Unapologetically Ambitious: Take Risks, Break Barriers, and Create Success on Your Own Terms

Shellye Archambeau. Grand Central, $28 (266p) ISBN 978-1-5387-0289-5
Archambeau (coauthor, Marketing That Works) delivers an invigorating account of her trailblazing career as an African American woman who has held powerful roles in the tech industry. Her stories of an upbringing being moved from place to place (there was a running joke at IBM, where her father worked, that the company name stood for “I’m Being Moved”) and dealing with racial tensions (she entered first grade in Los Angeles not long after the riots in 1992) show the same strength and drive that brought her to Wharton and to an internship, and then career, at IBM, followed by other positions in tech until she became CEO of Zaplet, which handles software applications for financial-service companies, while also winning a seat on the Verizon board. Unlike most women of her generation, she was able to prioritize her career above her husband’s; twice her age when they met, he quickly realized that she was the family powerhouse. Though more of a memoir than a business guide, this account includes tips for aspiring leaders: to meet imposter syndrome head-on, “find your cheerleaders,” identify one’s priorities, consciously nurture a sense of self-assurance, and so on. Archambeau’s winning voice and refusal to countenance failure make for an appealing account of one woman’s path to success. Agent: Jim Levine, Levine Greenberg Rostan Literary. (Oct.)
Reviewed on : 06/26/2020
Release date: 10/06/2020
Genre: Nonfiction
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