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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


Jeong Kim

President of Bell Labs

I do not want to make my parents look bad. I'm sure they did what they had to do. Life was tough for them. And, I don't understand it all, but I understand a little bit more now than when I was a little kid. So, the most important thing for me, believe it or not, is not to make money or anything else, but to make sure my children grow up happy and that's all I care about.
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Jeong Kim

President of Bell Labs

I joined the Navy in 1982, while I was in school, and then became an officer when I graduated from college. A lot of people ask me, "Why did you do that?" I mean, I was making so much money there I would be a millionaire, and there was no doubt in my mind that we would have done well. Well, maybe not. I mean, in the sense of -- at the time, it seemed like there was nothing that was going to stop us from becoming incredibly successful, and we thought we could do it better than Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. But, I felt that this country already has given me so much, and I needed to pay back. I did not want to wait until I was 80 years old, or 60 years old to pay back, and that it was better going into the Navy, and gave part of my time -- my prime time of my life -- serving this country. So, I spent seven years in the nuclear submarine service.
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Jeong Kim

President of Bell Labs

I could have retired a long time ago, financially. What's really important to me is that I add value to society. And, I think I still have a lot of creative energy in me. I mean, I'm a really practical person. I don't think I can be as creative when I am 50 or 60 years old, and my effort and my energy can be better spent on maybe doing -- I don't know -- social work or going and teaching at the universities. I don't know what that will be, but right now I can best contribute by working on the technologies.
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James V. Kimsey

Founding Chairman,
America Online

As leaders you don't have any excuses and you can't sort of point to other people, or external circumstances because as a leader it's your responsibility to understand external circumstances, and there are no excuses. You either take the hill, or you don't take the hill, and if you get all your people killed, then you're wrong. And, there are no excuses. There are lots of companies on the corporate American landscape that are gone because of external circumstances and the CEOs of those companies have always been able to offer excuses, but I think it's very, very important for all leaders to understand that they stand at the end of the responsibility chain and it is as Harry Truman wisely put it, "The buck stops there." It's an important concept for people to understand.
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James V. Kimsey

Founding Chairman,
America Online

One of our very strong initiatives is to make America Online one of the world's most respected companies. It has had maybe a reputation of being somewhat too slick by half. Cleverness might have been a core value because you've got a lot of bright kids that want to show how smart they are. And, we've taken a different tack now in that we started a foundation that I chair. We want to take the highest sort of moral ground on all issues, so that we get the trust and respect of people, and don't find ourselves in a Microsoft position, being favorite targets of legislators and regulators.
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B.B. King

King of the Blues

I think that I know my job pretty well, but I always think this way -- now it's not false modesty or anything -- I'm never any better than my last job. Do you understand what I'm trying to say? In other words, I don't always think that I've got it made and, "Hey, I'm B.B. King!" So and so. Never that. Never that because the people put you up there and they can cut you down like that. It's just like the great God, this great spirit. We live and we die and I'm talking about if you die naturally you never know when it's going to be. It can happen any time. So, I think in a way that we're here -- I've heard people use the word, "on borrowed time," but I don't know about that. I don't think I borrowed it, but I think that I'm here and just as easy, cannot be here. So, I never think that I've got it made. I've known people that had a little money and overnight something happened -- insurance no good -- and what little money they had - bam - it's gone.
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B.B. King

King of the Blues

I knew Duke Ellington. I knew Benny Goodman. Those are just a few of the people that I tried to pattern my life after, after trying to be a musician. I still have that old code, don't smoke, don't drink on the bandstand, don't swear on the bandstand where I am. Never. The people are the most important things that we have so you must treat them like they are who they are, and that's the way I've been all the time, no drugs, no liquor. Even when I was drinking, don't bring no liquor on the bandstand, never. That's the way I've always been.
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B.B. King

King of the Blues

B.B. King: I think I would go back to what my teacher told me in a way, but quite differently. I would say, "Get high off your music. Don't use drugs of any kind. Please don't smoke because that will mess up your vocal cords for your singing. Be a person. Just as you want to be loved, love them. Always respect the people that come to hear you play. Try your best to please these people, but then you've got to live in the neighborhood. Try to be a good neighbor. Play your music. If you're a student, if you're going to college, major in music, minor in computers so if your music don't work you can still have a job. Lastly, you might become very good at what you do, a lot of people do, but everybody is not going to like it, so if you can't make a living at it go back to your minor." That's what I would tell them.
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