Love and Leadership: Celebrating the Great Nelson Mandela

People around the world paused to commemorate the incredible life of Nelson Mandela, who died today at age 95. In this video clip from last year, Bill Clinton summed up what he learned from Mandela: “He made everybody else want to be bigger. You were always thinking, ‘Well if he can do all this, if he can endure all this and he could still have a smile on his face and a song in his heart, who am I to whine about whatever is going on in my life?’ He made everybody want to be bigger. I think it’s an uncommon gift that I somehow hope we’ll all find a way to keep alive forever.”

Here are some inspirational thoughts Mandela expressed during his extraordinary life.

“As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison.”

“After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.”

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

“Lead from the back — and let others believe they are in front.”

“There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”

“I am fundamentally an optimist. Whether that comes from nature or nurture, I cannot say. Part of being optimistic is keeping one’s head pointed toward the sun, one’s feet moving forward. There were many dark moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested, but I would not and could not give myself up to despair. That way lays defeat and death.”

Attitude Determines Altitude: Selling Power Says Goodbye to Zig Ziglar

This week great motivator, author, and sales leader Zig Ziglar passed away at the age of 86. We searched our archives and republished some of our best articles featuring Ziglar’s insight and wisdom. Click the links below to read more about Ziglar’s life and lessons, and why he leaves an incredible legacy.

An Interview with the Great Zig Ziglar (1997)
Learn the personal tips that put Ziglar at the top of his field and created success for a lifetime.

Remembering Zig Ziglar: Keys to Sales Success
Gerhard Gschwandtner, founder and CEO of Selling Power, interviewed Ziglar for Selling Power magazine a number of times. In this post, Gschwandtner remembers a few memorable stories Ziglar shared with him. 

Remembering Zig Ziglar: America’s #1 Motivator
A transcript of Gschwandtner’s first interview with Zig Ziglar, originally published in 1982.



Why Love (Not Money) Makes Great Leaders: Insight from Dr. Herb Greenberg

According to Dr. Herb Greenberg, founder of Caliper Corporation, great leaders are not motivated by money.

This is just one of the conclusions Dr. Greenberg drew from his extensive research on the qualities and characteristics that make great leaders, which he published in his book, Succeed on Your Own Terms (which eventually became a New York Times bestseller).

Among the hundreds of leaders interviewed for the book, Dr. Greenberg says that each had his or her own unique definition of success. “Each person knew exactly what he or she needed to do in order to feel like a success, short term and long term,” says Dr. Greenberg. “None of these leaders used money as a definition of success.”

Dr. Greenberg (who lost his sight at age 10) launched his own long and successful career with a single great idea — he was convinced there was a market for assessment tools that could help companies assess qualified candidates for job openings, including sales. In 1961, he left his job as a college professor and founded Caliper. He and his business partner began knocking on doors to spread the word about the value of a comprehensive personality test to assess job candidates in management, sales, and customer service. At the end of four months, they had nothing to show for their efforts but a string of rejections. “Many times, I woke up thinking to myself what have I done?” Greenberg told in this video interview. In a blog post, he summed up his recollection of that time by saying, “The number of rejections, including being laughed at, cannot be counted — I can only say that we needed face masks to protect us from the doors slammed in our faces.”

Finally, Gail Smith, VP of Merchandising for General Motors, decided to take a chance on them. Just three years later, Caliper was performing assessments for 900 job candidates a month for dozens of clients. Dr. Greenberg told that persistence was key to their success. “Fight through the failures, take the rejections … and we say this to anybody who’s looking for a job or a client. People are going to tell you ‘No.’ If you’re ahead of the curve, you’re going to hear ‘No, no, no.’ You need the ego strength to take that beating … and push forward.”

Today, Caliper employs more than 250 professionals in 12 offices around the world and is a recognized leader in using personality tests and assessments to predict success in management, sales, customer service, and even sports. In this video interview, Dr. Greenberg shares a story with Selling Power founder and CEO Gerhard Gschwandtner about a successful basketball player they interviewed.

“Everyone said he had all this talent in the world … but would never be Shaquille O’Neal or a Tim Duncan, or any of the great ones,” Greenberg says. “I said, “What’s holding you back? Why aren’t you as good as you could be?’ He said, ‘I hate this game.’ I said, ‘So why are you playing it?’ He said, ‘They pay me $6 million a year!’ But that’s what stopped him from being a great leader. Not loving his work.”

Watch the interview below between Dr. Herb Greenberg and Gerhard Gschwandtner and discover the top qualities that all great leaders share.

Become a Better Leader: Tips from a Former Fighter Pilot

If you want to be a compelling leader, you need to inspire your team, challenge them, and tie their everyday activities to the larger vision for the company. In this video, former fighter pilot Waldo Waldman talks about a commanding officer whose “consistent passion and focus” inspired him to be a better fighter pilot — and why he thinks the secret of great leadership lies in one-on-one interaction.

Leadership Lessons: Neil Armstrong and Jim Lovell

In an old interview with Selling Power magazine (How High Can You Fly?), former astronaut Jim Lovell likened crisis situations to playing solitaire.

“You pick up a card and that’s a crisis,” he explained. “Only after you find a place to put that card can you pick up another card and move on to the next crisis. You can’t think about the twentieth card in the deck; you have to focus on the card in your hand.”

Lovell was famously the backup for Neil Armstrong on the historic Apollo 11 space mission. This week on the occasion of Armstrong’s death at age 82, Lovell reflected in Des Plaines Patch on the legacy of his longtime friend and colleague: “His legacy is an example if we want to accomplish a project as the American people that we must work together as a team with good leadership and be able to do that. The Apollo program is an example of what you can do if you have the will and given the authority to do something.”

Lovell was never the type to let obstacles get in his way. As a child, he dreamed of flying rocket ships before space travel existed. He wanted to become a rocket engineer, but he didn’t have the money to go to Cal Tech or MIT. No problem – Lovell switched his goal to flying jets.

“If you can’t go in one direction, you set up a goal for something else,” Lovell says. “A lot of times you won’t accomplish them, but when you’re striving, often you luck out and something else opens up.”

In fact, if the NASA doctors had their way, Lovell would never have joined the space program, flown in four missions, or been portrayed by Tom Hanks in a Hollywood blockbuster. Why? He failed a physical exam on what amounted to a technicality. A few years later, however, NASA eased up on physical requirements in favor of piloting experience, and Lovell leapt at his second chance. To be a success, he says, you must persevere.

“When you look at the end result today,” he explains, “it’s easy to think that it was nothing but smooth sailing all the way. But perseverance was absolutely essential to getting to where I am.”