Building Winning Relationships

Posted by Howard Partridge on Aug 10, 2021 9:00:00 AM

Howard Partridge, International business coach, reveals how his relationship with Zig Ziglar changed his mind set and business. Howard will also tell you the number one thing a small business owner can take away from his years of experience as a Zig Ziglar legacy trainer.

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Podcast_Building Winning Relationships


Episode with guest: Howard Partridge

International Business Coach

(This episode was recorded in July of 2021.)


Key Episode Take-Aways:

1. Catalyst for transforming business - Realizing everyone has different life goals which results in everybody needing a different business or position. (click to jump to this topic below)  The one and only reason your business exist or your career really, for that matter, is to help you achieve your life goals, and everybody has different life goals. So therefore, everybody needs a different kind of a business or a position.

2. Business and life are all about relationships. (click to jump to this topic below)  I feel like all business and all life is about relationships. And building winning relationships is the most important skill you can have. It is a skill.

3. One big business life lesson -- Surround yourself with people that have already accomplished what you want to accomplish. (click to jump to this topic below)  The biggest life lesson in my mind that crosses business life, every part of life, every part of business is this. Get around people who are already where you want to be. They've done what you want to do. they've mastered it, they've perfected it. And that have a system to help you learn it.  


Continue scrolling to read the full episode transcription.

Announcer 0:03

The "Change the Game" Podcast is sponsored by Prairie Capital Advisors, helping businesses think forward. For more information, visit That's

Announcer 0:23

Welcome to the "Change the Game" Podcast, where we share stories of open-book management and highlight capitalism at its best. Thank you for tuning in to this episode of the "Change the Game” Podcast with special guest Howard Partridge. In this episode, Howard reveals how his relationship with Zig Ziglar changed his mind set and business. Howard will also tell you the number one thing a small business owner can take away from his years of experience as a Zig Ziglar legacy trainer. Here's your hosts Rich Armstrong and Steve Baker. 

Steve Baker  0:57

Welcome to the "Change the Game" Podcast where we are Changing the Game by doing business differently and highlighting stories of capitalism at its best. I'm Steve Baker. And with me today is Rich Armstrong, president of the Great Game of Business Rich, how are you?

Rich Armstrong 1:14

I'm good, Steve, how you doing?

Steve Baker 1:15

Well. I'd like to say some special words about how good I'm feeling but I'm going to save them for our guests. We are so excited to have Howard Partridge with us today. Howard's an international business coach. He's got members of his coaching organization in over 100 industries in 20 countries. He's the best-selling author of eight different books, a TEDx speaker, exclusive business coach for the Zig Ziglar Corporation, the first Ziglar legacy trainer in the world, the first founding member of the John Maxwell team, a master trainer for disc certified human behavior. And he is also now a Business Made Simple coach. What is this guy doing with his free time? That's what I want to know. Howard Partridge, welcome to the podcast.

Howard Partridge 2:04

Thank you. It's great being here. It makes me tired just thinking about all that stuff. Did I actually do all that?

Steve Baker 2:12

You do. And that's one of the reasons we have you on here. It's a really impressive list of not only accomplishments, but also, you know, you're very well celebrated. And people love you. Some may think that you were, you know, born with a silver spoon in your mouth. But that wasn't the case. Could you take us in the Way back Machine and talk about what your childhood was, like, all the way up to starting your first business?

Howard Partridge 2:38

You bet. So, I tell people that I'm originally from LA, lower Alabama. And then I tell them, it's okay. My wife doesn't laugh at my jokes either. So, you know, that's all right. But I grew up in Mobile, Alabama, there were seven kids crammed in a little 600 square foot shack and the roof on that house was so bad that every time it rained, we had to get out all the pots and pans to catch the leaks. My mother fed us on $100 a month from the welfare department. And so, when you grow up in an environment like that, you're kind of wild and I was a wild teenager and I got in a fight with my stepdad and got kicked out of the house at almost 18 years old. And I climbed on a Greyhound bus scraped up $39.95 for a Greyhound bus ticket to Houston, Texas. To live with my real dad that had left when I was a year old. I'd only met him twice my whole life and arrived in Houston, Texas on that Greyhound bus with literally 25 cents in my pocket. I became a waiter and I worked at all these really nice restaurants, wore a tuxedo to work and this table side cooking Steak Diane, Bananas Foster, cherries jubilee, and setting stuff on fire inside was pretty cool. Let me tell you at that age and but I always wanted to have my own business. I did a lot of stuff to make money when I was a kid cut grass and all that and, but I just really didn't have any money to speak of and then I met my wife Denise Concetta Antoinette Pennella. Now that's Italian. She's from New Jersey. I'm from lower Alabama, this is gonna be a good match. And when you married an Italian family, you don't get wedding presents, you get cash. So, we got $3,000 cash and wedding money from all the relatives in little envelopes. And that was a friend of the family same age as me 23 at the time, and he was touring around a little red Mercedes convertible and that got my attention. I said, I want to know what that guy does. I want to know if it's legal. He was. He was a business owner. He had his own business. I got back to Houston, spent that $3,000 all the money that we had to our name started my first business out of the trunk of my car and I struggled for the first 13 years I worked 24 hours a day seven days a week. I mean I made good money, but I was just literally Just I just work seven days a week, 24 hours a day. And then in 1997, I started learning about systems and organizing my business. And I started implementing those systems and transform that same business into a predictable profitable turnkey operation. And 24 years ago, I started sharing those systems with other business owners.

Steve Baker 5:27


Howard Partridge 5:28

That's kind of the story in a nutshell.

Rich Armstrong 5:32

Well, I was gonna ask you about, as Steve just mentioned earlier, that you've written eight books. So, I was gonna ask you, how did you come up with that much content, but based on that story, you had plenty of content to share, right?

Howard Partridge 5:43

I think I could, I experienced enough these days, pretty much every day, or at least every week to write a new book. I just actually wrote two more books this past year. And I don't think I'll ever run out of content. So, I literally have 10 books right now. The other two will be published. One of them will be published this year, and the other one probably next year, by the time we get it out there.

Rich Armstrong 6:07

That is that's amazing. I'm always in awe of people that can do that. They have the talent to do that. Because Steve and I and the book that we wrote was the first one I ever wrote, and it was a struggle.

Steve Baker 6:21

It was like childbirth Howard

Howard Partridge 6:21

It is. yes, so, listen, I understand and, so I fortunately for me, I like to write, and I love to share. And so, I'm always sitting on that beach, I write it in a notebook and a notes app before I ever put it on a computer. So that's helpful.

Rich Armstrong 6:40

That's, great. Well, can you give? Can you give our listeners a little insight to what these books are about? What do you write about?

Howard Partridge 6:48

Right, so the first one that I wrote was Seven Secrets of the Phenomenal Life, just about personal development. The second one is Five Secrets of the Phenomenal Business. Most of my books are about small business growth and scaling a small business. I wrote a leadership book called The Power of Community, how phenomenal leaders inspire their teams while their customers and make bigger profits. And then I have other virtual books. And the last two books I wrote this year, one of them is a devotional. And the other one is a book for young people, it's for youth. So, there's a pretty big range there in our community of business owners, we're impacting the entire family. And so, a lot of times on our group calls on zoom like this, you know, the kids will be sitting there listening, or the employees will be sitting there listening. And so, they're all engaged. And like last week, at our retreat, we had about 115 people, local, and I want to say about 40. Online. And about half of those people that were there were kids.

Steve Baker 8:00

Howard Partridge 8:01

Yeah. And so, I just have a burden to help kids understand what success really is. And, you know, and so we've been doing a lot of youth training.

Steve Baker 8:11

I think that's great, because that's what we need to know is how are we engaging the next generations and making the world a better place, which fits right into our mission of transforming 10 million lives? So that's amazing. Well, Howard, what is there something you could point to, and that you would call a catalyst for transforming your businesses into what it is today?

Howard Partridge 8:33

Absolutely. I learned several lessons along the way. The first one was that

1. Catalyst for transforming business - Realizing everyone has different life goals which results in everybody needing a different business or position.

the one and only reason your business exist or your career really, for that matter, is to help you achieve your life goals, and everybody has different life goals. So therefore, everybody needs a different kind of a business or a position. Then I learned the value of systems, duplicating processes so that you can easily train someone to do it. Then I had to learn the value of profitability and what you guys learn and or teach. And I had to learn that and Alan Rohr, who has been a big fan of you guys for so many years helped me figure that piece of it out. And I had to figure out the leadership piece. And so there have been several periods, I guess you would say, along the way, the first one was just realizing why I was in business, the second is if I'm gonna get this business beyond myself, I gotta have systems if we're going to have any order, and then you got to make money. And then what about leadership? What about people? What about building that phenomenal Dream Team?

Steve Baker 9:43

Yeah, makes sense.

Howard Partridge 9:44


Rich Armstrong 9:45

Howard, I know that you have a, you know, a long history with Zig Ziglar. like Steve mentioned that earlier as well. I've always been a fan of Zig Ziglar. And I think we've had some side conversations about that connection, but could you share with the audience how you first got into involved with that organization?

Howard Partridge 10:01

You bet. So, I had met Zig briefly at a big conference. And about five years later, I just called on the Ziglar organization to see how I could get involved because I just wanted to meet him. I thought, well, if I could get an interview with him, for my audience, for these business owners, you know, how cool would that be? I mean, I was just hoping for maybe an interview over the telephone or something and ended up having him come and speak at our conference. And Tom and I got to know each other and started building a relationship. They decided to go into small business training and asked me if I would facilitate their small business training. So, all the small business owners that follows Sigler, we invite them into our coaching program. And as the relationship develops, I began to help them with their business. And today I help Tom basically run that company, as a management consultant.

Steve Baker 11:06

And for what it's worth, I just finished choosing to win last week. Tom Ziegler's new book, and it's about 50%. Howard is what I'm saying, he gives you a lot of credit. And that's something special.

Howard Partridge 11:21

It really is. I mean, I never could have imagined in my whole life, he just wrote a new book that'll be out in December, I think about all the disruption and some of the things that are coming and how to handle that. So, we're, we're best friends, we're like, brothers.

Steve Baker 11:39

That's amazing. So that relationship is deep with the Ziglar family? And how would you say that relationship has changed your mindset and your business?

Howard Partridge 11:49

Well, I really have bought into the whole Ziglar philosophy. And I live by it, I teach it every single day. I mean, I can't write a book, you talk about all these 10 books, all of them except for the devotional, because that's all biblical. You won't find a book that doesn't have Zig Ziglar all over it. And so, his philosophy just really changed my life. And, you know, he was a man who not only was is probably the most quoted motivational speaker on Earth, he was the same man, maybe even a better man, if you could say that backstage as he was on stage. And, you know, he ended his life that he finished his life, I should say, at 86 years old, without a blemish on his reputation. You know, that's quite an accomplishment for somebody that's, you know, that famous. And so, I really live by the philosophy, I believe in the philosophy. In fact, when I'm with you guys in September, one of the Ziglar programs is what I'm going to be sharing.

Steve Baker 13:04


Rich Armstrong 13:05

Oh, that's, that's great. Well, tell us a little bit about that. Howard, what? What, what will you be sharing?

Howard Partridge 13:11

So, Zig Ziglar, his favorite quote, till the day he passed away, is you can have everything in life you want, if you'll just help enough other people get what it is that they want. And I'm going to share four principles of relationship building, from the Ziglar philosophy with the folks so that they can get along better with everybody, not just people at work, but at home and in the community. And so, my philosophy is that all of Business at all life is about relationships. And if we can turn the culture that we have today, you know, the me generation to understand, and this is really what my youth book is all about, is that you can't get there from here, you can't expect to have the kind of life that you want. If you're selfish, if you don't give if you don't consider other people, if you don't build winning relationships, that's the name of the course building winning relationships. And so, there are certain things that you have to do if you want to have that outcome. And

2. Business and life are all about relationships.

I feel like all business and all life is about relationships. And building winning relationships is the most important skill you can have. It is a skill. Of course, in order to develop that skill, you need to want to do it, you need to have the desire to do it. And you need to value other people. I mean, if I don't value other people, I'm not going to work hard at developing that skill. I'll develop maybe the skill of manipulating people. But first you got to ask yourself the question of how do you value other human beings? How do you value yourself? And so those are some of the things that we'll be talking about.

Steve Baker 15:00

That's awesome. Yeah, I love how you're saying that's the like the critical steel if I can paraphrase that building winning relationships that really does tie into our building a culture of winning a culture of ownership, a culture of responsibility and freedom. How do you see what you do tying in with the Great Game of Business?

Howard Partridge 15:20

Yeah, everything. Because the fact is, is that if we're going solo, we're not sharing what's happening. We're not sharing the numbers; we're not leading with why we're not communicating. We're not engaging people, as we all know, 70% of American workers are disengaged, and 18% are actively disengaged. But when you understand that getting the team in on the game, and that we are a team, not just a boss, or a leader or a supervisor, and then them everything changes, because they'll help you again, it goes right back to that, quote, you can have everything in life you want, if you will just help enough other people get what it is that they want. So, the focus has to be outward and leadership or understanding the numbers because we all you know, we win together, we lose together.

Steve Baker 16:20

Yeah, it's like Jack Stacks. Business, hire law. Number two, I think is pretty easy to stop one guy hard to stop 100.

Howard Partridge 16:30

Yeah, yeah. momentum. That's right.

Steve Baker 16:33

Yeah, for sure.

Rich Armstrong 16:35

Well, Howard, you mentioned a little bit earlier, but what what's next for Howard, what's next for your organization.

Howard Partridge 16:42

So, we are just getting our community as solid as we can just always, you know, tweaking the systems and the community. And think that's the thing that's different about us that if there's one thing that people say that are in our membership, the thing that's different is community, there's this strong sense of, you know, caring for one another and helping one another and being there for one another. And just going deeper with that, I'm taking my leadership group to higher levels, I've got to always be ahead of the game a little bit. And I'm always learning from them and just bringing new things to them. So, tweaking the structure, but also trying to take them to a higher level.

Steve Baker 17:34

When you have your conference in October, we're going to be appearing there with you, can you tell our listeners a little bit more about what people can expect from those three days.

Howard Partridge 17:46

Sure, you bet. So, if you're not a member with us yet, you'll start with a full day boot camp. And that is to learn the proven business systems, which is leadership, marketing, sales, service, and administration, leadership, everything you do to communicate your vision, marketing, everything you do to attract prospects, sales, everything you do to convert those prospects into paying customers, operations, everything you do to serve your clients, your patients, your guests, your members, and administration, everything that you do to track the stats. And so that's day one, day two and three, they're going to hear from a young man that I know by the name of Steve Baker, and he's going to be sharing with them discover the Great Game of Business and Get in the Game the 10 steps of implementing the Great Game of Business and I think it's going to be phenomenal

Steve Baker 18:43

I gotta tell you I'm strangely interested in this

Howard Partridge 18:50

Yeah, and we will have a few other great speakers also always do a couple of sessions myself at my conferences I usually open and you know, usually have something special for the group. I'm not sure exactly what I'm going to do yet myself, but we have a guy who is a coach. I'm sure everybody's familiar with the movie Friday Night Lights and TV show. Well, that was a coach there at work and in the movie, but he was literally really the one who is mentoring those kids Permian High School, and he wrote a book called behind the Friday Night Lights, the behind-the-scenes story or something like that. His name is coach, Nathaniel Hearn. This man delivered the most inspiring keynote I think I've ever heard.

Rich Armstrong 19:46


Howard Partridge 19:47

Now that's a big statement.

Rich Armstrong 19:48


Steve Baker 19:49

It is. Cuz you've heard the big ones.

Howard Partridge 19:52

Yeah, I have heard his story and I don't I don't want to spoil it for the audience. His story and the way he told it was just Like, one minute you're crying and, and the next minute you're laughing and he's a coach, you know, if we're going to play the game, we need a coach. If we're going to lead people in the game, we have to coach. And so that's why I brought it up. But this particular one, and then there's another speaker we have his name is Alan O'Neill, he started a plumbing company with another guy with one truck. And he and I networked here in Houston together. And he went on to sell that company and became the CEO of the combined company that with the joint venture sold that thing twice, I think it was and just made stupid money. And at last count, they were doing 115 million in their latest venture. So, he'll be speaking, also, and I just want business owners to get a bigger vision, you know, you get to decide that business is a vehicle to help you achieve your life goals. And you get to choose, if you want to sit on the beach, write books, you can do that. If you want to grow a big business, couple 100 million dollars, you can do that. It's you get to choose, but most people don't believe that they can do those things. And so, we just want to try to raise the leadership lid a little bit,

Steve Baker 21:26

Kind of help people get through those limiting beliefs and in punched through a couple of ceilings and get to where their potential really is. That's amazing. Yeah. Howard, I wanted to point out to folks that they can learn more about you at Howard But I also wanted to share some other things the I got a chance to read one of your books that you recommended how to live your phenomenal dream live, I got to read it on the beach, I'm reading about you writing the book on the beach while I'm reading it on the beach. And I mean, it just your wisdom is very approachable, you've been informed by some of the best minds out there. In fact, guys, if you're listening, Howard's even featured in a documentary about Zig Ziglar called Zig you were born to win. And that's on amazon prime, I think I'd highly recommend it. You also get to see his house in Destin, which is his phenomenal dream house. So, and the eight books that you've written, it's just so great. I'm very much looking forward to being a part of your conference. But also, you'll be at our conference September 8 through 10th. So, you can see Howard Partridge there as well. So, thank you very much for being a friend of the game.

Howard Partridge 22:44

Thank you, guys. It's just a pleasure. I'm very grateful to be involved. I really believe in what you're doing and excited to be a part of it.

Rich Armstrong 22:53

Yeah, that, you know, speaking of your involvement with the game, I, when we first met, again, was through Ellen roar, and she was very excited to get us introduced. And primarily because, you know, our business is typically with the game we've traditionally work with large organizations, mid-size, large organizations, and you have primarily worked with smaller organizations, as you've learned more about the game how have you seen to adapt the game to smaller organizations? Is there any, any differences at all that you've recognized at all? Or, or how to make it more approachable for smaller businesses?

Howard Partridge 23:36

I think it's I think, very approachable. I mean, reading through the, for example, get in the Game, the book that you guys wrote, and just going through those 10 steps. learning those 10 steps are very valuable. The only difference really, in my mind is that with small business owners, you're typically going straight to the owner, and you don't have to work through big teams. And so, it's a little more it's a little faster and more agile, you know, they don't have big budgets and things like that, but that's okay. You know, it's they don't think about some of the things that are in the Great Game of Business. And so, it's totally, not only approachable, it's needed, very much needed. And that's why I'm excited to bring it to the small business community.

Rich Armstrong 24:29

That's great. That's great. Well, a to kind of wrap up our podcast, we always ask a question is what question we should be asking you, Howard, what are we missing?

Howard Partridge 24:39

I would say that the question you should ask me is, through all of these phenomenal experiences, I mean, literally just sometimes, you know, when I do take a moment to sit back and think about this, I'm just kind of blown away that I get to do what I do, and I'm grateful to be apart, I would say what's the biggest life lesson that you've ever learned?

Rich Armstrong 25:07

Well, what is that life's lesson?

Howard Partridge 25:11

3. One big business life lesson -- Surround yourself with people that have already accomplished what you want to accomplish.

The biggest life lesson in my mind that crosses business life, every part of life, every part of business is this. Get around people who are already where you want to be. They've done what you want to do. they've mastered it, they've perfected it. And that have a system to help you learn it. Eleanor is a great example of that I had a great business, that great culture, just phenomenal service. We're doing the million dollars a year, but we're struggling with the finances, and where's all the money going? And how do we manage all this. And she flew in like Wonder Woman and got us all fixed up and left us with a very simple system. And with that system, I got my debt paid off and became debt free, personally. So, if you want to be more successful financially, then hang around people who are not only more successful financially, but that also have a process, because some people might be successful, but they're not sure how it happened. It just, you know, they this probably you can probably find the clues, you can probably find the process, but they just didn't recognize it. As it happened. They just took the next step, which is fine. But when you find someone who's already done it, and they have the passion to help people and they have a process, now you've got a winner. And so, I live by the philosophy, Gary Keller, who wrote the book, the one thing and built Keller Williams Realty and the large into the largest residential real estate company in the country, probably in the world says, don’t do the best that you can do. Whatever you do, do it the best that it can be done. So, in order to do that, you got to find the person who has the best wheel who has the best process and learn from them. Doesn't matter what it cost because you're going to get that return on that investment. And that's just what I've done. I've just tried to find the best people to learn from.

Rich Armstrong 27:24

That's great advice. Thank you, Howard.

Howard Partridge 27:27

You bet.

Steve Baker 27:28

Love the conversation. And sure, love hanging out with you. We feel like we get smarter every time we spend some time with the HP man. Thank you so much for being with us. Howard you a pleasant guy and I feel phenomenal right now.

Howard Partridge 27:44


Steve Baker 27:4

Well, again, folks, And you can always check out the notes at the bottom of the screen as well. Well, let's keep the conversation going. Send us your questions, your stories, your best practices, your ideas, your challenges, and of course your victories because that is capitalism at its best. Thanks for joining us, and we'll see you next time.

Announcer 28:10

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Topics: Company Culture, Leadership, Transparency, Business Development, Relationships, Goals

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Hosted by Rich Armstrong and Steve Baker the Change the Game podcast highlights true life stories of organizations influencing positive change by doing business differently. They’re teaching people how business works and closing the gap between the haves and have-nots. It’s capitalism at its best. Inside each episode, you’ll discover stories of entrepreneurs who are Changing the Game.

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