David Laroche : Hello Youtubers. Today, I am with the new, amazing guy. He’s Tom Ziglar, the CEO of Ziglar Inc. He’s with me to answer my questions . We will talk about fulfillment and success, and we will learn a lot in this interview so follow this interview. Hello Tom.
Tom Ziglar : Good to see you.
David Laroche : How are you today? Welcome to our offices.
Tom Ziglar : Yeah, it’s a great office. I love the place where we are doing the interview.
David Laroche : I would love to know, before I ask you a lot of questions, just who are you and what you are doing today.
Tom Ziglar : Yep. I’m Tom Ziglar, and Zig Ziglar’s my father. I tell people I’ve been in the business that we’re in for 48 years. I feel like I was born into it. I’m the CEO here. I’ve been the CEO for 18 years. What we do as a company is, as I tell people, we’re in the transportation business. We help you get from where you are to where you want to be, and we do that through various areas, but mainly it’s personal development, motivation, inspiration, attitude, character, the core foundational things. We’ve learned that you can take all the skills training in the world and we believe that’s very important. We do leadership, and sales, and presentation skills. But you can take all those skills and if you don’t put them in the right kind of person, the one of character, one who has what we call persistent consistency or work ethic, a great attitude, unless you have those components, it’s not just gonna get the results. So through our personal development teachings, we do that one-on-one. We do that in seminars, we do that through CD, DVD and online programs. We also have a business group that work with business owners, helping them develop their business systems, and then we work in corporate America. I do keynotes all over the world. We have others in our team who do the same thing and we work on professional development, sales, motivation, leadership, management, all the different areas. So to be here, I’m incredibly blessed Dad has laid such an incredible foundation. He’s known all over the world. Everywhere I go and speak, whether it’s the UK or Australia, wherever we go, it’s like I have brothers and sisters already in the room.
David Laroche : You know, I’m very glad to do this interview today because you have a another perspective than the other people that I interviewed. I would love to know, you were born always with this mind-set, so according to you is there a difference between being born with that or to learn maybe 20 or 30 years after?
Tom Ziglar : Well whether you were born into an environment like I was–
David Laroche : Yeah, just to be specific, I asked that because I want to help children to learn and learn what you learned with your father under that environment that’s why I’m asking that.
Tom Ziglar : Okay. There are some advantages to being raised the way I was raised, to be surrounded by it. But I’ve met literally thousands of people who had similar advantages that I’ve had, but who didn’t take advantage of it. And so ultimately, it doesn’t matter where you’re born, who your parents are, the circumstances of life. There’s a point in time where you realize you have a choice to make, and that’s choice is really simple. It’s “Do I let the circumstances become the excuse for the decisions that I make?” or “Do I realize that no matter how tough it is, I can make a decision that it’s gonna improve where I am.” See Dad said this, he said we can’t control our circumstances but we can control the way we respond to our circumstances before they happen to us. And so there are many people, and I know in your journey as you’ve seen the same, people who came out of tough, tough backgrounds, whether it’s from a broken family or out of poverty. Dad, his own story, he was raised from the time he was five years old, his father died when he was five. So his mother, single mom, fifth grade education, heart of the Great Depression is when his father died. So the poorest time in recent modern history in the last hundred years. Dad grew up having to work. He started working when he was six years old just to put a little bit of extra food on the table for the family. Mom had a fifth grade education and never did well in school. So you can start out of any circumstance and realize that if you make a decision, like you said earlier when we we’re talking, if you make a decision to start today, incrementally you can put things under your mind. Dad has a quote, it says this, “You are who you are and what you are because of what’s gone into your mind.” You can change who you are, you can change what you are, you can change where you are by changing what goes into your mind.” Right? It’s powerful to know that really, who we are is just the sum total of everything that’s come into us that we accept and believe. And that’s the great news, we can change if we’re not happy with who we are, we can change that simply by changing what we put into our mind and changing how we believe it.
David Laroche : And I would love to know, because you say that met some people, they had this kind of environment but they didn’t take actions. So according to you, why? Why people have maybe the good environment and they don’t use it?
Tom Ziglar : You know, I think it’s because they’ve never understood that they are in control of their own destiny. It’s pretty scary when you think about it, to realize that your future totally depends on what you do. It’s much easier to say, “Well, that door has closed to me because these things have happened.” That’s safe. Nobody’s gonna cause a ruckus, as Seth Godin says, if you just kind of cruise through life. It takes a little bit of courage to stand up and say, “You know what? Everybody’s going that way, that’s not the path for me. I’m going this way. I’m gonna make decisions today that are gonna help me get closer to where I wanna go.” I think they’re afraid because you take personal responsibility, right? You have to make that decision. But guess what, if you don’t take personal responsibility, that means somebody else is telling you what you’re gonna do with your life, right? And who wants that? You know, we all talk about freedom, but the ultimate freedom is choosing who you’re gonna be and where you’re gonna go.
David Laroche : Yeah, that’s great. How did you create your own identity and not trying maybe to become Zig Ziglar too?
Tom Ziglar : Well that’s a great question because I struggle with this. For years, people told me I should go and speak and I always hesitated because I was afraid that people we’re gonna expect me to speak like my father, right? Because he’s Zig Ziglar. He’s maybe perhaps the greatest speaker who’s ever lived. I mean, you know, his peers rank him at that level. Dad never called him that for himself. It’s what other people said. So I had this concept, this mental mind-set that, “Wait a second, if I go and talk, they’re gonna expect me to be like him in style.” You see, that’s totally contrary to the way he raised me. When I was young and growing up and even not too long ago, Dad would tell me this, he would say, “Son, whatever you wanna do, just do it two ways: with 100% integrity and with 100% effort.” Well guess what, if all you need to do it with integrity and dedication, effort, commitment, that means you can do anything. You can be an artist, you can be a dancer, you can be a salesperson, you can be an executive, you can be a speaker, as long as you do it, whatever you do, with 100% integrity and 100% effort.
David Laroche : Great advice.
Tom Ziglar : That’s what he told me. And so about four years ago, I realized, “Hey, wait a second. Nobody expects me to be like Dad, they just want me to be me.” And so what that meant was is I had to develop the gifts that I have because my speaking style’s a lot different. I’m more reserved. I never run around the stage and jump up and down like Dad did. I tell people I’m kind of a nerd. Well guess what, there’s a whole lot of nerds out there. It is a whole lot of people. And so if I’m myself, if I become the best version of me I can become, then I connect. If I try to be somebody else, they don’t believe you. You know, people are smart. If you’re trying to pull off something you’re not, people figure it out.
David Laroche : Do you tell the same lessons to your daughter?
Tom Ziglar : Yes. I try to everyday. She’s 18. She’s deciding where she wants go in life. She’s going into college this year. She’s incredible.
David Laroche : It’s a great advice, I think, to give that to children and youth and everybody, 100% integrity and 100% dedication and commitment to which one you do.
Tom Ziglar : Right. A lot of what we teach is based on what we call biblical truth. It comes out of the bible. Even though we don’t go out and share bible verses and things like that unless it’s the right environment. There’s a proverb that says, “Train up a child in the way they should go.” And in the original text, I believe it was Hebrew, “train up” means in the way they’re bent. So each of us come into the world, we’ve got our own personality. And so as parents, our responsibility is to recognize the personality the child has, and encourage him to go with that.
David Laroche : Helping to find his own power and then give…
Tom Ziglar : Right. So the guidelines is character and integrity, it’s the principles and values. It’s not what you go and do. We work with Wounded Warriors. These are military men and women who are on the battlefield, they get injured. So in a way, everything they wanted to do was taken away from them, and a lot of things that they had were taken away from them. So we talk about you’ve gotta be before you can do, and do before you can have. We call it the “be, do, have philosophy.” And so if our focus is, “I wanna do this and I wanna have that, ” we get into trouble because those could be taken away from you. If you focus on the kind of person you wanna be, then all the doors will open and that can never be taken from you. So I think parents make the mistake of focusing on what the child’s gonna do or what they’re gonna have instead of the person you want them to become.
David Laroche : That is great. I love that. Thank you very much. You met a lot of amazing people, including your Dad when you were a child. According to you, what did you learn from all these amazing people? If you have to do a sum up or summary of the greatest advice you have to remember to become successful and happy in this life, what could be your best advice?
Tom Ziglar : You know, I’m in the middle of developing a series right now, it’s the Ziglar Legacy series, and I’m interviewing all of these icons, business leaders, authors, speakers, people who really made an incredible difference in the world. The thread is they were all impacted by Dad. Somewhere from the platform in their books, in the running of their business, they acknowledge and say, “Hey, I read a Zig Ziglar book, I listened to a cassette tape, a CD. I saw him speak, and what he said had an impact on me.” In fact, the first interview we did was Seth Godin, and Seth gave us this little bit of advice. He said when these people come in, ask them, each one of in them their own opinion, “If somebody were to ask you, what are the top five things you could do to be successful in your personal life, your professional life, your spiritual life, what would they be?” So all of these great leaders, Dave Ramsey, Seth Godin, Dan Cathy, Dr. Ken Blanchard, just these amazing people with these incredible careers, they’re all answering that. And it’s interesting to me how they each have their own priority but it’s all similar. You know, first that talks about, decide who you wanna become, what are the dreams, what do you wanna do. And then become the kind of person that can achieve that, right? You know there’s always things we wanna have, all these goals, dreams and ambitions, and then we have to decide what kind of person are we gonna be. Our culture is backwards, it’s all over the world, we focus on what we wanna have instead of what we wanna be. When you become the right kind of person, these are all by-products, you’d get that. It’s like an athlete. Did somebody show up for the Olympic Games without ever practicing, training, eating, competing all through their life? No, they don’t. They go through thousands of hours to get to that point. They go through thousands of hours becoming that person who can win. Yeah, we all wanna win, we just don’t want to go through that process. So character and integrity are at the very top of the list on every one of them. If you’re not trustworthy, if you cannot be trusted, you’re never gonna have long term sustainable success. It’s just impossible. Right behind that’s work ethic. You know, how bad do you want it? Right in that category is what are you doing it for? What’s the why? Unless you have that motivator of what, it’s gonna make a difference.
David Laroche : Great. I love that. You are talking about the three principles, the three keys. It is about you said integrity, become who you want to become, do you have other things you’d like to share?
Tom Ziglar : Yeah. The components are, what are your dreams? I have this quote and it says, “Your dreams are the edges of the puzzle of your life.” And the way I break it down is I’ll just ask you, have you ever done a table top puzzle? You know like the ones with all the pieces that you put on. How do you start that when you do a puzzle?
David Laroche : The edges.
Tom Ziglar : Yes. That’s how when we have a puzzle we wanna complete, we do the edges, we do the corners.
David Laroche : Yeah, right.
– Okay. So a study was done a number of years ago with school kids, and they built these elementary schools. So these are schools that had kids ages say 6 years old to 12. They open the school, and they did something interesting. On the playground, they had the playground equipment right next to the school. They had a concrete area right next to the school, but they didn’t put a fence around the playground. So the behavioral psychologist went and they watched the kids when they went off for recess. They wanted to see how they were gonna use the equipment. But when the kids went out to recess, all they did was they stuck on the playground equipment or by the teacher. They had all the space that they could use. You know, it’s huge. They could play catch, they could play soccer or football tag, whatever they wanted to do, but they didn’t because they didn’t feel secure. There was no fence around it. You see in life, our dreams, that’s the edges. So when we dream about everything we wanna be, do or have, it could be leaving a legacy, it could be a retirement home, it could be a vacation, it could be providing college education for my family, it could be a car. When we start to dream, what we’re doing is we’re creating an edge and so when we go to sleep at night, our brain works in a crazy way. It connects where we are, which is our strengths, our talents, our personality, our experience, to where we wanna go, and the puzzle pieces start getting put in place. And so when we put our dreams out there, we expand our territory. We no longer play in the comfort zone, next to the teacher about a playground equipment, we start going out and play in the whole space that God’s given us.
David Laroche : I love the way you explained that. It’s a new way to explain goals, and I love what you’re saying.
Tom Ziglar : So the sad thing is probably 95% of people never had their dreams written down, their goals written down, the things they wanna be, do or have. And so it’s like they go out to the playground every day and they stay right here. They got all the space they could play in but they stay right here. And so just the nature, just the active writing it down and putting the plan in place, allows you to go to the next step. So we talked about dreams, we talked about you gotta do everything with character and integrity, we talked about you gotta have an incredible work ethic, and then you’ve gotta have balance, meaning the seven areas of your personal life has gotta be in sync, the physical, the mental, the spiritual, the family, the career, the financial, and the personal. All those have to be in balance.
David Laroche : How do you balance in each field, each areas?
Tom Ziglar : So here’s the thing. Most people, they go through life and all of a sudden they go, “Something’s not right. I’m not happy. I feel kind of out of sorts. I’m not sure if I’m doing the right thing.” And so you take an inventory and you go, “Well, is it my health? Is my health bad?” Because if you’re feeling physically bad, then it’s hard to be productive anywhere else.
David Laroche : Yeah, you’re emotions turn and…
Tom Ziglar : Or, “Maybe it’s financial. Maybe I’m in a lot of debt. Credit card debt, whatever, and it’s stressing me out. I’m living pay check to pay check. I don’t have any security.” Or, “Maybe it’s my family. Maybe I need to go and build a relationship with my spouse again. Maybe I need to know my kids again.” So you go around these areas, and so what we’ve done is there’s seven areas of life and we’ve created 10 pretty simple questions that you ask yourself on each one of these areas. Like I’ll just do physical. Are you eating the right kind of foods? Are you getting enough sleep? Are you exercising regularly? Do you weight about the right amount of weight? Are you under any stress? So we ask these kind of questions and you rate yourself on a scale of 1 to 10. You know, you could be a 1 on some, or 5 on some, or 10 on some. So you add up those 10 questions, you divide it by 10, and that gives you a rating. Maybe you’re a 5 out of 10. Maybe you’re an 8 out of 10. When you do that for each one of these areas, and then you look at it and you go, that’s it. The two or three that are ranking low, that’s where you need to spend your effort on. Now here’s something else that people need to understand, is it’s hard to have a balanced life every single day, every single week, every single month. I mean let’s face it, sometimes we gotta focus on getting in shape. Sometimes we gotta focus on growing our business. Sometimes we gotta focus on our family relationships, you know, the people that are important to us. So it’s hard to be balanced all the time but the reality is we can work on all of them regularly and we can expand. We call that expanding the wheel.
David Laroche : So each time we are focusing on one thing, we are unbalanced, which we have the responsibility to come back and say, “Okay, I can raise the other areas in my life.”
Tom Ziglar : Right. And then we also encourage this, there’s three things that we think people should work on every day because they’re constants. And the reason is real simple, life is hard. You’re gonna lose a job, a relationships gonna break off, you could have a health challenge or somebody you love could have a health challenge. All of these, life is just hard, let’s face it. So since we know life is hard, what can we do so when life gets hard, we have the edge, we have the advantage. And Dad said this, he said life is tough but the tougher we are on ourselves, the easier life will be on us. So there’s three areas that if you work on it every day, it kind of gives you the edge. One is the physical. If you’re in good physical shape, eating right, exercising, taking good care of yourself, getting enough sleep, then you have the stamina and the energy when life gets hard, right? If you gotta get an enormous project down in a short period of time, then it’s gonna require 15, 16 hour a days for a couple of weeks. If you’re in good physical shape– – You can do it.
David Laroche : You can do it, right? Now we’re not meant to do that for long periods of time– – But you are ready to do it if life is challenging you.
Tom Ziglar : And then mental, okay. The reality is we don’t have to look for bad news. Bad news just finds us. It doesn’t matter whether it’s Starbucks, checking in at the airport, even in a church parking lot, bad news will walk up. Turn on the radio, bad news. Turn on the TV, bad news. Go to the internet, bad news. It’s just there. So mentally, we need to understand that so that means that we need our own purpose every day. Put the good, the clean, the pure, the powerful and the positive into our mind. Purposely choose to associate with good people who have good positive mental attitudes because when the going gets tough, when life throws something else, we gotta have that reserve, that mental capacity, that internal motivation. We need to have that muscle already built to say, “Okay. Bad news, I understand. That’s just life. But you don’t know me. I have already prepared for that, ” right? And then the third one we say is spiritual and we emphasize this as well. The reason we do is because there are things in life that none of us understand. I mean, I don’t know what the future is gonna have, right? So for me personally, I spend time with my creator every day. I have this saying, it’s not my saying, I got it from somebody else, “I have no idea what the future holds, but I know who holds the future.” So since I know there are things I don’t understand, I have to have a relationship with the one who does understand, right? Because when people come with the hard questions, what’s the answer? It’s gotta be something beyond. So for me–
David Laroche : I love the way you explain the purpose of spiritual. It’s great.
Tom Ziglar : Yeah. So for me, I see too many people who kind of worship the “creation” versus the creator. And I have this analogy, let’s say that you are in the jungle in the Amazon and you’re lost, and there’s snakes, and quicksand, and piranha, and mountains, and big bugs, and you’ve gotta get out of the jungle. So you have two choices, you can either have a map that will get you out, or you could have the map-maker. Which choice are you gonna pick?
David Laroche : The map-maker?
Tom Ziglar : It’s the map-maker, right? That’s why for me, when I talk about the spiritual, it’s a relationship, right? It’s not a religion, it’s a relationship. It’s my one-on-one time with the creator, who’s the map-maker. So for me it’s the Creator, you know, God, Christ, the Creator. That’s for me, and it’s so much more powerful than a real book, than a religion because it’s a relationship. I want the map-maker walking with me. I want him to go, “Whoa, watch out.” I want that, but a relationship’s two-way, right? It’s not just reading. It’s praying and listening and asking. So that’s what we tell people. That’s what we need to work on every day. Why? Because life’s hard. C. S Lewis said this, he said this world is so hard because we weren’t built for this world. We’re a soul with a body, not a body with a soul.
David Laroche : I love that, thank you. It’s great. What is your next goal for the Ziglar company, Ziglar Inc?
Tom Ziglar : There are a couple of things that are like always right on the view screen of what we wanna do. Outstanding mission statement is to be the difference maker in the personal, family, business, and spiritual lives of enough people to make a positive difference in the world. So that’s a big mission. So how do we do that? Well, we bring programs in the personal area, the business area, the family area, the professional area that help people achieve those things. So the couple of things that we have on the horizon and all of these is about legacy, See Dad has created an amazing brand, an incredible reputation. We’re a reputation company. People wanna do business with us because they trust us, that’s why they wanna do business with us. So now Dad had a gift, he could go and speak in front of 20,000, 40,000, 80,000 people and just have the whole stadium just excited. But Dad’s not here anymore, right? But what changed lives wasn’t him personally, it was the message that he brought, right? Because what he was sharing was true, and what he did was he got people to take action on the truth, and when you do that, you get results. So now we’ve got to carry that legacy, that same message and we’ve got to use new ways. So we’re doing it through a couple of programs. We have a program for business owners because we believe that a small business is really the key globally. It doesn’t matter whether they should lie in the States or France or anywhere. Small businesses, when they do well, the economy does well. When small businesses suffer, everything suffers. Big business, you know, I love big business, but are their motives and goals really aligned with what’s best for me as a person, for our community? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. It’s a hard answer. Governments, are governments looking out for us? Sometimes yes, maybe most of the time no, right? Educational institutions, right? Are they looking out to preserve themselves or are they looking out wholeheartedly, 100% focused on helping each individual all they can be? The audience decides where education comes in. There’s always a beacon of hope and light in every category. There’s always the perfect grey politician. There’s always the ultimate teacher, and that’s what we need. We need more of those. But the reason I love small business owners is because if they build their own business on character and integrity, and then they teach their team members, their employees these principles and they encourage them to dream. Like when somebody comes to work for you, if you discover what their dreams are and you show them how being successful in their job role helps them get closer to their dream, then they’re gonna become a friend, they’re gonna become worried, they’re gonna grow, and guess what? They may leave your business and start their own. Well you’ve just had a one-on-one impact with your community when that happens. There is no greater joy than helping somebody else achieve a higher level than they thought possible, all right? And so business owners are a key focus for us because we can really have an impact there. And then we do a lot with corporate America too. Like I said before, we do leadership training, sales training and presentation, and the techniques are awesome. But the motive, and the character, and the principles and the values behind why you do it is what makes the difference. So if we could change the DNA of the culture of a business to where they start helping their employees achieve their dreams and start focusing on character and integrity, then that has a huge impact everywhere you go.
David Laroche : How do you build a company when the company is focused on one person?
Tom Ziglar : I’ve had other business leaders come to me and say, “You know, it’s harder to kind of redirect, refocus a business built on something than it is to start from scratch.” And I agree, it’s very, very difficult. Is there any reason for us to start from scratch? Absolutely not, because Dad himself said that it’s not me personally that’s causing this to happen, it’s just me using my gifts, showing truth, and it’s the truth that gets to change the impact. So what we’ve done, it’s from our simple branding, is we have two companies. We have Zig Ziglar Corporation, and then we have Ziglar Inc. , and we did that because Ziglar Inc.is carrying forward the message. So it’s Ziglar, and so what we want it to be synonymous is Ziglar was founded by one of the greatest leaders, innovators, speakers, authors, thinkers of our time on these principles. And these–
David Laroche : Like Carnegie, Dale Carnegie.
Tom Ziglar : Right, Carnegie training. And people still, out of respect, they Dale Carnegie and they should because he was an incredible individual. In fact, early in Dad’s career, he worked for Carnegie. So, you know, there’s a legacy that passes on and in our industry, we celebrate and get excited about other companies who are teaching these principles because they work. So when we look two centuries into the future about what we’re gonna be about, the one thing that will never change is the principles and values that we believe in. Okay? We live in a world that believes in situational ethics. You know, it’s okay to act this way in this situation, in this way with this situation. What we teach is absolute truth. And Dad had a funny, he’d come home, he said some things just aren’t relative, some things are absolutes. He said this, he said, “I’d come home from a trip and I’d ask my wife, the redhead sugar baby, ” that’s what he calls mom. He’d say he came home from hundreds of trips through his career, and not once did she ever ask him if he was relatively faithful while he was gone. Would you hire an accountant who is relative honest? I’d be damned, right? When it comes to somebody handling your money, you want somebody who’s a hundred percent honest. So what we say is that there are some things that are just absolutes, and so that is what we teach. When it comes to honesty and integrity and character, that’s what we teach, and so that will never change.
David Laroche : Great. I love the way you see things, it’s great. Do you have some life lessons you would like to share to viewers?
Tom Ziglar : Maybe the biggest life lesson or the biggest thing that I learned is I kept asking myself, how is it that when Dad would speak, that people would listen, go take action, and get results, and then we would get these testimonial letters back? Because I’ll be honest with you, I’ve heard the best speakers of the last 30 years, because with Dad’s platform and his stage, I would go to hundreds of these events and I would see all these great speakers. And if I’m like you, if you go and hear a great speaker, you start taking notes, right? Have you ever done this? You look back at your notes like six months later and you haven’t done anything? We all have that. So what’s the difference between a leader, a speaker, somebody who gets you to take action versus someone who just gets you excited? So I tried to figure that out with Dad. What is it that when he would speak, people would get excited and then take action and then get results? So I call this his secret influence for me, or his secret leadership formula. And the reason I call it secret is because I don’t think Dad even knew he was doing it.
David Laroche : And you want to know that.
Tom Ziglar : Right? So there’s five steps to it, there’s five key points. Hope, identity, will, skill and refill, and these are the five things he did every time he spoke. The first thing is he would come up and he would build hope. He would ask the audience a question, he’d say, “How many of you here today believe there’s something you can do in your personal life, your family life or your business life in the next two weeks that would make things worse?” And of course everybody would laugh because you don’t expect that question from Ziglar. And then he would say, “Okay, how many of you here today believe there’s something you can do in your personal life, your family life, your business life that will make things better?” And everybody would raise their hands. And then he’d say this, ” Whether you realize it or not, you have just admitted to yourself that you have the power to make things better or worse and the choice is yours, ” and that’s where hope is born. Hopeless people believe there’s nothing they can do so they don’t take action. So he creates an atmosphere of hope. So if you’re mentoring somebody, if you’re trying to lead an organization, if you’re talking to your kids, you inspire them with hope. You let them know there’s something they can do, right? Then the second one is identity. Identity took me a long time to figure it out. I read this book called “The Talent Code” by Daniel Coyle, and the subtitle should have been or wasn’t but it should have been, “What makes a champion a champion?” And so he went and he stated all these world champions, like sprinters and soccer players and musicians. You know, the best of the best, what makes them that? And he’s a nerd like me, he’s a neuroscientist guy. And so he studying how does the brain work. So there were two things in the book that really struck me. One was he researched the last 10 world record-holders of the hundred-meter race, and he discovered that they were like the seventh of seven kids, the seventh of eight. In other words, they were the youngest or second youngest born in big families, sixth of six, eight of eight, seventh of eight. So then he studied the brothers and sister because if that guys a world record holder, then are his brothers and sisters fast? None of them had world-class speed. So then I knew it wasn’t genetics or environment that made that guy fast. So then they studied how they were raised, and what they found was that when they were a small child and the brain was developing, these small children would look up and he would see a carbon copy of himself in his brothers and sisters but they were just a little older and a little bigger. But the brain wasn’t developed enough to recognize that they were faster because they were bigger or they were faster because they were older. What the brain said was, “Well they’re fast so I must be fast.” So they identified with it. Then the second study in that book was–
David Laroche : It’s amazing.
Tom Ziglar : Yeah. They went into a college classroom teaching some form of Algebra, some higher level of Math, and the professor taught the class. “Hey, we’re gonna talk about this branch of Algebra today.” And then he said, “This branch of Algebra was discovered by John Brown in 1850 in Edinburgh, Scotland, ” whatever. He’d teach them how to do the equations and at the end of the class, he’d hand out a test. In the test, there were 10 questions and in the middle of the paper, there was a little biography of John Brown and it had his birthday. So half the class, when they were handed out the test, the birthday was the same birthday as that person they handed it to. The other half of the class, the birthday was random. They filmed it. The students with the same birthday worked on the problems 30% longer. Because they identified, they bought in. So Dad walks out on stage, he builds hope, and then he tells this story. His dad died when he was five, he went to work selling peanuts in the corner when he was six years old. His mother who raised him had a fifth grade education. It was in the heart of the Great Depression in Yazoo City, Mississippi, one of the poorest states in one of the poorest towns in the country. He never did well in school. He went into the navy at the end the World War II, never saw action. He got a little bit of college. He didn’t finish college. He didn’t do well in college. He gets out of college after a year, a year and a half or so, after the military, and he goes to work as a salesperson. And for two and a half years, he didn’t sell anything. Well he did, he sold his car, he sold his furniture, you know what I’m saying? And then a guy named P. C. Merrell spoke truth into his life. This is his manager, his supervisor who he believed in, he said, “Zig, in all my years, I’ve never seen such a waste. But if you believed in yourself and went to work on a regular schedule, you could be a champion.” So Dad believed him because he trusted him, and that was when he dedicated his life to discovering what it meant to believe in yourself and to go to work on a regular schedule, and the rest was history. That year, he finished number 2 out of 7,000 sales people. In the previous two and a half years, he’d never been in the top 5,000. After P. C. Merrell gave him that, number 2 out of 7,000. So what happens is as people walked in and they hear Dad speak, they think, “I could never be Zig Ziglar. He’s charismatic, he’s wealthy, he knows the rich guys, he’s got a bunch of houses, he’s funny, he’s smart, he’s a great speaker.” And then they hear a story of failure, adversity, failure, adversity, all these things, and they may think–
David Laroche : We can do it.
Tom Ziglar : “If he can, I can.” So that’s the clinch, that’s the groove. So if you’re a leader, if you’re trying to inspire young people, the greatest lesson you can teach is, “Man, it wasn’t easy for me. I was struggling.” It’s not sitting across a lecture room and saying, “Hey, look at me.” It’s putting your arm around them and saying, “Man, I know how hard it is. I had so many failures. In fact, I’m still learning, but this is what I learned.” So the last three on that, so it’s hope is number one, identity, so people identify with that, and then it’s will, skill and refill. So every talk he ever gave, he said, “You’ve gotta work on your will which is your attitude, your heart, your desire, your want to, your motivation, your inspiration, you got to work on that every day.” And then skill, that’s the how to, the process, the technique. You’ve got to work on that every day, right? You got to have a great attitude, a great work ethic, that’s will, and then you’ve got to have the skill which is the professional things to make it happen. And then refill, you simply repeat. So here’s what I believe happens when Dad would speak. They’d get inspired, they’d have hope, and they’d think, “Well, if he can, I can too.” Then they would take one truth that he gave them and they’d go try it. But because they identified with him, they would try 30% longer, and that 30% was the difference between getting no results and getting results. And once you’d get results, you’d think, “I wonder what else that guy said is true,” and you try it.
David Laroche : Wow. Thank you very much.
Tom Ziglar : Thank you.