Ziglar Newsletter for September 27 2011

This week's Ziglar Newsletter has a great article by Zig titled Why You Are Where You Are.

Enjoy and subscribe yourself by visiting the website below.

Why You Are Where You Are

By Zig Ziglar

Many years ago as a young, aspiring speaker, I heard an older speaker who was quite philosophical say that you are where you are because that’s exactly where you want to be. I thought about his statement, decided it was the “wisdom of the ages” and verbalized it in my own presentations. Over a period of time, a series of events took place which convinced me that his statement was not true in my case. I was broke, in debt and down in the dumps. I wanted to be prosperous and excited about my future.

It came through loud and clear that I was where I was and what I was because of the decisions and choices I had made in my life. I made those choices based on the information I had, much of which was erroneous. The reality is, if I’m given the wrong directions to go from “point A” to “point B,” I’m not going to reach “point B” unless I change directions. It’s equally true that if I’m given the wrong directions on how to move from being broke and in debt to being successful and prosperous, I’m not going to end up at the place I want to be.

One important decision you can make even as you read these words is to think about what Thomas Sikking said: “You’re not the product of a broken home, a devastated economy, a world in the upheaval of war, a minority group, a family of drunkards or a poverty-ridden neighborhood. You are the product of your own thinking processes and whatever you’re thinking about today is the cornerstone of your tomorrow.”

If someone else has abused you in the past, it’s o.k. to give them credit for fouling up your past, but do not give them permission to ruin your present and your future. Take control of your thoughts and your future. Determine that you will have a better tomorrow. Make specific plans to do so and I will SEE YOU AT THE TOP!

Zig Ziglar is known as America’s motivator. He is the author of 29 books and numerous audio and video recordings. See him in action!

The Compass of a Leader

By Tim Irwin

Early in my career, a client requested I meet with a prospective merger partner in the financial services industry. The schedule was tight, so for a week I flew around in a private jet to various cities and at each location was whisked away to my meetings in a waiting limo. I stayed in beautiful hotels and generally had a bevy of people making sure that every detail of my trip ran smoothly.

By the end of the week, I was getting used to being treated like I was important and I drove home on Friday night a bit full of myself. Anne, my wife, greeted me at the door with her normal cheerfulness and then dropped the bombshell on me. One of the toilets was clogged, and a plumber wanted a budget-busting amount of money for the repair. This was not the sort of clog that a plunger would take care of with a few well-aimed thrusts. A cloth diaper was lodged in a region of the toilet I didn’t know existed and required a hands-on approach to solve. The sights, smells, and sensations were memorable. After several hours of immersion in the project, the toilet finally cleared. I felt like I needed to be taken to the nearest hazmat center and sprayed down from head to toe for exposure to germ warfare. I went to bed that night in a really foul mood.

The next morning, I woke up laughing. Immersion in the toilet was actually a perfect way to end the week and bring me back down to reality. The toilet was real life, not flying around in a private corporate jet, staying in expensive hotels. We all need a good “in the toilet experience” every now and then to remind us who we really are.

In my book, Derailed, Five Lessons Learned from Catastrophic Failures of Leadership, I studied a number of CEOs who had been fired by their boards in recent years. While these individuals often had performed brilliantly in the past, they failed catastrophically in the jobs from which they were fired. They were like the engineers of huge freight trains who ignored critical warnings and went off the rails. Most of these individuals were ultimately fired, not because of a lack of competence, but rather a lack of character. A big lesson learned …“Arrogance is the mother of all derailers.”

One of the most revealing tests of a person’s character is power. We see in the six failed leader profiles in Derailed that power, in many cases, became self-serving. The “trappings” of power often tell a lot about character. Bob Nardelli created a nine-car personal parking area for his cars underneath Home Depot’s corporate office. His private elevator went from his personal parking area straight to his private office on the top floor of the building without stopping on other floors.

While a failure of character can manifest itself in many ways, the most foundational and most self-destructive is arrogance. Just as humility seems to be at the epicenter of leadership effectiveness, arrogance is commonly at the root of a leader’s undoing … and ours. The specific derailers that rendered the profiled leaders incapable of continuing in their positions varied, but there is an underlayment of arrogance in every one of their derailments.

Arrogance takes many forms. The most rudimentary is the self-centered focus that fosters a belief that I am central to the viability of the organization, the department or the team. The resulting dismissiveness of others’ contributions is inevitable. When arrogance blossoms into hubris, a sense of entitlement results. “This place can’t function without me, and I deserve special perks.” Arrogant leaders also seem to eschew feedback so beneficial to any leader. They become “truth-starved.”

Nardelli became known for arrogance and an alienation of the people he needed most. Regardless of Nardelli’s vision for the company, how could he ever achieve his objectives without the alignment, commitment, and loyalty of the Home Depot employees? The big lesson is that no matter how brilliant, charming, strategic, or commanding in presence a leader is, the consequences of a failed character are extraordinarily disabling and will bring down even the strongest among us.

Effective leaders must set direction, gain alignment among diverse constituencies, risk change, build high-performing teams, achieve results, go the extra mile and endure ungodly stress. To be enthusiastically followed, leaders must also be guided by an inner compass that fosters trust on the part of their followers. That compass is character.

Tim Irwin, Ph.D., is an author, speaker, and leading authority on leadership development, organizational effectiveness, and executive selection. His book, Derailed, Five Lessons Learned from Catastrophic Failures of Leadership, is now available.


By Zig Ziglar

You are where you are and what you are because of the decisions and choices you have made in your life. You can change where you are and what you are by making new choices.

If you have not read any of Zig Ziglar's books, do yourself a favor and buy one today. If you cannot aford one, contact me and I will get you one.

If you prefer audio programs to books, check out Nightingale-Conant's selection of Zig Ziglar programs by clicking on his picture.

Zig Ziglar

Make sure in your lifetime that you get exposed to Ziglar training materials. They have changed the lives of millions of people over a long period of time.

I highly recommend Zig Ziglar's Born To Win CD/DVD/Workbook program. I attended the event live in Texas years ago and I will never forget the epxerience.

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