064 – Ambition and Service with Mark Stoleson

064 – Ambition and Service with Mark Stoleson

Mark Stoleson-Podcast

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[In This Episode][Guest Bio][Additional Notes][Text Transcript]

In This Episode

How are ambition and serving others related?  Can we END neglected diseases in the third world?  How important are values and lifelong learning to success?  Join us on today’s episode for a peek behind the curtain of true success.

Welcome to the Table Top Inventing podcast where we discuss innovation, success, and the path to a good life for teens and those who guide them.  We have a special treat for you today.  I had an opportunity to bump into a successful executive at a business conference earlier this fall.  I was so impressed by his story and the values of their company that I knew I had to find a way to bring his wisdom to our show.

Mark Stoleson is the CEO at Legatum a global private investment fund based in Dubai–The United Arab Emirates.  In the interview, Mark and I mostly cover the amazing successes and lessons he’s learned along the way.  We didn’t spend much time discussing the failures and challenges along the way, but afterward he told me,

“Steve, hopefully what will come out of this is something that is inspiring and not so far out of reach for people.  If we pull back the curtain a little farther, it has not been a continuous upward trajectory since elementary school with everything being a walk through fields of daisies.  It’s had its ups and downs.  It’s been a real life.

The secret of success in facing a challenge or a setback is what you do with the situation.  Even if hanging-on and persevering is the best you can do, that’s doing really, really well.  Because it forms who you are and your character.  Some of the greatest benefits and opportunities come out of times of challenge.”

I love the way Mark frames his experience.  As you listen to this interview remember some of the greatest success stories began in humble places.  It isn’t about getting it right every time.  Success is about how you face what life brings.  Let’s listen in for timeless wisdom from a life well-lived.


About Mark

Mark-StolesonMark Stoleson is Chief Executive Officer of Legatum, and has served with the firm for over 10 years in various capacities including Head of Group Investments. Prior to Legatum, he was a corporate finance and M&A attorney with Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld in Moscow, Russia and Dallas, Texas. He earned a BA in International Relations from Occidental College and a JD-LLM from Duke University School of Law.

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What is the Purpose of an Education?

“The purpose of an education is to invest in yourself so that you can qualify yourself to invest in and help others.  An education is a great way of getting qualified with skills and talents to help other people.” Mark Stoleson

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Mark’s Favorite Quote

“Be the change you seek.”Mahatma Ghandi


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Quotes from Mark

“A life well-lived is really spent on others.  It’s spent on investing in others.  The greatest joy in life is to see others flourish and prosper.”Mark Stoleson

“Living strong values comes from being authentically who you are, because if you try to behave or act in a way that isn’t authentically who you are, it is a recipe for failure.”Mark Stoleson 


Additional Notes



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Full Text Transcript – Coming Soon!

“Education is developing a broader perspective on reality outside of your own home and your comfort zone, and then taking that new perspective and asking, ‘What can I do to make a difference in this world?'”  —Mark Stoleson

“At some point a real education starts when you put head-knowledge into action, and to do that well you have to get out there into the world and mix it up and have different experiences.”  —Mark Stoleson

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