PMHS inducts alumni to Hall of Fame

Published 2:01 pm Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Picayune Memorial High School inducts an alumni of 10 years or more into the PMHS Academic Hall of Fame every year. This year’s inductee is Lt. Col. Dr. Richard Handley, USAF. He was born in Picayune, the son of Jane Anne Evans Handley and the late Donald Handley, and the grandson of Leroy and Annie Evans, and Lester C. and Ollie Handley.

He graduated from PMHS in 1974, went on graduate from Mississippi College with a Bachelor’s degree. He then earned his Master’s from University of Southern Mississippi and New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, and a Doctorate from Nova University.

He is a retired military officer with 23 years combined service in the Marine Corps and the U.S. Air Force, and is married with four adult children.

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“He was always a low-key kid,” his mother, Jane Anne Handley said in a phone interview on Monday. She accepted the award for him because scheduling conflicts kept him away. “I’m just so proud of him.”

She read his remarks to the seniors at the awards presentation.

“I am deeply honored to be the recipient of this award,” he said in his remarks. “I wanted to share a few key thoughts to the Class of 2007 based on what I have learned from studying high performers and helping people unlock their true potential in life.”

His first point is “The challenge of our time is wasted human potential. Most people do not live up to their true potential, and those who do not are not happy.”

He told the graduating seniors the cure is in aligning the capability with the performance. When a person performs at his capability level, he gets much more done.

Getting rid of excuses is the third point. Saying “I can’t” is not the truth, because more often the reality is “I won’t”. Other excuses like, “It’s too hard,” and “I don’t have time,” actually mean “I’m not willing to pay the price,” and “It’s not important.”

He urged the Class of 2007 to stretch beyond their capabilities. Most top performers do this. They are not the brightest or most talented, but they don’t play small.

“Vision is what fuels the drive which unlocks potential,” he said. “Most high performers are driven by a vision bigger than themselves…to have an impact.”

He concluded by pointing out those that have made an impact quit relying upon themselves and relied upon God. He encouraged each one to live a life that really matters.

“This world needs more (people) who want to live a life that counts…with divine impact,” he said.

Handley concentrated his professional career in human resource development and human performance with an emphasis in emotional intelligence (EQ). He became a pioneer in corporate applications of EQ, bringing the principles to bear in the work place. He has worked with Fortune 500 firms in areas such as employee selection, organizational and leadership development, employee training and development, and sales training.

Handley has authored five books in his field: “Optimizing People”, “EQ360 Assessment”, “The EQ Interview”, “The Behavioral Health Survey,” “The Benchmark for Organizational Emotional Intelligence”, as well as 17 web courses at EQ University located at which he founded. He is an instructor at the University of Texas Center for Professional Development and his work has been featured in publications such as “Fast Company”, “Inc.”, “Harvard Business Update”, “Training”, “H.R.”, “Controller Magazine”, “Selling Power”, “The Dallas Morning News”. He has appeared on MSN, ABC, and Fox News.

He resides in New Braunfels, Texas.