Let me frame this blog by saying that I have been blessed to meet and interact with people from all walks of life—from John Quinn, a talented and personable tufting machine operator with whom I worked with in 1988 during my early days in the Shaw sales training program, to Warren Buffet, who I was privileged to interview several times in order to glean his wisdom and share it with the members of the Shaw Flooring Network. As a frequent traveler who has logged over two million miles on one airline, I am sure I have forgotten more of these encounters than I remember. Over the next few months, I will be sharing a few that stand out in my life and lessons I have been blessed to learn from them.
Zig Ziglar—Known as the “father of the motivational movement,” his optimism was nothing short of contagious. Though he has passed away, his impact will be felt throughout the world for generations to come. I began reading his books in the late 1980s and had the privilege of attending his, “Born to Win” conference in the mid-1990s. As a part of that event, I was invited to his house with other attendees to dine with Zig and his wife. Unlike many in the public eye, he was amazingly genuine. When he shook my hand, looked in my eyes and said, “I’m honored to meet you,” I never doubted the sincerity of his words.
His numerous books are a must-read for anyone who wants to improve their selling skills. But don’t read them if you are interested in gimmicks that will simply help you to close more sales. His writings focus much more on the art of the relationship. Zig was a masterful communicator and storyteller. After hearing him, I set out to fine tune those skills in my own presentations. I can’t imagine anyone leaving an encounter with this eternal optimist without feeling better for the experience.
1. We have the ability to choose our attitude and the way we react to any given situation.
2. Optimists are highly outnumbered, so if you really want to stand out, be one.
3. The best way to achieve success is to focus on helping those around you achieve theirs.