I know a lot about what’s in a name because I inherited a well-known, well-respected one. My father, motivational icon Zig Ziglar, went to great lengths to protect his reputation and his name. I am a very grateful, direct beneficiary of his efforts and I work every day to keep my father’s legacy of integrity and superior performance intact.
My father taught me that the door of success swings both open and closed on the history of our actions. I have witnessed how his favorite and most well-known quote, “You can have everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want,” comes to pass when I meet others at their point of need.
Laughter echoed around my father, and he left most every group of folks feeling happier than they had been upon his arrival. He made a special effort to have a kind word of encouragement for anyone who seemed out of sorts or “a little down in the mouth.” He would remind them that at one point, even Moses was a basket case! He often asked “How ya’ doin’?” and when someone responded, “Pretty good, under the circumstances!” he would exclaim with stunned concern “Well what on earth are you doing under there?” and start a discourse on what they had to be grateful for.
Think for a moment about your name:
• What kind of things do people say about you in your absence?
• Do they talk about how nice it is to see you?
• Do they mention the high quality of your work, their trust in you, and your integrity?
• Would they be honored to write you an endorsement?
• Do they refer their friends and family to you?
Now think for a moment about the individuals you respect and trust:
• What character traits do they have that set them apart from the crowd?
• Do you choose to champion those character traits in your life?
Truly successful individuals know their success is dependent on the quality of their choices. I saw my father choose to be involved with some people and choose not to be involved with others. It was all based on the character and integrity of the individual – the history they had made for themselves. One of Dad’s early mentors had taught him that you cannot do good business with a bad man.
I also saw my father invest his time in energy to help people who wanted a new start, a new life. He never wrote anyone off, and neither should we. We have all made a bad choice here and there, but time and distance from our regretful behavior will restore the faith and trust others have in us.
Be diligent in being your best you. Be proud of your name – it is your true brand. Integrity isn’t something that just happens – it is a daily choice. Choose wisely, be honest, caring, kind and enjoy the fruit of your efforts.