Intentional Growth

#243: What it Takes to Be Unapologetically Ambitious with Shellye Archambeau

#243: What it Takes to Be Unapologetically Ambitious with Shellye Archambeau
Intentional Growth
#243: What it Takes to Be Unapologetically Ambitious with Shellye Archambeau

Want to know what it took for a Black woman CEO to succeed in Silicon Valley in the early IBM years  and still be at the top of her game today?  If you’ve ever felt like you’re facing insurmountable odds, this episode is for you. Shellye Archambeau shares her incredible journey to show you how staying true to your values and aligned to your long-term vision while making (sometimes ruthless) decisions will get you to your goals.  As her new book suggests, Shellye is unapologetically ambitious and thinks you should be too. Listen as she highlights the importance of having cheerleaders on your side as well as standing your ground when your convictions are challenged. As her new book suggests, Shellye is unapologetically ambitious and thinks you should be too.


What You Will Learn In Today's Podcast Interview

  • The similarities in being a CEO and running a club
  • Why it was the "right, holistic decision" to return to work after only five weeks of maternity leave to further her career (and why later she would commute for three years instead of move her family)
  • The difference between choice and sacrifice
  • Why she can’t stand the term "work/life balance"
  • How washing a pie plate changed her entire life
  • The importance of having a shared long-term vision with key players in your life and seeking help along the way to avoid burning out before achieving your potential
  • What your "backpack" looks like, how everyone’s is slightly different and what this means for our interactions
  • How cheerleaders helped Shellye overcome major issues and why you should recruit your own
  • Why it’s ridiculous to compare yourself to other people
  • When you should swerve or stay the course and how to adjust your goals accordingly
  • How planning makes it easier to step into ambitious roles and achieve aspirations


Are You Growing The Value of Your Business

Take The 2-Minute Assessment To Get Your Intentional Growth Score™ And 1-Page Vision Board.

  • Are your company's current initiatives intentionally designed to increase the value of the business?
  • Do you know what you want from your business long term and why?
  • Do you know what your company is worth?
  • Do you know the differences between Management, Family Transitions, PE Firms, ESOPs and Strategic Buyers?
  • Does the business have a written strategic plan on how to achieve the desired normalized EBITDA and valuation?


About the Guest:

Shellye Archambeau is one of Silicon Valley's first Black women CEOs. MetricStream, a recognized global leader in governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) software solutions, was recognized for growth and innovation under her leadership and made the top ten of the“Deloitte Technology Fast 50” as well as was named a global leader in GRC by leading independent analyst firms for nine consecutive years. Shellye has also served on a number of boards, helping build brands, high performance teams and organizations. Her first book, Unapologetically Ambitious: Take Risks, Break Barriers, and Create Success on Your Own Terms, is one of Fortune’s best business books of 2020 and a summation of her journey thus far. Her new focus is to impact and inspire the next generation of professionals so they can improve their odds of achieving what they want out of life. 



05:10 - “What has to be true for me to actually achieve it.” – Shellye Archambeau

07:19 - “If I just did what everyone else did, I wasn’t going to get very much.” – Shellye Archambeau

11:19 - “I was sick and tired of – especially women and people of color – ‘Oh, you’re ambitious,’ and it’s not meant as a compliment. Which is ridiculous.” – Shellye Archambeau

12:25 - “Everyone--EVERYONE--has the right to be ambitious and no one should have to apologize for it.”  – Shellye Archambeau

13:50 - “What having that goal, and the plan, does is it gives you the framework so you can better optimize your choices and decisions so that you are able to improve your odds to achieve the success you are trying to create for yourself.” – Shellye Archambeau

20:44 - “‘Mom, I am not willing to work as hard as you work and end up with the smallest piece of pie.’ And she said, ‘Shellye, I don’t care about that pie. I have everything that I care about, so you decide what you care about and go after that. The rest of it? Doesn’t matter.’” – Shellye Archambeau

22:13 - “I cannot stand the term work-life balance.”

22:21 - “A balance is a fixed structure. It’s static; even on both sides at all times. I don’t know about you, Ryan, but my life is not static. My life is ups-and-downs and curves.” – Shellye Archambeau

22:54 - “I believe in work-life integration. I am one person with one head; therefore, I take my professional priorities and my personal priorities, I put them together and I prioritize – ruthlessly. And what that typically means is that there are some things that aren’t going to get done or I have to find someone else to do them. And that’s okay.” – Shelly Archambeau

23:53 - “Integrate your life in a way that it is one life and you are getting done what you need to get done across the spectrum.” – Shellye Archambeau

25:50 - “I was giving 100% of myself away.” – Shellye Archambeau

28:50 - “Life is hard. People just don’t tell you. Given that life is hard, we need help. So take help and get help along the way. Because this is just too hard to do yourself.”  – Shellye Archambeau

37:29 - “Decide for yourself what you’re willing to be judged on.” – Shellye Archambeau

44:40 - “Don’t let them impact how you feel. Don’t let them win.” – Shellye Archambeau


Links and Resources:

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

Shellye Archambeau official website

Twitter: @shelarchambeau

LinkedIn: Shellye Archambeau

Instagram: @ShelArchambeau

Mastering Your Cash Flow Digital Course

ARKONA Boot Camp

Reach out to me if you have questions about the boot camp!


You can also reach out to me via email at [email protected], or on my LinkedIn.


Brought to you by Ryan Tansom of Intentional Growth