My Wife, My Partner

Strong marriages, stable families, and an enduring faith in God go hand-in-hand with success in everything we do. People who lack stability in their personal lives generally find it difficult to achieve sustained excellence and satisfaction in their business and professional lives. Those seeking role models to follow in their quest for success would do well to study not only the business histories and career paths of their examples but also how they managed their personal affairs—and perhaps more importantly, what qualities made their spouses such effective life partners. This is why I devoted a significant portion of my autobiographical best-seller, How To Succeed in Business Without Being White: Straight Talk on Making It in America, to the critical role my marriage and family played in my ability to grow our company.

Don’t just take my example. Consider business titan and Johnson Publishing Co. Founder John H. Johnson or the legendary Reginald F. Lewis. Both their wives, Eunice and Loida, respectively, played indispensible roles in their late husbands’ career and business successes. And both have been critical to ensuring that their husbands’ business legacies and interests are sustained for generations to come, through their children (including Johnson’s successor as CEO, daughter Linda Johnson-Rice), as well as institutions such as The Reginald F. Lewis Museum in Baltimore.

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