February 7, 2021

How Shelley Archambeau Flies Like an Eagle

Shellye Archambeau is the author of “Unapologetically Ambitious: Take Risks, Break Barriers, and Create Success on Your Own Terms.” It’s part memoir, part inspiration, and career guidebook. While Shellye argues it’s for everyone, we reckon it’s really best suited for the most ambitious among us. In the book, Shellye shares how she went from being the only black girl in her high school to being the CEO of a Silicon Valley tech firm, MetricStream. And it’s an amazing tale of an amazing woman.

In our conversation with Shellye, she talked with us about the challenges she faced growing up. But what was more interesting to us was talking with her about the way she makes decisions. She has this ability to see how things fit – or don’t fit – into her personal and business goals. And then she acts on them with amazing conviction. She is one remarkable person.

We talked about how she has a strong inclination to set lofty goals – that we call BHAGS (big, hairy, audacious goals) – that never changes over the course of her career. These BHAGS gave her a North Star to navigate by. But the BRICKS (the steppingstones to needed to achieve long-term goals) she used along her journey were flexible and changed as her situation changed.

This flexibility is something we wanted to call out, because it wasn’t just being flexible that got her where she is today. Her incredible ability to create plans and execute those plans is what really set her apart from her peers. And we can imagine that all of her peers at IBM were talented, skilled, smart, and driven. Just not as much as Shellye.



If you’d like to pursue being a part-time intern with Behavioral Grooves, please contact Kurt or Tim directly.

Kurt Nelson, PhD: kurt@lanterngroup.com

Tim Houlihan: tim@behavioralchemy.com


“Transfiguration” by Jonathan Benson is used for the interstitial music in this episode.

© 2021 Behavioral Grooves



Shellye Archambeau on Twitter: @ShelArchambeau

Shellye’s web site: https://shellyearchambeau.com/

“Unapologetically Ambitious”: https://shellyearchambeau.com/books

Carol Dweck – Growth Mindset: https://www.mindsetworks.com/science/

George Bernard Shaw: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Bernard_Shaw

Stephen Curtis, Episode # 148: https://behavioralgrooves.com/episode/covid-19-crisis-stephen-curtis-on-neuroplasticity-and-creating-the-ideal/

Locke & Latham on Goals: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goal_setting

Nicholas Christakis and James Fowler, “The Spread of Obesity in a Large Social Network over 32 Years”: https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/nejmsa066082


Musical Links

Steve Miller “Fly Like an Eagle”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6a6lAwbE1J4

Spinners “I’ll Be Around”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hq5VXTO3HDI

Marvin Gaye “What’s Going On”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fPkM8F0sjSw

The O’ Jays, “Love Train”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ECZr3-a_rDA

Teddy Pendergrass, “Turn Off the Lights”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PK4wofMj5-k

Alfie Pollitt, "Say It (Over and Over)": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vTaDr1lq8mY

Earl Klugh, “This Time”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n7fF_eRYM5k

Dave Koz, “You Make Me Smile”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3cshiIac91U

Brian Culbertson, “Colors of Love”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_MM5hSddIcg

Praful, “Don't Fight with Life/Om Namah Shivaya”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8D51CbCMY10

George Benson, “On Broadway”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ef0kThw5VY

Elton John, “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ncuiQAfPhTg

Audrey Hepburn, “Moon River”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uirBWk-qd9A

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