Art Williams delivered the Just Do It Speech at the 1987 National Religious Broadcaster Convention.

Just Do It Speech Transcript

I was asked to talk to you about how to win in business. I think it’s a good subject for you to think about because I believe business in America is in a crisis situation today. All you have to do is read the paper, and every month see our trade deficit, and it’s just a very depressing situation.

Leadership is a matter of how to be, not how to do it. – Frances Hesselbein

Frances Hesselbein (born 1 November 1915) is the former CEO of the Girl Scouts of the USA, from 1976 to 1990, and is the president and CEO of the Frances Hesselbein Leadership Forum, at the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs (GSPIA), Johnson Institute for Responsible Leadership.

Leadership is the art of getting people to do what they might not otherwise do, and to like it.- Harry Truman

Between 1965 and 1976, she rose from volunteer troop leader to CEO and held the position of CEO for thirteen years until 1990. During her tenure, the Girl Scouts attained a membership of 2.25 million girls with a workforce of 780,000, mainly volunteers. In 1990, Hesselbein left the Girl Scouts to run the Leader to Leader Institute (formerly known as the Peter F. Drucker Foundation for Nonprofit Management). After Drucker’s death in 2005, the foundation was renamed after Hesselbein in 2012.

In 1998, Hesselbein was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her work with the Girl Scouts of the USA. She turned 100 years old in November 2015. Hesselbein was denoted a Pitt Legacy Laureate of the University of Pittsburgh in 2000. She has received 22 honorary doctoral degrees.

Someday – The legendary place where your hopes, dreams, goals, and aspirations all magically come to fruition.

Someday is dangerous and paralyzing. It traps you in the land of Nowheresville.

What do you want to become when you grow up? It is one of the silly questions you get asked by adults who are also yet to figure out their lives; what they don’t tell you is that they live a script you might follow someday. The Script was handed to them by the society, their parents, their caregivers, and their indoctrination by the school system. We get domesticated to stop listening to our inner voice, and we become fixated in the future, someday.

The script goes thus: Go to school, get good grades, graduate, get a good job, get married, have kids, and DIE. If you deviate from that script, you get called a rebel, maverick, a black sheep for going against the herd or the groupthink. The “what you want to become question” makes a lot of us to be more interested in the Event (future) than the Process (Routine, Habits). We go to jobs we don’t like, share one-third of our lives with colleagues we can’t stand, to get the money to impress people who don’t give a sh*t about us.

Wooden Allen once quipped,  ‘If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans.’ When we eventually grow up after our indoctrination and domestication, we begin to live by the script and settle for less than we can become; this is when we start to live in the Someday Island. We say things like Someday I will start that business, Someday I will quit my job when I have saved enough money, Someday I will travel when…Someday I will give to the needy when…Someday I will…When…Fill in the gap.

In his book, No Excuses!: The Power of Self-Discipline, Brain Tracy writes about the Someday Isle:

“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favour all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way. I have learned a deep respect for one of Goethe’s couplets:
Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it!”― William Hutchison Murray

Most of us set new year resolutions every 365 days, but we start faltering from February/March; the missing piece is the commitment to follow through. We all want the prize, but we do not love the process; we are unwilling to pay the price, but we want the joy of winning the prize. Anything worth doing takes a lot of time, grit, sacrifice, whatever-it-takes-attitude, and the ability to want it more than you want to breathe.

Commitment is the ability to stick with something long after the initial excitement is gone. Commitment is a decision to stick with a project, idea, relationship, or goal against all odds, failure, and tribulation. Setting a goal is not enough, you have to be committed to making it happen against all odds.  

In the early 1960s, President John F. Kennedy set a great goal to land a man on the moon when he said: “This nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon. The most important word in that statement is the Commitment to achieve a goal.

The difference between involvement and commitment is like ham and eggs. The chicken is involved; the pig is committed.

There is a business fable about the chicken and the pig which is a metaphor for commitment to a project or cause.:

When producing a dish made of eggs with ham or bacon, the pig provides the ham or bacon which requires his or her sacrifice and the chicken provides the eggs which are not difficult to produce. Thus the pig is really committed to that dish while the chicken is only involved, yet both are needed to produce the dish.

Here are some great quotes on commitment;

Make you mess your MESSAGE

Robin René Roberts (born November 23, 1960) is an American television broadcaster. Roberts is the anchor of ABC’s Good Morning America.[1]

After growing up in Mississippi and attending Southeastern Louisiana University, Roberts was a sports anchor for local TV and radio stations. Roberts was a sportscaster on ESPN for 15 years (1990–2005). She became co-anchor on Good Morning America in 2005. Roberts was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2012. Her treatment for myelodysplastic syndrome was chronicled on the program, which earned a 2012 Peabody Award for the coverage.

Robin has been a GMA anchor for more than a decade and has been with the Walt Disney Company for 30 years (and counting—she’s also been recognized as a Disney Legend, the company’s highest honor). She’s interviewed President Barack Obama, reported on the ground in Mississippi during Hurricane Katrina, and spoken publicly about her breast cancer and Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS). She was a first in her industry, and thanks to her hard work and mentorship, she won’t be the last. 

Here are my favorite take away from viewing Robin Robert’s Masterclass Session on Effective and Authentic Communications:

Archimedes once quipped, Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world. ‘. The most successful people in the world are…