The Road to Someplace Better: From the Segregated South to Harvard Business School and Beyond [NOOK Book]

Overview

Eight-year-old Lillian Hobson, accustomed to doing chores by dawn's light and schoolwork by kerosene lamp, couldn't believe her eyes when electricity finally came to her family's small farm. She ran through every room, switching on lights. What she didn't realize that day was that something was growing inside her a fierce determination that would propel her to become the first black woman to receive an MBA from Harvard, then found her own multimillion-dollar business. In The Road to Someplace Better, Lillian ...

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The Road to Someplace Better: From the Segregated South to Harvard Business School and Beyond

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Overview

Eight-year-old Lillian Hobson, accustomed to doing chores by dawn's light and schoolwork by kerosene lamp, couldn't believe her eyes when electricity finally came to her family's small farm. She ran through every room, switching on lights. What she didn't realize that day was that something was growing inside her a fierce determination that would propel her to become the first black woman to receive an MBA from Harvard, then found her own multimillion-dollar business. In The Road to Someplace Better, Lillian Lincoln Lambert shares an inspiring personal saga that took her from the farm to dead-end jobs in New York City and Washington, D.C., to the ivory tower and the world of entrepreneurship.

Charting her own uncertain course, she married three times, raised two daughters, fought her way through a thorny political and social landscape for blacks and women, did her best to reshape corporate America to fit the needs of real people, testified before Congress on behalf of women business owners, fell in love with of all things golf, and built her own pure golden network of family, friends, mentors, and business contacts. How did a young black woman from 1940s America make such a leap, and what is her advice to others?

Lambert drew wisdom and ideas from everywhere, starting with her inimitable mother, Arnetha B. Hobson, herself a trailblazer who received a college degree in the 1920s, taught school, and instilled a respect for education and reading in her daughter. She also looked to her father, who, although he had only a third-grade education, supported seven children and proudly bragged that his daughter was attending the "same school that President Kennedy went to." But it was her mentor at Howard University, Professor H. Naylor Fitzhugh, who convinced her that she was Harvard material and deserved to go to its business school.

Lambert shows you the chilly world of Harvard in 1967?all the colder if you were in the business school and black and female and, as she discovered one day, unprepared for class. It was colder still the day after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated and his death was not even mentioned in her section at the business school. She also offers you a B-school-worthy look at the nuts and bolts of running her own business, from landing big contracts to hiring the best people to watching the books like a hawk and, finally, choosing to sell.

The Road to Someplace Better is infused with Lambert's hard-won wisdom and clear-eyed advice. Rule number one: There is no substitute for education and there are no shortcuts. Discover the rest of this amazing woman's story and secrets inside. It just may change your life.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This is an old-fashioned rags-to-riches story that traces Lambert's upbringing as the daughter of God-fearing Virginia subsistence farmers to becoming the first black woman to graduate from Harvard Business School, in year TK, and later attaining success as a Maryland entrepreneur. Told in straightforward, no-nonsense prose, Lambert's memoir begins backward, from the shocking anecdote about arriving for a meeting of a group of powerful businesswomen in New York City in 1986 and being ushered to the kitchen. In fact, Lambert née Hobson worked as a maid when she first arrived in New York City in 1958, fresh out of high school from Ballsville, Va. (Her 1976 startup of a janitorial service in Maryland provides another irony.) Although her mother, a rare college graduate back in the rural South, wanted her daughter to go to college, Lambert resolved to support herself instead, faking references to get a job at Macy's, for example. After working as a clerk-typist in Washington, D.C., she finally applied to Howard University, where her marketing professor, H. Naylor Fitzhugh, one of the few black graduates of Harvard's business school told her she was “Harvard material” and should apply. She was accepted and in the fall of 1967 at 27 years old, she found herself homesick, overwhelmed by the work, but determined not to quit. Her account captures a historic epoch and offers some business strategies. (Jan.)\
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780470536995
  • Publisher: Turner Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 4/9/2010
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 1,259,262
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Lillian Lincoln Lambert was the first black female Harvard MBA (1969), who in 2003 received Harvard Business School's Alumni Achievement Award, the highest award the school bestows on its alumni. For twenty-five years, she was president and CEO of Centennial One, Inc., a building maintenance company she founded in 1976 in her garage with a few thousand dollars. She grew the company to $20 million in sales and hired more than 1,200 employees. Lambert is the recipient of numerous other awards, including Black MBA Association's Entrepreneur of the Year, and Small Business Person of the Year in the State of Maryland. She has been featured on Good Morning America and in Time, the Washington Post, and Entrepreneur.

Rosemary Brutico is a freelance writer and principal of Quintessence Communication, a public relations firm. She is a former managing editor of MIT's Sloan Management Review.

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Table of Contents

Foreword by Cathy Hughes.

Acknowledgments.

Prologue.

1 The Farm.

2 Fifth Avenue on a Wing and a Prayer.

3 In the Company of Angels.

4 Howard University and Lucky 13

5 Harvard Business School: 1967-1968

6 Harvard Business School: 1968-1969.

7 Life beyond Harvard.

8 Life as a Double Minority Entrepreneur.

9 The Birth of a Company.

10. Letting Go and Moving On.

11 Giving Back.

Epilogue.

Index.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 20, 2010

    The Road to Someplace Better

    I can not impress upon anyone how good The Road to Someplace Better is. It is one of the most motivational books I have ever read. No matter what is going on in your life Lillian Lincoln Lambert shows that YOU CAN MAKE IT. I strongly urge you to purchase this book. You will not be sorry.

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  • Posted January 26, 2010

    A definite must read

    Lillian's book is a definite must read for every one of us, because she's such a role model in so many ways--especially for any woman who would like to own her own business or run her own enterprise. Her inspirational story about searching for 'some place better' truly turns into a "Yes I Can' call to all of us.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    A MUST READ for those who dare to achieve their dreams in this lifetime!

    Lillian Lambert's memoir offers a candid and humbling account of her life's journey. She engages you from the very beginning, sharing details of both her "highs" and "lows" in such a way that you relate immediately recognize that nothing's impossible or unattainable with love, courage and devotion. The book is not only inspiring, but also a true guidebook on how to trust and be true to oneself, despite what may seem like insurmountable odds. I highly recommend for those who dare to live out their dreams in this lifetime!

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  • Posted January 18, 2010

    Determination, Drive, and Rewards

    This book is an honest, forthright, refreshing, no-holes barred detailing of Lillian's journey to someplace. It's an informative, easy to identify with, fun reading memoir, detailing the vicissitudes of a forerunner enroute to "someplace" culminating in her self-fulfillment into retirement.

    The book demonstrates the importance of having determination, drive, & persistence, and not allowing customs or traditions to define one's boundaries. Alternatively stated, it's an "object lesson" of the importance of not being captive to the environment one is born into. In another sense, Lillian did what came naturally - she was internally driven to reach for the next rung in the ladder that her dreams unfolded before her. No doubt, her Christian roots/foundations, faith, & the Bible, were her silent enforcers that refused to allow her to stagger, along with the early recognition that the skill-sets provided by a high school diploma or a BS degree wouldn't open up for her significant breakthroughs that she perceived possible. Having studied the life of Joshua in Sunday School didn't hurt, neither did moving in the flow of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960's.

    Many of us of her generation and culture can readily identify with her path; likewise, many of the next generation would surely benefit from an in-depth study of it. In short, her fruit reflects the rewards from hard work, risk taking, maintaining relationships & adhering to the counsel & advice of trusted associates, along with owning up to the potential that others saw in her. She should be congratulated for pursuing her predestination for greatness because many of us start the trail but few pursue to the end. Like a rolling stone, she kept on rolling toward the next potential, trusting God to see her through it all. I highly recommend this book for today's youth who don't see doors of opportunities on the horizon of their future.

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  • Posted January 12, 2010

    Inspiring

    An inspiring memoir that eloquently conveys the results of prepartion, determination, and collaboration for success...

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  • Posted January 9, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Motivating!

    Well written and engaging. Lambert's personal story of her experiences during her travels on "the road to someplace better" is awe-inspiring. As a current MBA student and an African American woman, I was interested to read about the obstacles that she encountered and impressed at how she persevered and overcame. Her story shows me that I should dream "bigger" and expect to achieve more. Lillian Lambert is living proof that it can be done! My 15 year old daughter will be reading this next!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2010

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