In Memoriam: Zig Ziglar

Zig Ziglar: 1926-2012

We got word earlier that Zig Ziglar passed away peacefully this morning, having battled briefly with pneumonia. The team here at Nourish The Dream and I are deeply saddened for multiple reasons. First and foremost, we have developed a great love for Tom Ziglar and the team at Ziglar, Inc. over the last several years. We know that they are experiencing a tremendous loss and we’re thinking about and praying for them today.

Secondly, each of us has been impacted in a very personal way by the life and teachings of Zig Ziglar. In many ways, Nourish The Dream could not exist today—at least in its current form—had it not been for the life’s work of this incredible leader.

On a personal note, we are especially moved for Tom, whose email signature reads “CEO of Ziglar, Inc. and Proud Son of Zig Ziglar.” Tom has spoken on our stage and we’ve been privileged to work alongside him even recently with some local events here in Florida. Over the last several years, I’ve made several trips to the Ziglar offices in Plano, Texas and have been blessed to get to know some of the team. I know how deeply they each love Zig and how seriously they take the responsibility they carry to perpetuate the legacy and the integrity that Zig established.

Tom, you are well-equipped and prepared to continue to bring the “Pure and Simple” Ziglar philosophy to the world. A new generation of people are being exposed to your Dad’s incredible teachings through the work that you’re doing. I know that your Dad’s impact will continue to grow under your stewardship. More importantly, your own impact is growing as you continue to write and speak. I am truly privileged to call you a friend.

I never had the honor of meeting Zig in person. I heard him speak countless times and learned many valuable lessons from his in-person talks and from the recorded teachings that I’ve heard over and over.

The most significant impact Zig had on my life began when I was a middle-school student in the suburbs of Houston, Texas. The Assistant Principal of the school saw to it that each and every day we heard a brief, positive message from Zig Ziglar on the morning announcements. Today, I don’t recall the substance of any specific message. I’m not sure if they were one-minute or two-minute messages. But each one was encouraging, uplifting and even challenging. Each one closed with the inimitable phrase, “I’ll see you at the top.”

Over the years many people have accused me of being an incurable optimist. In me there’s a “we can do it!” attitude that isn’t just second nature—it’s absolutely my automatic response to virtually any situation. I believe wholeheartedly that the seeds of that attitude were planted there by the words of Zig Ziglar.

For that, I am extremely grateful.

Recently, Tom shared with us some of Zig’s personal habits… especially where protecting his marriage and his integrity were concerned. It dawned on me just how rare it is for a man to finish his career—and now his life—in the public eye, with so much visibility, and with both his marriage and his integrity intact. What an amazing example and role model.

As so many are leaving notes and telling stories today on the Ziglar Facebook page (and I encourage you to do the same), I must say that among them some of my favorites involved the humorous notion that now heaven is, “better than good” (after Zig’s famous automatic answer to the question, “How are you?”). As Tom said, “Now Zig is speaking with Jesus.” But the one that really stuck with me is that we can now say to Zig, “I’ll see you at the top.”

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