Shellye Archambeau and the Many Feathers on Her Hat

Shellye Archambeau is one of Silicon Valley’s first female African American CEOs. She is a Former Executive of IBM, CMO at two public companies and Former CEO of a then-struggling Silicon Valley startup which is now MetricStream, a recognized global leader in governance, risk, and compliance software solutions. She is currently a Fortune 500 board member and serves on the board of Verizon, Nordstrom, Roper Technologies, and Okta. She is a Strategic Advisor to Royal Bank of Canada, Capital Markets, and Forbes Ignite as well as growing startups. Archambeau is also a renowned speaker and someone who’s regularly seen to make it on the Who’s Who list in technology. The list really goes on. Her debut book, Unapologetically Ambitious: Take Risks, Break Barriers, and Create Success is yet another milestone achieved. 

American Internet Entrepreneur, Venture Capitalist, Author, Co-founder and Former Executive Chairman of LinkedIn, Reid Hoffman describes her as the woman who pulled off the most incredible Silicon Valley turnaround you never heard of.  

But what got Archambeau interested in the technology sector in the first place?

She says, “Growth and constant innovation is important in technology. It was happening before my very own eyes. How could have I not been a part of something as extraordinary as that?”

Technology paves the way for endless possibilities. If we can stay connected via Zoom call, WhatApp or FaceTime, while we are all locked in our homes in the midst of a global pandemic, it is because of technology. If we can transfer money to someone in need via mobile banking, without actually physically going to the bank, it is because of technology. If we can shop on Amazon or eBay using our mobiles and have the orders delivered to our doorstep, it is because of technology. Do you see how amazing technology is? These are just some of the things technology enables us to do. There is so much untapped potential in there! We have barely scratched the surface of it! That’s what makes it so exciting!

Archambeau has come this far because of her ambition and intentional approach to life. “I set goals, create plans, and then make decisions and tradeoffs,” she says. If one can get some help and support along the way, the way I did, much can be attained. “I have had mentors and role models in my life. They inspired me to do better and be better every single day,” she adds. So, if you want to become successful, realize that you have to be focused on excelling in your current role and planning for the next. 

She also says that knowing how to handle criticism is crucial. You must accept it as a gift. Then, decide what to do with it. If it’s constructive, take it. If not, leave it. However, that’s not all. Knowing how to deal with uncertainties is imperative as well, she adds. Both of these are bound to meet you on your journey, so it’s important that you prepare yourself to deal with it and move forward to take on the world anyway. When the odds are against you, even them out with the right mindset and intentional approach. It’s very easy to settle when the going gets tough, but that’s when you have to push through. 

The 58-year-old has had many proud moments, but what makes her most proud is her 30 plus year marriage, two lovely children and the positive impact she has had on others.