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A FORGOTTEN PIONEER

December 11, 2012

On Wednesday. November 28th, Zig Ziglar died at age 86. His passing wasn’t noted much. Too bad. Like Dale Carnegie and Norman Vincent Peale, Zig was one of the early pioneers of self-help and he practically invented the motivational-speaking industry. I remember reading his first book back in 1975, “See You At the Top,” which encouraged me to forget “stinkin’ thinkin’ ” and move from “mediocrity to meteority.” His folksy homilies and hokey presentations were legendary.

Although Zig inspired me to become a speaker, I had never heard him speak. That changed a few years ago when my client Kim Stokes, general manager of Terpening Terrace in Eugene, was kind enough to invite me to join her at a conference featuring five top speakers including Zig.

Following a day of flashy PowerPoints and super energetic presenters, the final speaker of the day, an old man, took the stage using a vintage overhead projector. Zig knocked it out of the park. In his 80s at the time, he was by far the most dynamic and the most memorable speaker of the day. The power of his personality was all he needed to capture the audience.

Thought for the day: Take a minute today to thank again the people who have inspired you, even if you have done so recently. Why? Well, I will leave you with one of my favorite Zig quotes: “People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing—that’s why we recommend it daily.”

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One comment

  1. In 1991, Zig Ziglar was the first motivational speaker I ever listened to on tape (yes all 10 of them, thank goodness for cd’s) still have him on cd, loaded to my ipod and yes, I still listen to him to try to stay sharp. When listening to his message, I always thought it was great how he said that “the kind of person you are, is the kind of salesperson you are” and doing the right thing in life will always lead you in a positive direction. As Zig would say “I’ll See you at the Top!” He may never have known how many people he influenced, I know he changed my life, and for that I am greatful he was the kind of person he was.

    Bob Carson



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