On October 9th, I attended Peter Lowe's Get Motivated! seminar series at the Rose Quarter in Portland, Oregon. A friend offered me a free ticket, so I figured it couldn't hurt to get a little Monday morning motivation from the likes of Zig Ziglar, Rudolph Giuliani, Colin Powell and Steve Forbes.
Based on the presenter bios, any amateur detective could guess that the tone of the event would have a conservative, spiritual undercurrent. Regardless, I was still somewhat astonished by what I heard. Early in his presentation, the well-known motivational speaker, Zig Ziglar, dropped this bomb on the audience: "I'm not a scientist or a prophet, but I'm going to predict that in 10 years' time, the theory of evolution will be just a bad joke that hung around too long."
I was equally stunned by the audience's response of enthusiastic applause. I instantly felt uncomfortable, like I'd time-warped back 100 years to a rural Alabama church. Tuning out the rest of the presentation, I felt a surging sense of resentment towards Ziglar and his evangelical Christian followers.
While Giuliani and Powell redeemed the overall value of the Get Motivated! seminar with their presentations on leadership, Ziglar's one passing comment about evolution tainted the entire experience. Since then, I've thought long and hard about my feelings of resentment, and if I could learn anything from the experience.
Whether reacting to an uncomfortable situation, interacting with coworkers or negotiating a contract, feelings of resentment can interfere with motivation and success. There are many tools and techniques available to help minimize or alleviate resentment, but I've come up with my own four-step process, outlined below:
Prior to attending the Get Motivated! seminar, I had tremendous respect for Zig Ziglar based on feedback from friends and peers. Unfortunately, he offended a meaningful percentage of the audience early in his Portland presentation. He then lacked the necessary insight into my four-step process, which would have allowed him to alleviate growing audience resentment.