Orrin Woodward: Life Leadership

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    Orrin Woodward is a NY Times bestselling author of LeaderShift, Launching a Leadership Revolution, and sold over one million books on leadership and liberty. His first solo book 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 has co-founded two multi-million dollar leadership companies and serves as the Chairman of the Board of the LIFE Business. 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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The Fall of the West

Posted by Orrin Woodward on August 20, 2011

If someone wants to truly understand what motivates me, then they need go no further than this post. Since 1967, the year of my birth, I have witnessed decline and demoralization because of the non-character centered leadership prevalent in our society. I am through waiting for someone to step up and lead, so have vowed to build the community myself to restore Western Civilization. Neither fame, fortune, or anything for that matter, that the world can offer motivates me in any degree like the thought of fulfilling God’s plan for my like through restoring God’s principles of grace, hope, charity, love, honor, integrity, character, and redemption into the cultural current. This is not a job for the weak of heart, but if you are tired of waiting also, then let’s stop waiting and start building LIFE! Sincerely, Orrin Woodward

Harvard historian, Niall Ferguson, in his book, Civilization: the West and the Rest, writes:

“. . . what distinguished the West from the Rest – the mainsprings of global power – were six identifiably novel complexes of institutions and associated ideas and behaviors. For the sake of simplicity, I summarize them under six headings: 1. Competition 2. Science 3. Property rights 4. Medicine 5. The consumer society 6. The work ethic.

To use the language of today’s computerized, synchronized world, these were the six killer applications – the killer apps – that allowed a minority of mankind originating on the western edge of Eurasia to dominate the world for the better part of 500 years.

This is of more than purely historical interest. For it is only by identifying the causes of Western ascendancy that we can hope to estimate with any degree of accuracy the imminence of our fall.

My conclusion is that we are already living through the twilight of Western predominance. But that is not just because most of the Rest have now downloaded all or nearly all of our killer apps. It is also because we ourselves have lost faith in our own civilization.”

Although I agree with Ferguson’s six killer apps, I contend that the killer apps cannot be downloaded directly into other cultures. Extending the computerized age analogy further, I believe that each of the six killer apps requires a certain “operating system” to function properly. This “operating system” is the Judeo/Christian Biblical principles upon which the West was founded.  In fact, if a person were to trace the historical origins of each of the six “killer apps”, he would discover that each is rooted within Western Civilization’s Biblical teachings. Lamentably, as the West progressively rejected it’s faith in God and Biblical principles (the operating system), in parallel, it lost faith in the institutions, ideas, and behaviors (killer apps) built upon the discarded foundation. For when the West lost its faith in God, it was only a matter of time before it lost its faith in everything. Simply put, when the foundation collapses, so too do the structures built upon it. Each of the six “killer apps” without the leavening effect from its Biblical foundation, descends into the exploitation and manipulation of the masses for the benefit of the elites. Nevertheless, the dismal current created from these poisonous beliefs can and must be reversed.

Instead of tossing the “killer apps” with the operating system, why not re-boot the operating system that set the West apart originally? Before thinking I have lost my mind, remember that for the last 18 years I have communicated to millions of people across North America, through a leadership training community now called LIFE. I have witnessed numerous examples of demoralized and downtrodden people turned around through the power of faith, hope, love, and leadership. In truth, there are no hopeless situations, but only hopeless people in situations. As a Christian leader, I refuse to lose hope for the future; I refuse to succumb to the demonic despair around me; and lastly, I refuse to surrender my role of sharing the good news with others. If a leader’s role is to reverse the current, leaving a legacy for others by “schooling his soul,” patiently forging the 13 Resolutions into his being, then what the West needs is to launch a leadership revolution. To use Arnold Toynbee’s “Challenge and Response” language, the challenge is identified, the response has been proposed, but where are the morally courageous leaders who will stand in the widening gap? Indeed, Western Civilization is committing suicide, having lost faith in her principles; the signs of decay and demoralization are readily apparent; the alarm bell has sounded for nearly a century; will any leaders answer the call?

20 Responses to “The Fall of the West”

  1. Fired up my morning!

  2. Inosha Emerson said

    Hi Orrin,
    I am from Sri Lanka, a South Asian Country. The downfall of civilizations are found not only in the west but all around the world. As a Christian all I hope is that my children may have a better society to live in. ” I know who holds the future; and I know he holds my hand, with God things don’t just happen; everything by him is planned.” So keep sharing the good news with others.

  3. Orrin,

    GIGO (garbage in garbage out) was the first acronym I learned while earning my Computer Science degree. What we put in will surely be what we give out. Your heartfelt article clearly shows the effect of our culture devolving into a garbage society. Most of our daily intake is detrimental to our souls, and I thank God for the LIFE business providing excellent inputs into my CPU so that I can produce an excellent legacy. From the beginning, man has chosen the world’s inputs and the result is sin. Only by faith in Jesus Christ can we be forgiven and cleansed. I believe that the Faith “F” is the key to unlocking true joy and happiness in the other seven “F’s”.

    Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

    Raymond

  4. M.J. Teston said

    I like you’re perspective Orrin. I would not go quite so far as you do in speaking about the whole of “Western Civilization.” Your words, “God’s principles of grace, hope, charity, love, honor, integrity, character, and redemption into the cultural current” resonate certainly with me. I let go of two staff leaders in the last 10 months because of integrity, character, and honor issues. Leaders who most certainly crossed ethical, moral, and professional boundaries and could only “blame” and not accept responsibility. I have pastored for almost 30 years now and am convinced the lack of integrity permeates all parts of our culture and unfortunately the church reflects it and maybe breeds it with much of the powerless views of redemptive and what should be transforming grace. I too am on the same kind of journey to restore what is missing at the core of the communities of faith I am a part of. I have certainly paid a huge price for it recently. My daughter reminds has reminded me that the “ethos” of the messenger is a critical as the message. Certainly the “ethos” is missing these days.

  5. Dave Ober said

    Orrin,
    My wife and I are in…all in! Call it what you want… But we stand with you and the Policy Counsel of TEAM. Critics and Cowards will come and go…but people with Courage, and Character will stand for what is right! Together we stand! Thank you for leading people to truth.
    Sincerely,
    Dave Ober

  6. Dave Ober said

    Orrin,
    I am am a walking talking example of someone who has taken your material read it, listened to it watched it, applied it, and now impacting others from what it has done for me and my family.
    Press On,
    Dave Ober

  7. Isaiah 6:8 KJV

    Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.

    Holger

  8. It is scriptural, we only remain free from slavery as long as we worship God and Jesus Christ. As soon as we fear Man more than God, we will return to slavery.

  9. Lynn Kyle said

    Orrin,

    Being a part of the military for the past 23 years, I have given and sacrificed much for this country. I have seen 5 presidents come and go; the one constant has been the military infastructure. The core values that each branch lives by, (God, Country, Corps & Honor, Courage, Commitment) have been this country’s base since the beginning. The leadership standard was set by many military service men and women in our history. I have also slowly seen those values decline and start to decay in our ranks. Our “operating system” needs to reboot and the core values re-established. People need to stand up and get back to basics, which has always been God!

    Lynn

  10. David Gibbons said

    Orrin, though you “contend that the killer apps cannot be downloaded directly into other cultures…” and offer no support of this thesis in your post, by “believ[ing] that each of the six killer apps requires a certain “operating system” to function properly” whereby “[t]his “operating system” is the Judeo/Christian Biblical principles upon which the West was founded” you are manipulating and fusing together Furguson’s “novel complexes of institutions and associated ideas and behaviors” beyond his intended (perhaps suggestive capitalistic) application with religious morality. As such, you are quite remiss.

    The fact that you consider these six “killer apps” to be “rooted within Western Civilization’s Biblical teachings” is testament to your Christian ignorance whereby Judeo/Christian teachings are the sole source of morality in a civilization, and the moral fabric of society is the sole property of religion.

    To quote Hitchens, “…it is the case that some humans have always noticed the imporbability of god, the evil done in his name, the likelihood that he is man-made, and the availability of less harmful alternative beliefs and explanations.”

    This point is further supported by the fact that not everyone identifies as Christian but have with all liklihood ascribed to Furguson’s six ideas and behaviours identified as predominate characteristics of western society separate from religion.

    Accordingly, and where you are remiss, is the substantial evidence for A) the inate hypocracy and astronomical harm committed against humans by Judeo/Christian institutions (The Crusades, the Inquisition, Salem Which Trials, countless cases of child sexual abuse by priests on record and the systematic cover-up of which, &c.)is in more liklihood a larger contributing factor to the decline of the west and, B)the irrefutable documented evidence of negative outcomes and effects on civilization when one group imposes it’s ideology on another; there have been many a man who saw himself a leader with one specific cause and a fervent desire to affect his will and influence on others in order for them to join in the one cause…most notably of this ype of man…Hitler…who was also notably a Christian and very much a ‘character-centered leader’.

    • David, first many things done in the name of Christianity were, in fact, done for exploitation. Not surprising, since human beings will be human beings. However, with that said, you certainly cannot be contending that the Crusades, Inquistition, Salem Witch Trials, and countless other hypocrisies, are anywhere of the same magnitude as Hitler’s evolutionary approach to race leading to his genocide of the Jews, or how about Stalin’s 100 million or so deaths in his materialist God-rejecting society. Indeed, the 20th century, the first to blatantly reject God, not coincidentally, was also the most destructive for the human race. Between WWI, WWII, genocides like Hitler and Pol Pot, Mao Tse Sung, Stalin, and other lesser murderers, I think I will take a few kooks in Salem. Hitler was not a Christian, and lived a very consistent Darwinian existence as did Marx, even in fact, asking Darwin to write the forward of one of his books. Without absolutes, everything is permitted because might becomes right and that is exactly the state of society today, Everything is permitted if one has enough might. Bertrand Russell, a genius thinker who rejected God, stated it best:

      That man is the product of causes which had no prevision of the end they were achieving; that his origin, his growth, his hopes and fears, his loves and his beliefs, are but the outcome of accidental collocations of atoms; that no fire, no heroism, no intensity of thought and feeling, can preserve an individual life beyond the grave; that all the labors of the ages, all the devotion, all the inspiration, all the noonday brightness of human genius, are destined to extinction in the vast death of the solar system, and that the whole temple of Man’s achievement must inevitably be buried beneath the debris of a universe in ruins — all these things, if not quite beyond dispute, are yet so nearly certain, that no philosophy which rejects them can hope to stand. Only within the scaffolding of these truths, only on the firm foundation of unyielding despair, can the soul’s habitation henceforth be safely built.

      Depair is not a good leadership platform. Without God and absolutes (for example the 10 commandments) all values become opinions and truth is lost, leading to the breakdown of society that we are seeing today. Hospitals, religious freedoms, civil rights, judicial laws, rule of law, free enterprise, even modern science, were all founded upon Judeo/Christian beliefs. A. N. Whitehead, even admitted modern science was founded upon the Christian World-View. What do you suggest to restore the West? As I am all ears to any intelligent thinking upon the subject. thanks, Orrin

      • What comes to mind for me is found in 2 Chronicles 7:14. “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” Its like a recipe for restoration. It’s a call for God’s people to come to that place of humility and true heartfelt repentance, turning away from immorality and following the greatest commandment given which is to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul and mind, and the second greatest, to love our neighbors as ourselves. Pretty much sums it all up.

        I like the quote by John Maxwell, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

        God bless.

      • wildtarg said

        It is not my purpose here to flatter, but I think it is wise to answer someone of a different worldview by quoting one of their own sages; indeed, it proves one is far from ignorant simply to show knowledge of alternate philosophies.

        To answer Mr. Gibbons myself, I would only refer him to “The Abolition of Man” by C.S. Lewis, and “Escape from Reason” by Francis Shaeffer. I take them to be two viewpoints on the same phenomenon; that science, a.k.a. ‘natural philosophy’, which was brought into prominence in the West by Christians and other theists, has been used to validate the view that man does not owe his existence and allegiance to a higher power, and subsequently we are now shutting the door on open inquiry and allowing western culture to become dominated by iconistic ‘picture-thinking’, rather than reason, imagination, and conviction, the products of the classical approach to education.

  11. David Gibbons said

    Thank You Orrin,

    My apologies, Hitler wasn’t a Christian per se: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adolf_Hitler's_religious_views . However, having now been corrected by you, I feel it’s still important to my point that religion is not the sole provider of societal moral fabric. I agree with you entirely that dispair is not a good leadership platform. As such, optimisim is vital to human existance and survival a coping mechanims in the face of dire situations. Religion is only one means of providing guidance and comfort in the face of adversity and it certainly is not the only means. My suggestion, continuing with your theme of leadership, is to imbue a strong sense of secular humanism as it transcends religious divisions. Obviously you are a man of god which is great…yet as a leader, and ultimately a business man, do you not want to reach the widest audience…particularly now having three MLM businesses to grow? One cannot turn a blind eye to the many ‘expolitations’ of the past involving religion. On this point, i think it’s an ‘agree to disagree’ situation: depending on one’s perspective (i.e. coming from a religious context or not) is how one will interpret history. I read your response as (and please correct me if i am wrong) past conflicts involving religion were an exploitation of religion to advance some other purpose. My observations of history, particularly concerning the Crusades and Inquisition, were the exploitations of humans to advance the reach and influence of religion. You cannont deny, as a person who is obviously well versed in history, the consistant presence of religion and violent conflct throughout history dispite what type of conncection one perceives to exist between the two.

    Kindest.

    • David, I appreciate the comments and the thinking. Let’s keep reading, learning and growing to help the West, and the world for that matter, live more peacefully and prosperously. I believe the fallen nature of man leads to man exploitation of man. Christian principles and organized religion have certainly departed company many times in the past, and sadly will in the future. Just be sure not to throw out the baby with the bath water. Thank you for your honest and open communication. You have earned my respect. Sincerely, Orrin

  12. David Gibbons said

    Thank You Orrin. Likewise…my one ideal for society that I think you and I can both agree on is see a greater appreciation, and practice, of reading in general. One of the greatest pieces of advice that I have been very fortunate to be given is, when you feel strongly about a certain conviction, read about, learn, and consider without predjudice it’s opposing arguments. It’s not only a means to possibly reinforce one’s convictions, but also to gain a deeper understanding of such.

    Kindest.

  13. I’m not sure if I can honestly say that there is a feeling of gratitude concerning the potential selling of “social impact bonds”, or if it’s not more like indignation. Is this simply exploitation and profiting from the desperation of others’ misery and suffering, or is it truly working to find solutions in order to provide for services to others. What do you think?

    http://www.governing.com/topics/health-human-services/human-services-meets-capitalism.html

  14. [...] this year, Leadership Expert Orrin Woodward visited the beaches of Normandy during a European speaking engagement.  Contemplating the role [...]

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