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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— Mr. Troy Reynolds
 
I just discovered this today and am looking forward to exploring the content on here. It looks like it could be very helpful. Just an FYI - in your paragraph on not putting out B+ material you have a typo. A little ironic. :-) The third sentence begins with "You time" not "Your time."
 
— Troy Reynolds
 
I'm lost, to say the least! As a new pastor, taking over a newly started church I have read just about everything there is to learn what I can do to grow the church. I truly beleive that those attending our church are friendly and sincere. So that can't be the issue. I have read all the comments to this article and I feel that most churches will never have a fair chance! We are a VERY small church, so we don't have a children's church (yet). So if a family comes and gets upset that we don't have a children's church for them to put their children into, we lose! We do provide things for their kids to do during the service and even have an option for their kids to be in a different room, if they don't want their kids to sit with them. We are also such a small church that we don't have a worship team/band/etc. Our worship music comes from music videos. The congregation we do have likes it this way, but of course we would love to have a worhsip team. So, if someone comes to our church and is upset that we don't have live music, we lose! The point I am trying to make is that when people come in with preconceived ideas of what a church should be like, they will never find a church home, unless they find a church who's goal is to entertain! Every Sunday our message comes from the Bible, so that can't be a complaint for someone, so instead, people leave the church and never come back because they want more from a church: they don't want friendly people who are following the Word of God; they want a church that give them something (a babysitter for their kid, entertainment, free gifts, etc.) I'm sorry if sound cynical, I truly want everyone to hear the Good News and learn about Christ's love, but if they come in looking for something else, then the church will always lose!
 
— JAG
 

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