The River of Life

I have been doing a lot of planning for 2009.  Reviewing our Mission Statement, refining our Vision, and outlining our Corporate Objectives. 


I have come across a concept (not new, I am sure) that I am calling The River of Life that I think could make a huge impact in your business life or even your personal life.  Follow along with me as I explain some things about our company and what I am calling The River of Life.


The Mission Statement of Ziglar is: 


To be the Difference Maker in the Personal, Family, Professional, and Spiritual lives of enough people to make a Positive Difference in the World.


I recognize this is a pretty big mission, but Dad just doesn’t settle for average when it comes to changing people lives!  So I was thinking on this and trying to refine our Vision to make it a little easier to go after.


The Vision for Ziglar (now this is a work still in progress, but I think it’s pretty close):


To change lives by delivering our content to people, building relationships with them, and exceeding their expectations.


I came up with the above Vision by asking a series of questions, and many of the questions were inspired by a new book, Strategic Acceleration, I am reading by Tony Jeary.  The book is not out yet, but you definitely need to get it when it comes out in March 2009.  You can get information about Strategic Acceleration at 


The first question I asked myself was What is it that we do that changes people’s lives?  We have thousands of testimonials and in reflecting on them I realized the common thread is people’s lives are changed when they hear our message and then incorporate it into their lives.  So, the first big thing we have to do is get our message, our content into the hands of as many people as possible.  What is the first big thing that you have to do?


Digging a little deeper, I asked the next question, What is it that we do that really, RADICALLY changes people and businesses that differs from the answer to the first question?  The answer is:  We build relationships with them.  Stunning, I know!  How are you building relationships in your personal and professional life?


Let me brag a minute about our sales team, and really, our entire company.  I trust all of them!  They do a great job building relationships.  If you have a problem or a need, or just want to get better, our team does a fantastic job.


Ok, so now for the third question: How do we build such great relationships?  We exceed expectations!  I got this nugget right of Strategic Acceleration.  Not rocket science, but how Pure and Simple is that?


Now comes the “AHA!” moment:  The River of Life.


Every day thousands of people are touched by our content.  They read this blog, get our newsletter, listen to our podcast, pop Dad into their CD player on the way to work, attend one of our seminars or training events, and participate in our webinars.  Every day some of these people raise their hands and say, “I need a little more help, do you have any ideas?”


And, unfortunately for most, their request falls into a cyber black hole.  This happens for a couple of reasons: We don’t make it unbelievably easy for them to respond, or their response falls into the “Inbox to be Handled Later” category.  YIKES!


So here we are, a company with an incredible mission and incredible people, and The River of Life is just flowing by.  I call it The River of Life for two reasons:  The people in the river are asking about life-changing matters, and the life of our company depends on how well we help them!


The answer is simple:  We have to facilitate the relationship process.  We have to connect you to our team, one to one!  In 2009 if you are on any of our lists you will still receive the same great information, but five or six times a year you are going to get a different kind of email, a personal email from a team member.  If you “raise your hand” and reply, you will get a response back right away from them.


One last thought.  The River of Life concept came out of a conversation I had with Debbie Locurto, one of the leaders with Dave Ramsey .  I asked Debbie about their sales focus, and she mentioned that one of her top people does a fantastic job of managing a huge amount of contacts by emailing a large number of them on a regular basis.  The emails provide value and a small percentage reply.  This allows the relationship to grow and lives to be changed.  Pretty simple, very effective!




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5 Comments on “The River of Life”

  1. WOW ! Tom your right on track over the years I have had those moments when I really needed to ask Zig something. I have called in the past and spoken with Lori Majors and she has filled that need at the time. I know that’s not normal but that’s what I did. I’m excited about how you have stepped up to the plate and insprired us all. I know Zig is so very proud of you. Keep up God’s work

    God Bless,
    Walter “U CAN” Givens

  2. These are excellent thoughts, Tom! Great reminders for every business — particularly in this recession — to take another look at areas where we may have potentially been neglecting the most valuable relationships we have in business.

  3. Archie Winningham Says:

    As usual, right on TZ!
    Hey, I know Chris Locurto! (Debbie’s husband who is an awesome team member of Dave’s) I met him briefly at the Financial Peace University Re-Shoot.

  4. ma Says:

    I really enjoyed your post and look forward to more. It was fun meeting you at the Kitchen Craft convention this week and I followed you on twitter. Let me know if I can be helpful in your social space. I look forward to hearing from you.

  5. Great idea! Sounds like a lot of work, but then relationships are a lot of hard, rewarding work.

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