The Definition of Success According to Zig Ziglar

Excerpted from Zig Ziglar’s ‘Born to Win!’
April 29, 2014

In Born to Win! Find Your Success Code, his last book before his passing, iconic motivational speaker and author Zig Ziglar shares his winning philosophy—that you have to plan and prepare to win, to succeed—and the strategies to go with it.

In this excerpt, he shares a short list of the characteristics that he believes comprise success:

What Success Is:

1. Success is knowing that you did a great job when you close the door to your office at the end of each workday and head for home.

2. Success is having a home and people to love who love you in return.

3. Success is having the financial security to meet your obligations each month and the knowledge that you have provided that security for your family in the event of your demise.

4. Success is having the kind of faith that lets you know where to turn when there seems to be no place to turn.

5. Success is having an interest or hobby that gives you joy and peace.

6. Success is knowing who you are, and Whose you are.

7. Success is taking good care of you and waking up healthy each day.

8. Success is slipping under the covers at the end of the day and realizing with gratitude that, “It just doesn’t get much better than this!”

You see from this list that success is defined by more than one sentence. Success involves the whole person, and if you skimp on one area, you will limit your success. Now, let’s take a look at what success isn’t:

What Success Isn’t:

1. Success isn’t missing dinner with the family several times a week because of working excessively.

2. Success isn’t rushing home from work and hiding out with the TV thinking, “After the day I’ve had, I need my space!”

3. Success isn’t about how to make more money when you already have more money than you can spend.

4. Success isn’t about going to church and ignoring everything you hear.

5. Success isn’t all work and no play.

6. Success isn’t about being so busy that you live on unhealthy fast food, served to you through little windows.

7. Success isn’t spending mental energy worrying about late projects, being home on time, your health, missing your child’s school play, being able to pay your bills, or finding joy in your life.

8. Success isn’t texting while you drive to catch up on your overloaded schedule.



“Leadership ability is the lid that determines a person’s level of effectiveness. The lower an individual’s ability to lead, the lower the lid on his potential. The higher the individual’s ability to lead, the higher the lid on his potential. To give you an example, if your leadership rates at 8, then your effectiveness can never be greater than a 7…Your leadership ability – for better or worse – always determines your effectiveness and the potential impact of your organization.”
Discuss your current 3 major goals – will you need assistance?
Do you need to build a team?
B.Read the McDonald’s story. They created a great concept, they were financially secure, and they had the business sense to change with the times and implement “Speedy Service System”. Their genius was in customer service and organization.
Discuss 3-5 strengths you possess that can assist you in achieving your goals and aid you in supporting the leadership role of your team.
What is your weakness?
What would hinder or prevent your success?

The McDonald brothers had the marketing idea to franchise their brand, but they failed in their ultimate goal to turn their enterprise into an American institution and global entity.
“They lacked the leadership necessary to make a larger enterprise effective.” Then, they connected with Ray Kroc – a leader.
 What sacrifices are you willing to make to raise the lid?
 Suggest that your group write this down
 What is stopping you from achieving the next step of your goal?
D. “The higher you want to climb, the more you need leadership. The greater the impact you want to make, the greater your influence needs to be. Whatever you will accomplish is restricted by your ability to lead others.”
 Working hard at raising the lid of leadership will increase your effectiveness.
 What steps can you take to raise your lid of leadership?
 List and discuss
 What are 3 things you can do to help your team raise their leadership?
E. “If a person’s leadership is strong, the organization’s lid is high. But if it’s not, then the organization is limited. That’s why in times of trouble, organizations naturally look for new leadership.”

 Personal and organizational effectiveness is proportionate to the strength of leadership.
 Look at your life – professional and personal – and rate your level of effectiveness.
 Are you willing to take the necessary steps to RAISE THE LID?
 You can increase your level of effectiveness.
 You can RAISE THE LID! You can be the Ray Kroc or Steve Jobs of your dream!

Excerpt from the 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John C. Maxwell

Do You Have a Sense of Direction?

“The first step toward change is
awareness. The second step is
—Nathaniel Branden

If you want to grow you must know yourself: your strengths and weaknesses, your interests and opportunities. You must be able to gauge not only where you’ve been, but also where you are now. Otherwise, you cannot set a course for where you want to go. And of course, every time you want to learn something, you must be able to take the new thing you’ve learned today and build upon what you learned yesterday to keep growing. That’s the only way to gain traction and keep improving yourself.
To reach your potential, you must know where you want to go and where you
currently are. Without both of those pieces of information, you’re liable to get lost.
Knowing yourself is like reading “You Are Here” on a map when you want to find
your way to a destination.
I’ve observed that there are really only three kinds of people when it comes to
having direction in life:
1. People Who Don’t Know What They Would Like to Do
These people are often confused. They lack a strong sense of purpose. They don’t
possess a sense of direction for their lives. If they are growing, they are unfocused
about it. They dabble. They drift. They can’t reach their potential because they have
no idea what to shoot for.
2. People Who Know What They Would Like to Do But Don’t Do It
These people are usually frustrated. Every day they experience the gap between
where they are and where they want to be. Sometimes they aren’t doing what they
want because they worry that it will cause them to neglect other responsibilities, such
as providing for their families. Sometimes they aren’t willing to pay the price to learn,
grow, and move closer to where they want to be. Other times fear prevents them from
changing course to pursue their passion. No matter what the reason, they, too, miss
their potential.
3. People Who Know What They Would Like to Do and Do It
The third kind of people know themselves, possess a strong sense of passion, are
focused in purpose, grow in areas that help them move closer to their purpose, and do
what they were created to do. The word that best describes them is fulfilled.

grow-dailyJohn C. Maxwell, The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth