National Authors Day: Inspirational Authors To Follow On Twitter

As I complete the final draft of Be Fearless in advance of its early January launch, I am getting more and more excited about being able to share the book and its stories of fearless innovators and everyday people around the world. At the same time, I continue to be inspired by many authors who have come before me and have brought fearless inspiration in their own right.

This National Authors Day, I want to highlight some of the authors whose books have inspired, informed and entertained me. I encourage you to review this list of authors and consider their works. I hope they will inspire your own fearless journey. To preorder your copy of Be Fearless: 5 Principles for a Life of Purpose, check out

Author Name
Twitter Handle
José Andrés
We all are Citizens of the World. What’s good for you, must be good for all. If you are lost, share a plate of food with a stranger…you will find who you are.
Steve Case
Author of The Third Wave: An Entrepreneur’s Vision of the Future. Chairman of Revolution. Chairman of Case Foundation. Co-founder of AOL.
Willa Cather
A non-profit organization that promotes the legacy of renowned author Willa Cather through education, historic preservation, and the arts.
Clay Christensen
Professor at HarvardHBS. Author of Competing vs Luck. Cofounder of Christensen Institute, Innosight & Rose Park Advisors. Member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Husband & father.
James Collins and Jerry Porras
Jim Collins is a student and teacher of what make great companies tick and author or co-author of six books, including Good to Great and Built to Last.
Beth Comstock
Changemaker & Author discovering what’s next. Love science, art & books. Former CMO & GE Vice Chair. My book, Imagine It Forward, comes out 9.18.18
John Doerr
Passionate about helping missionary entrepreneurs create the Next Big Thing. General partner at KPCB.
Tony Dungy
Husband to Lauren Dungy, father of ten, author, retired NFL coach, National Spokesman for All Pro Dad. Live by Mark 8:36
Brad Feld
I’m a VC at Foundry Group. I live in Boulder, Colorado, invest in software and Internet companies around the US, run marathons, and love to read.
Derrick Feldmann
Researcher | Advisor | Author of Social Movements for Good | Founder @causeinfluence
Tim Ferriss
Author of 5 #1 NYT/WSJ bestsellers, investor (FB, Uber, Twitter, 50+ more: ), host of The Tim Ferriss Show podcast (300M+ downloads)
Tom Friedman
NY Times columnist and Pulitzer Prize winning author of Lexus and the Olive Tree and From Beirut to Jerusalem.
Adam Grant
Organizational psychologist at Wharton. Books: GIVE AND TAKE, ORIGINALS, OPTION B. Podcast: WorkLife at TEDTalks. Diver. Success is helping others succeed.
Scott Harrison
Author of New York Times Bestsller, THIRST – A story of Redemption, Compasssion, and a Mission to Bring Clean Water to the World. Founder, CEO of Charity Water.
Alex Honnold
Miriam Horn
Author of RANCHER, FARMER, FISHERMAN: Conservation Heroes of the American Heartland (Norton, 9/6/16)
Walter Isaacson
Professor at Tulane. Former CEO of Aspen Institute, editor of TIME, CEO of CNN. Author of The Innovators, Leonardo da Vinci, Franklin, Einstein, Steve Jobs
Daymond John
Order your copy of my new book Rise And Grind
Steven Johnson
Author. (Eleven books.) TV/podcast host. (How We Got To Now, American Innovations.) Dad. (Three boys.) Husband. (One wife.)
Max Lucado
Pastor and NYT bestselling author. New book, Unshakable Hope, available now wherever books are sold!
Ann Mei Chang
Author of Lean Impact, former USAID Chief Innovation Officer & Exec Director at the Global Development Lab. Innovation to accelerate impact & scale for socialgood and globalgoals.
Joyce Meyer
Sharing Christ – Loving People *All responses are moderated by Joyce Meyer Ministries. Tweets from Joyce will be signed accordingly.
Steven Pinker
Cognitive scientist at Harvard.
Eric Reis
Trying to change how startups are built.
JD Vance
Author of Hillbilly Elegy and investor at Rise of the Rest

To preorder your copy of Be Fearless: 5 Principles for a Life of Purpose, check out

What to Look for During the Olympics

Soon, the XXIII Olympic Winter Games will begin in PyeongChang, South Korea. From February 8th through the 25th, we’ll witness athletes come from across the globe to show their skills in 15 different sports. Full of competition and camaraderie, every two years, the Olympics become the culmination of hard work and sport, with eyes from all around the world watching to see which countries’ athletes hoist their home flags and bring home the gold.

But with each event I watch, year after year, I find myself extraordinarily impressed with the personal stories of fearlessness that I see in athletes from all over the world. They come from everywhere, from different backgrounds and stories, overcoming adversity in the hopes to live out their greatest dreams.

Take, for instance, the examples of fearlessness we see every day from Olympians, inside and outside of competition:

Kelly Clark

Veteran snowboarder Kelly Clark has already broken another record before she has even started to compete in PyeongChang. The 34-year-old has hit a milestone of being the first U.S. snowboarder to compete in five Olympic games. But the high of holding the title for the most decorated Olympic snowboarder coincided with the lowest point of her career, crashing at the 2015 X Games in Norway and having to recover from possible career-ending injuries.

It’s not unheard of for athletes to get injured once in a while. But that fall was different from all the others. She had torn her hamstring from the bone and tore the cartilage that kept her femur in her hip joint. That meant going through surgery for repair and then a year of recovery time, a kind of injury difficult for any person, let alone Kelly, the winningest athlete in snowboarding history.

She spent a month in bed with her feet bound together. She had to re-learn how to walk. Months off snow meant that she would have to come back and work harder than ever to make up for all that lost time. But for a determined individual like her—one who refused to let the injury define her career by ending it—the answer was as clear as ever: recover, train and compete not just to win, but to inspire others. As another Olympics loomed, Kelly felt a sense of urgency that helped conquer her fears of being defined by her injury rather than her skill.

By qualifying for the 2018 Olympics, she showed everyone around her what she is made of. Before, Kelly already made big bets and made history, but now in PyeongChang, it’s time to demonstrate how she’s evolved. These games will bring new tests as she goes up against athletes half her age, but Kelly stays motivated by keeping things in perspective and above all else, resolving to boldly keep progressing.

Akwasi Frimpong

The story of Akwasi Frompong begins in Ghana, where he was born. He, and his eight other siblings, were raised by his grandmother. His mother had gone to the Netherlands in order to find a better life for her family. At age eight, he followed her there, but with undocumented immigrant status. That status provided difficulties through the years, as Akwasi found trouble getting into schools as he grew older.

It was the Johan Cruyff Institute that took a chance on the young man. Akwasi was admitted into a program that allowed him to excel in academics and sport all at once. It was there that he began running, earning the name “GoldenSprint” and winning the award for International Student-Athlete of the Year.

But an achilles injury would put his competitive dreams on hold. His immigration status meant that Akwasi wouldn’t be able to find timely medical attention, and, unable to fully recover, the injury would keep him from running for almost three years.

Approached by the Dutch Olympic bobsled coach, Akwasi reached beyond his bubble and decided to take a chance at something brand new. Thirteen years after arriving in the Netherlands, he had become a naturalized citizen and could compete. Believing that the Olympics were a symbol of hope, he joined the team with Sochi 2014 in sight. However, he positioned as second alternate and barely missed the cut.

Unwilling to give up his Olympic aspirations, Akwasi was determined to fail forward, pivoting once again, this time training in skeleton. He founded the first Ghana Bobsled and Skeleton Foundation, and—turning 32 during the games this year—will compete in PyeongChang as the first ever skeleton athlete from Ghana in the Winter Olympics.

By constantly making big bets, Akwasi hopes to make history as the first person to win an Olympic gold medal for the country where he was born.

“What you need for success is already planted deep down inside of you. The root of your success starts in believing in yourself, then it is nurtured with a positive attitude, and then hard work and persistence will bring your success to reality.”
— Akwasi Frimpong

Mikaela Shiffrin

Mikaela Shiffrin has won three straight World Cup titles. The New Yorker called her the best slalom skier in the world. She’s the youngest woman in U.S. history to win a World Championship, and four years ago, she became the youngest person in history to win an Olympic gold in slalom at just 18 years of age.

Her age would tell you that she’s only at the start of her career, but with over 40 World Cup wins under her belt already, anyone can tell that she’s on her way to skyrocketing well beyond that. For context, phenom Lindsey Vonn only had seven career wins at the same age.

But like all of us, Mikaela has her share of challenges. Her achievements don’t come easy, and just weeks before the next Olympic games, she’s coming off of very public falls. As the opening ceremony for PyeongChang quickly approaches, Mikaela is bouncing back from late January failings, where she was unable to finish two World Cup races in a row, falling in one and missing a gate completely in another. For the successful athlete, it was the first time in six years that happened.

But like any fearless actor, Mikaela can make failure matter. With the heavy pressure of the Olympics looming, I’m hoping this bold athlete will fail forward, learning from these mistakes and using them as fuel to propel her Olympic dreams. Mikaela has been favored to win three medals this year, and I hope that she won’t let these recent speedbumps deter her from taking home the gold. And judging by what we see from her in this #BestofUs ad from Comcast NBC Universal, I have a feeling we’ll see big things from her:

These Olympians exemplify the Be Fearless principles the Case Foundation celebrates both in individuals and organizations everywhere. So, as you watch the 2018 Winter Olympic games, think about these athletes, and their fearless stories, as they continue to make big bets and make history, and hopefully provide some inspiration along the way.

Confronting the Dark Side of Entrepreneurship

November is National Entrepreneurship Month, and the irony that the month kicks off with National Stress Awareness Day will not be lost on any entrepreneur.

Throughout the month, we at the Case Foundation will be celebrating entrepreneurs and all of the contributions they bring. When we talk about putting our Be Fearless principles into practice, it’s not surprising that we often turn to startup founders for inspiration. For “Make big bets” you can’t help but think of Sara Blakely and Jeff Bezos; “Let Urgency Conquer Fear” evokes the story of Daymond John; “Make Failure Matter” conjures images of Oprah who was told she wasn’t made for TV, Elon Musk, or Thomas Edison who famously declared, “I haven’t failed, I’ve just found ten thousand ways that won’t work.”

But the story of many entrepreneurs, because they can be so inspirational, can also become over-glamorized. What we don’t talk about enough, however, is the stamina — mental and physical — required to be an entrepreneur. It’s an essential part of the narrative of who is and can be an entrepreneur. And since that very notion was the premise of our recent #FacesofFounders campaign, we reached back out to some of those featured founders to take on the topic of stress management.

Head to Faces of Founders on Medium to see what they said.

5 Quotes To Inspire You To #BeFearless

Make big bets and make history. Experiment early and often. Make failure matter. Reach beyond your bubble. Let urgency conquer fear. These are the five Be Fearless principles that serve as the common thread for groundbreaking, problem-solving success. Nonprofits, philanthropy, individuals, startups and corporations have leveraged these principles to bring forward world changing inventions, to shift our mindsets of what’s possible and to solve persistent social problems.

Our CEO, Jean Case, explained what the principles mean in our initial Be Fearless episode on Facebook Watch. Storytelling is not only a way to bring to life the historical and contemporary Be Fearless champions who have changed the world, but also a way to lift up those undiscovered fearless changemakers that inspire you. Through our Finding Fearless campaign, we’ve heard from people around the world with examples of a wide variety of people and organizations putting the Be Fearless principles into action. The stories we receive will have a chance of being featured in Jean Case’s upcoming book or uplifted by the Case Foundation in our work and we continue to review stories posted on the site on a daily basis.

But stories don’t always need to be long to be impactful. We have seen a single quote inspire changemakers to move to action, to overcome their fears and take the steps needed to start them on the path of transformational change. To inspire you and to remind you of those inspired by #BeFearless, here are some of these quotes.

On making big bets

On experimenting

On failure

On reaching beyond your bubble

On urgency

We hope these words of wisdom from changemakers of all backgrounds and perspectives inspire you to take a fearless approach to your own work. And we hope they inspire you to share a story, whether it’s your own or a story you love. If you’re looking for even more Be Fearless inspiration, check out our show on Facebook Watch, head to our Be Fearless hub, and tweet at us using #FindingFearless.

Fearless Focus: Barbara Van Dahlen

In our journey to Be Fearless and champion a fearless approach to tackling social challenges, the Case Foundation will spotlight leading changemakers across sectors that have embraced fearlessness. Our spotlights will provide personal accounts of why these changemakers adopted a fearless approach, how they overcame hurdles, and how taking risks, being bold, and failing forward led to quicker results and deeper impact.

This Fearless Focus is on Barbara Van Dahlen, Ph.D., Founder & President of Give an Hour™, a national nonprofit organization that provides free mental health care to our returning troops, their families, and their communities.  Barbara was recently named to the TIME 100 list for her efforts in creating and leading Give an Hour to help fill a critical need for mental health services for our nation’s military.  Admiral Mike Mullen shared more about Barbara’s fearless work with TIME:

“Through her organization, Give an Hour, she has mobilized thousands of mental-health professionals to volunteer countless hours of counseling for those in need, at a time when there is a critical shortfall in the military and throughout our country.

Barbara has tenaciously attacked the epidemic of posttraumatic stress disorder, helping break through the stigma that prevents many from seeking help. She has also created an opportunity for many who have not served in uniform to make a difference.

Barbara cares for people and is dedicated to making their lives better. She has served thousands nobly and has been an extraordinary example for all of us in her life and her giving.”

I am the president and founder of Give an Hour and a licensed clinical psychologist. I am also the mother of two girls who will inherit the world that I leave behind.

There are many social issues, both local and global, that require our attention. Some appear more urgent than others, but all result in suffering and should, therefore, concern us. In order to successfully address any one of these issues we must be determined, resourceful, and yes, we must be fearless. We must be willing to face rejection of our ideas-not once but repeatedly. We must be able to withstand uncertainty, doubt, and disappointment-for if the tasks were easy, others would have accomplished them long ago.  And we must tolerate the limitations of others and ourselves-for if any of us were perfect, social issues like the ones that burden our communities (poverty, illiteracy, homelessness, hunger) would be rare occurrences indeed.

My father taught me to be fearless. He was a World War II veteran. He served in the Navy in the Pacific. He fought in battles, he was injured, and he never talked about it. But he did talk about honor and integrity and service. He raised four children, for many years by himself. He taught by example, and he never took the easy way out. He followed his principles, and he encouraged his children to follow theirs even if they differed from his. He valued honesty and directness, and he always spoke up when he saw an injustice. I learned how to accept adversity – and how to appreciate my accomplishments – from my dad. I admired his compassion and selflessness, and I learned that if you find your passion and you focus on a mission that is greater than yourself, being fearless sort of comes with the territory.

Two years ago our organization faced a crossroads. No one on staff (other than my vice president, who has been my trusted partner from the beginning) knew about the crisis. We had expected to receive continued funding from a major sponsor, but a decision that had nothing to do with us changed their funding priorities. It was a very uncertain and difficult time. I worried about our staff members, their families, and our mission. Rather than allow our fear to paralyze us, we developed a plan to save our organization and its mission-even if it meant turning over the reins of GAH to another organization. Fortunately, the head of the foundation that had provided our funding, with whom I had a wonderful relationship, championed our cause and secured a chunk of funding to help us during the transition. No one was laid off, and no programs suffered. Within a few months we had several additional funding streams in place, and Give an Hour has continued to expand ever since.

Launching and growing a nonprofit organization in the current climate within our country is very difficult indeed. But it isn’t impossible. Funders want to support good programs. It is important that nonprofits provide a quality “product.” It is critical that we engage in best practices when we can find them-and create them when they don’t exist. If we are successful in accomplishing this, then foundations and corporations will support our critical efforts. In our case our funder was so pleased with what we had accomplished with their generous financial gift that he stepped up to ensure that we had the funding we needed to continue our mission.