Host Aaron Alejandro and Tom Ziglar discuss the late Zig Ziglar’s inspirational legacy and the need for great leaders.
The National FFA Organization works to strengthen science and agricultural educational opportunities for students across the country. The Texas FFA Association and Texas FFA Foundation are the largest state organizations in the country.
On this episode of Growing Our Future Podcast, Aaron Alejandro introduces Tom Ziglar, CEO of the Zig Ziglar Corporation. Ziglar’s extensive experience as a coach, author, and speaker reminds listeners of the importance of humility and hope when it comes to leadership in agriculture and beyond.
Zig Ziglar’s Legacy
Though the late Zig Ziglar’s speeches inspired millions, Tom Ziglar describes his father as “even better offstage.” Ziglar says, “The way he treated people one-on-one, that’s what set him apart.”
Ziglar remembers his father’s history of speaking at FFA conventions and hosting national officers, and emphasizes the clear alignment between FFA’s core values and Ziglar’s belief that “when you transfer wisdom, somebody else excels.”
Preparing Tomorrow’s Leaders
Tom Ziglar attributes his ability to carry on his father’s legacy in part to the support of his father’s network. “Anywhere in the world I go, if there’s more than 20 people in the room there’s at least one Zig Ziglar fan in there,” Ziglar says. “So I’ve got a friend.”
While Ziglar feels blessed to be able to continue his father’s work, he has also, according to host Alejandro, “cut his own teeth” in the world of leadership coaching. “I’m on a mission, and that is to equip, support, develop and encourage the next generation of leaders,” Ziglar says.
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“The World Calls it Problems; I Call it Opportunity”
“People are hungrier than ever for good leadership,” Ziglar says. Over his years as a coach, three strategies for effective leadership stand out. First, Ziglar says, “Coach leaders love disruption.” In an increasingly complex world, Ziglar encourages leaders to see challenges as opportunities.
Ziglar also believes in the power of mentorship–he recommends frequent coaching that focuses on “goals and growth,” whether mentees are colleagues or students. Ziglar also makes the point that it’s important to coach oneself. We can ask ourselves key questions to spur growth, including “What attitude can I demonstrate this week to help me perform better in my role?”
Finally, Ziglar advises incorporating Appreciation, Inspiration, and Recognition (AIR) when conducting meetings with team members. “If someone does something extraordinary…recognize them in front of their peers,” Ziglar says. Even more importantly, great leaders can connect a particular achievement to that person’s ability to demonstrate an organization’s core values. “We want to recognize the things that matter whether we win particular deals or not,” Ziglar says.
Despite challenges like inflation, a Global pandemic, and a war in Ukraine, Ziglar encourages listeners to stay positive, and to help others be their best. Finding success in today’s reality is not unlike outrunning a grizzly bear, Ziglar quips—you don’t have to outrun the bear, you just have to outrun your fellow hikers. In other words: leaders can find purpose in the difference they are able to make in the lives of those around them.
“Might as well tie those shoes and get running,” Ziglar says.
The Texas FFA Foundation’s purpose is to strengthen agricultural education and the Texas FFA program, so each student can develop their potential for personal growth, career success and leadership in a global marketplace.
Learn more about the Texas FFA Foundation at mytexassffa.org.
Learn more about Ziglar Inc. at https://www.ziglar.com/