By Marlena Hartz : CNJ staff writer
One of Clovis’ own — author and motivational speaker Tim Sanders — will appear Wednesday morning on MSNBC’s TODAYShow.
The 1979 Clovis High School graduate said the unique faces and places of Clovis were a source of inspiration for his new book, “The Likeability Factor: How to Boost Your L-Factor and Achieve Your Life’s Dreams.”
“The Cannon Air Force Base brings all kinds of people together with small-town folk,” said Sanders, who lives with his wife and son in California. “Clovis (unlike some surrounding towns) was forced to be an empathetic town of emotionally attractive people because of the diversity the base brought. It shaped the way I see the world,” Sanders said.
Sanders said he sees the world with a preacher’s eye. As a child growing up on Seventh Street, Sanders was fascinated by traveling Baptists who visited Clovis neighborhoods, spreading their beliefs. He personalized the methods he learned, and instead of urging people to brush up on the Bible, he encourages them to be more likeable.
Voted most likely to succeed by his graduating class, Sanders has made a career out of spreading the mentality he found abundant in Clovis, but lacking in the business world.
“No one listens as well as they do in Clovis. In the city, people lock their doors and their ears,” Sanders said. “In our small town people, were welcoming. People were friendly.”
Being friendly, and likeable, Sanders said, is the key to success.
Julia Roberts, George Foreman and Bill Clinton make Sander’s list of highly likeable people. They possess what he calls the L-factor, a combination of virtues, foremost among them a child-like approach to the world, which naturally attracts others, ensuring success.
Sanders said long after people forget what you do, they will remember how you made them feel.
David Begin, who partnered with Sanders in 1979 to win the state debate championship, recently rekindled his friendship with his classmate after seeing Sanders on TV.
“Tim could never find a crowd large enough to talk to; he could have done anything, Tim could have been a rock star — but I’m so proud that he chose the path that he did,” said Begin, who lives in Colorado Springs, Colo. “He’s remained very genuine — the kind of person who always makes you feel like you’re the only person in the room.”
Sanders still returns to Clovis to visit his grandmother, Billye Coffman, who raised him.
Be more likeable: 3 quick tips from Tim:
• Act like your life is a movie — and you are the director; be Ron Howard, not Martin Scorsese. Cast your co-workers as heroes and cheer them on.
• Read a book — people who read are generally more likeable and more relevant, two important parts of the L-factor.
• Don’t be “autobiographical.” Instead of responding to a friend’s story with one of your own, be sad with a friend when they are sad, happy with a friend when they are happy.