Friday, May 02, 2003

The Texas Tornado

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure! It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us."
--Nelson Mandela, opening his '94 presidential inauguration speech

That stunning nugget comes courtesy of my favorite Texan, Karen McCullough. Actually, she's my second-fav Texan, after the tough-talkin-tougher-writin-six-foot-redheaded writer, Molly Ivins. Well, let's put it this way: Karen's my favorite transplanted Texan (she a former Clevelander).
The point, really, is this: Karen is simply the best, most passionate, energizing, soul-stirring motivational speaker I've ever seen. And that's no small pool. She takes an audience and moves it through an emotional experience, whips it to a frenzy, gets its collective butts out of their collective seats, moves them, shakes them and leaves them subtly different people. I would liken the experience to this: say that you're sitting one hot, drowsy summer afternoon on your sidewalk, on a quiet dead-end street, watching your child wait for customers for their lemonade stand. There's no one around, and it's so quiet you can hear the crickets chirping. Suddenly a Formula One race car comes blasting down your street, passing you at 180 mph-plus. In short, it gets your attention, and leaves a chill running down your back.
Okay, so what the hell, maybe I exaggerate, wrapped up in the sheer thrill of describing her, but only a little. You simply have to see her to believe her.
All of which is by way of introducing her to you. I have the good and great fortune of repping for Karen in Cleveland, and perhaps elsewhere, along with one of my oldest and dearest buds and now partner/colleagues, Mary Brown, Cleveland's leading sustainable urban retail guru (whose similarly fascinating story I'll leave for a future entry, where she can shine alone). Can't point you to Brownie's web presence, but that will come sooner rather than later.
Anyway, check out Karen's newly relaunched site. Maybe even send away for a demo tape. And if she seems like a fit for your next event, or an event you know about or have some influence over the selection of speakers for, give us a holler. We'll summon the Texas Tornado northward, and see that she rocks your world.


At 2:04 PM, Blogger John F. said...

The "Our Deepest Fear" quotation on the above page is a splendid one, and thank you for sharing it, but it is misattributed to Nelson Mandela's 1994 inaugural address. A quick search through that very speech (also full of splendid prose) on the ANC's official web site confirms that the quotation isn't there:

Nor does it appear in any other of his published speeches (searchable on the same web site).

As it turns out, the author of the quotation is Marianne Williamson, from her 1992 book, "Return to Love" (p. 165). You can verify that through Amazon's "search inside the book" feature.



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