Valdosta Daily Times

February 21, 2014

Gathering of Eagles speaker Bill Boggs poses questions

Stuart Taylor
The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — The Eighth Gathering of Eagles kicked off early Thursday morning with keynote speaker Bill Boggs quoting Ralph Waldo Emerson.

“Make the most of yourself for that’s all there is,” said Boggs to Gathering attendees.

Boggs has had a long and storied career as a talk show host, hosting Food Network’s Bill Boggs’ Corner Table, NBC’s Weekend Today In New York, Fox’s Comedy Tonight and The Travel Channel’s Historic Traveler, among others.

He’s met and interviewed a wide array of people, racking up a large pool of more than 3,000 interviews throughout his career. It’s a pool he utilized when he set out to write his book “Got What It Takes?” an in-depth look at how successful people achieved success.

It was a book where the impetus lies in an interview Boggs did with Frank Sinatra. Afterwards, Sinatra and Boggs formed a friendship, with Sinatra passing on a piece of advice to Boggs that would one day culminate in “Got What It Takes?”

“He said, ‘Look, Billy, if you’re going to do this, you should study these people. You can grow, you can share, you can change things.”

As opposed to just straight speaking for three hours, Boggs ran his keynote speech like a talk show, getting out into the audience and asking questions.

“Questions are more powerful than answers,” Boggs said throughout the morning.

Boggs encouraged the crowd to ask themselves a number of questions: Am I settling in any way that is making me unhappy? Have I let a moment of inspiration pass? What is my deepest aspiration?

Boggs also encouraged the audience to enjoy “the rare and beautiful gift of life” and to seize inspiration in the moment, to lead the people who work for them with compassion, taking a genuine interest in them as individuals and to be open to change and adaptability.