Philanthropist, investor, and technology pioneer Jean Case brings to life the five Be Fearless principles common to the people and organizations that change the world.
This book is a call to action for those seeking to live extraordinary lives and bring about transformational change.
When National Geographic Chairman Jean Case set out to investigate the core qualities of great change makers, past and present, from inventors to revolutionaries, she found five surprising traits all had in common. They weren’t wealth, privilege, or even genius. It was that all of these exceptional men and women chose to make a “big bet,” take bold risks, learn from their failures, reach beyond their bubbles, and let urgency conquer fear.
Throughout Be Fearless, Jean vividly illustrates these principles through storytelling—from her own transformational life experiences, to Jane Goodall’s remarkable breakthroughs in understanding and protecting chimpanzees, to celebrity chef José Andrés’ decision to be a “first responder” and take his kitchen to the sites of devastating hurricanes to feed the hungry, to Bryan Stevenson’s ambitious efforts to end incarceration inequities, and more. She shares new insights to stories you might think you know—like AirBnB’s tale of starting from scratch to transform the hospitality industry, to John F. Kennedy’s history-making moonshot—and gems from changemakers you’ve never heard of.
Weaving together storytelling, practical tips and inspiration, Be Fearless will teach you how to put the five fearless principles to work so that they too can spark the sorts of remarkable breakthroughs that change the world.
Jean Case, the first female Chairman of the National Geographic Society in its 130-year history and CEO of the Case Foundation, is a philanthropist, investor, and internet and impact investing pioneer who advocates for the importance of embracing a more fearless approach to innovate and bring about transformational breakthroughs. Her career in the private sector spanned nearly two decades before co-founding the Case Foundation in 1997. Before the Case Foundation, she was a senior executive at America Online, Inc. where she directed the marketing and branding that helped bring AOL to the masses. In addition, Jean currently serves on the boards of Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure (ABC2), the White House Historical Association, and BrainScope Company, Inc., as well as on the advisory boards of the Brain Trust Accelerator Fund, Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society and Georgetown University’s Beeck Center for Social Impact and Innovation. She was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2016 and has received honorary degrees from Indiana University and George Mason University. Be Fearless: 5 Principles for a Life of Breakthroughs and Purpose is her first book.
“If you want to change the world, it helps to be fearless. And if you need a dose of courage, I recommend this powerful collection of stories, evidence, and optimism. Jean Case draws on research and personal experience to provide change-makers with moral support and practical guidance.”
– Melinda Gates, philanthropist and co-chair, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
“An inspiring book by an inspiring leader. Jean Case has been in the arena as a technology pioneer and philanthropist, and this book is full of stories and advice to embolden you to take bolder risks and have bigger impact.”
– Adam Grant, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Originals, Give and Take, and Option B with Sheryl Sandberg
“If you feel stuck in your career, Case’s principles are the answer! The book is packed with inspiring examples of success stories.”
– Focus Magazine
“Jean Case has done what many before her have tried but been unable to achieve: break down the essential qualities and principles that drive success. Her book tells us in no uncertain terms what it takes to break through in an increasingly crowded world of ideas. With legitimately surprising research and compelling stories, Be Fearless inspires us all to take risks we usually wouldn’t, conquer the fears that get in our way, and lead a fulfilling life of clear purpose and maximum impact.”
– Eric Schmidt, former Executive Chairman, Google and Alphabet
“Case expertly crafts a must-read for leaders who are seeking an inspirational roadmap for change in today’s challenging climate.”
“I wish I had Jean Case’s Be Fearless by my side when we were starting Warby Parker. This engaging book highlights stories of ordinary people who end up doing extraordinary things, much to the surprise of others and even themselves, and draws out the “secret sauce” behind success. For anyone looking to make a change, start a company, or change the world, Be Fearless provides both the inspiration and tools to make a real impact.”
– Neil Blumenthal, co-founder and co-CEO of Warby Parker
“Be Fearless is part business how-to, part cheerleader on how to get stuff done. If you’re stuck, need inspiration, or some ideas on how to move any part of an idea or enterprise forward, it’s filled with stories from real people doing incredibly difficult things — from philanthropy to enterprise — and Case’s own tough-love advice on making progress.”
“The stories in this book will inspire and motivate you to be brave and bold in unconventional ways. Jean Case creates a narrative of testimonies that can guide you through any challenge or roadblock. Confronting the status quo can intimidate many, however Be Fearless provides antidotes from thought leaders, entrepreneurs, and everyday people who have defied all odds.”
– Mellody Hobson, President, Ariel Investments
“Through compelling storytelling, Jean Case shows how bold decision-making and acts of fearlessness have transformed the world. Be Fearless stresses one of the most critical components of successful entrepreneurship: discomfort. Her very useful roadmap shows budding entrepreneurs how to think independently and move beyond their comfort zone. Starting a business is not easy, but Be Fearless gives entrepreneurs the tools they need to embark—fearlessly—on their own journey.”
– Tory Burch, designer & CEO, Tory Burch LLC
“Start the new year with an inspirational call to action.”
– Town & Country
“Case's book is a welcome kick in the pants for anyone who feels stuck in their career.”
– Business Insider
“When the going gets tough, crack open Be Fearless for a jolt of examples of how entrepreneurs and leaders have broken through and to be inspired to keep pushing forward on your own journey to change the world.”
– Brad Feld, entrepreneur and venture capitalist at Foundry Group
“As a philanthropist, investor and internet and impact investing pioneer, Case advocates for the importance of embracing a more fearless approach to innovation and bringing about transformational breakthroughs.”