One Lesson of Zig Ziglar’s Legacy that will Change Your Life

Zig Ziglar died November 28 2012 at the age of 86. He was motivational maven with millions of followers. His twenty-plus books, uber-positive style, and Christian influence are manifested clearly through his ubiquitously sticky quotes. Dave Ramsey tweeted yesterday, “What’s your favorite Zig Ziglar quote?” Here are my favorites with regard to vision and clarity.

As the rest-in-peace tweets and favorite quotes filled the social air waves, I found myself asking, “Was there a special secret to Ziglar’s success?” I believe so.

If you trace Ziglar’s career in sales, one thing is abundantly clear: He was a great salesman because he was a great student; a student of people, a student of life and a student of other salespeople. In fact his success at its core was driven by his continual intake and carnivorous digestion.  Think about it for a minute. Does someone as prolific and successful as Ziglar just sit around thinking of quotes to write? Of course not. Rather, the accelerated learning-living-learning cycle just keeps snowballing. The wisdom, combined with the opportunity to teach others over decades and decades gets remixed and refined into powerful, unforgettable nuggets.

Remember, most very successful people can conveniently stop learning because of the fruits of their success. But a few successful people keep pouring the jet fuel of continued learning to really take them to the top.

One thumbprint of Ziglar’s appetite for learning is the preface of his 2003 updated edition of Secrets of Closing the Sale:

Over the past fifty years it has been my privilege to be in as many actual sales situations, selling goods, products, services or job opportunities as virtually anyone who ever carried the tile of salesperson. Additionally it has been my privilege to share the platform with and learn from some of the greatest speakers and sales trainers our country has produced.

He goes on to name twenty-six individuals. And continues…

Over these fifty years I have been a pack rat. I have taken copious notes from many great trainers. In addition I have clipped innumerable sales articles from newspapers and magazines and have learned much by watching salespeople in action. My library includes books and manuals from the greatest writers and trainers of the last fifty years, and I have over a thousand hours of recordings from these and other speakers.

The lesson that Ziglar’s life inspires me with is simple. Never stop learning. Once you master a category, the real master keeps learning even more. What’s keeping you from reaching the top of what God is calling you to do? Look first to what stops your learning. When was the last time you took copious notes at something that you considered yourself to be really, really good at?

You will find a lot of Ziglar quotes if you look, but his greatest secret is not the most citied quote:

“Life is a classroom — only those who are willing to be lifelong learners will move to the head of the class.”  – Zig Ziglar

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Will Mancini

Will Mancini

Will Mancini wants you and your ministry to experience the benefits of stunning, God-given clarity. As a pastor turned vision coach, Will has worked with an unprecedented variety of churches from growing megachurches and missional communities, to mainline revitalization and church plants. He is the founder of Auxano, creator of VisionRoom.com and the author of God Dreams and Church Unique.

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comment_post_ID); ?> I agree with your 3 must-haves. I would add that the rectors have to call on every member who attends, at least once a year. The existence of a "calling commitee" is just an excuse to avoid making the effort. This is part of #3. If a rector does not like to call on parishioners, then she/he should not be a rector, but should find a different ministry. Carter Kerns, former senior warden, Diocese of Eastern Oregon and lifelong Episcopalian Tel# 541-379-3124
 
— Carter Kerns
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Are there any reliable statistics about the percentage of church plants that fail after 3 years in the US?
 
— Jon Moore
 
comment_post_ID); ?> I am a senior citizen who has lived in many areas of the US, the farthest south being Virginia DC area. There are several church plants in the area--some failed, some doing well. One of the sadist failures was a plant in NW Washington near a large Presbyterian Church (I had been an elder in the church, so I knew the area) where changes in church doctrine was driving many away from the PCUSA churches. There were many mature Christians who lived in the area who were very willing to participate and give generously to the church. Its failure was a loss. The pastor and his wife lived in a VA suburb, wanted something that would appeal to their tastes, which included "praise music". There was a professional piano teacher and several people who had sung in choirs in the area. Their suggestions were completely ignored. Forget that there was joyous participation in singing hymns and silence by many for the praise music. The experienced church leaders that were attending were expected to seek the wisdom of the pastor who did not live in the area rather than have any role in leadership. There is another church plant in Northern Virginia that seems to be going the same way. My take: the pastors should get past their high-school and college days culture and get to know and appreciate the people of the community. Do not try to reproduce Intervarsity or Campus Crusade. Hymns are not a sin and "uneducated" (never graduated from college) should not be ignored as uninformed or stupid. People who have served in and/or live in the area are needed in leadership and not just to serve coffee and give. We all need to pray together and serve God in the community in which there is to be a plant. Glenna Hendricks
 
— Glenna Hendricks
 

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