Author Archives: Glen Dallas

Thought for the Week – 05.11.18

“It’s not the mountain ahead that wears you out, it’s the grain of sand in your shoe”

ROBERT W. SERVICE (1874-1958)

Born in Lancashire, England to a bank cashier and an heiress, poet Robert William Service moved to Scotland at the age of five, living with his grandfather and three aunts until his parents moved to Glasgow four years later and the family reunited. He wrote his first poem on his sixth birthday, and was educated at some of the best schools in Scotland, where his interest in poetry grew alongside a desire for travel and adventure.

In his youth, he worked in a shipping office and a bank, and briefly studied literature at the University of Glasgow. Inspired by Rudyard Kipling and Robert Louis Stevenson, Service sailed to western Canada in 1894 to become a cowboy in the Yukon Wilderness. He worked on a ranch and as a bank teller in Vancouver Island six years after the Gold Rush, gleaning material that would inform his poetry for years to come and earn him his reputation as “Bard of the Yukon.” Service traveled widely throughout his life—to Hollywood, Cuba, Alberta, Paris, Louisiana, and elsewhere—and his travels continued to fuel his writing.

A prolific writer and poet, Service published numerous collections of poetry during his lifetime, including Songs of a Sourdough or Spell of the Yukon and Other Verses (1907), which went into ten printings its first year, Ballad of a Cheechako (1909) and Ballads of a Bohemian (1921), as well as two autobiographies and six novels. Several of his novels were made into films, and he also appeared as an actor in The Spoilers, a 1942 film with Marlene Dietrich.

A casual usage of what would today be considered ethnic slurs complicates contemporary readings of his work, though his epic, rhymed, often humorous poems about the West’s wilderness, Yukon gold miners, and World War I show the narrative mastery, appetite for adventure, and eye for detail that enabled him to bridge the spheres of popular and literary audiences.

He was a correspondent for the Toronto Star during the Balkan Wars of 1912-13, and served in World War I as an ambulance driver in France. After the war, Service married Germaine Bougeoin and they resided mainly in the south of France until his death.

Service’s two-room cabin in the Yukon, which he lived in from November 1909 until June 1912 while writing his Gold Rush novel The Trail of Ninety-Eight (1911) and his poetry collection Rhymes of a Rolling Stone (1913), is maintained as a historic site for visitors.

 

Thought for the Week – 29.10.18

“Your attitude, not your aptitude will determine your altitude”

ZIG ZIGLAR (1926-2012)

Hilary Hinton “Zig” Ziglar was an American author, salesman and motivational speaker. “Zig” Ziglar was born in Coffee County in southeastern Alabama, to John Silas Ziglar and Lila Wescott Ziglar. He was the tenth of 12 children.

In 1931, when Ziglar was five years old, his father took a management position at a Mississippi farm, and his family moved to Yazoo City, Mississippi, where he spent most of his early childhood. The next year, his father died of a stroke, and his younger sister died two days later.

Between 1943 and 1945, he participated in the Navy V-12 Navy College Training Program at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, South Carolina.

With Richard “Dick” Gardner and Hal Krause, Ziglar was a charter member in the establishment of American Salesmasters in 1963. The company’s objective was to raise the image of salespeople in America by providing seminars. They began with cities across the Midwest (Memphis, Atlanta, Kansas City, St. Louis, Chicago, Denver, etc), featuring speakers like Ziglar, Norman Vincent Peale, Ken McFarland, Cavett Robert, Bill Gove, Maxwell Maltz, Red Motley and many more. They booked an auditorium, put together a slate of speakers and contacted local businesses to sell tickets. Audiences included insurance agents, car salesmen, financial advisers, entrepreneurs, small business owners and curiosity seekers.

Ziglar went on to speak extensively for audiences of the National Association of Sales Education (NASE), founded by Dick Gardner in 1965, and also became a major sales trainer for Mary Kay Cosmetics. In 1968, he became a vice president and training director for the Automotive Performance company and moved to Dallas, Texas. The company went bankrupt two years later. Subsequently, Ziglar spoke extensively at seminars for Peter Lowe, of Get Motivated, and eventually signed an exclusive agreement to support Peter Lowe events.

In addition to speaking, Ziglar wrote over 30 books. His first book, See You At The Top, was rejected 39 times before it was published in 1975. It is still in print today.

In 2007, a fall down a flight of stairs left him with short-term memory problems. Nonetheless, Ziglar continued taking part in motivational seminars until he retired in 2010.

 

 

Thought for the Week – 15.10.18

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant”

ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON (1850-1894)

Robert Louis Stevenson (13 November 1850 – 3 December 1894) was a British novelist, poet, essayist, musician and travel writer. His most famous works are Treasure Island, Kidnapped, Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, and  A Child’s Garden of Verses. He was a literary celebrity during his lifetime, and now ranks as the 26th most translated author in the world. His works have been admired by many other writers, including Jorge Luis Borges, Bertolt Brecht, Marcel Proust, Arthur Conan Doyle, Henry James, Cesare Pavese, Emilio Salgari, Ernest Hemingway, Rudyard Kipling, Jack London, Vladimir Nabokov, J. M. Barrie and G. K. Chesterton, who said that Stevenson “seemed to pick the right word up on the point of his pen, like a man playing spillikins”.

Thought for the Week – 08.10.18

“You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do”

HENRY FORD (1863-1947)

Henry Ford (July 30, 1863 – April 7, 1947) was an American captain of industry and a business magnate, the founder of the Ford Motor Company, and the sponsor of the development of the assembly line technique of mass production.

Although Ford did not invent the automobile or the assembly line, he developed and manufactured the first automobile that many middle-class Americans could afford. In doing so, Ford converted the automobile from an expensive curiosity into a practical conveyance that would profoundly impact the landscape of the 20th century. His introduction of the Model T automobile revolutionised transportation and American industry. As the owner of the Ford Motor Company, he became one of the richest and best-known people in the world. He is credited with “Fordism”: mass production of inexpensive goods coupled with high wages for workers. Ford had a global vision, with consumerism as the key to peace. His intense commitment to systematically lowering costs resulted in many technical and business innovations, including a franchise system that put dealerships throughout most of North America and in major cities on six continents. Ford left most of his vast wealth to the Ford Foundation and arranged for his family to control the company permanently.