What I Learned

Have you ever been in a situation where you realize how much you have learned from an individual so many years after learning it? Almost daily you find another –ism in your talk.

That’s the way I am with the great Zig Ziglar. When I was 17 years old, I read “See You at the Top” for the first time. There was a quote in that book that unbeknownst to me would change my life forever. It was, “You can have anything in life you want when you simply help enough other people get what they want!”  From that day forward Zig’s quote became my life motto, my creed, and my plan of action.

Everything I have done in my professional career, my personal life, and in all activities I’ve been associated with have been fundamentally affected by Zig Ziglar.  In fact, it is one of the reasons that I became a professional speaker and trainer, to do my part in sharing the various wisdom and knowledge that I’ve gained from not only Zig, but from many other greats as well.

When you look back at the legacy that Zig left behind, you can see his work spread among the best of the best. He touched not only the audiences he spoke to, but also many, many speakers and trainers to come. His legacy lives on and will for so many years to come.

One of my favorite was Zig stories comes when he was asked by another speaker, “Zig, we travel from city to city and audience to audience. And yet everywhere we go, you give the exact same talk. Why don’t you ever change it up?”  His answer truly showed his depth of understanding.

Zig said, “I give the same talk over and over again because in this city, it’s the first time this audience has had a chance to hear it. And more importantly, I teach truth… and truth never changes!” Now that’s powerful!  It actually became something to strive for in the development of every presentation I do going forward. Teaching truth, because helping others embody the fact that truth never changes is an amazingly freeing opportunity to help others transform their lives.

The picture above comes just after a lunch with Zig, Jean the redhead (Zig’s wife), and daughter Julie Ziglar Norman. At that lunch, I had the opportunity to ask Zig about the quote that has made such an impression on my life. I asked, “Zig, when did you come up with that concept?”

His response, priceless. He said, “Scott, I didn’t come up with that concept.  My momma taught me that when I was five…and it was part of my christening when I was 12”.  I asked, “Zig can I share that with others?”  He said, “I’d be honored if you do!”

Zig Ziglar is one of the true greats of all times. He has and continues to impact my life greatly, and in turn, hopefully I am doing my part to share Zig’s legacy with class and dignity.  Thank You Zig…I know you’re in Heaven dancing with Jesus and shining down on each and every person you have touched!

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