Fast-paced, energetic, creative, and humorous speeches designed to engage people with the theme that Steve is passionate about: people reaching for their unique potential. To book Steve for a speech contact Cathy Jones at cathy_jones@mcneelyandmcneely.com or call 903-769-5070.

In addition to custom keynotes, Steve can tailor the following speeches to fit your needs.


Throw your empty Starbucks cup in a Barnes and Noble and you’ll hit a book on leadership—even for dummies and complete idiots. Yet effective leadership remains an endangered, rare species. Why? One reason is a lack of understanding about what true leadership is and who should lead. This speech will motivate everyone to look for opportunities to exercise powerful, positive personal leadership. An organization filled with true leaders is destined for immense success!

  • Making the case that leadership matters–an inspiring story of ordinary greatness
  • Defining and debunking the myths
  • A hands-on, audience participation exercise
  • A definition of true leadership that fits any context
  • A call for everyone to use their most powerful leadership tool every day

In a society too easily drawn to the boring, drab, undistinguished grey of mediocrity, we need to be reminded how powerfully uplifted we feel when surrounded by true excellence. We attend the perfect play, watch the Olympics or become enraptured by a moving musical performance and feel, for that moment, that we, too, can be that excellent. Leadership expert Warren Bennis said, “Excellence is a better teacher than mediocrity. The lessons of the ordinary are everywhere. Truly profound and original insights are to be found only in studying the exemplary.” If people studied our life what would they learn?

  • Inspiring stories of the pursuit of excellence
  • Do we have to become fanatics? Permission to not lose balance
  • The cornerstone: embracing the liberating law of the harvest
  • Paying the price: reflections from Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers: the 10,000 hour rule
  • Audience exercise: Writing a personal contract to pursue an excellent goal

Most people change their careers multiple times yet 50% remain unhappy in their work. Is Tom Cruise the only one who gets to love what he does so he never works a day in his life? One vital key to workplace satisfaction is to align aptitudes and talents with work. Each person should engineer a personal alignment plan, but every manager should be acutely aware of these principles. It is a part of stewardship that will significantly boost productivity.

  • What are aptitudes and how do you find them?
  • Just because you can do it well doesn’t mean it’s a fit
  • 12 major aptitudes according to the Johnson O’Connor Research Foundation
  • The health benefits of alignment
  • Without these two main ingredients an aptitude is like a screen door on a submarine
  • Practical ways to assess talent and fit
  • A call for the unrelenting pursuit of personal excellence

See Steve in Action.

Feb 4, 2014 North Dallas Chamber Event

Put Your Powerful, Compelling Vision to Work

Steve McNeely, UT Tyler Commencement, 5/11/2012