What does it take to build a Fortune 500 company? 'Thinking big,' Phillip London's widow says
New book ‘Ever Vigilant’ aims to inspire entrepreneurs with lessons from the government contracting 'legend'
Former Navy aviator and CACI International Executive Chairman Phillip "Jack" London, the government contracting "legend" who passed away in January 2021, has left behind his best advice for becoming a successful entrepreneur and leader in a new book co-authored by his widow.
"I think Jack would say that anything of value and consequence takes big thinkers and thinking big, and he did base his leadership and much of his life on the values of the Naval Academy and the Navy," Jennifer London said on "Mornings with Maria" Monday.
"I think that he wanted to emphasize vision," she continued. "He was actually an entrepreneurial visionary who was able to read trend lines and project into the future, so that he could guide the direction of his company. And so I think those attributes are very important to leadership, and those are outlined in his book."
After retiring from the U.S. Navy as an aviator captain, Phillip took a job at a small technology consulting firm called CACI, according to his wife. Over the course of half a century, he built the company up to Fortune 500 fame worth $5.7 billion, and employed more than 23,000 people in 155 offices worldwide.
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"He shaped the company to be a multinational information technology company that supported some of America's most critical national security priorities, so he became a legend in the government contracting industry," London said Monday. "Washington Technology wrote an article once and said that if there was a Mount Rushmore about the government contracting leaders, Jack would be featured."
While living his life through the four principles of vision, determination, accountability and commitment, his wife also claimed he embodied characteristics of entrepreneurial spirit, integrity, ethics, risk taking, and – she notes probably most importantly – character.
Phillip wrote and completed the book shortly before his death, but his wife felt she could contribute family photos to illustrate his legacy as well.
"It's his story and his words from beginning to end," London said. "It's actually not a dry, technical book. It's actually written in the first person. It's his story, and I think it's an easy read. It's good guidance for military leaders, business leaders or anyone who's looking for inspiration in their life."
His widow Jennifer added that all proceeds from the book are donated directly to military-affiliated nonprofits and organizations.
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"This memoir, not surprising, is so much more than a life well led but a prescription on how to live a good life!" Fox News senior strategic analyst Ret. Gen. Jack Keane said in a review of "Ever Vigilant." "Jack's journey is the story of adventure, daring, extraordinary moral courage, love of country, family and faith, an everyday example of character driven leadership."
"This superlative book is a compelling narrative about winning and achieving. In reading this book you will see how Jack London, a patriot and former military officer, became a legend in the United States government contracting industry," Hall of Fame Dallas Cowboys quarterback and U.S. Naval Academy graduate Roger Staubach also reviewed, according to . "Through his unique vision and leadership, he steadily grew CACI International over fifty years into a multinational information technology company to support some of America's most important and critical work."