Introduction

“Life is the sum of all your choices,” Albert Camus

Call it luck. n 1830, Captain Robert FitzRoy, an officer of the Royal Navy was about to embark on a voyage to South America to survey the coastal waters. He had already achieved a measure of fame by making accurate daily weather predictions while at sea for which he coined a new word “forecast.”

FitzRoy suddenly found himself in command of a ship when a captain by the unlikely name of Pringle Stokes grew depressed from the rigors of isolation and subsequently shot himself. FitzRoy was placed in charge of…


Students learn that the main tool for a keener understanding of our species is a dictionary, more accurately an etymological dictionary.

I tend to get blank stares. An etymological dictionary is a source for the original meaning of language we use every day. When we look up the etymology of a commonly used word, it is like listening in on a conversation in a romanesque abbey in France or a thatched-roof hut in Anglo Saxon England 11th century. It is why I say it took one thousand years for women to stop being men.

The word “man” is an Old…


All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances, And one man in his time plays many parts…

— William Shakespeare, As You Like It

— DRAFT —

This is a draft chapter of a book to be published this fall 2021 entitled Be Somebody — Extraordinary Lives. It will discuss the nature and cause of eminent and successful lives with some contrasting material on failure and disappointment. Please note, some chapters are in final form while others are in such a rough state they are better unread. Changes will occur frequently…


Warren Buffett, Walter Cronkite, Margaret Thatcher

— DRAFT —

This is a draft chapter of a book to be published this fall 2021 entitled Be Somebody — Extraordinary Lives. It will discuss the nature and cause of eminent and successful lives with some contrasting material on failure and disappointment. Please note, some chapters are in final form while others are in such a rough state they are better unread. Changes will occur frequently. If you have comments, please note them on the Medium page. The full list of chapters can be found here:

The only “ism” that makes sense is skepticism.

October 2008 was a day of infamy, at…


Hard things are hard until you try

— DRAFT —

This is a draft of a book published this fall 2021 entitled Be Somebody — Extraordinary Lives. It will discuss the nature and cause of eminent and successful lives with some contrasting material on failure and disappointment. Some chapters are in final form, while others are in such a rough state they are better unread. Changes will occur frequently. If you have comments, please note them on the Medium page. The full list of chapters can be found in the link below:

THE ODD COUPLE

The backstory of Operation Ezra — Carry a Spare $20 Bill


Outrage is the fastest way to forfeit a brilliant future.

Life is an equation in which we have total control over the inputs. When we think about how our lives work, the role of decision-making takes center stage. Still, many factors go into the result we achieve. This is why it may not always seem like it’s “up to us.”

Yet it is.

The secret to better decisions particularly in times of crisis is a combination of an open mind and better data, what I call homework and probe over hope and pray — or hype and spray. This is true whether you are bailing out the Titanic or protesting…


Stand On The Shoulders of Giants

— DRAFT —

This is a draft chapter of a book to be published this fall 2021 entitled Be Somebody — Extraordinary Lives. It will discuss the nature and cause of eminent and successful lives with some contrasting material on failure and disappointment. Please note, some chapters are in final form while others are in such a rough state they are better unread. Changes will occur frequently. If you have comments, please note them on the Medium page. The full list of chapters can be found here:

The only “ism” that makes sense is skepticism.

Standing On The Shoulders

It is a metaphor of dwarfs standing on…


— DRAFT —

This is a draft chapter of a book to be published this fall 2021 entitled Be Somebody — Extraordinary Lives. It will discuss the nature and cause of eminent and successful lives with some contrasting material on failure and disappointment. Please note, some chapters are in final form while others are in such a rough state they are better unread. Changes will occur frequently. If you have comments, please note them on the Medium page. The full list of chapters can be found here:

Green Bananas

I sat down once with Bob and Larry Tisch of the famous clan who owned Loew’s…


Extraordinary people know there are many chances but only one life

— DRAFT —

This is a draft chapter of a book to be published this fall 2021 entitled Be Somebody — Extraordinary Lives. It will discuss the nature and cause of eminent and successful lives with some contrasting material on failure and disappointment. Please note, some chapters are in final form while others are in such a rough state they are better unread. Changes will occur frequently. If you have comments, please note them on the Medium page. The full list of chapters can be found here:

The Time Modality

  1. The only metric by which all others must be measured
  2. The mantra “Do Something. Be Somebody”

When you listen to all sides you separate signal from noise

When The Universe Calls, Pick Up

— DRAFT —

This is a draft chapter of a book to be published this fall 2021 entitled Be Somebody — Extraordinary Lives. It will discuss the nature and cause of eminent and successful lives with some contrasting material on failure and disappointment. Please note, some chapters are in final form while others are in such a rough state they are better unread. Changes will occur frequently. If you have comments, please note them on the Medium page. The full list of chapters can be found here:

How To Separate Signal From Noise

  1. Queen Elizabeth II’s “Give Me Three Reasons Why” Formula
  2. Jack Welch — Passionately Present
  3. Walter Cronkite…

Jeff Cunningham

Professor of Leadership. Extraordinary Lives Project. Author “Be Somebody” (2021); 2019 Telly Award IconicVoices.tv; ex-publisher Forbes

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