“...the only speaker at our conference to receive a standing ovation...”
–JEREMY SEIDMAN, CHAIR, MIT
JT McCormick is no ordinary businessman.
And he’s had no ordinary life. Raised in the worst part of Dayton, Ohio, he spent his childhood bouncing from home to home, in and out of juvenile detention centers, and was even homeless for a time. He was neglected, starved, and sexually abused as a child.
How did he get out?
How did he come from worse than nothing, to having it all?
And most importantly, what lessons can we all take from his journey?
“For the last 16 years, we have been bringing the world’s financial leaders to the annual MIT Sloan CFO Summit. We have welcomed hundreds of speakers and thousands of attendees, and JT is not only the highest-rated speaker we have ever had, he is also the only one to have ever received a standing ovation. Thank you JT for bringing the crowd to its feet, and delivering a message of power and perseverance!”
–JEREMY SEIDMAN and JACK McCULLOUGH, CHAIR, MIT SLOAN CFO SUMMIT
“I recently saw JT McCormick get a standing ovation for sharing his incredibly moving personal story. I can’t imagine anyone forgetting the experience any time soon.”
–LOREN FELDMAN, SENIOR EDITOR, FORBES
“JT McCormick delivers an inspired message that is based on experience and insight, not motivational rhetoric.”
–DR. JANET FIKE, CO-CHAIR OF NJASA SPRING LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE COMMITTEE
“Bringing JT to speak will transform the atmosphere at your event. I ran a conference for 600+ entrepreneurs, and JT had them all on the edge of their seats, many of them in tears. His words and presentation were inspirational, moving. His message pushed us all to work that little bit harder to chase our dreams. Highly recommended!”
–ADAM DAILEY, CONFERENCE CHAIR, EO ACADEMY
“JT is unlike any other speaker. His story and speeches are both inspirational and motivational more importantly, actionable. I highly recommend for everyone to listen, learn and take action!”
–NOAH KAGAN, FOUNDER, SUMO.COM
“JT had the audience captivated and you could tell we were in the hands of a master. There’s real comfort in that because it allows us to truly listen to his message. I’m so thankful that JT has the courage to speak his truth and he’s inspired me to take action and share my own.”
–ANDY SETH, ENTREPRENEUR & PHILANTHROPIST
People are the Point
To say JT McCormick had a difficult childhood would be an understatement.
Born the mixed-race son of a 1970s black pimp, JT was raised in the streets by drug dealers and prostitutes. He was homeless several times and served multiple stints in the juvenile justice system.
How did he go from his first job--cleaning toilets at Po’ Folks Restaurant--to serving as the President and CEO of multiple high-growth startups and winning Entrepreneur Magazine’s award for creating the #1 Company Culture in America?
JT’s message for leaders: I didn’t succeed despite my upbringing; I succeeded because of it.
Through his tumultuous childhood, JT learned to put himself in the shoes of others, seeing the world from their perspective. These hard learned lessons in empathy and emotional intelligence have continued to serve him on the front lines of business, centering around one main principle:
People are the point. Everything in business comes down to focusing on people — your customers, your partners, and most importantly, your team. When you care about the people you’re serving, then results are easy.
In this powerful keynote, JT teaches the vital importance of perspective shifting for leaders looking to cultivate a fulfilled workforce, lead tough negotiations, and boost the productivity and creativity of their teams. He leaves the audience with actionable takeaways to embrace empathy in leadership, harness the power of perspective shifting, and ensure their teams feel seen, heard, and appreciated.
From Po' Folks to President: Choosing to Thrive in the Face of Adversity
JT McCormick shouldn't have succeeded. He was born the mixed-race son of a black pimp father and a white, orphaned, single mother on welfare. He was raised on the streets by drug dealers and prostitutes. He was homeless several times, served multiple stints in the juvenile justice system, barely graduated high school and has no college degree.
But succeed he did.
JT started his climb out of poverty and despair by first cleaning toilets at Po’ Folks Restaurant. From there, it was several steps to become President and CEO of multiple high-growth startups. He accomplished this because he refused to relinquish his power to his external circumstances.
JT found a way to prevail—not despite adversity, but because of it. He managed to turn an abusive, nightmare childhood, into fuel for an extraordinary life by choosing empowerment instead of victimhood. His story of ascension against the odds is a masterclass in the power of a mind focused on changing its circumstances.
In this gripping keynote, JT teaches, both by powerful example and specific lessons, that we are a product of our choices, not a victim of our circumstances. He reveals how our biggest challenges can be transformed into the foundation for extraordinary personal growth.
A captivating storyteller, JT transports the audience to a world of “what’s possible,” and leaves them with actionable takeaways to cultivate an empowered mindset, gain perspective on their problems, and ultimately, walk away with the absolute belief that they are in control of their own destinies.
(Yes, this form will go directly to JT)