Command Presence

Inspirational, Moving, Poignant

Jeffery Lay knows how to move an audience. He has been speaking professionally, before crowds both large and small, for over 20 years. His command presence, moving account of his own life, and insight into what makes Naval Aviation so successful, encourages others to constantly choose excellence.

Topic: Beating the Odds

One cold February morning in 1998, Jeff awoke to find a lump in his neck. "What is this," he asked, "that dare get in the way of my life." In less than a week, then newly promoted Lieutenant Commander Lay would find himself on the operating table - and his career as a TOPGUN fighter pilot all but over.

But Jeff fought back, refusing to accept his fate. He was determined to get back to the front line, to feel the thrill of flying his beloved F-14 Tomcat, and to once again defend the nation he loves. Despite months of brutal chemotherapy and radiation, Jeff beat the odds and returned to the cockpit, fittingly, on Veteran's Day, 1998.

Jeff's passionate account of his battle with cancer has moved crowds for more than a decade. Blessed to be a survivor with a clean bill of health, he advocates strongly for a cure, and touches the lives of those affected. He teaches you, as he teaches them, to believe in the impossible, and to never, never give up!

Topic: Choosing Excellence

We all face The Choice - in business, and in life. TOPGUN fighter pilots are taught to choose excellence. Flying high performance jet aircraft from the decks of American carriers demands extreme attention to detail. Streaking through the skies over countries far from home, Naval Aviators serve only one master - Excellence.

Choosing excellence is more than a catchy phrase, it's a seismic shift in thinking. Once an organization chooses excellence, it will forever look forward in finding new ways to improve. Following a leadership by example model, companies literally become their own competition, and separate themselves from rest of the field.

Jeff literally compels audiences to choose the path of excellence each and every day of their personal and professional lives. He translates real word military combat techniques into readily applied commercial applications, offering solutions that inspire others to reach for excellence in ways they never before imagined.

Topic: Identifying Baselining

Established as a center of excellence in fighter doctrine, tactics and training, the Navy Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN) was formed to stem the tide of losses to enemy fire in the skies over Vietnam. The goal? To perfect the art of air warfare, teaching select aircew to push themselves in ways previously thought impossible.

By learning to identify baselining early, companies can avoid the dangers that lurk around hidden corners and remove the insidious barriers to success. Rather than accept there exists a natural cost of doing business, truly high performance organizations learn to constantly improve themselves, and never, ever settle.

Jeff teaches those who hear him speak how to chase perfection with courage and conviction. His message conveys his own unwavering belief that there is no room for fall guys or excuse making in any enterprise, and that organizations can and must live up to their fiduciary duty to fight complacency day in and day out.

Excellence is a Choice