Zig Ziglar talks to Keith Rosen about the importance of being a lifelong learner.
“Always be learning,” Zig simply said.
I then took out my phone to read an email my daughter sent me. “Zig, I have something for you from a younger generation. My 9 year old daughter, Jessica (who’s now 13) sent me an email and she wanted to me to read it to you when we had chance to meet. Here it is.
I think you’re a great man because you are such an inspiration to my dad. I think you’re lucky to meet my dad. He’s one of your biggest fans. Enjoy your time with my dad. I can’t wait to learn more about you when my dad returns with the answers to his questions.
PS – Daddy, please get me Zig’s autograph. Miss you and love you. Bye bye.
After reading my daughter’s email, I asked Zig, “So, what do you have to tell the younger generation?”
“As children when In school, one thing you want to be absolutely certain you do is to pay close attention to what the teacher is teaching because your future is in the hands of the teacher when in school. Always strive to be the best student you can be. That also includes being a student of lifelong learning.”
Zig admitted that he was never a top performer in school but he was always learning something. “To this day, at 82 years old I still read over 3 hours a day. And I never read a novel because I’m only interested in the truth.”
We can never believe that we truly “know it all” regardless of what we know, what we think we know, our experiences or how long we’ve been at our job, playing an instrument or sport. Never, ever stop learning. After all, the day you think you know everything is the day you start to stagnate, atrophy and lose your competitive edge. You fail to notice the small, seemingly insignificant coaching moments, learning opportunities or daily miracles that are always happening around you only because you’re no longer looking for them.
We dismiss other people’s points of view or ideas without authentically and proactively seeking to understand the other person’s opinion and see why they feel they way they do? Realize that respecting someones point of view doesn’t mean you have to agree with it. What it does is stimulate that law of reciprocity. That is, if I respect your opinion you’ll respect mine. Then together, we can find our common ground and work towards a mutually beneficial goal or vision that we both want to achieve. This not only facilitates learning and the creation of new possibilities and alignment in efforts but it keeps what would have previously been considered monotonous, irritating and redundant now exciting, fresh and more enjoyable!
And this applies to everyone, including salespeople, leaders and managers and how effective they are in their role. Realize that the day you believe you’re not getting value is the day you stop giving value.
It was a privilege and honor to spend a day with Zig Ziglar, one one one, in 2009 at his corporate office in Dallas. We did this series of interviews, which never aired. In honor of Zig Ziglar, I’m dedicating these videos in his memory. We are forever grateful for Zig’s wisdom and the gifts he has given to all of us over the years. His words and inspiration will continue to impact us today and for many generations to come.