Perspectives Online

State leaders share success stories in new book; proceeds support N.C. State’s Shelton Leadership Center

Kay Yow. David Gergen. Dr. Leroy Walker. Charlie Rose. These are just four of the 33 well-known North Carolina leaders featured in Secrets of Success: North Carolina Values-Based Leadership by Gen. H. Hugh Shelton, U.S. Army (Ret.), 14th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The coffee-table book, released May 26 by Ivy House Publishing Group, offers unique insights from some of the state’s most recognizable leaders.

Proceeds from the sale of Secrets of Success will support leadership and scholarship programs for the General H. Hugh Shelton Leadership Center, based at N.C. State University. The center offers values-based leadership development initiatives for young people statewide, including 4-H Shelton scholarships and summer Shelton Challenge programs.

In the book’s forward, William C. Friday, UNC system president emeritus, describes a “major crisis in our country today – the hunger for creative, courageous leaders possessing the integrity that inspires public trust.” He says that through the book’s biographical essays, “Gen. Shelton is showing us that there is a better way and that it is our task, yours and mine, to rediscover and recommit ourselves to the ancient virtues of truth, integrity, compassion, trust, decency, civility and service to others.”

The first-person anecdotes in Secrets of Success are as diverse as the collection of people who spoke them. Hugh McColl examines how the values he learned as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps enabled him to create one of the largest and most profitable banks in the United States. Civil rights attorney Julius Chambers recalls the leadership that led to the desegregation of North Carolina schools. Dr. Johnnetta B. Cole, head of the JBC Center for Inclusion and Engagement, remembers how her great-grandfather, Abraham Lincoln Lewis, a man only one generation from slavery, became the first black millionaire in Jacksonville, Fla. And Arnold Palmer shares revolutionary thoughts on the game of golf and the changes that must be made to keep it vibrant.

All of the stories are accompanied by black-and-white portraits taken by Raleigh photographer Simon Griffiths.

Development and publication of Secrets of Success was made possible by support from Chris Collins, John McNeill, Cline Cellars/Southern Vines LLC, the North Carolina Agricultural Foundation Inc. and Cooke Realtors of Ocean Isle Beach.

Secrets of Success is available at major book retailers or via It may also be purchased through the publisher’s online bookstore at or by calling the publisher at 1-800-948-2786.

For more information on the General H. Hugh Shelton Leadership Center, visit

North Carolina leaders featured in Secrets of Success:
  • Herman Boone
  • Erskine Bowles
  • Col. Curt Brown
  • Julius Chambers
  • Donna Chavis
  • Dr. T. Ming Chu
  • Dr. Johnnetta B. Cole
  • Alan Dickson
  • Rep. Bob Etheridge
  • David Gergen
  • Ann Goodnight
  • Dr. Catherine Gordon
  • Edward Gore
  • Franklin Graham
  • William Harrison
  • Gov. James Holshouser
  • Gov. James B. Hunt Jr.
  • Jeannette Hyde
  • Hugh McColl
  • Gen. Dan McNeill
  • Dr. Carmaletta LittleJohn Monteith
  • David Murdock
  • Wendell Murphy
  • Arnold Palmer
  • Richard Petty
  • Dr. Jerry Punch
  • Jerry Richardson
  • Charlie Rose
  • Mary Semans
  • Benny Suggs
  • Dr. LeRoy Walker
  • Tab Williams
  • Kay Yow
-- Suzanne Stanard