, Author & Columnist

Nicholas Kristof: As a journalist, you have to balance the risks against the benefits of getting the story out. There are times when there is no other way to get the story but to endure a certain amount of risk. But when you do that, you need to go in with eyes wide open. You need to know exactly what you're getting into. I have a bunch of rules for myself. You stop at every village, you ask what the situation is like between this village and the next village, you look for fresh tire tracks. If there are any land mines in the area, then you always want to make sure you go on fresh tire tracks to reduce the risk of mines. You carry a certain amount of money so that if some soldiers with guns want to rob you -- no fuss -- you give them a decoy wallet or some other money to make them happy, and you just learn to kind of be soothing with unpleasant people. And so there are ways that don't make the risk disappear, but make it more manageable. And then, you still have to balance that risk against the benefit of getting that story that may not be gettable any other way.
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Mike Krzyzewski

Collegiate Basketball Champion

Mike Krzyzewski: I think you're not a human being unless you have doubts and fears. Being in a team sport, having good coaches, having support systems are so important. I've been so fortunate in my life that my family has never been jealous of my success. They have shown true love and commitment to me by being supportive. They shared in it. So at times, when I might have been doubting, or fearful, or having those negative feelings, those inhibitors, there was reassurance. And the fact that, ultimately, the fear of losing did not stop me, because I knew even if I lost, I still had these people. I wasn't losing everything. The fear of failure, I was able to get over that because of the support systems.
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Mike Krzyzewski

Collegiate Basketball Champion

Sometimes I go into that locker room, and I'm afraid. All of a sudden, I look at Bobby Hurley, or I look at Steve Wojciechowski, or Grant Hill, or kids that have played for me. I see in their eyes anticipation. I see ambition, I see a glaze, and all of a sudden I say, "Holy mackerel, I've got a chance to coach these guys tonight." And it helps me get over my fear, and hopefully I'm doing the same for them. That's when you connect as a group, when that's going back and forth.
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