Invisible Heros

Roy H. Williams · March 17, 2014

It’s 1848. Nine Irishmen have been captured, tried and convicted of treason against Her Majesty, the Queen. They are sentenced to death. The men’s names are Charles Duffy, John Mitchell, Morris Lyene, Pat Donahue, Thomas McGee, Richard O’Gorman, Thomas Meagher, Michael Ireland, and Terrence McManus. As the judge is about to pronounce their sentences, he asks if there is anything they would like to say. Meagher steps forward and speaks for the group. “My Lord, this is our first […]

Roy H. Williams · March 10, 2014

Andrew marches cheerfully behind George Washington as they go to bravely fight the British. When it’s discovered that the 13 year-old boy is an excellent rider, he’s given the job of courier. But within a year he is captured and taken prisoner of war by the troops of Sir Banastre Tarleton, a British commander known throughout the Carolinas as “The Butcher.”

As Andrew stands quietly at attention, Tarleton looks him over with a sneer. Lifting a muddy foot onto a wooden box in front of the […]

Roy H. Williams · March 03, 2014

Julius was born in Springfield, Illinois, in a house directly across the street from where Abraham Lincoln had once lived. A small influence, surely, but it seems to have been enough.

Soft-spoken, Julius grew to be highly organized, but he could never abide bureaucracy. And although he was unusually focused and highly attentive, he never worried. “Early in my business career,” he wrote, “I learned the folly of worrying about anything. I have always worked as hard as I could, but when a […]

Roy H. Williams · February 24, 2014

I am small enough to have absurd little prejudices, but I’m also big enough to admit it. Oddly, though, I have none of the traditional stupid prejudices we typically associate with the word. I have my own brand of stupid prejudices.

One of the most longstanding of these prejudices has been against men with ponytails. I’ve always felt that guys with ponytails were painfully complacent. They never seemed to be bad people, they just lacked the enthusiasm to be good for much either. A […]

Roy H. Williams · February 17, 2014

Do you remember when your mind was fully open and you saw the world through eyes of wonder? Everything was new when you were two. And anything was possible.

“All children, except one, grow up. They soon know that they will grow up, and the way Wendy knew was this. One day when she was two years old she was playing in a garden, and she plucked another flower and ran with it to her mother. I suppose she must have looked rather delightful, for Mrs. Darling […]

Roy H. Williams · February 10, 2014

Cornelius Vanderbilt was in the first grade the year George Washington died. Five years later, Cornelius quit school at age eleven and set out to make his mark on the world.

When he was 16, Cornelius Vanderbilt borrowed his mother’s life savings to buy a little sailboat to haul passengers and freight between Staten Island and New York City. Hungry, focused, and efficient, […]

Roy H. Williams · February 03, 2014

Alone or in public, when something good happens and I’m happy, I do a perfectly ridiculous little dance. Pennie calls it my “dance of delight.” It makes me look like an idiot.

I don’t care.

By doing the dance when I’m feeling great, it becomes a powerful tool I can use when I sense the ominous darkness that occasionally tries to creep over my soul. Do you know the darkness I mean? That desolate “blues of midnight – nothing matters,” sort of darkness that tries to pull you downward […]

Roy H. Williams · January 27, 2014

“He was tall, but exceedingly lank, with narrow shoulders, long arms and legs, hands that dangled a mile out of his sleeves, feet that might have served for shovels, and his whole frame most loosely hung together. His head was small, and flat at top, with huge ears, large green glassy eyes, and a long snipe nose, so that it looked like a weather-cock perched upon his spindle neck to tell which way the wind blew. To see him striding along the profile of a hill on a windy day, with his […]

Roy H. Williams · January 20, 2014

Remember James Cramer, the guy who started a multi-billion dollar consulting firm by leaving free stock tips on his answering machine? James gave me permission to share this note with you. I think you’ll like it:

All hell broke loose for me yesterday. I had so many crises going on that I could barely keep track of them. It is always difficult for me when I am out of the office. But yesterday I had to be at the office, at CNBC, for Squawk Box, at the Spy Bar to film a commercial for […]

Roy H. Williams · January 13, 2014

The saying, “The sun never sets on the British Empire” was true as recently as 1937 when tiny England did, in fact, still have possessions in each of the world’s 24 time zones. It’s widely known that the British explored, conquered and ruled much of the world for a number of years, but what isn’t as widely known is what made them believe they could do it.

For the first 1000 years after Christ, Greece and Rome were the only nations telling stories of heroes and champions. England was […]