Leaders Are Readers
Dr. Ike Reighard
Many people completely overlook the value that a distant mentor can bring through their writings. My first mentorship occurred with Zig (Ziglar) – not in person – but through his tapes and books. Fortunately for me, I loved to read and this habit has enriched my life. My obsession with reading began as a child when I would anxiously await the book-mobile that stopped at the recreation center in my inner-city Atlanta neighborhood. There was pure magic in those books and they intrigued me more than anything else. Perhaps it was because the author would draw me into a world of thought that I could not physically walk into. The beauty of a book is not just the opportunity to read it, but you can highlight passages, make notes in its margins and memorize the sections that help you to develop your own philosophy. Charlie “Tremendous” Jones was one of those distant mentors who impacted my life greatly by his high regard for books. He was often quoted as saying, “You are the same today as you will be in five years, except for two things: the people you meet and the books you read.” I took his advice to heart as a 22 year old and it has served me well. I do not allow a week to go by that I do not read a minimum of one new book. Sometimes I will go back and re-read the books that have become my personal “classics.” I have heard that a classic book is like a great milk cow. You get something fresh every time you go back! My favorite classic is the Bible because each time I scan its pages, something new catches my eyes and my heart. Having read the Bible through many times over, I am convinced that I will never exhaust the truth and principles that I find within its pages. Zig Ziglar wrote the book that changed the entire trajectory of my life. See You at the Top is my other favorite “classic” and I re-read it every two years. My personal philosophy and attitude was greatly influenced by this book and I will be forever grateful for Zig’s words of wisdom contained within its pages. I was thrilled when Zig shared my personal story of change in the book’s sequel, Over the Top. I am deeply honored to now be a co-author with Zig on the daily devotional book, Daily Insights. When I first read See You at the Top, it would have been beyond my wildest dreams that one day I would co-author a book with the man who changed my life with his book. Zig is my hero and I can never thank him enough for his investment in my life and calling. When you pick up a book and read it, you never know the potential that book may release within your spirit!
Leaders Are Communicators
By Zig Ziglar
There is an old saying, “That which can be misunderstood will be misunderstood.” This resolution, passed by the Board of Councilmen in Canton, Mississippi, in the mid-1800s brings that into focus. “Number one: Resolved by this Council that we build a new jail. Number two: Resolved that the new jail be built out of the materials of the old jail. Resolved that the old jail be used until the new jail is finished.”
In many ways, effective communication begins with mutual respect – communication which inspires, encourages or instructs the other person to do their best. When we respect someone, we will never be rude to them. Consequently, by treating that person with respect, we get cooperation, enthusiastically given instead of grudgingly given. Eisenhower said that leadership was the ability to persuade someone else to do what you want them to do because they want to do it. Giving respect to a person means you will treat them with courtesy and dignity. The respected individual is going to work harder to become a peak performer, wanting to do more and more.
If people like you, they will work harder for you. If they don’t like you, they might work to keep their job, but they won’t really be giving the effort they’re capable of giving. A person might perform to keep their job because duty and responsibility demand that they do it well. But love and encouragement enable us to do our work beautifully. When we communicate to people that we genuinely like and respect them, and follow that up with consistency of action, we establish a rapport and confidence in our people that will make a difference.
Communication is not necessarily an easy skill to learn, but it really begins with seriously listening to what the other person says. By listening with respect you will learn things that can make a difference. Consistency will be the result and consistent performance really is the key to excellence. Buy into and practice these concepts and I really will SEE YOU AT THE TOP!
Of all the “attitudes” we can acquire, surely the attitude of gratitude is the most important and by far the most life changing.
I want to thank all of you for all the support and success you have help me recieve.
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