The Zig Effect

While preparing for a very special edition of “Born to Win” in Dayton, Ohio, I decided to write a tribute to the late Zig Ziglar.  It’s wrapped in a story about a recent adventure I had and ends with a video that David Wright and I made with Exit Row Productions.

The Magic Number is 140

It was a sunny Saturday morning when David and I made an impromptu visit to a book store clearance sale.  Table after table of leadership, personal development and business books were reduced to $2 or less.  It would be a gross understatement to say that I bought several.

While digging through the stacks, I found a book that reminded me of Zig Ziglar by way of a Tom Ziglar quip.  Tom said that Dad must have been a prophet.  Somehow he knew that Twitter was coming because most of his quotes are 140 characters or less.

“Twitter Power”  by Joel Comm

Quotable People

Another deposit to my shopping cart was a collection of quotations.  I expected it to become a valuable resource for my writing.  It was an unexpected reminder of the highly-tweetable Zig Ziglar.

“The Most Brilliant Thoughts of All Time (In Two Lines or Less.)”
by John M. Shanahan

Wasting no time, I flipped through the pages and enjoyed some powerful and tweetable quotes.  Almost every one was a brand new experience.  Here are two that I like:

“Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you’re scared to death.”
–Harold Wilson

“Deliberation is the work of many men. Action, of one alone.
— Charles de Gaulle

I happened to notice that many of Shanahan’s selections were attributed to people known by just one name, such as Plato, Socrates, Aristotle, Heraclitus, Homer, Euripides and Anonymous.  I wonder if dropping my last name will help me make it into his next collection.

"Because Your Potential Matters!"

Aphorisms

It seems that my antenna is always up.  My mind is always seeking new gems of wisdom and inspiration, hoping to  connect with the thoughts floating around in my head.  As I unpacked the rest of my treasures, I made another Zig connection.

“Tuesdays With Morrie”  by Mitch Albom

“Tuesdays…” is the true story of a relationship between Morrie, a college professor who is dying from ALS, and the author who is a journalist and former student. Like Zig, Morrie was a charismatic personality who had a special way with words.  Although Morrie’s emotions and thoughts were complex, he had a way of making them real and accessible to Mr. Albom and others who were on the other side of his disease and dying experience.  Morrie often expressed his insight in short sentences called aphorisms.  Consider the following example from the perspective of a man who knows he is dying.

“Don’t let go too soon, but don’t hang on too long.”

Reading this book a year ago was an experience I’ll never forget.  Seeing it again on Saturday reminded me that stories like Morrie’s take us beyond words and are strangely uplifting, rich with inspiring lessons about life.  Saturday was also a day when I was reminded that the best things in life are meant to be experienced, not explained.  Could these perspectives be the influence Zig has had on my attitudes and beliefs?  I think so.  Let’s just say that they are part of “The Zig Effect!”

To experience “The Zig Effect”,
click here and enjoy a tribute to Zig, using Zig’s own words.

Thoughts About Growth

It’s easy to learn and grow, right? How hard is it to slide an educational CD into the player and push the play button? Is it not just as easy to attend a workshop or read a book as it is to go fishing or watch TV? Throughout human history, there have never been more readily-available opportunities for learning and personal improvement than there are today.

At the same time, it’s just as easy to NOT do these things. In our culture of comfort and security, people more often learn passively by coincidence or by accident rather than strategically and intentionally. So, they end up with an MBA (Masters in Barren Activities) or an MFA (Masters in Fruitless Acts) from the “School of Hard Knocks.”

Growth is a change process that begins with a single step. Few types of change are more important than those related to learning and growth. I’m compelled to ask, what steps are you taking to become the person you were meant to be? How do you feel about your growth process?

“We began to realize that if we wanted to change the situation,
we first had to change ourselves. And to change ourselves effectively,
we first had to change our perspectives.”

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”, p. 18.

A growth program looks different for everyone. Yesterday I participated online in a Webinar. I also set aside 30 minutes to reread portions of a phenomenal book about leadership. Today, I will pick up where I left off in “E-Myth Mastery” by Michael Gerber. These kinds of development activities are helping me become more efficient, effective and balanced in my life and business. If it wasn’t working, I would have stopped years ago.

How do you approach your personal and professional growth? Maybe a good book is your next step. This week, many are mourning the death of Stephen Covey, the brilliant thinker, writer and teacher who gave us “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.” Have you read his book or listened to his audio recordings? If not, consider getting started today on adopting these seven habits.

1. Be Proactive

2. Begin With The End In Mind

3. Put First Things First

4. Think Win/Win

5. Seek First To Understand, Then To Be Understood

6. Synergize

7. Sharpen The Saw

How long has it been since you attended a workshop? Recently I attended workshops in Houston and Chicago, but you don’t need to travel that far. A small business owners’ workshop is coming to Dayton on September 20, 2012 featuring Tom Ziglar and Howard Partridge.  It’s called “Born to Win.”  Get the details and register at: www.HowardPartridge.com/borntowin/

“Never become so much of an expert that you stop gaining expertise.
View life as a continuous learning experience.”
— Denis Waitley (1933- )