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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


Robert Lefkowitz

Nobel Prize in Chemistry

An emergency room of a big city hospital like the Mass General is a wild place. And it's all comers -- medicine, surgery -- whatever is coming through the door, you're responsible for triaging it or taking care of it yourself. And it's 12 hours on, 12 hours off. And after seven cycles of that, one 24-period off -- 24-hour! And it was really intense. And you know, I loved clinical medicine. I was good at it. I enjoyed it, but boy did I miss the lab. And it wasn't so much doing the experiments with my own hands that I missed. It was the idea of having data, having something to really chew on and analyze. This was just boom, boom, boom, boom. Almost like on a battlefield. And I really missed the research. And so ironically, the entire second six months of the residency year was elective. And you have to do clinical work, because you were paid with hospital dollars. So, in contravention of the rules, I actually went into somebody's laboratory. The irony there was, all through medical school, I turned down research electives. And now in a situation where I couldn't legally do them, I did it anyway. I really had to get back to the laboratory. That's really when my research career really began to take shape. Although I was at that point by no means committed to a research career at all. In fact, several years later, when I took up my first -- and as it turns out, only -- faculty position at Duke in 1973, I would say at the beginning, I was probably spending about 50 percent of my time doing clinical work, doctoring, and 50 percent of the time setting up a laboratory. But that changed quickly over the next few years.
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Robert Lefkowitz

Nobel Prize in Chemistry

I am kind of a Pied Piper. I would sort of bring my students and fellows along, dream these grand dreams and schemes and this and that, and somehow get them working together with me. Because many of the techniques we invented relied on the brilliance and expertise of my students and fellows, expertise that I did not have. I had a vision and I had some expertise, but there was a lot of expertise I needed that I didn't have. But students and fellows were excited enough by what I was doing that they wanted to join the effort. So over the years we did that. In fact, one of the fellows who worked with me in the 1980s, Brian Kobilka, who's a professor at Stanford now, would ultimately share the Nobel Prize with me. Not for the work he did with me -- although that was part of it, I think -- but for work he did independently here at Stanford. And his personality and mine could not be more different. We have very different styles. So that's another thing. You have to do it your way. General Petraeus was just now talking about leadership and leadership styles, et cetera. My leadership style is very much about being a Pied Piper. I think any leader has to be able to bring along colleagues and the people who work for them. Because if they don't buy in, you've got nothing.
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John Lewis

Champion of Civil Rights

I heard about Rosa Parks, and I heard Martin Luther King, Jr.'s voice on an old radio, and the words of Dr. King and the action of Rosa Parks inspired me. I followed the drama of the Montgomery bus boycott. We were too poor to have a subscription to the local newspaper -- it was called The Montgomery Advertiser -- so my grandfather had a subscription, and when he would finish reading his paper we would get his paper and read about what was going on in Montgomery and listen to the radio. We didn't have a television then. And Dr. King was so inspiring, so inspiring. I wanted to find a way to get involved in the Civil Rights Movement and become part of it. I would hear him speak. I just felt that he was speaking to me. Like he was saying, "John Lewis, you can do it. You can get involved. You must get involved." And when I got the chance, I got involved.
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John Lewis

Champion of Civil Rights

John Lewis: Well, I was very moved by stories, the history, knowing what happened, how it happened. As a child I would ask a lot of questions of my mother, my father, my grandparents, my great-grandparents, my aunts, the grand-aunts, and they accused me of being nosy, but I was inquisitive. I was eavesdropping a great deal as a child. When my mother's aunt, my grand-aunt would come and visit us, I would go in another room and I would listen. I would listen, and the moment they left the house I would say, "What was that all about? What did y'all mean? What did that word mean? What was it all about?" And sometimes my mother and my grand-aunt, and sometimes my grand-uncles, they would walk the road, down a long road to see them off to their home, and I would walk with them, and I would ask questions on the way back and we had these discussions. And when I was growing up, I was somewhat shy but I grew out of it, because I wanted to know. I had to - if you want to know something you have to ask.
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John Lewis

Champion of Civil Rights

When Rosa Parks said, "No," it changed my life forever, and I've never been the same since. I wanted somehow -- in some way -- to make it to Montgomery. I just wanted to be a part of it. It created a great sense of pride. I felt things were about to change. I knew it was very dangerous because I read about it, I heard about the bombings of the churches, the homes, people being arrested. I had witnessed through news accounts the lynching of Emmett Till. This young teenager from Chicago -- visiting relatives in Mississippi, going to the store -- was accused of whistling or saying something to a white woman, and then later that night, someone coming and grabbing him out of his uncle's house, out of bed, taking him, beating him and throwing him in the river. That all had an impact on me.
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Maya Lin

Artist and Architect

I loved logic, math, computer programming. I loved systems and logic approaches. And so I just figured architecture is this perfect combination. Then it takes me seven years of architecture school to realize that I think like an artist. And even though I build buildings and I pursue my architecture, I pursue it as an artist. I deliberately keep a tiny studio. I will hire firms or cause firms to be hired to work with me. I don't want to be an architectural firm ever. I want to remain as an artist building either sculptures or architectural works. And in a way what I disliked about architecture was probably the profession. I still am an artist. And basically what does that mean? It's much more individual. It's much more about who you are and what you need to make, what you need to say for you. Whether someone's going to look at it or not, you're still going to do it.
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Maya Lin

Artist and Architect

I think art is very tricky because it's what you do for yourself. It's much harder for me to make those works than, in a way, the monuments or the architecture because those have functions. Architecture, the monuments, it's a symbolic function, but it's still you're solving a problem. The architecture, you're definitely making art, but it's surrounded by a problem solving. It's like math. It's a puzzle to me. I love figuring out puzzles. The art work, on the other hand, is, "Go into a room and make whatever you want to make." And it's very, very hard.
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