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Here are some quotes by those interviewed for the book:

Wayne Huizenga, Billionaire Businessman
My whole life has been a series of wonderful coincidences or being in the right place at the right time, and that's how I got started. When I got out of the army and came home, my father took me to lunch and as we walked into the restaurant, which was the Yankee Clipper, we went to sit at a table and a voice rang out, said Harry, Harry, how are you?...

Madeline Albright, former Secretary of State
Well, I think that the time that I really felt truly successful, was when I first got named to the United Nations, because my hope had been actually to be involved in public policy. I loved being a Professor and I think, before that, in terms of my professional life, I considered just getting my Ph.D. a big success, because it took me a very long time to get it...

Gov. Jeb Bush, Governor of Florida
"My definition of success has kind of evolved over the years. When I was younger, much younger, I would say success was accumulating wealth. The pursuit of that for some reason gave me a sense that I would be successful if I made money because I would be providing for my family. I got married really young and I had three kids, all of whom are adults thank goodness, but when I was young it was really related to making money. It seems so important to provide for your family, but it doesn't seem like that's a very good measurement of success anymore..."

Susan Story, CEO, Gulf Power Co.
"...when I think about success, I think, “am I happy with my life and what I'm doing?” It's not necessarily gauged by how much money I have made or what people consider to be power, but am I making a difference? As I started my career, of course growing up the way I did in a rural Alabama town, I didn't know what a president of a company was or a CEO of a company was. I started as an engineer in a nuclear power plant and just believed in working as hard as I could and doing the best job I could because that's the way I had been raised.

Jorge DeCespedes, President of PharMed
[My definition of success] changes I guess. What success was to me in my 30s is a little bit different than what success was in my 40s to now I am developing what success is in the 50s. I'm 51 years old now. In my 30s, success was clearly all about money..."

Nina Tassler, President, CBS Entertainment, Inc.
"I think [success is] a combination of a number of things. One, it is a sense of confidence, a sense of accomplishment, a sense of creative freedom . Being at a position in my life where ideas that I have, thoughts that I have, I'm able to put into effect, share with other people, as well as listen to other people's ideas and implement them. I think it's also about being at a stage in life where you have a sense of freedom, sense of maturity, a sense of – a very optimistic view of life in general.

Sen. Bob Graham, Former Governor of and U.S. Senator from Florida
"That [definition of success] is a very good question. Sometime ago I was on a rich man's yacht and by the front console of the yacht there was a sign that said “the one who wins is the one with the most toys”. The yacht, I guess, being a manifestation of that. I don't agree with that definition of life. I think life is, the success of life is judged by your own sense of personal gratification. It's judged by the influence that you have on others. I think if there is one single test of how well you've lived your life it is how well your children turn out."

Clarence Otis, CEO, Darden Restaurants
"Well I think success is really sort of realizing your dreams, whatever those might be, and you define success for yourself. I learned earlier about my parents in their 20s, how they and all their friends, in the context in which they were living, were really high achievers. I mean because they had the drive and the ambition to want to go some place where they could do more than they had and that same desire for achievement. That probably defines success."

Brad Meltzer, Novelist
" In my opinion, I think that success is always self-defined, and I think you're only happy with your success if you are a happy person to begin with. Someone once said to me that miserable people can live anywhere and they'll be miserable and happy people can live anywhere and they will be happy. I think similarly that applies to success as well..."

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Copyright © 2006, Alan S. Becker