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.

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

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LIFE & Team: Compensated Communities

Posted by Orrin Woodward on May 24, 2012

As a kid growing up in the LakeVille school district, wrestling was big. There were great coaches, many strong farm boys, and a rabid fan base. I started organized wrestling (my two brothers and I were always wrestling at home) as a 7th grader and loved it; however, in the 8th grade LakeVille lost its millage and sports were canceled for the year.

Regretfully, I stopped wrestling when sports returned my freshman year of high school, playing basketball instead. Looking back, this was a huge mistake, since basketball, although a great game, wasn’t tapping into my potential like wrestling did. Fortunately, my junior year I returned to wrestling, albeit woefully behind my former teammates. I tell you all of this to make a few points about wrestling and to draw an analogy of my wrestling experience with the new Mental Fitness Challenge program.

First, to be a good wrestler it requires two key attributes:

1. Physical and Mental Strength
2. Technical wrestling skills for leverage

I don’t care how technically skilled a wrestler is; if he doesn’t have physical and mental strength, he won’t be a good wrestler. On the other hand, he can have all the strength needed to be a great wrestler, but if he doesn’t have the technicals skills to leverage his strength against his opponents, he will still never be a champion.

In many tournaments, I witnessed muscle-bound kids tossed around the mat by physically less impressive opponents who knew how to leverage the strength they had. Consequently, I realized quickly that, although I was strong enough, I needed a crash course on the technical skills for leverage in order to win. I could toss many of the kids around, but they would eventually wear me down using leverage to use my strength against me. In my senior year, I wrestled varsity at 126 pounds. It’s practically unheard of for someone to wrestle varsity at LakeVille as a senior (kind of like drinking water from a fire hose) :), but it was what is was.

Thankfully, I had an assistant coach who spent extra time with me, drilling me through routine after routine, making the moves part of my sub-conscious mind rather than having to consciously think about every action. At first, I was an average wrestler at best. Eventually, however, with my coach’s help, I developed the technical skills to leverage my strength against my opponents to compete. Accordingly, I spent the second half of the year wrestling many of the opponents who had beaten me in the first half and evening the scoreboard. 🙂

In the same way, the Mental Fitness Challenge develop mental strength which is a non-negotiable for success. Indeed, to be a champion in any field requires mental toughness to withstand the pressure and setbacks. However, with that said, mental toughness alone isn’t itself sufficient to create champions. Likewise, in each field, technical skills and leverage points must be learned to effectively capitalize on a person’s improved mental toughness. In relation to the compensated community field, the MFC builds a person’s mental toughness and the Team teaches the technical skills to leverage his results to build a large community.

For the many customers of LIFE, the MFC is sufficient because it teaches the mental toughness to achieve greatness when combined with the technical skills and leverage points in the customer’s profession. In contrast, for those involved in the LIFE Business compensation plan communities the Mental Fitness Challenge is essential but not sufficient. To build large communities one must develop the technical understanding around Power-Player and its inherent leveraging capabilities.

Essentially, someone in LIFE and MFC without studying the Team training materials is like a strong wrestler being tossed around the mat. He is strong, but doesn’t understand how to leverage his strength in his chosen sport or profession. I study the principles for mental strength and community building skills, because I remember being one of those wrestlers getting beaten on the mat and I refuse to simulate it again in my current field! 🙂

Every profession separates the professionals from the amateurs in the same way: 1) Mental strength and 2) leveraging specific skills repeatedly. The community building field is no different. Power-Player is our play and it scores every time we run it properly. Effective execution of Power-Player requires the same hunger, discipline, and practice to become a champion as it does for a winner in any field – mental strength and leverage skills.

I am thankful for my brothers, who helped me develop my physical strength by wrestling at home; however, placing second in the District meet as a first-year varsity wrestler (an unheard of feat) was the work of an encouraging assistant who invested his time to teach me the leverage skills for wrestling. Similarly, if you are in LIFE, are you willing to invest the time to develop your leverage skills or do you think mental strength is sufficient? Champions in LIFE will master the mental toughness provided through the MFC and the technical skills for leverage provided by Team and win on a huge scale.

Like I have said many times: A person either hates losing enough to change or he hates changing enough to lose. I hate losing; therefore, I change. LIFE is creating a group of interdependent mentally tough leaders, who have mastered the skills of community building through the play that scores every time and its called: Power Player.


Orrin Woodward

61 Responses to “LIFE & Team: Compensated Communities”

  1. pmit2188 said

    Orrin, great analogy. The TEAM training system has always been essential to building our businesses and now the MFC strengthens our leadership journey.The PC continues to give us the best tools to move forward. God gives us the strength. Thank you for taking up this cross
    BBNQ !

  2. I love the analogy! As a former wrestler – I’ve experienced both sides of that coin in lack of toughness/strength and lack of skills for leverage during competition. The toughness and strength conditioning were activities that could be more easily self directed and improved upon. The skill and leverage parts (I found) needed to come from someone with success experience, who could share and lead me to grow my strengths in that area. This is similar to life in that sometimes we need help in our mental toughness – usually with perspective, but almost always need help on the skill/leverage side unless we’re prepared to go through a lot of personal trial and error. Great blog!

  3. climieru said


    Thanks for the great article and analogy! After hearing you say this, I came up with the formula (Strength x Skill) / Time = Success. In addition, you recently stated, followers need help, leaders need example. Which made me question, who in my life is asking for my help and who in my life is looking for my example? Profound!



  4. Orrin,

    Thanks for such a great analogy. After reading this, it seems to fit right in with Chris Brady’s Formula for High Achievement, but in a different way. The formula would look like (Strength x Skill) / Time = Success. In addition, you recently stated, “followers need help, leaders need example.” Through that statement I came up with the questions of “who in my life is asking for my help and who in my life is looking for my example?” In addition, “who am I spending more time with, followers or leaders?” Thanks again for a great post!


  5. Orrin, this post is music to the ears. So many parallels LIFE and sports especially the greatest sport on Earth! (I might be biased)
    Steve Leurquin

    • Wrestling, like community building, reveals what inside of you. It squeezes out the winner or whiner within you. 🙂

    • rjfisher1 said

      Biased for sure 😉 Couldn’t agree more though. Love this article and am so thankful for the patience of the leaders we work with who have watched the things that have been squeezed out of us until we were ready to win!

      • I was once having a discussion with a friend of mine over which sport was better. He went on a 10 minute rant about popularity, excitement, blah, blah, blah. After he was finished I asked him one question. If someone ever breaks into your house which would be better, using a jump shot a double leg takedown? He said good point. Victory! 🙂

        Thanks Orrin for this great community that has helped the so many leaders find the greatness inside them.

  6. Barry Quinn said

    Super analogy. The MFC has definitely given me a mental challenge, just what the doctor ordered. The MFC has taken me on a great journey, looking at my faith as being a weak point for me. I have taken steps to get a spiritual advisor and learn all that I can. Without God the journey has been empty, but now my cup is filling up. With God great things will happen. Thank you and the PC and especially my wife Libbie for getting me down this road. God Bless.

  7. It’s amazing what sports teach us about life! Great wrestling analogy Orrin! When I was playing basketball we always had what my coaches called a “secret weapon.” Where in clutch times of the game we would use it and every time we executed it, we always knew it would work (and the opponents were not prepared for it (i.e. A bench player that’s role was to defensively stop the leading scorer, an offensive set that each player knew subconsciously because we practiced it so much, and as soon as it was called it was executed perfectly, etc). Just as you stated above power player is the secret weapon of the team but if we don’t execute it, it will never work – we will be running in circles trying to figure out ‘how to win.’ I love how what we do is so predictable. All we have to do is develop the mental toughness to handle adversity and execute the power player play properly in order to win. Thank you for creating the best leverage point on the planet to help everyone win in LIFE!

  8. Galen Anderson said

    Great points you need them both!!!! Becoming is a process. But not wanting to become nobody on this earth can help that person. I truly believe we all have greatness inside of us it just needs to be tipped into.

  9. Trent Crane said

    Excellent parallel you make Orrin!

    It’s been a long time since I’ve thought back to my wrestling days in school, but after reading your post and reflecting back I can relate the points you make to my own personal wrestling experiences. With Team, LIFE and now the MFC it’s exciting to see and be a part of all the great success stories that are happening.

    For all of the wrestlers out there – The Mental Fitness Challenge is kinda like a “Full Nelson” hold on the brain.

  10. Kerry Loar said

    Your analogy is an easy way for people to understand and relate the LIFE and MFC into their lives. I am always learning and growing myself thanks to the opportunity of the Team. LIFE is my passion and I am sharing with others! Thanks again for all your knowledge you share with us.

  11. I can relate to your story Mr. Woodward. I am a member of LIFE on the MFC and have gone Power Player once. I feel like you did when you were a Junior and had fallen behind your teammates for lack of application. I’ll admit, I have slacked off since I went P.P. and am now playing catch up. That’s the bad news. The good news is, you are right about consistency and leverage. Through daily study and application I (we as a Team) will see results in the form of Power Player, trips, goals reached, levels achieved etc…The MFC is an amazing leverage tool to not only develop ourselves, but to help others do the same. So blessed. : )

  12. Orrin, I wrestled in highschool as well. Although I didn’t understand the significance of the subconscious mind, a part of our training was to close our eyes & go through the motions in our mind to picture over & over the perfect take down or perfect move to a pin or the perfect counter move. If I would have understood then the Ant & the Elephant I would had put more effort into this part of my training. This is another good example of walk a mile(s) see a mile!
    Thanks Orrin,

    • Mike, Great point. Yes, if I could go back to freshman year, knowing what I know now about the 13 Resolutions, I would have focused on three sports all four years and excelled at a much higher level than I actually did. 🙂 However, I learned many valuable lessons that made me who I am so I am thankful for the history I lived and the lessons God taught me through my own ignorance. 🙂 thanks, Orrin

  13. Dennis Flangan said

    Dennis Flanagan,
    Great analogy, the honing of your skills, and strengthening of your weakness, and the endurance of your mental toughness blended together with will to win produces the champion, a leader.
    Thank you for being you.
    1978 NCCAA runner up.

  14. CJ Calvert said

    Orrin, your wrestling story is an excellent example of how a mentor or coach can make such a difference in a students life. Sadly, many people have never had the benefit of having anyone take them aside and breathe belief into them, shining a light on all of their talents and strengths. While it would be nearly impossible for your wrestling coach to work with every student in the school individually, in 2012 an expert coach like yourself can leverage their message through blogs, webcasts, CDs and books to reach most everyone hungry enough to learn. The opportunity for leverage today has become a commodity through the internet; anyone can have a blog. But strength of your content has made the lever big enough so that one day it may lift one million people. Kudos to you, sir.

  15. Alicia said

    awesome analogy. it takes great strength and power to do anything but takes a great deal of mental strength to finish what you had the strength and power to start.

  16. Maribel Damphousse said

    Great point, great analogy! Never been involved in sport and I’m learning so much through the LIFE TEAM system. Mental toughness is the area I need to develop and improve on. Thanks to the TEAM system and your blogs, I am encouraged to persevere and develop my thinking and catch up on what I’ve missed in order to reach success. I am blessed to be part of this learning organization! Thank you Orrin for everything!

  17. The best part of the Mental Fitness Challenge is us that are not super athletic : ) can still be competitive with a mental challenge that brings the best out in us every day!

    My favorite part is the weekly focus! No wonder Ben Franklin became the man he did. A small weekly focus is making a huge impact on me. Thanks for writing Resolved! What a book!

    • Kristine, Thanks to your numerous corrections and suggestions on the book! Engineers aren’t known for their writing skills! 🙂 Thanks, Orrin

      • It’s like you said on the ‘Seven Habits’ CD in Top 50, Orrin …. you & the head rascal, Mr. Chris ( http://chrisbrady.typepad.com ) put into action Habit 6 : Synergize as you created the legacy that we know today as LIFE 🙂 And looks like you & Kristine synergized on ‘Resolved’ 😉

  18. Mary Hermsen said

    Like most have already said, “Great Analogy”. I never wrestled, but I was a cheerleader for the wrestlers! It’s amazing how many activities in life can use the same principles of leverage and using the subconscious to achieve excellence. We have the tools. We just need to learn and apply them.

  19. For those of us who have chosen to build LIFE as a business, the Mental Fitness Challenge coupled with the Team’s business development System is an unbeatable “One-Two Knock-out Punch”! Special thanks to you Orrin, the Founders of LIFE and the Policy Council of Team for putting this all together for us…

  20. Orrin, Very clear! Simple and right to the point. Thanks, George

  21. Orrin,
    On the other hand in my life, as avid sportsman as I was, my experiences were one of coaches telling me I wasnt good enough. I played league cricket with a dream of playing in Australia one day( I still will). Most of the time I had to go from team to team and experienced the same thing and I started to believe may be I was not good enough after all. Until a college friend of mine we played on the same team encouraged me and thats all I needed. That year he captained the team and I had the best one year I ever had. I left for US after that.

    I was too stubborn to quit and that has been one thing that kept me alive in everything I did so far. Amazingly a lot of character traits of not trusting people and finding short cuts because I wanted to win so bad played into my character flaws. Not until God brought me to TEAM and now LIFE and more importantly a Tim Marks who represents that friend who kept the bar high but also believed in me, things didnt change. Thank you for not compromising on God’s best for you and we are all recipients of the blessings of that obedience.

    God bless you

    –thank you

  22. Peggi Kern said

    Thank you for the analogy, I hadn’t thought about the close comparison between building a business without leveraging the Team training system and being thrown around figuratively in any sport. Being plugged into the training system has changed my life in so many ways outside of building this remarkable business, in my family, church, etc….

    Thanks for all you, Laurie and all of the Policy Council do for the whole Team.


  23. Orrin, I love the info!! Please keep all the great information coming!!

  24. Thanks for sharing Orrin!!

    Awesome Directors call tonight as well!!! :):):)

    God bless,

  25. I love this analogy!! Mental and Physical Strength through the MFC and leverage and technical skills through TEAM!! ALL THE WAY TO A MILLION BABY!!!

  26. Thanks for sharing! The mental fitness challenge is taking my thinking to another level in helping to develop my mental toughness! Thanks Beth Ober

  27. Since we are talking about wrestling….The FULL NELSON hold seems like a great way to make new contacts! In all seriousness….
    when reading this description below it actually reminded me of how the world has a hold on so many people….coming in from behind, sneaking in and engulfing you, and the next thing you know you are trapped! Trapped in failed marriages, broken relationships, financial difficulties, no job, etc. It seems as though there is no way out….but then…..TEAM (Together Everyone Achieves More)…comes to the rescue to take the grip off….and LIFE supplies the resources/materials that we need to become strong and release the hold that the world has on us…and then the Mental Fitness Challenge gives us a great place to start seeing the areas of our life we need to start re-training our thinking!

    DEF: A nelson hold (sometimes simply referred to as a nelson) is a grappling hold which is executed from the backside of the opponent. One or both arms are used to encircle the opponent’s arm under the armpit, and secured at the opponent’s neck. (TRAPPED)

    The term “nelson” is derived from “full nelson”, which dates back to the early 19th century. It is supposedly named after the British war-hero Admiral Horatio Nelson, who used strategies based on surrounding the opponent to win the Battle of the Nile and the Battle of Trafalgar. But its true origin remains unknown.

    I LOVE SPORTS analogies….they are so relatable to so many people….OK, so I didn’t wrestle…but I was a “Minute Maid”….handed out the juice to the wrestlers…ha ha…..again another great blog!

    Brenda Hatcher

  28. Orrin,

    Reading your blog I thought how much this systems thinking, in our case TEAM and knowing and executing Power Player and TEAM Approach, is analogous to being a great chef versus a franchise owner who has built and owns a large number of successful restaurants. A chef can have a great attitude and know all the fundamentals of cooking yet never build a successful restaurant. Ray Kroc had a great attitude but was not a great chef, yet he knew systems that produced a great chain of great restaurants.

    LIFE requires the MFC thinking to build the person into a competent leader, but TEAM develops the systems side to build a successful business. TEAM training when leveraged by leading others to the TEAM training, teaches this same system, while developing the systems thinking to pass on this process to develop hundreds of successful TEAMS and provide freedom.

  29. Love the sports analogy. Makes learning easier when you explain it like that. Thanks Orrin.

  30. Robert Nava said

    Great analogy Orrin…The MFC is a launching pad for my success to put me on track from the person I see in the mirror today,through bettering my strengths and growing my weaknesses.

    Thank You Orrin and the rest of the PC

    ~Robert Nava

  31. Denny Suggitt said

    Great analogy, like you I also started wrestling late (sophomore year). Thinking I had the mental and physical toughness and not realizing the importance of technical skills I was humble quickly losing my first 7 matches straight before winning 11 of my last 15 that season. But like we say if the pain of losing gets bad enough we need to change something and fortunately the wrestler in the weight class above me was an all stater and help me with the skills to improve. Same situation here, we can look up line and to the team system to get the right info to succeed !!
    Thanks again for all you and the rest of the PC do !!!
    Denny Suggitt

  32. Absolutely stunning. There are so many great analogies here. It was just tonight I was explaining this to a partner that I was trying to help commit to the team training system, explaining that without the system, you’re out there trying to run a business as a customer. I really like several business’s out there, I am a great customer to many, but I am certain that I couldn’t function operating the business side, no matter how excited I am about their product or service, without knowing the system. I mean home depot for example, as a contractor, I could tell you where everything in the store was, but if you said, ok, here you go! Run that store! Ha! I’d be running around like a chicken who lost its head. Can you imagine the first time a customer and up and said, “your out of this particular product, when do you expect more?” and the look on my face, as I am trying to figure out where I even order that??? How much it costs? How do I pay? How is it shipped?? Ahhh. Chaos, that is all that would be without proper training of the system.

  33. Anthony D Darkangelo said

    I enjoyed this post as it illustrates so many keys to success. The vision, hard work and determination (dream, struggle, victory), reaching out for help (mentoring) to your coach clearly defines TEAM (together everyone achieves more) and not letting the facts, at that moment, (unheard of for someone to wrestle varsity at LakeVille as a senior) get in the way.

    Sure seems you were developing the skills at 17 to go to a million. Thanks for all your doing.

    As we know, Martin Luther King said “I have a Dream” he did not say I have a business or strategic plan.

    Glad to be here!

    Be safe – Tony

  34. nathan fox said

    great post Orrin

  35. Darcy & Tobi said

    Excellent analogy – had a great conversation with our kids about it…Thanks!

  36. Thanks Big O for such a great analogy which can be used to help others understand the relavence of Team system as compared to MFC and the Life materials.

  37. BRIAN SOWERS said

    Orrin , thanks for taking time to share some great information. I did not start wrestling until 8th grade and soon found myself getting knocked around like a rag doll, but after some hours on the mat and some great mentorship, just like u I found myself betting other grapplers that looked very intimidating.
    Yes I do believe that just like sports we need something to levage and the system is it<
    thanks Orrin and PC for a better future, because you endured we have hope..
    Brian Powers

  38. johnklewis said

    Orrin, it amazes me how many areas of life we can LEARN how to get leverage. I would imagine there is a mental aspect to mastering any sport. So learning how to THINK about an endeavor is crucial. Thanks to You and the rest of the LIFE Founders for developing the Mental Fitness Challenge which is teaching me how to get the right thinking and develop discipline and good habits necessary to be successful!

  39. Jerry Chen said

    “I hate losing enough, therefore I change.”

    Well said, Orrin.

    I’m exactly the same way.

  40. Great article. I love the idea of having so many things lined up, for so many people to have success, in so many areas of their lives. Its very exciting.

  41. Paul Raatz said

    Sports are truly a great teacher. When I ran cross country in high school it was a cold windy and snowy meet when I quit on myself. the mental fitness challenge will teach parents and there children that quitting is never an option. Thanks for teaching and exhibiting the principals for success.

  42. Tom Moris said

    Great Post! Your analogy of comparing sports to our own lives really makes sense, especially to someone who was in sports. I really appreciate your common sense approach to all aspects of building communities, and how you use stories and examples to clarify a point. Thanks for all you do. Those involved in the LIFE business are at such a big advantage over those who are not. If you’re not started yet do your self a favor and get started you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Make it a great day! Tom

  43. Mike Bouknight said

    It is so true that in today society, with so much negative around us, we have to be tough mentally. The MFC is exactly what we need to help develop that mental toughness. Thanks Orrin and the PC!

  44. Adam Rossman said

    Great anology between wrestling and other areas if life. Systems thinking is one of my weakest areas, right now- I never would have made the type of connection that you made between the sport and life (at least not yet).
    I did realize while reading your article that LIFE and the Mental fItness Challenge have helped me very much on the skills side, lately! I just went on for a job interview on Friday for a job that I was really hoping to get and for the first time in my entire life (and I am a guy who has had SEVERAL jobs in my life, unfortunately)- I was offered the job on the spot- at the first interview- and I start on Tuesday. I give credit to God’s blessing in my life and some of the skills that I have been taught through Life and the Mental Fitness Challenge!
    Thank you Orrin & all of the LIFE founders!

  45. I have my doctorate in Social Psychology. However, I am smart enough to know that I can always learn more. I am currently taking the Mental Fitness Challenge and enjoying the program tremendously. I am also a member of the team. What prompted me to sign up? The Edge Series for youth.

    I hope to meet you one day Orrin and thank you personally for the needed gifts of encouragement, strength, perseverance, dedication, hope, and many more. Giving us gifts we can carry in our heads instead of the baggage we drag around on our backs.

  46. Orrin:

    You’ve got it right! I really believe that we’ve got what so many people are searching for: a way to improve their lives, their contribution, and truly live the life they’ve always wanted to live!

    The Mental Fitness Challenge takes things to a new level by involving others in the process, through accountability steps and Challenge Group Discussions, now people not only have a program, principles, and a pattern, but they’ve got people to apply them with!

    I challenge all the readers of this blog to challenge themselves! They won’t be disappointed!


    Chris Brady

  47. robert wilcox said

    Great point Orrin … funny thing is I didnt wrestle … but enjoyed the analogy and the many nuggets inside definately makes sense and something we can apply today ! 🙂

  48. nathan said

    Im only 18 years old, so i would say i got introduced to this information at a very good time in my life

  49. Thank you Orrin for the analogy!! We are extremely blessed to be on this journey and the MFC Challenge is truly a deal breaker!

    We are so blessed!!

  50. Carl & Rosa Buchanan said

    The Mental Fitness Challenge groups are both extremely moving and strengthening!! I quickly realized that PDCA is essential in wrestling especially during battle and after a defeat. At 6’2″ and 128lbs one can get tied up very quickly. Yes I was chicken winged…in the first round. After my surprising defeat I made a commitment that I would never loose the same way again.
    What is so beautiful about MFC is we are able to methodically hone our skills, measure and make necessary adjustments towards developing through change. We get to learn and equip the willing in effective change as well. “We do not have eyes to see ourselves.” MFC allows us to do just that!!!
    I have noticed that during the challenge so much brain activity our Elephants are being stimulated. I am on fire about personal change. My wife and I have such a range of examples and experiences to draw from in our group. You know it is so true “We are who we are in our own home.”
    Orrin & Chris thanks for your willingness to effect change in your selves, family, and your professional relationships.
    We are truly blessed by your example.

  51. wildtarg said

    Ah, I see, Woodward-san. You have unpacked a statement I have wondered over for years:

    ‘Gung-fu will not enable a one-hundred-fifty pound man to defeat a three-hundred-pound man. Gung-fu will only provide an advantage when facing a similar opponent.’
    -Bruce Lee, The Tao of Gung-Fu

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