Oil spill makes Crist rethink off shore drilling

On of the things a business speaker likes to talk about is the moment when someone changes his or her mind. We all have opinions. Some are better informed than others. Some are just other people’s opinions that we regurgitate. But if we are lucky, we come across a time in our lives when we look at an opinion and realize that it is “off”. If we stand strong, we change our mind.

I am not so interested in the little changes, like when you might decide you really do like guacamole after having avoided it for years. I am more interested in the big changes, like when you decided that the invasion of Iraq really was a stupid thing, or when you decided that acquiring more parks and open space really are good things to do for the next generations.

It sounds like Governor Crist of Florida has had one of those moments. After taking an airplane tour over the massive oil spill that is uncontrollably taking over the Gulf of Mexico and after thinking about the people who died in the explosion, he said that he had changed his mind about off shore drilling. Crist is now convinced Florida does not need it or want it. After seeing how much damage can come from an accident, he has set aside one of his party’s biggest mantras: “Drill, baby, drill!”

Now Crist might be heard saying, “No drilling near Florida!”

As a business speaker, I would find a way to use this turnaround in a speech about leadership. Sometimes you have to take the right stance, even if it is opposite of the mantra of the day.