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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


Quincy Jones

Music Impresario

I was 14 years old when Ray [Charles] came to town from Florida. He wanted to get away from Florida and he asked a friend of his -- because he had sight until he was seven -- to take a string from Florida and get him as far away from Florida as he could get and boy, Lord knows, that's Seattle! If you go any further you're in Alaska and Russia! So Ray showed up, and he was at 16 years old, and he was like -- God! You know! He had an apartment, he had a record player, he had a girlfriend, two or three suits. When I first met him, you know, he'd invite me over to his place. I couldn't believe it. He was fixing his record player. He'd shock himself because there were glass tubes in the back of the record player then, and the radio. And, I used to just sit around and say, "I can't believe you're 16 and you've got all this stuff going," because he was like he was 30 then. He was like a brilliant old dude, you know. He knew how to arrange and everything. And he used to -- taught me how to arrange in Braille, and the notes. He taught me what the notes were because he understood. He said, "A dotted eighth, a sixteenth, that's a quarter note," and so forth. And, I'd just struggle with it and just plowed through it.
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Quincy Jones

Music Impresario

Quincy Jones: I guess 1947 we got our first job for seven dollars, and the year after that we played with Billie Holiday, you know, with the Bumps Blackwell - Charlie Taylor band, and our confidence was building, because we danced and we sang and we played all -- we played modern jazz, we played schottisches, pop music at the white tennis clubs: "Room Full of Roses," and "To Each His Own," and all those things. And, we played the black clubs at ten o'clock, and played rhythm and blues, and for strippers, and we'd do comedy and everything else. At 3:00 o'clock in the morning we'd go down to Jackson Street in the red light district and play be-bop free all night because that was really what we really wanted to play, like Charlie Parker, Miles Davis and Dizzy and all those people, and they'd come through town. And in the following year Bobby Tucker -- who was Billie Holiday's musical director -- came back, and he liked what we did evidently, and we played with Billy Eckstine, and then Cab Calloway came through and we opened for Cab Calloway. So, our confidence was very strong.
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Hamid Karzai

Former President of Afghanistan

We moved in on two motorbikes. We got a flat tire four times along the way on the highway. But the Taliban did not capture us. So we were lucky. God was with us surely. We moved into Kandahar City, the heartland of the Taliban, spent the night in a villager's house. He protected us. That was the first sign for me that people would help. The next morning, early morning, he came to me and said, "Hamid, what do you want to do?" I said, "I want to remove the Taliban." He said, "But how? What do you have? These two motorbikes and four people, with you. Three people?" I said, "No sure, not that. But there have been people I have been talking to for many years including yourself. Let's do something." He looked at me in disbelief and he went out and he came back. He said, "Look, I guess if you stayed a few more days in Kandahar the Taliban would capture you. So you'd better leave. Go to the central part of Afghanistan where possibly, if there's a war, where there are mountains. You can hide. You can organize a resistance."
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Hamid Karzai

Former President of Afghanistan

I had, in Afghan standards, a very well-to-do childhood. I had horses, huge houses, and my schools, but a very restricted childhood. We were not allowed too much of a luxury that other people my age had, in terms of association with other people. So in that way, we were -- I recognized when I went to India, when I mixed up with other students there, that I was very reserved, very, very reserved, and that was a handicap. I could not associate easily with people. But on the other hand, it had benefits of self-restraint and, you know, a level of respect to other people, trying to make sure that nobody was offended, and respect to others.
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Thomas Keller

Culinary Hall of Fame

I went to move to Paris in 1983 so I had been cooking now for almost a decade. I had committed myself since 1977 to make this my career. So I had been focused on working in -- and I've chosen French cuisine and haute cuisine as my metier. So I was focused on that. My sights to go to France and work in specific restaurants were already defined. So when I got there, I had a good foundation of technique, a good understanding of classic cuisine, certainly the understanding of the vocabulary in a French kitchen. So I was a little further ahead than some of the other stagiaires that were there who were much younger than I, who were more worried about how to make a veal stock or how to turn a vegetable or different things that are basic that I had already learned. So I could focus on more of the details, and I was able to do that. And I think that's what made the difference for me is not having to focus on the foundation of cooking, but be able to understand what made these restaurants great and understanding that Taillevent, which was probably the single most influential for me, a great restaurant. Was it a restaurant that was breaking new ground? No. Was it a restaurant that was progressive and contemporary? Not necessarily. It was a restaurant that was extraordinarily consistent. And great restaurants have to be consistent. We can all cook. There's a lot of great chefs out there who can do a lot of great things, but to be consistent 300 days a year -- lunch and dinner over and over and over and over again -- is really for me what defines greatness. It's the one hit wonders that are one hit wonders. To be there for a long time, to be impactful for a long time, to have a team that continues to evolve, to have guests that continue to come to your restaurant, to have that relationship with your partners or your suppliers, those are really, really important things for me in a restaurant.
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Thomas Keller

Culinary Hall of Fame

I learned six disciplines at the dishwasher which have, I think, become a foundation for my career, and I think for many people who aspire to have success in their careers. Not just in the culinary profession, not just in the hospitality profession, but in anything. I learned that organization was really important. Organization as a dishwasher really meant that you had to set up a template for the servers to, you know, where to put their dishes. So you always had a bread and butter plate in one spot, a service plate in one spot. A bowl, or whatever the serviceware was, you had a piece set up on the counter, on the drain board, where they were supposed to put it. You had your different areas for your knives, your forks, your spoons, things like that. Of course you had your glass racks or specific racks. So that organizational aspect allowed you to be more efficient, which was kind of the second discipline that I learned is efficiency was really, really key in doing things well. If you could be more efficient than the person next to you, then you could have more time to learn what you wanted to learn, to continue to grow and continue to evolve, continue to progress. So efficiency became important, how you lined up the racks, how you put the plates in the racks, or when was the time to wash the glasses, when was the time to wash the silverware so that nothing -- so that everything became seamless for everybody. Feedback was the third discipline. If you didn't properly rinse or stack or sort the silverware or the dishes correctly, and you put them in the dishwasher, a minute-and-a-half later, when the machine opened, they would still be dirty. So that was immediate critical feedback. You knew when you did a bad job and you knew when you did a good job. And you know what, it was okay, either one. You learn from the mistake of doing the bad job that you learn that you needed to either stack your dishes differently, rinse them differently, sort the silverware differently, or whatever it was that critical feedback taught you, that's what you needed to do, so you modified your behavior to be successful. And of course if you were successful, then it was positive feedback and you knew that you did a good job. No one told you those things. You realize them on your own and that is really important as well.
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Thomas Keller

Culinary Hall of Fame

The fourth discipline I learned was the repetition, right? I don't want to say the art of repetition, but the ability to respect repetition and embrace it. We're cooks. We do the same thing over and over and over again. So if you don't want to be repetitive in what you're doing, you probably don't want to really be a cook. You know, learn how to cut brunoise, learn how to peel an onion, learn how to slice. I mean all these that are part of that repetition was what I learned as a dishwasher. As a dishwasher you do the same thing over and over and over and over again. I learned the importance of ritual, doing things at specific times of the day and having them -- leading up to those times, and being prepared for those times. You had to change the water in the dish machine every two hours. You had to check the soap every three hours. You had to empty the garbage can three times a day. You had to sweep the floor at these specific times. You had to do different things at different times of the day, which began -- which were part of the ritual of your job. And rituals are very, very, very important. And the last, not any more important than the others, was the idea of teamwork and embracing that. You, as a dishwasher, even though you may have been perceived as the lowliest position in a kitchen, you touched everybody, and your job was critical in their ability to be successful. You had to deliver the dishes back to the chefs, right? So that they could plate the food. You had to have the silverware to the servers so they could set the tables. You had to get the glassware to the bartenders so they could do their job. So everybody relied on your ability to be organized, to be efficient, to have your job done thoroughly, to understand repetition, rituals, and give them what they needed to do the job. And those six disciplines are what we do every day as cooks, and I embrace that. I understood it. I didn't recognize it until much later in my career, but I realized it and I understand that was part of the foundation of why I became a good cook and ultimately was able to become a good chef.
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