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.

Integrity and Honor

[ H=Heart | Index | J=Joviality ]

Series: The ABC’s of Professionalism

A familiar story with a new sequel every two years, cheating Olympians, completely baffles me. Why are certain athletes willing to trade their integrity for an Olympic medal? Why are certain coaches and/or trainers willing to look the other way or even aid and abet? Don’t they realize that wearing a gold medal and being an Olympic champion are not equivalent? There is no victory in cheating.

“Winning is nice if you don’t lose your integrity in the process.” — attributed to Arnold Horshak, character in the television sitcom “Welcome Back, Kotter”

“…a gold medal is a wonderful thing. But if you’re not enough without one, you’ll never be enough with one.” — from the Disney movie “Cool Runnings”

Playing by the rules is more than sportsmanship. It is a reflection of honesty: honesty toward others and honesty with one’s self. And isn’t honesty at the heart of integrity? There’s another integrity aspect: having and following a “moral compass.”

“Integrity means adopting a morally strong value system and having the honesty, courage and conviction to live and act within these values.” — Clancy Cross

This definition leads to two thoughts. First, integrity is an inside job, which means it’s a personal decision.

“We choose what attitudes we have right now. And it’s a continuing choice.” — John C. Maxwell

“The greatest day in your life and mine is when we take total responsibility for our attitudes. That’s the day we truly grow up.” — John C. Maxwell

Second, integrity is so important to building and maintaining relationships that a person’s greatest gift may be to live a life of integrity that inspires and encourages others to raise their standards and commitment to integrity. Ideally, an integrity foundation is built in the home during the formative childhood years and is forever nurtured by teachers, pastors, friends, colleagues and others.

“The reward for doing right is mostly an internal phenomenon: self-respect, dignity, integrity, and self- esteem.” — Dr. Laura Schlessinger

“Live so that when your children think of fairness and integrity, they think of you.” — H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

“The righteous man walks in his integrity; His children are blessed after him.” — Bible, Proverbs 20:7

“The effect of one upright individual is incalculable.” — Oscar Arias

“The greatest way to live with honor in this world is to be what we pretend to be.” — Socrates

This ideal picture of integrity breaks down because inevitably, moral and ethical principles will be violated. The realization that human perfection is unachievable is not a new revelation. So, how can there be integrity when everyone commits violations against his own principles? It would seem that the only logical alternative for avoiding universal hypocrisy is to adopt a personal philosophy devoid of moral principles. Some would say “moral relativism” is an attempt to do just that. (That’s a topic for another day.) Actually, the paradox dissolves when we fully understand the final piece of integrity.

“Honor isn’t about making the right choices. It’s about dealing with the consequences.” — Midori Koto

How does a person of integrity respond to his own moral failings? First, he makes a humble admission of and apology for the offense, totally free of excuses. Conversely, “I’m sorry I did it, but …” is hardly an effective confession. Second, the person of integrity takes ownership of the consequences and makes appropriate reparations. Finally, integrity demands a commitment to do better. After that, the rest is up to those who were offended. Will they forgive? Will they hold a grudge? Whatever the aggrieved party decides, a person of the highest integrity will accept the verdict with grace and move on.

Humility is what allows integrity to survive moral indiscretions. Even so, it’s important to realize that it takes more time to develop integrity than to destroy it and even more time to restore it when it is damaged. While Integrity has some room for errors, just one momentary indiscretion has the potential to be a major setback against a lifetime of progress. This implies that people serious about their integrity should behave as if any violation will destroy it and when necessary, respond with humility and urgency to restore it.

“Honor is like a steep island without a shore: one cannot return once one is outside.” — Nicholas Boileau-Despréaux

“Character is much easier kept than recovered.” — Thomas Paine, author, statesman

“To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.” — William Shakespeare

Life without integrity is a miserable and pathetic existence. So, in a sense, hanging on to integrity is a matter of life and death.

“What is left when honor is lost?” — Publilius Syrus (~100 BC), Maxims

“Educate your children to self-control, to the habit of holding passion and prejudice and evil tendencies subject to an upright and reasoning will, and you have done much to abolish misery from their future and crimes from society.” — Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)

God bless,

— CC

[ H=Heart | Index | J=Joviality ]

© Copyright September 2008, Clancy Cross. All rights reserved.
Read more “Clancy’s Quotes” at: ClancyCross.WordPress.com

Teaching & Developing

The ABC’s of Professionalism

Describing a teacher as “one who has a teaching certificate and works in a school” is incomplete and a slight against all others who contribute toward the development of people. Teachers are known by many names such as: mentor, tutor, trainer, advisor, counselor, leader, educator, coach, guide, role model, instructor, advisor, demonstrator, therapist, lecturer, rabbi, preacher, Jesus, supervisor, co-worker, friend, parent, relative, neighbor and author.

“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.” — Charles W. Eliot

“And they were astonished at His teaching, for His word was with authority.” — Bible, Luke 4:32

In reality, everyone is a teacher and a developer of people in some capacity or another. Teachers are givers. When a teacher shares information with a student who receives and understands its meaning, learning has occurred.

“There are three things to remember when teaching: know your stuff; know whom you are stuffing; and then stuff them elegantly” — Lola May

Development is a special phenomenon of teaching that goes beyond learning. Transition from learning to development occurs when a teacher helps a student cross the threshold between “potential change” and “actual change” or between “knowledge” and “application.”

“Teaching is what you do to people; development happens within the individual. Teaching is an action; development is a process” — Gary Lear

“Education is not filling a pail but the lighting of a fire.” — William Butler Yeats

“The art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery.” — Mark van Doren

This transformation is made possible through the expertise of caring teachers who share knowledge AND inspire students to creatively integrate it with their beliefs and behaviors.

“Change only occurs when the beliefs are impacted” — Gary Lear

“No man can be a good teacher unless he has feelings of warm affection toward his pupils and a genuine desire to impart to them what he believes to be of value.” — Bertrand Russell

For each of us, as teachers engaged in people-building activities, two questions need to be asked: “What impact can I have?” and “What kind of teacher should I be?”

“Be an opener of doors for such as come after thee.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Teaching is the profession that teaches all the other professions.” — Anonymous

Because learning and development beyond learning are critical to personal and societal success, millions of people train for years and make a lifelong commitment to teaching and learning.  What about the rest? How can we all become a more effective teachers? What kind of teaching model should be adopted by a professional who is not a career teacher? Three words come to mind: enlighten, engage and empower.

Enlighten

Enlightenment is the intellectual dimension of development that presents new information and processes then challenges the student to consider the relevance of both the old and new information as it relates to experiences and current situations. Some would call this “learning to think outside your box.”

“I cannot teach anybody anything, I can only make them think.” — Socrates

“Real education must ultimately be limited to men who insist on knowing, the rest is mere sheep-herding.” — Ezra Pound

“We learn more by looking for the answer to a question and not finding it than we do from learning the answer itself.”— Lloyd Alexander

“The teacher who is indeed wise does not bid you to enter the house of his wisdom but rather leads you to the threshold of your mind.”— Kahlil Gibran

Engage

This is the action dimension that creates opportunities for experiences to apply the new information, philosophies and processes so as to produce new and improved results. Some would connect this to the enlighten dimension by saying, “This is where the rubber meets the road.”

“Tell me and I’ll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I’ll understand.”— Chinese Proverbs

“The two most engaging powers of an author are to make new things familiar, familiar things new.”— William Makepeace Thackeray

“We can teach from our experience, but we cannot teach experience.” — Sasha Azevedo

“Play is the beginning of knowledge.” — Anonymous

“Every extension of knowledge arises from making the conscious the unconscious.” — Friedrich Nietzsche

“Not to engage in the pursuit of ideas is to live like ants instead of like men.” — Mortimer Adler

Empower

This is the emotional dimension. With help from an inspiring teacher, a learner discovers his desire to continue developing and applying new information and processes until they become a new pattern. In response, confidence builds and momentum increases causing real and lasting change to occur.

“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.” — William Arthur Ward

“A master can tell you what he expects of you. A teacher, though, awakens your own expectations.” — Patricia Neal

“The best teacher is the one who suggests rather than dogmatizes, and inspires his listener with the wish to teach himself.” — Edward Bulwer-Lytton

“Every act of conscious learning requires the willingness to suffer an injury to one’s self-esteem. That is why young children, before they are aware of their own self-importance, learn so easily.” — Thomas Szasz

“In motivating people, you’ve got to engage their minds and their hearts. I motivate people, I hope, by example – and perhaps by excitement, by having productive ideas to make others feel involved.” — Rupert Murdoch

Enlighten, engage and empower are interdependent dimensions of a comprehensive personal and professional development approach. Enlightenment points the way, but by itself has no action. Engagement and empowerment without enlightenment produces directionless action.  Empowerment breathes the life of momentum into enlightenment and engagement. All three legs are needed for development that goes beyond learning.

Understanding this framework is helpful in selecting an effective teacher. More importantly, adopting them will help you as a professional more effectively fulfill your teaching responsibilities. Take a moment to reflect on the many ways you help teach and develop those who are under your care. Then consider specific ways the Three E’s can help you become a more effective teacher.  In closing, here are more thoughts about teaching, learning and development beyond learning.

“You can teach a dog new tricks for rewards, but developing a better-natured dog will require patience and a want on the behalf of the dog to change.” — Gary Lear

“The test of a good teacher is not how many questions he can ask his pupils that they will answer readily, but how many questions he inspires them to ask him which he finds it hard to answer” — Alice Wellington Rollins

“The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows.” — Sydney J. Harris

“Man’s mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions.”— Oliver Wendell Holmes

“The dream begins with a teacher who believes in you, who tugs and pushes and leads you to the next plateau, sometimes poking you with a sharp stick called ‘truth.’” — Dan Rather

“The best teachers teach from the heart, not from the book.” — Anonymous

“You do not get out of a problem by using the same consciousness that got you into it.”Attributed to Albert Einstein

“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.”— Alvin Toffler

 

God bless,

— CC

[ S=Service | Index | U=Understand ]

© Copyright December 2008, Clancy Cross. All rights reserved.
Read more “Clancy’s Quotes” at: ClancyCross.WordPress.com