Orrin Woodward on LIFE & Leadership

Inc Magazine Top 20 Leader shares his personal, professional, and financial secrets.

  • Orrin Woodward

    Former 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 financial, 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. 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.

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Words & Deeds – Power to Create and Destroy

Posted by Orrin Woodward on February 13, 2009

Here is a powerful story of the power of words and deeds to create or destroy.  What is your specific intent that you have for your words and deeds?  I encourage you to take a deep breath before you say or do something harmful to others and ask, “Is it worth it?”  Just this simple pause and question has helped me immensely value people more than I value making a point or having to be right.  Enjoy the story and decide today to validate, encourage, and love people.  Who have you helped today by lightening their load and lifting their spirits?  God Bless, Orrin Woodward

One day, when I was a freshman in high school,


I saw a kid from my class was walking home from school.


His name was Kyle.


It looked like he was carrying all of his books.


I thought to myself, ‘Why would anyone bring home all his books on a Friday?


He must really be a nerd.’


I had quite a weekend planned (parties and a football game with my friends tomorrow afternoon), so I shrugged my shoulders and went on.


As I was walking, I saw a bunch of kids running toward him.


They ran at him, knocking all his books out of his arms and tripping him so he landed in the dirt.


His glasses went flying, and I saw them land in the grass about ten feet from him..


He looked up and I saw this terrible sadness in his eyes


My heart went out to him. So, I jogged over to him as he crawled around looking for his glasses, and I saw a tear in his eye.


As I handed him his glasses, I said, ‘Those guys are jerks.’   


They really should get lives.


He looked at me and said, ‘Hey thanks!’

There was a big smile on his face.


It was one of those smiles that showed real gratitude.


I helped him pick up his books, and asked him where he lived.


As it turned out, he lived near me, so I asked him why I had never seen him before.


He said he had gone to private school before now.


I would have never hung out with a private school kid before.


We talked all the way home, and I carried some of his books.

He turned out to be a pretty cool kid.


I asked him if he wanted to play a little football

with my friends


He said yes.

We hung out all weekend and the more I got to know Kyle, the more I liked him, and my    friends thought the same of him.


Monday morning came, and there was Kyle with the huge stack of books again.


I stopped him and said, ‘Boy, you are gonna really build some serious muscles with this pile of books everyday!


He just laughed and handed me half the books.


Over the next four years, Kyle and I became best friends..


When we were seniors we began to think about college.


Kyle decided on Georgetown and I was going to Duke.


I knew that we would always be friends, that the miles would never


be a problem.


He was going to be a doctor and I was going for business on a football scholarship..


Kyle was valedictorian of our class.


I teased him all the time about being a nerd.


He had to prepare a speech for graduation.


I was so glad it wasn’t me having to get up there and speak


Graduation day, I saw Kyle.


He looked great.


He was one of those guys that really found himself during high school.


He filled out and actually looked good in glasses.


He had more dates than I had and all the girls loved him.  


Boy, sometimes I was jealous!


Today was one of those days.


I could see that he was nervous about his speech.


So, I smacked him on the back and said, ‘Hey, big guy, you’ll be great!’


He looked at me with one of those looks (the really grateful one) and smiled.


‘ Thanks,’ he said.


As he started his speech, he cleared his throat, and began


‘Graduation is a time to thank those who helped you make it through those tough years.


Your parents, your teachers, your siblings, maybe a coach…but mostly your friends…


I am here to tell all of you that being a friend to someone is the best gift you can give them.


I am going to tell you a story.’


I just looked at my friend with disbelief as he told the

first day we met.


He had planned to kill himself over the weekend.


He talked of how he had cleaned out his locker so his Mom wouldn’t have to do it later and was carrying his stuff home.


He looked hard at me and gave me a little smile.


‘Thankfully, I was saved.


My friend saved me from doing the unspeakable..’


I heard the gasp go through the crowd as this handsome, popular boy told us all about his weakest moment.


I saw his Mom and dad looking at me and smiling that same grateful smile.


Not until that moment did I realize it’s depth.


Never underestimate the power of your actions..


With one small gesture you can change a person’s life.


For better or for worse.


God puts us all in each others lives to impact one another in some way.  


Look for God in others.

‘Friends are angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly.’


There is no beginning or end. Yesterday is history.


Tomorrow is a mystery.

2 Responses to “Words & Deeds – Power to Create and Destroy”

  1. Loures Perez said

    this story just touch my heart and woke me up to be closer to my kids is the only way to know what is in their hearts an their minds. love an patient quality time. Thank you Orin you open my eyes. God Bless you

  2. Wow, very touching story. This would be great for an edge CD. You & your friend are both blessed to have crossed paths that day. Thank you for sharing 🙂

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