Are You Finding Your Monster Truck Fans?

I have seen our future leaders…and they are already kicking butt.

Over the past decade, I have been blessed to work with an organization dedicated to educating teens on leadership and ‘giving back’ to their communities.

They are the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Program (aka HOBY).

This past Friday, I enjoyed my 4th opening keynote message for the HOBY-NH 3-Day Conference.

I wish I was half as cool or involved when I was their age.

There were nearly 100 of them arranged in a half-circle of tables, rocking out as my audience for 90 minutes of my motivation/humor blend of “Attitude, Action, Traction”.

Monday morning, I received an amazing message from Justin, one of their mentors:

“Steve, you should know you made a major impact this weekend and all our ambassadors were talking about being Monster Truck People throughout the seminar!

In my messages (based upon this photo), I encourage people to always be aware of who they are affecting in the most positive way as they make their way through the world.


My explanation goes as follows:

1) In the upper section of the photo, there are empty seats. These are people who will never be interested/available enough to cheer you on. It doesn’t mean they are bad people, but it’s okay to stop wasting your time inviting them if they insist on not being there.

2) See those two gentlemen in the bottom left corner? How excited are they to be there? Not very…but at least they are there. It just means they may not be stoked by what’s happening at that moment.

3) Look at the excitement of the couple within the gold circle. These are the people we need to focus on the most. When I first saw this picture, I dubbed them my ‘Monster Truck People’.

I imagined they were attending a Monster Truck event, screaming and cheering their favorite drivers, reveling in the noise, smoke and dust, then driving home in their big ol’ pickup truck blasting some Lynyrd Skynyrd so they could have a beer and reminisce about how awesome that Monster Truck rally was.

I’ve been using this analogy for several years, and am honored whenever it is remembered and engaged.

One of my favorite letters from an attendee (following an event dedicated to helping unemployed people) hit my mailbox a couple years ago.

It was from a woman who had been unemployed for a while. She was having trouble with her confidence during interviews. Several weeks after she heard me speak, she sent me a message to let me know that she had a job interview with a panel of 3 people. As she began answering questions, she quickly found the person who was the most excited about her responses. While she didn’t ignore the other two, she made it a point to connect with that one ‘Monster Truck’ interviewer as often as she could.

The last line of her letter rocked my world: “…and I start working for them next week”.

Right on!

Wherever you find yourself this week, please take note: if you are out there doing your best, sharing yourself to the best of your ability, I bet you will discover your Monster Truck People.

Please recognize and appreciate them.

At the same time, please remember to show YOUR excitement and support for others.

Is there someone in your life who rocks your world?

Please share your Monster Truck excitement with them as well.

It is an amazing gift…and I am most honored that the teens of HOBY-NH, as they head off into their year-long commitment to community service and leadership, have embraced the concept.

Hey HOBY…I am one of YOUR Monster Truck People!

I just want you to know that.

Now I’m going to fire up some Lynyrd Skynyrd and remember how much I enjoyed my time with you all.

Keep on rockin’, my HOBY friends!

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