Orrin Woodward Leadership

Inc Magazine Top 20 Leader Orrin Woodward shares his leadership secrets.

  • Orrin Woodward

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    Guinness World Record Holder for largest book signing ever, Orrin Woodward is a NY Times bestselling author of And Justice For All along with RESOLVED & coauthor of LeaderShift and Launching a Leadership Revolution. His books have sold over one million copies in the leadership and liberty fields. RESOLVED: 13 Resolutions For LIFE made the Top 100 All-Time Best Leadership Books and the 13 Resolutions are the framework for the top selling Mental Fitness Challenge personal development program.

    Orrin made the Top 20 Inc. Magazine Leadership list & has co-founded two multi-million dollar leadership companies. Currently, he serves as the Chairman of the Board of the LIFE Leadership. He has a B.S. degree from GMI-EMI (now Kettering University) in manufacturing systems engineering. He holds four U.S. patents, and won an exclusive National Technical Benchmarking Award.

    This blog is an Alltop selection and ranked in HR's Top 100 Blogs for Management & Leadership.




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The Leadership Train

Posted by Orrin Woodward on October 15, 2014

I am so excited to finally announce the release of a book I conceptualized over two years ago! I wanted a book that educates people on the viability of Network Marketing while answering common objections and teaching a winning mindset through the leadership train analogy. The Leadership Train will be released at the three LIFE Leadership major functions across North America on Friday, October 24. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward

The Leadership Train CoverThe Leadership Train by Orrin Woodward 

All aboard the LIFE Leadership Express! Orrin Woodward’s new book, The Leadership Train, uncovers the mysteries of network marketing and debunks any fallacies and misconceptions about its value and validity. This captivating, easy-reading narrative details one man’s complete turnaround after struggling for years with finding fulfillment in his career and putting his family relationships at jeopardy because of it. Sparked by an unexpected reunion with a long-lost friend and coworker who has gained much more peace, happiness, and success since he left his fast-climbing corporate position and built a large network marketing business, Bobby Davis embarks on a journey that helps him find his true purpose and much more satisfaction in his work and personal life.

This is a dream builder’s dream come true! Not only do you as a business owner need this book, but you need to get this book into the hands of any others you meet who might be looking for something more in life. Learn how to build a successful network marketing business from one of the greatest networkers in history, and help others to do the same. Discover how to handle pyramid and other objections and wipe out any doubts, untruths, and false beliefs that prospective members and customers, and possibly even you yourself, might have. Grab your boarding pass and bring along as many people as you can because the leadership train is going places fast, and you don’t want anyone to miss out!

Endorsements for The Leadership Train

“Having worked in network marketing for nearly two decades, I have had the privilege and blessing of working with the industry’s top field leaders, executives, and business owners, and I have ‘seen it all,’ as they say. I really believe that only Orrin Woodward could have written The Leadership Train. There is no more competent researcher or practitioner in the industry. This beautifully crafted and informative allegory will take you on a journey that will challenge every belief or misconception you may have had about network marketing as well as about yourself. Orrin lays it all out—the good, the bad, and the ugly—and shows us how he and the other founders of LIFE Leadership have eliminated the issues that have plagued the network marketing industry for years, essentially creating a whole new industry in which anyone who is hungry, honorable, and teachable can have success. Homerun!”

—Tim Marks, Bestselling Author of Voyage of a Viking and Confidence of a Champion

“The world is made a better place each and every ordinary day by the millions of unsung heroes who serve others, sell and deliver great value to customers, and build enterprises that provide jobs, grow people, and secure families. The Leadership Train captures the heart and soul of this high and holy calling and will ignite a fire of unquenchable passion within the reader’s heart!”

—John Stahl-Wert, International Bestselling Author of The Serving Leader and Ten Thousand Horses

“No one builds a networking business like Orrin Woodward. In this marvelously entertaining and easy to read book, he shares the thinking behind his extraordinary success. This should be required reading for everyone in the profession!”

—Chris Brady, New York Times Bestselling Author of Launching a Leadership Revolution

“Hilde, Orrin, and I were waiting at a red light on Friedrichstraße in Berlin, and I asked Orrin, ‘Can you tell us that thing with trains and cookies and cream again?’ We all laughed because we had been messing around with it all day, and that is when we said, ‘You need to write that book! It is a profound message that will help millions of direct sellers across the world get the business success they hunger for.’ We are so happy the book is ready! We believe it will help our team to the next level. It will be one more ‘mandatory Orrin book.’ Thank you so much, Orrin, for the impact you have on our life and success.”

—Hilde and Ørjan Sæle, Authors and World-Class Networkers

“I had barely started this informative and entertaining book when the next thing I knew, I was finished. Captivating as it is, it’s actually a manual on how to build a successful network marketing business. Orrin Woodward is truly a master at his craft, and he provides answers to many questions here. Is there anyone else out there who wants to live a life of fulfillment? Then jump on the leadership train!”

—George Guzzardo, LIFE Coach and Speaker

“Reading The Leadership Train is like being a fly on the wall watching Orrin Woodward do what he does best: develop leaders who make a difference. If even just 10 percent of the people in our profession own this book, we will impact the world in profound ways.”

—Dan Hawkins, LIFE Coach and Speaker

“I couldn’t stop reading. Orrin Woodward has already proven to be one of the foremost thought leaders of the twenty-first century. Now he reminds us of the age-old adage ‘Facts tell, but stories sell.’ The Leadership Train is a fun fiction tale that demonstrates exactly what one needs to do to create financial freedom in direct sales, written by one of the greatest networkers in history.”

—Ken Dunn, CEO of Next Century Publishing

“Over the years, I have seen the potential of many people go unfulfilled because they couldn’t frame their own doubts and fears and then overcome them. Orrin Woodward has brilliantly laid out the emotions that so many people deal with as they try to get traction and succeed and then systematically shown readers how to grow as a leader and win. Orrin has always stood above all others in understanding not just the science but also the art of building a community, and in this book, he has combined that wisdom into a clear, heartfelt tale of one man’s journey as he builds the LIFE Leadership opportunity.”

—Claude Hamilton, Bestselling Author of Toughen Up!

I can’t encourage you enough to take the time and read this short story that has actually taken over 14 years to develop. Not only will you learn the principles, techniques, and concepts to help you make a decision about life and leadership, but it will also teach you how to build a successful Compensated Community. You will not only learn about business success but I predict you will also gather golden nuggets that you can immediately apply to make your life better. 

—Bill Lewis – LIFE Coach and Speaker

Posted in Leadership/Personal Development, LIFE Leadership | 33 Comments »

Personal and Professional Turnarounds

Posted by Orrin Woodward on October 6, 2014

I wanted to share Jim Collins’s summary of his 5 stages of decline. These stages can cause both personal and professional decline and must be recognized before its too late. Unfortunately, to paraphrase Socrates, the examined life is extremely rare and most people do not take the time to study the scoreboard of life. Here is your opportunity to study Collin’s list and see which area you can improve.

LIFE Leadership is about personal and professional development to launch a leadership revolution. Are you ready for the revolution?

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward

Our research indicates that organizational decline is largely self-inflicted, and recovery largely within our own control. So long as you never fall all the way to Stage 5, you can rebuild.

While a full exploration of the five stages is beyond the scope of this excerpt, here is a brief summary:

STAGE 1: HUBRIS BORN OF SUCCESS
Great enterprises can become insulated by success; accumulated momentum can carry an enterprise forward for a while, even if its leaders make poor decisions or lose discipline. Stage 1 kicks in when people become arrogant, regarding success virtually as an entitlement, and they lose sight of the true underlying factors that created success in the first place. When the rhetoric of success (“We’re successful because we do these specific things”) replaces penetrating understanding and insight (“We’re successful because we understand why we do these specific things and under what conditions they would no longer work”), decline will very likely follow. Luck and chance play a role in many successful outcomes, and those who fail to acknowledge the role luck may have played in their success—and thereby overestimate their own merit and capabilities—have succumbed to hubris.

The best leaders we’ve studied never presume they’ve reached ultimate understanding of all the factors that brought them success. For one thing, they retain a somewhat irrational fear that perhaps their success stems in large part from fortuitous circumstance. Suppose you discount your own success (“We might have been just really lucky/were in the right place at the right time/have been living off momentum/have been operating without serious competition”) and thereby worry incessantly about how to make yourself stronger and better-positioned for the day your good luck runs out. What’s the downside if you’re wrong? Minimal: If you’re wrong, you’ll just be that much stronger by virtue of your disciplined approach. But suppose instead you succumb to hubris and attribute success to your own superior qualities (“We deserve success because we’re so good/so smart/so innovative/so amazing”). What’s the downside if you’re wrong? Significant. You just might find yourself surprised and unprepared when you wake up to discover your vulnerabilities too late.

STAGE 2: UNDISCIPLINED PURSUIT OF MORE
Hubris from Stage 1 (“We’re so great, we can do anything!”) leads right to Stage 2, the Undisciplined Pursuit of More—more scale, more growth, more acclaim, more of whatever those in power see as “success.” Companies in Stage 2 stray from the disciplined creativity that led them to greatness in the first place, making undisciplined leaps into areas where they cannot be great or growing faster than they can achieve with excellence—or both. When an organization grows beyond its ability to fill its key seats with the right people, it has set itself up for a fall. Although complacency and resistance to change remain dangers to any successful enterprise, overreaching better captures how the mighty fall.

Discontinuous leaps into areas in which you have no burning passion is undisciplined. Taking action inconsistent with your core values is undisciplined. Investing heavily in new arenas where you cannot attain distinctive capability, better than your competitors, is undisciplined. Launching headlong into activities that do not fit with your economic or resource engine is undisciplined. Addiction to scale is undisciplined. To neglect your core business while you leap after exciting new adventures is undisciplined. To use the organization primarily as a vehicle to increase your own personal success—more wealth, more fame, more power—at the expense of its long-term success is undisciplined. To compromise your values or lose sight of your core purpose in pursuit of growth and expansion is undisciplined.

STAGE 3: DENIAL OF RISK AND PERIL
As companies move into Stage 3, internal warning signs begin to mount, yet external results remain strong enough to “explain away” disturbing data or to suggest that the difficulties are “temporary” or “cyclic” or “not that bad,” and “nothing is fundamentally wrong.” In Stage 3, leaders discount negative data, amplify positive data, and put a positive spin on ambiguous data. Those in power start to blame external factors for setbacks rather than accept responsibility. The vigorous, fact-based dialogue that characterizes high-performance teams dwindles or disappears altogether. When those in power begin to imperil the enterprise by taking outsize risks and acting in a way that denies the consequences of those risks, they are headed straight for Stage 4.

Bill Gore, founder of W.L. Gore & Associates, articulated a helpful concept for decision-making and risk-taking, what he called the “waterline” principle. Think of being on a ship, and imagine that any decision gone bad will blow a hole in the side of the ship. If you blow a hole above the waterline (where the ship won’t take on water and possibly sink), you can patch the hole, learn from the experience, and sail on. But if you blow a hole below the waterline, you can find yourself facing gushers of water pouring in, pulling you toward the ocean floor. And if it’s a big enough hole, you might go down really fast, just like some of the financial firm catastrophes of 2008. To be clear, great enterprises do make big bets, but they avoid big bets that could blow holes below the waterline.

STAGE 4: GRASPING FOR SALVATION
The cumulative peril and/or risks gone bad of Stage 3 assert themselves, throwing the enterprise into a sharp decline visible to all. The critical question is: How does its leadership respond? By lurching for a quick salvation or by getting back to the disciplines that brought about greatness in the first place? Those who grasp for salvation have fallen into Stage 4. Common “saviors” include a charismatic visionary leader, a bold but untested strategy, a radical transformation, a dramatic cultural revolution, a hoped-for blockbuster product, a “game-changing” acquisition, or any number of other silver-bullet solutions. Initial results from taking dramatic action may appear positive, but they do not last.

When we find ourselves in trouble, when we find ourselves on the cusp of falling, our survival instinct and our fear can prompt lurching—reactive behavior absolutely contrary to survival. The very moment when we need to take calm, deliberate action, we run the risk of doing the exact opposite and bringing about the very outcomes we most fear. By grasping about in fearful, frantic reaction, late Stage 4 companies accelerate their own demise. Of course, their leaders can later claim: “But look at everything we did. We changed everything. We tried everything we could think of. We fired every shot we had, and we still fell. You can’t blame us for not trying.” They fail to see that leaders atop companies in the late stages of decline need to get back to a calm, clear-headed, and focused approach. If you want to reverse decline, be rigorous about what not to do.

STAGE 5: CAPITULATION TO IRRELEVANCE OR DEATH
The longer a company remains in Stage 4, repeatedly grasping for silver bullets, the more likely it will spiral downward. In Stage 5, accumulated setbacks and expensive false starts erode financial strength and individual spirit to such an extent that leaders abandon all hope of building a great future. In some cases the company’s leader just sells out; in other cases the institution atrophies into utter insignificance; and in the most extreme cases the enterprise simply dies outright.

The point of the struggle is not just to survive, but to build an enterprise that makes such a distinctive impact on the world it touches (and does so with such superior performance) that it would leave a gaping hole—a hole that could not be easily filled by any other institution—if it ceased to exist. To accomplish this requires leaders who retain faith that they can find a way to prevail in pursuit of a cause larger than mere survival (and larger than themselves) while also maintaining the stoic will needed to take whatever actions must be taken, however excruciating, for the sake of that cause.

Posted in Leadership/Personal Development, LIFE Leadership | 10 Comments »

Beyond Relationship Marketing: Friendship Branding

Posted by Orrin Woodward on September 26, 2014

Here is a segment of a LIFE Leadership talk I gave in Texas on the importance of business owners moving beyond relationship marketing and into friendship branding. A company can serve a customer, but the best service is when friends serve friends. Thus, the reason why every business ought to move from treating customers as customers and start treating them as you would a friend.

In a sense, they are your business’s best friend and should be teated accordingly. Can you give an example where a business person treated you beyond just a customer and treated you as a friend?

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward

Posted in Leadership/Personal Development, Orrin Woodward | 8 Comments »

Financial Fitness Pack is Breaking Sales Records

Posted by Orrin Woodward on September 18, 2014

The Financial Fitness Pack (FFP) is LIFE Leadership‘s #1 selling product. Why? Because practically everyone you talk to can benefit from applying the step-by-step principles taught in the FFP program. Understanding the Offense, Defense, and the Playing Field for financial success is essential to free a person from financial bondage.

To share the value of the FFP program to improve lives, CEO Chris Brady and his LIFE Leadership staff produced an amazing video that interviews leaders who have applied the principles. Where else can your customer purchase a life-changing financial program that pays for itself (it’s only $99 for crying out loud) from what most people save on interest debt alone! To truly be free, one must be free economically, politically, and spiritually. The FFP points a person onto the path to financial freedom.

In fact, many of LIFE Leadership‘s customers have converted to members after realizing they are saving enough from the FFP information (defense) to start funding their own business (offense). This is why I love LIFE Leadership so much. While most alleged “leaders” in society  are bantering back and forth pointing out who is to blame, the LIFE leaders are progressively changing their own lives so they can inspire others to change.

LIFE will model and message the proper principles in each area of life to help people solve life challenges rather than be frozen in fear because of them. This is why I am so proud to be in business with the LIFE Leadership community.

To purchase a Financial Fitness Pack and begin the journey to financial freedom click here.

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward

Posted in Finances, Freedom/Liberty, LIFE Leadership | 16 Comments »

Ice Adidas: The Power of Belief

Posted by Orrin Woodward on September 15, 2014

It was a warm summer day in 1992 and I was shooting baskets in Columbiaville, Michigan. While practicing three pointers, I noticed three middle-school age boys start practicing on the other side of the court. After a few minutes, I assessed the boys playing capabilities – two of the boys could play fairly well for middle-schoolers, but the third one looked like he hadn’t played basketball at all. Nonetheless, rather than continue to shoot by myself, I invited them to play a fun game of 2-on-2.

I chose the inexperienced basketball player as my teammate and called “Ice Adidas” since he was wearing an Adidas hat and one of my favorite players back in the day was George “Ice Man” Gervin. Remember, this was 1992, before I was into leadership development at all. I didn’t listen to positive CDs, didn’t read leadership books, and had no idea what a limiting belief was. Nevertheless, I was about to learn a great lesson on leadership that I want to share.

Because it wasn’t a competitive game, I decided not to shoot unless I was given a layup. Thus, “Ice Adidas” had to carry the main load for scoring our points if we planned on winning. Of course, I had watched “Ice Adidas” practice and I don’t think he was making more than one out of ten. I realized this might not be much of a game, but decided to roll with it and, to entertain myself, I decided to do a play-by-play of the game. The two competent players quickly jumped out to the lead and with me refusing to shoot, it looked like it was going to be a blowout.

Although at first the other two boys laughed at my incessant build up of their friend, “Ice Adidas,” I kept speaking it into existence.  Empowering words like – the player who is smooth as silk; the one who has ice in his veins; and the star who can carry his team – were spoken over and over as I drove to the basket and popped it back out to Ice. He was getting closer to the basket but he was still missing.

Then everything changed. “Ice Adidas” made on of his shots! I poured it on just like the TV broadcasters did stating, “Ice Man” is hot! Watch out! When he gets in a groove he is unstoppable! “Ice Adidas” is on the loose and now the game is now up for grabs. We were playing buckets, which meant if you make a basket, then you get the ball back again. This permits a team that gets behind to come back quickly if they get on a roll and that is exactly what the “Ice Man” did.

I would drive to the hole and pop it back to “Ice Adidas” and he started hitting EVERYTHING! The smile on his face seemed permanent as he proceeded to live up to everything I was saying. I had no idea the power words had to change lives, but I experienced it first-hand that day. His two friends started bickering about who was supposed to cover Ice and said to each other that you can’t leave him open or he will score.

I am not exaggerating, this same kid could barely hit the backboard, not he was hitting layups, jumpers, and anything else he shot up. To make a long story short we won three straight games and when the boys left, they treated “Ice Adidas” with deference. One of the kids asked him where he learned to shoot like that. I was wondering the same myself, but he had told me he had only played a couple of times. I am convinced “Ice Adidas” left that court a changed person. His friends treated him with deference and were amazed at his shooting prowess.

What happened on the basketball court that day? That’s a good question. Especially when one considers that I had practically forgotten about the whole incident until I started studying leadership. After countless CDs, books, and events, I realized that my words to “Ice Adidas” had helped change his beliefs. Although I had not idea what I was doing, my words of encouragement to the young man transformed him from a inexperienced player and into “Ice Adidas”. My belief in George “Ice Man” Gervin abilities became his belief in his abilities. “Ice Adidas” lived up to the words I spoke and played way above his former capabilities.

In fact, this is one of the leader’s main roles – help people see themselves the way the leader sees them. I invest my time seeing the greatness in my leaders and then sharing that greatness back to them. Over time, they replace their limiting views of themselves with a more accurate assessment of their leadership abilities. When this happens, everything changes just like it did for “Ice Adidas.” Information is important, but not until they have been provided the inspiration. The leader provides the inspiration for the people to seek the right information needed to win.

In sum, treat a person as he is and he will act accordingly, but treat a person as he can be and he will move heaven and earth to act accordingly. This is the power of belief. Have you ever experienced the power of changed beliefs in your life? Please share.

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward: LIFE Leadership Chairman of the Board

Posted in Leadership/Personal Development, LIFE Leadership | 16 Comments »

Murray Rothbard: The Banking Cartel

Posted by Orrin Woodward on September 8, 2014

Murray Rothbard is my favorite economist to read for several reasons. First, his extensive knowledge in economics, history, and business help him see connections where few others would. Second, his style of writing drives home his points in an enjoyable fashion and, even the few times where I believe he goes too far, I still marvel at his ability to muster the facts in a logical fashion to argue his point. to

As Chairman of the Board for LIFE Leadership, I am constantly reading, writing, and speaking. Identifying the top thinkers to read in each field is a high-priority for me and why Murray Rothbard is one of my favorites. For his thinking and writing clear the fog of ignorance on my different subjects. As an example, here is Rothbard’s description of how and why America cartelized its corporations in the late 19th century.

The Five Laws of Decline are alive and well in America and a return to the Six Duties of Society is going to take an active group of people who know leadership, history, and economics.

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward

Murray Rothbard

Murray Rothbard

By the late 19th century, the Morgans took the lead in trying to pressure the US government to cartelize industries they were interested in — first railroads and then manufacturing: to protect these industries from the winds of free competition, and to use the power of government to enable these industries to restrict production and raise prices.

In particular, the investment bankers acted as a ginger group to work for the cartelization of commercial banks. To some extent, commercial bankers lend out their own capital and money acquired by CDs. But most commercial banking is “deposit banking” based on a gigantic scam: the idea, which most depositors believe, that their money is down at the bank, ready to be redeemed in cash at any time. If Jim has a checking account of $1,000 at a local bank, Jim knows that this is a “demand deposit,” that is, that the bank pledges to pay him $1,000 in cash, on demand, anytime he wishes to “get his money out.” Naturally, the Jims of this world are convinced that their money is safely there, in the bank, for them to take out at any time. Hence, they think of their checking account as equivalent to a warehouse receipt. If they put a chair in a warehouse before going on a trip, they expect to get the chair back whenever they present the receipt. Unfortunately, while banks depend on the warehouse analogy, the depositors are systematically deluded. Their money ain’t there.

An honest warehouse makes sure that the goods entrusted to its care are there, in its storeroom or vault. But banks operate very differently, at least since the days of such deposit banks as the Banks of Amsterdam and Hamburg in the 17th century, which indeed acted as warehouses and backed all of their receipts fully by the assets deposited, e.g., gold and silver. This honest deposit or “giro” banking is called “100 percent reserve” banking. Ever since, banks have habitually created warehouse receipts (originally bank notes and now deposits) out of thin air. Essentially, they are counterfeiters of fake warehouse receipts to cash or standard money, which circulate as if they were genuine, fully backed notes or checking accounts. Banks make money by literally creating money out of thin air, nowadays exclusively deposits rather than bank notes. This sort of swindling or counterfeiting is dignified by the term “fractional reserve banking,” which means that bank deposits are backed by only a small fraction of the cash they promise to have at hand and redeem. (Right now, in the United States, this minimum fraction is fixed by the Federal Reserve System at 10 percent.)

Fractional Reserve Banking

Let’s see how the fractional-reserve process works, in the absence of a central bank. I set up a Rothbard Bank, and invest $1,000 of cash (whether gold or government paper does not matter here). Then I “lend out” $10,000 to someone, either for consumer spending or to invest in his business. How can I “lend out” far more than I have? Ahh, that’s the magic of the “fraction” in the fractional reserve. I simply open up a checking account of $10,000 which I am happy to lend to Mr. Jones. Why does Jones borrow from me? Well, for one thing, I can charge a lower rate of interest than savers would. I don’t have to save up the money myself, but can simply counterfeit it out of thin air. (In the 19th century, I would have been able to issue bank notes, but the Federal Reserve now monopolizes note issues.) Since demand deposits at the Rothbard Bank function as equivalent to cash, the nation’s money supply has just, by magic, increased by $10,000. The inflationary, counterfeiting process is under way.

“Unfortunately, while banks depend on the warehouse analogy, the depositors are systematically deluded. Their money ain’t there.”

The 19th-century English economist Thomas Tooke correctly stated that “free trade in banking is tantamount to free trade in swindling.” But under freedom, and without government support, there are some severe hitches in this counterfeiting process, or in what has been termed “free banking.”

First, why should anyone trust me? Why should anyone accept the checking deposits of the Rothbard Bank?

But second, even if I were trusted, and I were able to con my way into the trust of the gullible, there is another severe problem, caused by the fact that the banking system is competitive, with free entry into the field. After all, the Rothbard Bank is limited in its clientele. After Jones borrows checking deposits from me, he is going to spend that money. Why else pay for a loan? Sooner or later, the money he spends, whether for a vacation, or for expanding his business, will be spent on the goods or services of clients of some other bank, say the Rockwell Bank. The Rockwell Bank is not particularly interested in holding checking accounts on my bank; it wants reserves so that it can pyramid its own counterfeiting on top of cash reserves. And so if, to make the case simple, the Rockwell Bank gets a $10,000 check on the Rothbard Bank, it is going to demand cash so that it can do some inflationary counterfeit pyramiding of its own.

But, I, of course, can’t pay the $10,000, so I’m finished. Bankrupt. Found out. By rights, I should be in jail as an embezzler, but at least my phoney checking deposits and I are out of the game, and out of the money supply.

Hence, under free competition, and without government support and enforcement, there will only be limited scope for fractional-reserve counterfeiting. Banks could form cartels to prop each other up, but generally cartels on the market don’t work well without government enforcement, without the government cracking down on competitors who insist on busting the cartel, in this case, forcing competing banks to pay up.

Posted in Freedom/Liberty, LIFE Leadership | 17 Comments »

Unspeakable by Os Guinness

Posted by Orrin Woodward on August 28, 2014

As the Chairman of LIFE Leadership, I have made reading a life-long habit. Nonetheless, this year’s summer season reading regimen was particularly productive. In fact, I read so many challenging books at my Michigan house that it is difficult to choose which one was the most impactful. However, if I was pressed to choose, it would have to be Unspeakable by Os Guinness. This book tackles the question of evil and how the Judeo/Christian, Hindu/Buddhist, and secular humanist world views respond to it. Through following Guinness’s line of reasoning I was left appreciating the strengths and weakness of each worldview while still bolstering my belief that Christianity has the most consistent answers to the problem of, and the response to, evil in the world. 

Most people see themselves as fighters against evil, but what happens after they realize that the biggest battle they fight against evil is the war within their own hearts? Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn described the dilemma human beings face in his classic The Gulag Archipelago when he wrote, “But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being? And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?” To destroy evil we must either destroy our heart or transform it through God’s grace.

The Lord's Prayer

The Lord’s Prayer

In his chapter on second chances, Guinness takes no prisoners. He explains how nearly everyone has said the Lord’s Prayer at some time in his/her life. However, few realize exactly what they are praying when they say, “and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” Indeed, most of us mouth the words blissfully ignorant of the prayers meaning. For when a person prays this, he is stating that if he doesn’t forgive others, then he prays that God doesn’t forgive him! Yikes!

Guinness wrote, “No wonder Saint Agustine called the famous line in the Lord’s Prayer ‘the terrible petition': ‘Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.’ If we pray that prayer and fail to forgive our fellow human beings as we have been forgiven, we are actually asking God not to forgive us. . . nothing that anyone can ever do to us will equal what we have done to God, and he has offered us forgiveness completely and freely. Our duty, then, is to forgive as we have been forgiven and to show that we have been forgiven by being willing to forgive others in our turn. Do they deserve it? Did we?”

It’s important to understand that forgiveness is not the same as reconciliation. You can forgive someone even if they are unwilling to reconcile. It is this truth that allows Christians to have joy even when their enemies still hate them. Otherwise, they would carry enmity against their foes which poisons their own soul as much as it does their Haters. In the book Unbroken, for instance, POW Ernest Zamperini carried so much bitterness and hatred against a Japanese officer, who abused him in the war camp, that he nearly destroyed his own life through hating and alcohol. In sum, external evil (unjust oppression) had metastasized into internal evil (hatred in the heart). Fortunately, once he was forgiven by Christ, he was finally able to forgive the unrepentant guard.

Why am I telling you this? Because after twenty-one years of leadership, I have concluded that unrepentant sin holds more people back from their God-given destiny than anything else. Lack of forgiveness is sin, plain and simple. If you are a Christian, and harboring anger against someone, let it go. Place it in the same spot your own sins were layed – at the foot of the Cross. This is serious. Stop reading for a second and think about whom in your life you need to forgive. Go ahead. I’ll wait. Is there anyone from your past or present that is binding you in bitterness? Stop drinking poison while expecting others to die. Forgive them like Christ forgave you to release the evil bonds. 

With so much evil and injustice to fight on the outside, why continue harbor these rebels on the inside? Guinness wrote, “. . . true forgiveness is not the same thing as condoning. . . It is not to deny wrong.It is not to tolerate the intolerable or lie down under the outrageous. It is to call a spade a spade, and evil evil, and to allow the full horror of its magnitude and outrage to sink in on every level – and then to be willing to dismiss the grounds of our own personal vengeance toward the evildoer. In other words, forgiveness confronts the evil as evil, and the wrongdoer as guilty, but refuses to retaliate and so refuses to play evil’s game and let evil have the final say.”

It’s time to wipe out our enemies by making them a friend. I let go of my remaining enmity back in 2011, shortly before the launch of  LIFE Leadership. I realized that I could not carry around bitterness and resentment while still leaving enough room to love others as Christ commanded. What about you? Isn’t it time to let the hurts, the bitterness, and the pain go? Christ did that for us and now it’s time we pray rather than poison those who hurt us. Only then will you experience the peace that passeth understanding. Martin Luther King experienced more than his share of oppression, but he did not let the evil conquer his heart; instead, he observed, “We never get rid of an enemy by meeting hate with hate; we get rid of an enemy by getting rid of the enmity.” Amen to that, Mr. King.

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward

Posted in Faith, LIFE Leadership | 38 Comments »

How Limiting Beliefs Paralyze Your Growth

Posted by Orrin Woodward on August 20, 2014

Life is interesting. On one hand people say they want better results in life, but on the other, they seem paralyzed to perform the actions they know need to be done to improve. Why is this? Well, after 21 years of leading communities and studying human behavior, I have concluded that until a person changes his limiting belief, he will not change his inactivity.

I know. I know. You are probably thinking: but Orrin, how do you change beliefs? Great question. In fact, this is the topic of one of this months (August)  LIFE Leadership LLR talks. In effect, one must learn to stand outside yourself and honestly look into why you are not doing what it takes to accomplish what you said you wanted. Psychologist call this cognitive dissonance. And, nearly every time, there is a belief system in conflict with the stated goal. If this isn’t addressed and replaced with a better belief system, nothing of significance will change.

For instance, one of the common limiting beliefs for many people is the thought that they have no control over life’s outcomes. So long as someone believe they have no control over the results in his/her life, why would they even try? While it is true that we do not control or influence everything that happens to us (to name just two – natural disasters or health challenges), most people view every area of life like it is random or a game of chance. In sum, whatever will be will be. 

In contrast, a better view of life would be to see it as an exciting rapid-filled river that has never been traversed before. True, we have no knowledge or control over the river’s direction, drops, and dangers, but, thankfully, we are issued a kayak (vehicle), paddle (tool) and mind (thinking). The mind can learn to use the paddle to steer the kayak through life. In fact, this is the goal of LIFE Leadership – to teach people the proper strategies (wisdom) to navigate the rivers of life by utilizing the paddle in the current to propel us in the direction of our dreams.

If someone believes they have no control over the direction life’s river takes them, they, unfortunately, won’t even attempt to use their paddle. Thus, their limiting belief becomes their reality as the kayak bounces hopelessly off the canyon walls and eventually capsizes in the roughest rapids. Limiting beliefs paralyze a person into inaction. In this example, he/she focuses upon what is not within his/her control rather than upon what is. 

The professional kayakers, however, respond differently. They have learned to navigate the rapids even when they have never been on a particular river before. How you ask? Because they have learned to apply river wisdom to recognize repeatable patterns present within rapids everywhere. In a similar way, wisdom supplies leaders with the ability to recognize repeatable patterns within life and apply the proper principle at the right time to navigate successfully.

Seek wisdom and everything else will be added unto you. What are you waiting for? Aren’t you tired of having life happen to you rather than making life happen? Laurie and I certainly were. We discovered Biblical principles applied to our lives and our business made all the difference. Perhaps its time replace your limiting beliefs with the truth so you can live the life you’ve always wanted.

Below is a short segment of this month’s talk.

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward

Posted in Leadership/Personal Development, LIFE Leadership | 21 Comments »

You Cannot Lead Who You Need

Posted by Orrin Woodward on August 12, 2014

Leaders must have posture (a mixture of self-respect and love for others) to build a following. For people will not respect a person who begs and pleads them to follow. Instead, people follow a leader who knows where he is going and invites them to come along while maintaining his self-respect, dignity, and direction. In short, you cannot lead those you need. LIFE Leadership is about building a leader’s self-respect so that he can serve others needs.

Posture is the recognition that life is a parade and that a person’s leadership is not for everyone. Therefore, maintain your self-respect, recognize that God will lead the right people to you, and work constantly on becoming a better leader for the right people better. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of posture. In fact, once a person has developed unquestioned character and work-ethic, posture becomes the one of the key differences between success and failure.

I love serving people but I have learned through many years experience that my effectiveness is directly related to the hunger and respect the student has for the information I share. For example, if a student does not respect the leader’s time then he does not respect his information either. Posture is recognizing the line between service to others and self-respect. Every great leader must have self-respect before he can expect others to respect him. Indeed, it’s only when this posture is set that a leader is capable of making a difference in others lives.

Perhaps the best description I ever read on posture came from Dr. James Dobson in his fantastic marriage book called What Wives Wish Their Husbands Knew About Women. I know it sounds crazy, but in the middle of seeking to be a better husband for Laurie, God directed me to one of the biggest breakthroughs in my personal leadership journey – Posture with People.  Dr. Dobson was explaining his own posture journey with his future wife Shirley. I will let him explain the principle in his own words:

Dr. James Dobson

Dr. James Dobson

When we first met, she was a lowly sophomore in college and I was a lofty senior. I viewed myself as a big man on campus, and my relationship with this young coed mattered little to me. She, in turn, had been very successful with boys, and was greatly challenged by the independence I demonstrated. She wanted to win me primarily because she wasn’t sure that she could . . . but her enthusiasm inhibited my own interest in return.

After graduation, we had one of those lengthy conversations well known to lovers the world over, when I said I wanted her to date other fellows while I was in the Army, because I didn’t plan on getting married soon. I’ll never forget her reaction. I expected Shirley to cry and hold onto me. Instead, she said, “I’ve been thinking the same thoughts, and I would like to date other guys. Why don’t we just go our separate ways, for now.” Her answer rocked me. For the first time in our relationship, she was moving away from me. What I didn’t know was that Shirley stoically closed her front door and then cried all night.

I went to the Army and returned to a nearby school (USC) for my graduate training. By this time, Shirley was an exalted senior and I was a collegiate has-been. She was homecoming queen, senior class president, a member of Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities, and one of the most popular girls in her class. As might be expected, she suddenly looked very attractive to me. I began to call several times a day, complain about who she was spending her time with, and try to find ways to please my dream girl. However, the moment Shirley saw my enthusiasm and anxiety, her affection began to die. Gone was the challenge which had attracted her two years before. Instead, I had become just another fellow pounding on her door and asking for favors.

One day after a particularly uninspiring date, I sat down at my desk and spent two solid hours thinking about what was happening. And during the course of that introspection, I realized the mistake I was making. A light flashed in my head and I grabbed a pen and wrote ten changes I was going to make in our relationship. First, I was determined to demonstrate self-respect and dignity, even if I lost the one I now loved so deeply. Secondly, I decided to convey this attitude every time I got the chance: “I am going somewhere in life, and I’m anxious to get there. I love you, and hope you choose to go with me. If you do, I’ll give myself to you and try to make you happy. However, if you choose not to make the journey with me, then I can’t force my will on you. The decision is yours, and I’ll accept it.”

. . . The first night when I applied the new formula was one of the most thrilling experiences of my life. The girl who is now my wife saw me starting to slip away on that evening, and she reacted with alarm. We were riding in silence in my car, and Shirley asked me to pull over to the curb and stop. When I did she put her arms around my neck and said, “I’m afraid I’m losing you and I don’t know why. Do you still love me?” I notice by the reflected light of the moon that she had tears in her eyes. She obviously didn’t hear my thumping heart as I made my little speech about my solitary journey in life. You see, I had reestablished the challenge for Shirley, and she responded beautifully.

The psychological force which produced our see-saw relationship is an important one, since it is almost universal in human nature. . . we crave that which we cannot attain, but disrespect that which we can’t escape. The axiom is particularly relevant in romantic matters, and has probably influenced your love life, too. Now the forgotten part is that marriage does not erase or change it. Whenever one marriage partner grovels in his own disrespect . . . when he reveals his fear of rejection by his mate . . . when he begs and pleads for a handout . . . he often faces a bewildering attitude of disdain from the one he needs and loves.

Just as in the premarital relationship, nothing douses more water on a romantic flame than for one partner to fling himself emotionally on the other, accepting disrespect in stride. He says in effect, “No matter how badly you treat me, I’ll still be here at your feet, because I can’t survive without you.” That is the best way I know to kill a beautiful friendship.

So what am I recommending . . . that husbands and wives scratch and claw each other to show their independence? No! That they play a sneaky cat and mouse game to recreate a “challenge”? Not at all! I am merely suggesting that self-respect and dignity be maintained in the relationship.

How can you improve your leadership posture? Please share your thoughts.

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward

Posted in Leadership/Personal Development | 42 Comments »

The Ethics of Money Production

Posted by Orrin Woodward on July 28, 2014

Jorg Guido Hulsmann

Jorg Guido Hulsmann

The Cobden Centre’s Andy Duncan did an excellent review of Jorg Guido Hulsmann’s fantastic book The Ethics of Money Production. In my opinion the number one battle for freedom begins with checking the Five Laws of Decline (FLD) destruction of the monetary system by the State elites. What is the point in checking government through representative government, separation of powers, term limits if the government can have access to practically unlimited funds? The State, simply by partnering with the Big Banks, runs a fraudulent Fractional Reserve Banking system anchored by the State’s favored central bank to bilk society’s monetary system. 

Indeed, my new book And Justice For All spells out how the elites plunder the production of society. Since Adam Smith and Jean Baptiste Say, economists have recognized the 3 factors of all production – labor, land, and capital. The elites have plundered all three factors of production. Thankfully, Human Slavery (the plunder of society’s production through the monopolization of labor) is diminishing worldwide along with Land Serfdom (the plunder of society’s production through monopolization of land). However, Financial Subjection (the plunder of society’s production through the monopolization of capital) is exploding.

Why is it, you ask? Simply put, society cannot resist oppression until it discovers its source. The central planning of the financial system is inconceivable, illogical, and inconsistent since its underlying presuppositions run counter to our alleged free market system. Nonetheless, because the FLD rewards too tempting to ignore, the State and Big Bankers fill society with propaganda designed to confuse and disorient. As a result, the elites capitalize on society’s ignorance for massive FLD gains. Fortunately, anyone who invests the time to read and understands The Ethics of Money Production will not remain ignorant.

LIFE Leadership intends to play its part in educating society in the 8F’s of life to play its part in the restoration of liberty. Below is a portion of Andy Duncan’s review.

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward

The book is divided into three beautifully-written main parts:

  • The Natural Production of Money
  • Inflation
  • Monetary Order and Monetary Systems

These three parts cover everything you might think of, from the invention of metallic money all the way through to the end of Bretton-Woods and then the later creation of the Euro.  However, the heart of the book is a sequence of four chapters — in the second part of the book on Inflation —with two of these chapter titles, alas, unfortunately insisting on the use of American spellings and the appalling employment of the letter ‘zed’; the chapter content, however, is still very good, even if has fallen under the unwelcome control of an American spell-checker:

  • Legalized Falsifications
  • Legal Monopolies
  • Legal-Tender Laws
  • Legalized Suspensions of Payments

When you are the elite organisation calling yourself ‘The State’, you have a monopoly on law in a particular territory; it is with this power that you can subvert and distort the natural order of private property, thus leading to the impoverishment and helotry of everyone else within that territory, under your rule, even leading to the ridiculous notion that any debt this elite runs up — to maintain their position of privilege — is somehow ‘owed’ by the subjugated population, despite no-one ever asking their opinion about whether this debt should have been taken on by the elite and despite all the benefits of the spending of that debt going directly into the grasping hands of that same privileged elite.

The whole problem with money is the state’s imposition of legal privileges for bankers, given to bankers in return for the promise that they will always soak up the debts of politicians, to enable politicians to enslave their populations over time in a Procrustean bed of warfare and welfare, to the ultimate benefit of the politicians and their friends, and to the detriment of everyone else.

These chapters make clear how that mechanism of monetary enslavement operates, and therefore how we can break that mechanism and become free again from the appalling bondage of government bonds. It is with the removal of these legal privileges and a restoration of the natural order of private property rights that we will be able to put the wheels back on the cart, get moving again, and put the politicians back in their place,

Posted in Freedom/Liberty, LIFE Leadership | 13 Comments »