The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

TR leadership summit encourages seizing opportunities

By Terrance Gilbert/reporter

A motivational speaker opened the Leadership eXperience Summit Feb. 22 on TR Campus by holding up a $20 bill to see who in the room really wanted the $20.

James “Bird” Guess delivered the summit’s keynote address.


“Leadership is not about having a title or power,” he said. “Leadership is about taking action.”

Guess told attendees the story of his mother leaving his father who was an alcoholic. The situation created a troublesome relationship between him and his mother, resulting in her putting him out on the streets.

“I slept in my car, got a job at a local car wash and made a deal with the manager to sleep on his couch,” he said.

Guess said the experience made him feel like a failure.

“I felt like a nobody and began hanging around other nobodies,” he said. “I woke up and decided this was not the life I wanted. I decided at that moment I was going to do whatever it took to provide for myself and make my own life a success story.”

Guess spent hours at local bookstores reading books on individuals such as Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey and Russell Simmons.

“I would play make-believe before I was a speaker,” he said. “I would put on a suit, and I would practice my content and delivery. I was focused on what I was trying to become.”

It is important to identify one’s self-worth and build upon that to become a successful leader, Guess said. He also encouraged students to take every opportunity while at TCC to become a successful leader.

The Center for Leadership Development provides leadership training, resources and opportunities for students and the community. To learn more about the center, students can contact Stevie Blakely, academic success center coordinator, at stevie.blakely@tccd.edu or stop by TREF 1501C.

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