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TIM GALLAGHER tgallagher@siouxcityjournal.com Jul 14, 2018

SIOUX CITY — Gene McNaughton will celebrate the occasion of his father’s 90th birthday in a unique and most meaningful manner.

He’ll launch a global book tour on Monday, the day Eugene McNaughton, a 52-year veteran of the fabled Sioux City Stockyards, would have blown out 90 candles. The elder McNaughton died last August.

“I never once heard my dad complain,” the son said. “He was a laborer who put his family first.”

Eugene and Joan McNaughton raised six children in Sioux City. Gene McNaughton, a 1986 graduate of East High and a 1991 grad of Morningside College, rose through the sales and management ranks at Gateway Computers, eventually initiating a coaching program for the computer marker and creating the Gateway Solutions Team.

McNaughton then became leader of Tony Robbins’ Global Sales force, where, under his guidance, every team established sales standards by eclipsing marks that had stood for years.

We last encountered McNaughton as the business consultant returned to Sioux City in October to conduct a motivational and team-building session for the East High Black Raiders basketball team directed by his lifelong pal, Ras Vanderloo.

McNaughton pops up in Sioux City this week with a new book in his hands, his first. Sales of the book, “The Sales Edge,” begin today with discounts offered through Amazon and other major outlets. The Sioux City native will educate and motivate, leaning on his book as source material, in a seminar set for 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday at Bishop Heelan Catholic High School. Pre-registration, at a discount, is available at www.thesalesedgesc.eventbrite.com. Registration will also be available at the door on Tuesday.

“I want to motivate, educate and help people maximize their careers,” said McNaughton. “While the book is about sales, if you’re in marketing, customer service or management, you’ll find that it’s about how to influence and persuade human beings.”

McNaughton, who resides near Los Angeles, has shared his winning strategies with massive audiences in 17 countries. The seeds for his public-speaking career were planted more than three decades ago when, as an East High student, he sat and listened to Dan Clark present as part of the D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program. McNaughton bought Clark’s book that day, remembering he paid $6 for it. He and Clark would meet years later at a speaking venue they shared.

McNaughton has spoken in places like Fiji and Australia and has shared the dais with speakers such as Robbins and future President Donald Trump.

McNaughton often said how thankful he is to have been surrounded by such nurturing people as a youth in Sioux City, folks like his parents, the family of the late Rich Vanderloo and the late great Coach Walt Fiegel, for whom McNaughton toiled as a defensive back in 1984 when Fiegel’s squad brought home a state football championship.

It makes sense, then, that he came halfway across the country to embark on a tour, celebrating the release of his first book.

“I would have been voted ‘Least Likely to Write a Book,'” McNaughton said while reflecting on his East High tenure. “Certainly my friends would have voted that way. I was pretty excited if I got a ‘B’ in school.”

He did possess a gift, however, one he parlayed into a lifelong skill: Developing relationships with others, including those teachers who supported his efforts inside and outside the classroom.
“I knew I wanted do this launch and to be in Sioux City when it happened,” McNaughton said. “This isn’t placation. I love this city. It’s my home. I wanted to launch it with family and friends.”

As such, he’ll sign the first copies of the book from 6-8 p.m. Monday at The Wheelhouse Bar & Grill, 4501 Southern Hills Drive. He’ll follow that with the seminar at Bishop Heelan High School on Tuesday.