My first public speech titled "Leadership" given mid 1980's


I (my wife Hope actually) found these notes from what I believe was my first speaking engagements for the Florida Jaycees in the middle 80’s helping to recruit and promote membership across the state. The theme is “what a leadership training organization is all about”. The name of the speech is "Leadership". Thanks to my friends James Barber, Tom Najjar and Rob Doll among many others for giving me the courage as a 25ish year old to travel Florida and speak in public for the first time. I remember how scared I was as if it were yesterday. Enjoy:




Speech/talk given to various Florida Jaycee Chapters sometime in the mid 80’s as I was a mid 20’s years old car salesman taking a few days off a month to travel the state. Reflecting back it was so much fun and rewarding even though I was scared to death. Every talk was different this was an outline with stories thrown in.




Tonight is about the story of those who die with the untapped potential still having the music still in side them. We won’t you to play all the music, extract all the potential of both yourself and those around you. You will succeed, or keep yourselves from not succeeding, at whatever you intend to do, but we must help each other move forward.




That’s what a leadership training organization is all about:




Let’s talk about leaders. Are you a leader? Could you become a leader? Will you be a leader in this organization (Jaycee Chapter) if you say yes, if you think yes then you are on your way and we will help, the person sitting next to you will help and this organization will help.




Let me tell you about a man that started life a failure, I man with a 61 IQ. At age 15 told by his teacher he was a dunce. At age 17 dropped out of school and then at age 32 declared a genius. Can you relate to the early life of Alexander Graham Bell.




To be a leader you must know where you are going or how will you know when you get there. You must have goals. Goal exercise deleted. If you have goals to achieve you know your progress, you know you are getting there. Of course there will be success and failures along the way. We in this room will have some of them together.




If you do not make it, slow down and figure out why, what went wrong, adjust your goals and keep walking forward, slowing down is not failure, just never stop and never ever quit. Look at football teams, what if ever time they fumbled, missed a 4th and short they quit, no they go in at half time adjust and come back out and kick butt. That’s what winners do.




You must have a spread of short term and long term goals. But do not let short term failure dictate long term goals and success. Insert story about John Jones 2:20 flight from Boston to New York. Sorry, I do not remember the story.




What steers a really big ship? A relatively small piece of metal called a rudder. A ship with no rudder can have all the power in the world it is just going to go around in circles and until it hits something or runs out of fuel. Yet a vessel can hit a boat slip on the other side of the world using its rudder. When you have a direction you are more committed, you have a mission and you will be happier because of these simple truths. You are the rudder of your boat we call life. You have the control as to where you are going. If you saw a boat with no direction would you follow it? No, of course not, but if you saw a boat steering steady in a stiff breeze steady on her course, of course you would follow. Have the direction of a leader, be the goal setter and yes have the steady rudder everyone wants to follow.




What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us. With the folks sitting around you in this room at this minute you are already a success. You are the one and the only one who can use your ability to become what is your destiny. It is an awesome responsibility to be what you are and where you are.




You will be living proof that “what the mind can conceive and the heart believes you can achieve”. (Given to me by Tom Najjar)  




I believe with all my heart as a Florida (insert city) Jaycee you are on your way, you are already a success waiting to happen, let us help you realize it. Be the rudder, be a great leader for yourself and those around you. I know I’ll see you at the top because you are already over half way there. Good night and thank you for being here and being all that you can be. Michael Holley from the Panama City Jaycees.




Typed from my hand written notes, unknown stories removed, the year I was Membership VP for the Panama City Jaycees and traveling the state on behalf of the Florida Jaycees in the mid 1980’s.


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