Introducing a “Tremendous” person
Most of the planet is still under some level of “lockdown.” People are unable to move about because of political mandates and fear of what might happen when they leave their homes.
This edition of “The Effectiveness Coach Presents” begins a series about some extraordinary people who touched my life in extraordinary ways. What they taught me are timeless principles that apply as much today as when I first heard them.
I begin with Charlie “Tremendous” Jones (1927-2008). For over 50 years, Charlie had a simple, yet powerful mission: To help people improve their lives through reading. Charlie entered the world of business as a life insurance agent at just 22 years of age. The following year, he was awarded his agency’s Most Valuable Associate Award. Ten years later, he received his company’s highest management award for recruiting, manpower and development, and business management.
People called Charlie, “Tremendous”, because he called everyone else tremendous. If asked how he got the monicker, he’d blame it on a limited vocabulary: When someone told him they were having a child, he’d say “Tremendous!”… When someone got a promotion “Tremendous!”… When someone got married, succeeded at something, met a great mentor… all “Tremendous”. And pretty soon, everyone realized Charlie was “Tremendous.”
In 1965, Charlie founded Life Management Services to share his experience through seminars and consulting services. Thousands of audiences around the world have experienced nonstop laughter as Mr. Charlie “T” Jones shared his ideas about life’s most challenging situations in business and at home. Charlie was one of the leaders in the personal and professional development industry. His legacy lives on through the countless people he has positively impacted, and through the written words shared and the presentations he gave.
Charlie’s first book, Life Is Tremendous, is based on his belief that enthusiasm makes the difference. He shows how anyone can be happy, involved, relevant, and secure in the midst of a high-pressure, commercialized, automated society. The book which has sold over 2 million copies and printed in 12 languages was awarded the Platinum Book Award on April 25, 1993 for 1,101,283 copies by the Evangelical Christian Publishers. Still popular today, the book has never gone out of print.
Charlie was also featured in numerous other speakers’ books and training programs including: “Leadership by the Book” series with Ken Blanchard, “Excelling in the New Millennium” with Jim Rohn, and many more.
The Value of Books
I recall my first “Tremendous Jones” event when I became sold on the value of reading and having a personal library. When he offered his amazing bargain Executive Collection of books, I was hooked on a book-accumulation habit that continues to this day. His book distribution business continues under the leadership of his daughter, Tracey Jones, MBA, PhD, who is also an accomplished author and speaker, and president of Tremendous Leadership.
After I started Effectiveness, Inc. in 1975, I promoted Charlie’s events and got to know him up close and personal. You know you one of his best friends when Charlie introduces you by saying, “There’s nothing I wouldn’t do for Bob and nothing that Bob wouldn’t do for me. So far that’s how it’s been. We’ve done nothing for each other.” That always got a laugh even though it wasn’t true. He did a lot for me.
This is how it all started. Years ago, Charlie discovered that people would throw away your business card. He claimed to have given away hundreds and hundreds of thousands of books over the years and people remember him around the world. Many people told Charlie, “You’re the first person who ever gave me a book.” He advised his audiences to make a difference not by what we have in our head, it is what we have in our heart. It is reading that helps us see more clearly and grow: You cannot be interesting if you do not read.”
Now, go buy a book. Your future self will thank you.
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