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Remembering Zig Ziglar, a great motivator

By: Don Loepp

December 10, 2012

Legendary motivational speaker Hilary Hinton "Zig" Ziglar died in late November at the age of 86. On Dec. 6 there was a memorial service. Many people can quote him, especially business people. On a LinkedIn post in the Plastics News group, I asked people to share their favorite Ziglar quote. These included, "Many marriages would be better if the husband and the wife clearly understood that they are on the same side."

Isn't that also true for business? The other favorite one that is passed around the plastics industry is, "The only thing worse than training good employees and losing them is not training your employees and keeping them."

There are many motivational speakers, those folks who remind us that if our get up and go has gone and went, there is a reason to get our spirits moving.

Ziglar was so popular in large part because he spoke the truth and acted on what he believed.

Ziglar also rose from poverty in Mississippi and his actions and beliefs yielded clear results. He was principled and disciplined and saw the fruits of that behavior. But he also knew the alternative. He had a quote about motivation itself, "People often say motivation doesn't last. Neither does bathing - that is why we recommend it daily."

But quotes are just words coming out of a mouth unless they're actualized and here, just words on a page if not put into action. Even before Ziglar died, I had been hearing these quotes as we prepare for the 2013 Executive Forum: The Industry Leadership & Skills Summit. The task ahead of the plastics industry is to contemplate worker training and how to build high-performing teams. It's a monumental task.

So in memory of Ziglar, contemplate your favorite motivational quote and think about how to apply it to worker training. It doesn't even have to be a Ziglar quote. Write it down on paper and take the steps to say, how am I going to make this happen within my business?

(Thanks to Angie DeRosa, Plastics News' conference producer, for today's post).