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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

I started at Columbia and, after my first semester, I said, "I don't know if this is really for me." I remember being in a class, a marketing class, my first year, first semester. And the professor said, "How many of you want to work for Procter and Gamble?" And everybody's hands went up. And I said, "Oh, my gosh, this is not for me. I've got to get out of here. I'm in the wrong place." I called my dad, and I said, "I'm going to drop out, and I'm going to go back to work for the Madison Fund." He said, "No, you're making a mistake, son." He says, "I think you've gotten the worst over. The first semester is always the hardest at business school. Stick with it. It will always be good to have your Master's." And long story short, I did stick with it.
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Nicholas Kristof

Journalist, Author & Columnist

Nicholas Kristof: There was one trip I made to Congo in 1997 to cover the civil war there. The UN had agreed to fly in a bunch of reporters. They didn't want to use one of their own planes, because it was a war zone, but they found a private plane and a Texan pilot, a wild and crazy Texan who had been flying drugs in from Colombia into the U.S. at a hundred feet above sea level. And finally that got too hot for him, so he relocated to Africa to fly into war zones for anybody who would pay him. And we ended up crashing. We ended up being in a plane crash flying into the Congo and that was scary, because we knew, we had about 20 minutes when we were losing control of the plane, lost hydraulics. You couldn't dump fuel, because you dump fuel with the hydraulics. Finally we crash landed. I was okay. But then I thought, well, maybe when I leave the Congo, I'm not sure I want to fly with some crazy pilot again. I looked at the map and there was a road going out that had recently been repaired by one of the rebel armies to go in. So I went, I know, I'll drive out. So I hired a vehicle. We tried to drive out that way. This road was just in the middle of nowhere. No nothing. Three wars going on. Three different rebel armies fighting their way along this at various times.
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Mike Krzyzewski

Collegiate Basketball Champion

Once you win a National Championship, how do you do that again? How do you get the passion to do that again? We won it again right away, the next year. A lot of it had to do with the fact that I didn't give myself an opportunity to enjoy the first one. I went right away into the second one. I didn't want any "computer viruses" getting into my mind. I even played a game, a mind game, a word game with myself. After you win the next year, people will say you're "defending" your National Championship. I prohibited the use of the word "defend." What I said, for that team, I said, "We've already got the National Championship for that year. We're going to pursue." And sometimes the difference between defend (protective) and pursue (go after), I think, was the difference in us winning it the second time.
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Mike Krzyzewski

Collegiate Basketball Champion

In 1989, I remember, we lost in Seattle to Seton Hall. After the ball game, we came back to my suite where we meet. It was the last time our group of people were going to be together. That's the last game. But there were other kids who were coming back. I said, "Instead of going home, we're going to stay through the National Championship game, because we're eventually going to win a National Championship." Sometimes in a defeat, you can set the stage for future victory. I wanted them to feel good about what they had accomplished. Not to like losing, but to like the success that they had. And then to go on, maybe, to put them in a position where they might be able to. I try to do that, and now I'm teaching it in game situations. In November, I might do a thing where it's an end-of-game situation: "Well, this is what we're going to do, fellas, in the Final Four." Little things like that throughout the year create a championship mindset.
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