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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Mentoring Matters

Posted by Orrin Woodward on September 11, 2012

After nearly twenty years of working with people, building teams, and leading people, I have learned that there are many Biblical truths that can be applied daily. For instance, Romans 1:18 clearly explains why unrighteous people refuse to see the truths about themselves and their sinful condition. In the ESV version of the Bible, Romans 1:18 reads, “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.”  Paul wrote this epistle to explain why the people who see the truth of God all around them—systems designed beyond the capabilities of today’s best engineers, anthropic principles that if off by even the slightest amount would not have supported mankind, and proof (cosmological, teleological, and natural theology) that points toward a Creator—suppress and reject it. Interestingly, nearly 2,000 years ago, Paul, in apparent anticipation of today’s faithless age, captured the reason why people chronically suppress truth.

Certainly Paul’s statement was intended to reflect the suppression of the truth of God, but it has secondary applications as well. For example, even today’s secular leadership manuals teach the importance of “confronting reality,” the same principle Paul expounded above. Leaders have learned that people do not like dealing with uncomfortable truths of any size. Whether that truth is major (like the existence of God) or small (like miscommunication with a co-worker), people quickly suppress the truth, allowing themselves to be held blameless while the other party is held responsible for any issues. Consequently, most people never fulfill their leadership potential because they are too busy suppressing truth to learn from it.

Have you ever wondered why it is that people see others’ faults so clearly, yet seem to struggle to discover, or at least admit discovery of, their own? This is a big challenge. Even so, imagine what could change in a person’s life if he could see his own areas of needed improvement as easily as he sees others’. This is a HUGE part of the leadership journey and a HUGE part of a mentor’s role. I can promise you this: People who run around blaming everyone but themselves for their current predicaments are hopelessly self-deceived through the repeated suppression of truth. (Internet Haters come to mind. 🙂 ) Thankfully, few people allow themselves to slide so far from truth; however, all of us veer from truth to some degree. Thus, one of the key leadership assignments is to identify and address areas where untruth has seeped into one’s thinking. In other words, a problem identified is half solved.

Mentoring matters because it helps people see their blind spots and begin working on them. I have been blessed with superb mentors over the years and have read many books that have helped me. With that said, my wife Laurie, who has developed the tact and courage to address her husband in love, has done the best job of pointing out where I might be suffering from suppression of truth at any given time. It is my assignment, as a leader confronted with truth, to view the situation without emotion and address the facts as they are, not as I want them to be. No one is perfect at this art, but with practice and courage, a person can grow and change. The Mental Fitness Challenge from the LIFE business is a personal mentoring program to improve one’s ability to deal with truth.

What about you? Are you dealing with uncomfortable truths in your life? Let me speak to the Christians reading this post for a moment. Christians need to understand that suppressing truth in any area of life is just another name for sin. That may sound strong, but please hear me out. Suppressing truth is really just a simpler way of saying that people would rather believe comfortable lies than difficult truths. Since the Bible states that all lies come from the “father of lies,” then suppressing truth makes one believe lies and, in that instance, a person has chosen to follow Satan, not God. This is a significant distinction that I believe would revolutionize the Christian church. The Christian church must repent from believing Satan’s lies in any area of life and begin to live and reflect God’s truths again.

Okay, okay, I will hop off my soapbox now. I just encourage each person to examine his thinking and identify where the suppression of truth may be hurting him. If you have mentors, then seek their help in the process. 2012 is shaping up to be a breakthrough year for so many, and I encourage you to break through, too. Below is the inaugural HBRN Leadership Factory interview. Tony and I asked Claude Hamilton on as our special guest and we dove into the mentoring process. Enjoy.


Orrin Woodward

41 Responses to “Mentoring Matters”

  1. Nathan Fox said


  2. Eben Smith said

    Awesome Orrin. Thanks for the truth.

  3. Dawn Marx said

    Thank you, Orrin, for the reminder and the encouragement.

  4. JeanetteP said

    So true Orrin! It makes a great case for why we should mentor, but requires humility and strong desire to live excellently. For the Christian, to live in such a way as to please God BECAUSE of what He has done, coupled with the understanding of who we TRULY are without Him, helps to provide the fuel to growth for sure. This is great stuff that should the Church grab ahold of, it would be revolutionary! Thanks for all you do! God Bless!

  5. Tina A Abernathy said

    Wonderful post Orrin!

    Confronting the brutal reality in my life is an everyday challenge. Yet I can say that through HIS word, the LIFE materials, and being a part of such an association for quite a while, I am much better at it and it usually only hurts for a minute versus days!

    I too and thankful for the mentors in my life and namely my husband. Raymond has the wonderful ability to say a lot in a few words with the love of Christ as the center. This skill has allowed me to grow in ways I am unable to articulate.

    Thanks for the article and being a mentor to sooo many!

    Onward and forward to 1 million an beyond

  6. Thanks for being a great mentor and example, Orrin!

    Emerson said that “Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be.”

  7. Rick Britton said

    Great post Orrin!!!!

    My life has changed so much in just 7 months of being with life and its awesome knowledge! Just a few key changes that i was able to change in my life because of LIFE and my wonderful Mentors Joe and Marianne Keller who have help remove glaze from my eyes and have directed me in the proper direction……i was able to save my marriage, quit smoking, be a better father. I owe so much to this community and to my mentors!!! LIFE is great!!!!

    This is only the start! Lets move to a million people!!!! God bless!

  8. Bill Eder said

    Outstanding Orrin: Do you think maybe people don’t want to, or find it difficult to remove the “beam” in their eye so then they too can become a mentor.Why lie to your self and listen to apparent truth when one can look into the face of truth, Jesus the Way Truth and Life. God bless you for these words of encourgement and truth.

    • For a long time, the beam in my eye defined me. As Steve said in his comment below, if people believe the lies they tell themselves long enough, those lies eventually become truth. Mentors not only help us identify the beam in our eye but help us get rid of the beam.

  9. Richard Kroll Jr. said

    Orrin, I am so thankful for the mentorship and coaching that has been provided to me through LIFE and Team! And there is never a CHARGE for it!! My life has literally been transformed through the mentorship of Marc and Kristine Militello and you… and for that I am and will always be eternally grateful!!!

    It is my sincere hope and prayer that EVERYONE will humble themself and find a godly mentor to help them.


    This message is right on. The biggest problem, as you have explained and which Paul examined in himself, is the reluctance of a leader to examine your self, identify your flaws, ask God for help in correcting those flaws, and ask Him for continuous guidance and wisdom to deal with those tendencies to fall back into them.
    Of course, this has got to be done before you ever take a look at the spec in the other man’s eye. Before you do that, remove the log from your own.

    Great message, but unfortunately most everyone who reads this message probably already know what they should do. For the most part, this may be one of the biggest challenges we have. We can only help others change their lives, if we change ours, first.
    Great message from a great leader.
    Thank you Orrin for reminding us, again, of our responsibility as leaders.

  11. Kim Decker said

    This is so very true in all walks of life and in all industries as well. I am a christian and I get my mentoring when it is available as Kirk is awesome for that and when I need spiritual help I now have found a church. The LORD wrote words to follow by and we all need to do so and help others as well. Thank you again for a great post.

  12. Lisa Volkmann said

    Well stated – thank you! It’s not easy to see that log in my own eye but very easy for me to see the speck in anothers – Luke 6:42

  13. jimmy varghese said

    great post orrin! i cant tell you how much i value mentoring from my leaders. they see what i cant see and that is priceless to me. i can look back at my life and say if i had proper mentorship i could of avoided many of lifes mines. i am so thankful for the LIFE team and its leadership development and mentoring because it has literally changed my life! thank you to all you and the PC do!

  14. Ali Staneart said

    My faith is growing by leaps and bounds thanks to the LIFE information, association and the mentors I have by being a part of this community. So many blind spots:) Thank you Orrin and all the PC for what you have done! God bless!

  15. Mary Hermsen said

    Another great post….very thought-provoking. Thanks, Orrin! We are blessed to be able to tap into your thinking on a regular basis. God definitely has a big plan for you. (As I know you’ve already realized!)

  16. Rob Crichlow said

    Wow… great post. Mentoring is critical and is so available in our LIFE business. Thanks for the great reminder.

  17. Melissa Jackson said

    Thanks Orrin,this is a fantastic post.

  18. Peggi Kern said

    Orrin, As I read your blog, I thought about a few people who I respect so much for their willingness to “examine their thinking”. First, I’m thankful to you, Laurie and the Policy Council to continue to provide the example of “changed thinking” and not being “self deceived”, but always learning, growing and improving. Second, I’m thankful for Marc and Kristine and the mentorship they provide Tim and I. They are so honest, yet gentle. Lastly, I’m so thankful for Tim, because he’s always evaluating and re-evaluating his thinking, checking it with his mentor and continuing to get better every day. With these real life examples in my life, I’m inspired to do the same! I’m so thankful, because our future is so bright!

  19. Barry Quinn said

    Thank you Orrin for the great post. I have always been a man of strong faith. But being part of the TEAM/LIFE system has brought my attention to many things: untruths I was telling myself.
    As the system teaches us, “know why we believe what we believe.” I now have a spiritual mentor and am digging into my faith. Wow what I am finding out and what a great journey it is gonna be.

  20. Kevin Hamm said

    Great post Orrin,

    This is not a community that one can remain truly comfortable not doing anything. Thanks for the pressure.

  21. Jen Ulrich said

    Fabulous post, Orrin! God must have known this was something I needed to absorb; it mirrored Eric Blomdahl’s talk at the Pewaukee Open quite well! His focused a lot more on self-deception, and I really like how you added another layer to that: mentoring. Man, if we can all be honest in self-assessments, and humble enough to take another qualified person’s advice to heart, this world could do a 180 so quickly! Thanks for the encouragement!

  22. Jeremy Pethke said

    Wow thank you so much for that Orrin!! It is truly a blessing to have a mentor to guide you through the struggles that normally would knock people right out!
    God Bless
    Jeremy Pethke

  23. Alex Obiden said

    This is such an awesome topic; one that really addresses, head on, the “notion” of absolute truth. In order to be able to confront the truth, there must be a truth. A specific truth. As a Christian, a boy friend, a son, a friend, and a business builder it automatically becomes my responsibility to address truths in those areas. I make mistakes, often, but to neglect the truth in one area is to neglect opportunity, responsibility, and justice in every other area. Rock on Orrin.

  24. Shannon Lasiewicz said

    Thank you Orrin for leading the way you are truly blessed. I have no doubt in my mind that God truly has His hands on this community. Thank you for leading so many to the truth. The timing of this coudln’t be any better. We all struggle with truths and sometimes unsure of how, who and where to trun to. I am so blessed to be a part of TEAM/LIFE. God has brought some of the most incredible people in my life and in my team. He KNOWS that this foundation has got to be strong for the enormous community we are leading to truth. Cracks in a foundation can do a lot of damage to any organizaion. We are standing on a solid foundation that is growning with truth and it just feels right. Thank you, Laurie and all the PC for leading the way to an incredible future empire. Many Many Blessing.

  25. Kara Plank said

    So thankful for the mentoring from Dean & Teresa Frey. My husband & I’s lives have been eternally changed in the last 10 months due to getting the right information to change our thinking.
    Great post, Orrin! Thank YOU!

  26. Diane said

    Yesterday, before riding the train into Chicago, God prompted me to pray at every stop (a 1.5 hour journey). The prayer was that all who get on and get off, at every stop, hear the truth. I prayed that the Lord touch every mind and heart, open them up, to hear truth. That He would touch them in love or with a spirit of conviction, but it always comes back to them seeing truth. I often prayed an arch over the tracks (and then extensions over the expressways) that all who pass under God’s arches see GOD’S Truth, for there is not one man, woman, political party, or agenda that can heal our land.

    The idea expanded during the train ride – to take every train from beginning to end and back, and pray for people to see truth through God’s eyes. It is not about political parties, liberals or conservatives, it is praying God’s truth and His will be done on election day.

    And what if this went nationwide? Imagine the impact – people praying for everyone passing through train stations, for those on the trains, as they pass under God’s arch of truth over the tracks?

    What if we prayed the same thing as we drove, walked through airports, or prayed God’s truth as we flew over the country?

    I want to spread the message that the Lord laid on my heart, but I don’t have a large following to do it. I’ve been praying for revival for a couple of years. GOD’S Truth. 2 Chronicles 7:14 promises: If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves, pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sins, and HEAL THEIR LAND.”

    I’m praying to reach men and women of influence, to challenge all believers to start deliberately praying for people to receive God’s truth, whenever and wherever the Lord puts it on their heart. (sorry for the lengthy post – I just had to write what He laid on my heart and the timing with your blog is just amazing.)

  27. Kirk Birtles said

    Orrin… Well said my friend. Confronting our personal scoreboard is humbling, yet liberating. As Jesus said, ‘The truth shall set you free’. We thank God everyday for you and the great group of Christ-centered leaders that God has blessed us with!


  28. Steve Leurquin said

    Thanks for a great post Orrin. It is as if people tell themselves a lie long enough, in their minds it becomes truth.
    I also wonder why someone can hear the truth from someone they know well, then hear a lie from a nameless faceless person and believe it rather than the person who is in their life?

  29. Debbie Miller said

    Thanks for the encouragement…blog on!

  30. tammy britt said

    Amen, I am so thankful for LIFE, and getting the truth into the hands of so many….

  31. Michael Stithem said

    Thanks Orrin. Once again you were spot on. Always encouraged after reading your blog.

  32. Orrin, this was a much needed post! It wasn’t until I was blessed with incredible mentors in the LIFE/TEAM that I was willing to endure the painful truths that I knew I needed to fix and will continue to work on. I pray that someday I can offer the same service to others on their leadership journey. Thanks for being an incredible mentor yourself and developing other mentors who are a reflection of you. We are a blessed community!

  33. Yancy Chaj said

    Wow what great teaching really and trully you sure can never stop learning and implementing truth in our life and what a reflection it to us who believe in God.
    Thank you for putting it the way you put it is really great.

  34. Derek Crawford said

    Amen! Truth is sweet to the ears. I am eternally grateful to you for being a Christ-centered leader. Every time I give my testimony, I get to tell people about the wonderful orginization you lead and that I am a part of. Thank you for not believing satan’s lies! Keep standing for truth. It IS making a difference!


  35. Maura Galliani said

    Of course you know, Orrin, that we are all touched by your mentoring when we are exposed to your words whether written, on cd, or through a video. My life has been touched beyond measure by you … and everyone associated with Team LIFE!

    As far as this particular blog, the words Jack Nicholson barked in the 1992 movie A Few Good Men come to mind: “You can’t handle the truth!” It breaks my heart when I see those close to me continuing to live in denial because it is safer than facing the truth — especially if there is discomfort or pain involved. I’m filled with joy to be a part of a community that not only walks in the Truth, but walks by example in a way that teaches others; especially those who have yet to learn that freedom and knowledge comes with the Truth. Fired up!

  36. Elaine Mallios said

    I vow to discover my own shortcomings and use my mentors to see them more clearly. For it is a fool who councils himself!

  37. Jeanne Fritch said

    Absolutely GREAT interview. Not sure who I enjoyed more — Orrin or Claude. Both tremendously great, active, courageous, wise leaders. Proud to know you and surrogate with you.

  38. Such a fantastic post! (and very well written too!!!) With that said, I have learned, and I am CERTAIN I haven’t mastered this, that confronting truth isn’t as painful as one might think. It’s actually liberating! Thanks for posting and helping me learn this valuable lesson! : )

  39. Wildtarg said

    I just had to chime in before I watched the video. I am currently reading “Leadership and Self-Deception” by the Arbinger Institute, and it is curiously fascinating that I came to this article while reading the book (halfway through it in two days!). Since you brought up the Christian Church, I would just like to say that I am in your corner on the issue of the church living out what it teaches; that being a genuine Christian is something that takes courage and effort on multiple levels: not to keep the moral law, but to daily face our own errors and shortcomings, acknowledge that we need grace and forgiveness, and to live as servants and strangers, rather than assert our ‘rights’ and go after our ‘just desserts’. Mark 9:35-37 & 10:42-45.

    Now, on to the interview.

  40. Wildtarg said

    What a great session. Of course you are known for having tight relationships with your leaders, but the way you interact and synergize with Tony is really something to see. I really latched on to your statement “People who want the truth, love me. People who don’t want the truth, hate me.” I have made a life’s pursuit out of searching out and chasing down truth, and have been consistently baffled by people who run from the truth in preference to their own fantasies and fancies. Finding and confronting truth is not often comfortable or pleasant; yet I have found that there is some degree of comfort and satisfaction in squaring one’s thinking with real facts and principles. I will close with a quotation of my favorite author: If you look for truth you may find comfort in the end; if you look for comfort you will find neither comfort or truth, only soft soap and wishful thinking, and in the end despair.”

    Keep going, we’re coming…

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