I heard Mack McGhee speak at an orientation for a job I acquired as youth counselor at a residential treatment facility in Chicago, 1998. He was addressing an auditorium of young men as the new supervisor of the unit. It was not only what he said, but how passionately he said it that’s never left me.
“Everyone is born behind the 8-ball. From time to time in life, we find ourselves behind in some things — behind in academics, behind in athletics, you may even feel behind in life. All of us are behind in something; but that doesn’t have to be the end to YOUR story. It’s up to all of us, up to all of YOU, to take a negative and turn it into a positive.”
He challenged those young men to identify what in their lives had left them deficient. His point was that all of us can use in what we’re behind as a tool to fuel some level of achievement. McGhee went on to say, “We may all be born behind the 8-ball; at the same time though, we’ve all been given into our hands something of value. What’s in your hand?” The artist has the simple tool of a brush in his hand; the tennis player a mere racket in her hand, and writers having pens in their hands. Behind a podium, with a lil’ microphone in his hand is where Mack becomes BIG — nothing short of an oratorical phenom.
I was 23 when I first witnessed Mack motivate. Today, I’m a 47 year old preacher and pastor. Now while I’ve been privy to several of his talks, I can say that what I heard back in ‘98 even helped me develop what was given me in MY hand. Mack is a passionate orator who does not speak what is rehearsed; but rather what he has learned and lived. He has the unique ability to craft life’s lessons into motivational energy. Whether to incarcerated persons, or to a board room of executives; whether to a graduating class, or speaking behind the performance of a popular rap artist or on the heels of the renown Les Brown, Mack McGhee finds a way to fully relate to audiences and (as younger generations say) “keep it 💯.”
A natural thinker on his feet, McGhee is not bound to a manuscript when he presents. As a quarterback can read a defense he’s facing and see the need to call an audible, Mack can gauge an audience he’s facing and adjust when there is need for more of an impulsive engagement. This is refreshing, as it communicates to hearers an authenticity coming to meet them head on. He ought to be known as hip-hop group A Tribe Called Quest describes, the “man wit’ the mic in his hand.” If I summarized McGhee in one sentence, it would be, “the man with the mic in his hand is creatively unpredictable” — innovative, but with a twister: you never see coming what he has up his sleeve. This kind of brilliance and giftedness is rare, especially in the arena of motivational speaking.
I highly encourage corporations, universities, churches, small businesses, youth groups and the like, to acquire his services. In the near future, Mack will present at the church I’ll be serving, as well as to nearby community centers. Stylish and clean cut, while sporting his signature dimple, Mack offers a positive presence and an initiative to combat discouragement, burn-out, and low productivity. Participants in his workshops undoubtedly leave changed and renewed. As you consider scheduling his services, you should know that the inevitable is on the horizon. Already a dynamic speaker, I can only imagine to what heights he’ll elevate. Invite him while you can! Mack McGhee is soon to become one of the keynotes and most sought after motivationalists of our generation.