Inspiring speeches, good music and infectious laughter filled the evening, as veteran journalist, Ian Boyne, launched his captivating book, which highlights the extraordinary achievements of ordinary Jamaicans.
Written in collaboration with author and motivational speaker, Glenford Smith, ‘Profile of Excellence: Strategies for extraordinary achievement from 25 years of interviewing remarkable people’, was unveiled during a ceremony at King’s House on April 10.
The book is filled with fascinating stories of individuals who have overcome seemingly insurmountable challenges to rise to the top of their chosen fields.
The publication also presents lessons in achieving personal and professional excellence. These lessons are extracted from the lives and stories of the high-achieving entrepreneurs, scholars, celebrities, entertainers, sports superstars, scientists, leaders and other winners interviewed by Mr. Boyne on his successful television programme, ‘Profile’, since February 1987.
Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, said ‘Profile of Excellence’ comes at the ideal time in the country’s history.
“This book has come at a time when many Jamaicans are in danger of sinking in the quick sand of negativity and pessimism,” he said, pointing out that it draws on the legacy of optimism, resilience and self-belief, which is derived from Mr. Boyne’s popular televised programme.
“It’s proven principles represent solid ground upon which all Jamaicans can stand, as we resolutely unite to overcome the economic and social challenges we face as a people,” he said.
Psychologist and motivational speaker, Dr. Leachim Semaj, who presented the key note address, charged Jamaicans to use the stories from the publication to empower their lives.
He noted that Mr. Boyne, through ‘Profile’, has used the media as a developmental tool to inspire and motivate.
“He takes the best of us and shares it with the rest us, so that this virus of excellence can infect all of us,” Dr. Semaj remarked. “I believe that this is the right book at the right time,” he added.
Dr. Semaj further charged Jamaicans to become game changers, to ask provoking questions and to create well-needed change in society.
“The difference between prediction and provocation is the difference between seeing things the way they are and asking ‘why’ or dreaming things as they never were and asking ‘what if’,” he said.
He pointed out that the persons highlighted in the book are those who over the last 25 years have asked, “what if”.
Sponsorship support for ‘Profile of Excellence’ came from the CHASE Fund, whose Chief Executive Officer, Billy Heaven, said the publication represented a “road map”, not just to success, but also to overcoming tremendous challenges.
“We are a remarkable people, with amazing talents and awesome dreams, who just need to be provided with a road map. And Ian Boyne and Glenford Smith have done just that,” he said.
Mr. Heaven noted that the CHASE Fund did not hesitate to support the venture, as the Fund is interested in supporting projects that document the positive experiences of Jamaicans.
Chief Executive Officer, EHF Group (Pelican Publishers), Novlet Deans, said the company was proud to be associated with the “timely” publication, which has major implications for national introspection.
“The book comes at a time when many lack the will and determination to envision success beyond our current hardships. ‘Profile of Excellence’ is an inspiration text with practical advice and goes beyond presenting mere transcribed notes from interviews,” she said.
Mrs. Deans also announced that the company will partner with Mr. Boyne and The Gleaner in publishing ‘In Focus’, based on the popular column published in the Sunday Gleaner. That publication is scheduled for release in the first quarter of 2014.
In his response, Mr. Boyne said over the years, he has sought to use positive journalism to build people’s lives and to motivate change.
“There is a view that journalism is primarily about the adversarial. That certainly has its place – corruption must be uncovered, fraud must be dealt with, and truth must be spoken to power – but if that is all that journalism does, it leaves a people mean-spirited, cynical and disempowered,” he said.
Mr. Boyne therefore explained that this is the gap he has sought to fill over the last 26 years.
For his part, Mr. Smith thanked Mr. Boyne for the difference he has made in his life.
“It is out my interaction with him, out of watching his programme, out of being mentored by him that I came to believe in myself and began to see possibilities for myself,” he said.
Also attending the ceremony were: Prime Minister the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller; Minister of Information, Senator the Hon. Sandrea Falconer; Former Prime Ministers, the Most Hon. Edward Seaga and the Hon. Bruce Golding; Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Paula Llewellyn; as well as members of the business community, academia, and the media.
‘Profile of Excellence’ is now available at all major bookstores islandwide.
By Athaliah Reynolds, JIS Reporter