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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


Norman Schwarzkopf

Commander, Operation Desert Storm

There's no question about the fact that the teenage years that I spent abroad had a tremendous impact upon my entire life, from that time forth. I mean, I got to know people of so many different nationalities, of so many different cultures, of so many different ethnic backgrounds. In meeting all of these people of so many different make-ups, it was a wonderful education for me. It taught me that there's more than one way to look at a problem, and they all may be right, you see. So, it gave me a certain tolerance. Maybe tolerance isn't the right word, because tolerance implies that there's intolerance before. It's not that, but it just gave me an appreciation for people. Judge them as you find them. Never prejudge anybody based upon any of those things that sometimes people are prejudged. That's lived with me for the rest of my life. It gave me the ability to be flexible, to get along with people of all different nationalities.
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Norman Schwarzkopf

Commander, Operation Desert Storm

I had studied the area and we had come to the conclusion that the worst case scenario that we would have to face would be Iraq. I mean, Iraq had the fourth largest army in the world at that time. They had just won major victories against the Iranians. They had modern military equipment. So, when you looked around at the area and said, who is the worst enemy that you'd have to fight over there? It was Iraq. And we said, what's the worst thing they could do? And that would be sweeping down and deciding to take over all the oil fields. So we decided that if that's the worst case scenario, then make sure that we plan to handle the worst case scenario, and we could handle any lesser scenarios that might come up. So you might say we made a lucky guess and we were right.
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Stephen Schwarzman

Chairman and CEO, The Blackstone Group

People have observed that you only learn truly by failing, and I was, I thought, a complete failure at this job. I had no economics. I had no ability to read a financial statement. I had never had accounting. They gave me an office and a secretary and some annual reports and assignments. I didn't even know how to approach it. I'm pretty good on my feet, I'm pretty decent at bobbing and weaving, but there's only so long you can bob and weave when you don't have a good base. So it became clear to me, without anybody advising me, that leaving myself in an environment where I was intellectually unprepared was a danger not only to me but to everybody that I had anything to do with. So I went to business school, really, just to deal with this complete lack of preparation that I had. I really didn't like the kind of research-oriented business that DLJ was doing. I found I wasn't particularly good at that either, instinctively, so I interviewed at a variety of businesses out of business school, investment banks and advertising businesses and I think a consulting business.
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John Sexton

Education & Law

Charlie always used to say, "Play another octave of the piano." That was his phrase. So if you haven't reached this note, reach out to it. He lived that with us. You know, his house was at 212 Lincoln Road. I still remember his phone number: Ingersoll 2-8054. And we were welcome in his house, which was about four blocks from the school. He had no family. And we were welcome there. But you had to read the extra book that he had posted at the teachers room. That was the price of admission. And you might fall into a conversation, when you walked through the door, on that book; or he might have some Verdi opera on that he was discussing; or one of the kids might have just said, "I've never had Chinese food," so he'd be piling into his car to go to Chinatown. And it was always play another -- and he would take kids -- I never did this with him because I was so focused on debate -- but he would take kids, literally, around the world. And even though he wasn't a priest, he always, in Europe, he always traveled with a Roman collar. He always said, "You never have to wait on a line for a museum or a restaurant if you wear a Roman collar. So that's what I did with my girls -- my high school girls. Every one of those girls saw the 48 lower states, because we would take six weeks in the summer and drive around. Every one of them went down into the Grand Canyon. I mean, I've been in the Grand Canyon 18 times. So, I realized I had to do that with my daughter, right? So I'm with Katie -- she was about 11, so this is about five years ago, and we're climbing the Pyramid of Teotihuacan.
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John Sexton

Education & Law

But, interestingly, when I had arrived in Judge Leventhal's chambers, I had only applied for clerkships at the United States Supreme Court with seven Justices. I had not applied to Burger, and I had not applied to Rehnquist. And Judge Leventhal found this out, and he called me in, and he said, "Do you expect me to recommend you to the Supreme Court?" And I said, "Well, I'm hopeful that my work is good enough." He said, "Your work is fine. I'm very happy to recommend you on that basis." He said, "But your arrogance is not fine." He said, "How could anybody, one year out of law school, strike two Justices of the Supreme Court from a list of applications?" He said, "I insist that you apply for all of them, or I won't support your application." So, at that point, at his insistence, I applied to Rehnquist and to Burger. It's interesting because the Judge died. I became a Bazelon clerk. And Warren Burger never interviewed his law clerks before choosing them. He had a committee interview them, and they gave him a slate of eight names, and he chose four from the eight. And when I became a Bazelon clerk -- the committee had told me that I would be their top nominee. But, of course, when I interviewed with them I was a Leventhal clerk. When I became a Bazelon clerk, I called them up and I said, "You may as well cross me off the list." And they said, "Don't underestimate the Chief Justice. See what happens."
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