Behavioral Grooves Podcast

How Shelley Archambeau Flies Like an Eagle

Feb. 7, 2021

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.



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Kurt Nelson, PhD: [email protected]

Tim Houlihan: [email protected]


“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:

“Unapologetically Ambitious”:

Carol Dweck – Growth Mindset:

George Bernard Shaw:

Stephen Curtis, Episode # 148:

Locke & Latham on Goals:

Nicholas Christakis and James Fowler, “The Spread of Obesity in a Large Social Network over 32 Years”:


Musical Links

Steve Miller “Fly Like an Eagle”:

Spinners “I’ll Be Around”:

Marvin Gaye “What’s Going On”:

The O’ Jays, “Love Train”:

Teddy Pendergrass, “Turn Off the Lights”:

Alfie Pollitt, "Say It (Over and Over)":

Earl Klugh, “This Time”:

Dave Koz, “You Make Me Smile”:

Brian Culbertson, “Colors of Love”:

Praful, “Don't Fight with Life/Om Namah Shivaya”:

George Benson, “On Broadway”:

Elton John, “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me”:

Audrey Hepburn, “Moon River”: neither hosts nor alters podcast files. All content © its respective owners.