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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Leadership Soft-Skills: Resilience

Posted by Orrin Woodward on February 20, 2013



The fourth leadership soft-skill, according to the Center for Creative Leadership, is resiliency – the ability to bounce back from adversity. Resiliency is essential for any leadership endeavor because any worthwhile activity is filled with setbacks and disappointments. However, with resiliency, leaders are strengthened by the setbacks because the obstacles force them to make the needed changes to overcome and win. In the process, the leaders become better personally and professionally, which in truth, is the real reward for the leadership journey anyway. Unfortunately, many would-be leaders fall for the fallacy that leadership should be easy or they must not be cut from the leadership mold. Nothing could be further from the truth! In fact, it’s only when a potential leader realizes how poor his current leadership abilities are, through experiencing numerous failures, that he exercises his resilience by confronting reality, making changes, and pressing forward.

One of the biggest lies, propagated throughout our culture, is that people are either naturally gifted at leadership or naturally ungifted. This dreary belief system has deluded many good people, who tried to lead and failed, to surrender their responsibility to lead in life. Indeed, I believe many of the world’s greatest potential leaders were never developed because they swallowed this whopper of lies. Nonetheless, the LIFE Business rejects this dismal world-view; teaching instead, that everyone has leadership abilities when hunger and courage are added to the LIFE training system of reading, listening, associating, and implementing. There are hundreds of examples of men and women, who didn’t believe they could lead, who now, through their faith and convictions, lead hundreds, and some thousands, of people.

Leadership isn’t chance; it’s choice. Consequently, resilience is displayed when a person chooses to get back up after the world has knocked him flat on his back. If a person chooses to stay down, he shouldn’t blame the program, plans, or Providence; rather, it’s in the lack of purpose that ultimately leads to the lack of resilience. Several years back, I developed a quote to capture the essence of resilience, “A person either hates losing enough to change, or he hates changing enough to lose.” I HATE losing and when life knocks me down, which it has many times, I use the “down” time to reflect on what I can learn from this failure and why I need to get back up and run again. This is the KEY to leadership! Develop the plan; get knocked down; learn the lessons, get up and run again! PDCA. How simple to understand and yet how difficult to implement.


Orrin Woodward

49 Responses to “Leadership Soft-Skills: Resilience”

  1. Peggi Kern said

    I was one of those people that thought if you got knocked down, it was a sign that I shouldn’t or couldn’t be successful. On my journey to learn and develop my leadership skills, I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to see many great leaders in this LIFE community, who after getting knocked down, rise up to be better! Thank you for your article, which so eloquently points out this out and many thanks to the great leaders who “walk the walk” for all to learn from.

  2. wendi witkowski said

    This is a great one! What reaffirming words to those that are running for their dreams and get knocked down, that this is the process and as long as we keep getting up, learning and growing we will get there.

  3. Tina Abernathy said


    Thank you for your continued growth and sharing these lessons with us all.

    This leadership journey has caused me to grow in many areas of my life including my faith because man does building communities and chasing your purpose include failure, set backs or whatever you want to call them. I can remember facing a series of serious challenges back to back and wondering Lord are you sure? Are you prunning us or chastening us? Is there unrecognized and unconfessed sin in our life or what Lord what?

    Yet after even more prayer he seemed to say quite clearly to me like in the book of Daniel via Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego ” If we are thrown in the fiery furnace, the God we serve is well able to deliver us from it….” resilience is required

    Onward to a Million and Beyond

  4. I love this post! I know that one of the traits that we have to teach the next generation is to get back up and run again. The only way to do that is to be that example. Thanks Orrin for the perspective.

    • Heidi said

      We watched the webcast of your open last night…..awesome job as always, Marc and Kristine!

    • Beth said

      thank you, too, Marc and Kristine, for exhibiting this trait too–just listened to your cd “Contacting:Own It!” and love your living example of putting together the black bookshelves! yes, keep showing others how to go 4 LIFE!!!

  5. Elaine Mallios said

    So often I catch myself thinking “oh things aren’t going very well”. All of a sudden, good things happen, as if to say “see” or “oh ye of little faith!” Keeping strong and resilient. Thanks.

  6. Heidi said

    What a different view of people than our government has! The LIFE Team proves every day that it works better this way, valuing people as individual miracles who can learn and develop and become GREAT.

  7. Scott Staley said

    Thank you for the post Orrin. I love this series that you’re walking us all through – its like a coles notes/study guide on Leadership 101!

  8. syamar calderon said

    There is only one thing to do when you fall down, get up. When you get criticized, use it as negative energy to prove “them” wrong. I understand now why sometimes “things” happen. When I heard it in one of your talks, in one of the LIFE materials, it was a confirmation of the question, why?….Through struggles God is preparing you, because when you successfully come out of them, HE can use you to serve others if you are willing….Resilience, without it, you can’t overcome. Thank you for having the heart of a shepherd and the courage of a Lion….You are admired, respected, followed and loved by many….i just wanted to say it …..my journey just began, thank you for LIFE…and to all policy counsel, thank you also…FIRED UP!..God bless you!

  9. Chad Waters said

    Great Blog Orrin!

    We hate losing more then winning and adding the Life association we are 1 of 36 and willing to help others help Life reach the first million now!
    This series is so awesome!
    Appreciate your servant leadership!

  10. Keith Sieracki said

    Great post Orrin!! One of my favorite cartoon drawings! I would have never improved at anything if I didnt have a coach, friend, or teacher help me realize what I was doing incorrectly. That information is invaluable – embrace it and dont give up on the learning process.

  11. Amy Antonucci said

    Exactly one of the life lessons I try to instill into my college-aged students!

  12. Kris White said

    Orrin, Thanks for providing these valuable lessons. Thousands of men and women learning these principles and stretching to greatness through the LIFE material. Thanks for all you do.

  13. Great article! I love the picture as well, I am going to have to print that picture & post it to my computer 🙂

  14. Ali Staneart said

    Turn that rejection into energy!!:) learn and grow grow grow!!! There is always some good that comes from the perceived bad. Always a great lesson to learn and gotta love those teachable moments. It’s so inspiring to know that I can win if I keep going, learning and growing!!!

  15. Matt Mielke said

    Thanks Orrin. “It’s in the lack of purpose that ultimately leads to the lack of resilience.” I was almost 40 years old when I was introduced to the LIFE principles. I lacked purpose because I didn’t even understand what purpose meant. I never led anything successfully up to that point. The most profound words early in my journey were, “Leaders are made, not born.” That was a huge relief because I definitely didn’t feel born to lead. The other important lesson was getting up after I fell down, over and over and over. I put a subconscious number on how many times I would get up before I quit trying, maybe 2 or 3. Thanks for steering me in the proper direction. matt

  16. Beth said

    wow, thanks again for this reminder, Orrin! “Down, but not out”, in fact, not even staying down!!!awesome privilege to have this training available to help and encourage us to get up and keep going 4 LIFE!!!

    I thank God for you and your example for us! How will others hear if we don’t tell/show them?!

  17. Love it! Orrin Woodward, Chris Brady, George Guzzardo, Claude Hamilton, Bill Lewis, Dan Hawkins, Wayne MacNamara, and Tim Marks have such great blogs! I love the information being taught in the LIFE business. Thank you!

  18. Nate Bingaman said

    Thanks Orrin! The life business has brought hope back in my wife and my life.The information alone is over the top. It has taken us to a new level in all areas of are life .The ABC attitude ,belief and commit = success thanks again for the life system
    Nate and Cindy Bingaman

  19. Alison Ruhlman said

    This reminds me of the movie “The Ultimate Gift” where Red was reflecting on a video to his grandson Jason about losing everything: “You don’t begin to live until you’ve lost everything, heck I’ve lost everything 3 or 4 times – it’s the perfect place to start.” (NEVER GIVE UP!!!!!)

  20. Resilience is directly connected to EQ.

  21. J & P Harteis said

    I think that in being resilent, you also need a bit of tenacity. This morning I read that tenacity is more than endurance, it is endurance combined with the absolute certainty that what we are looking for, is going to happen, giving us a reason to be resilent until it does! Tenacity is more than just hanging on, which may be but the weakness of being too afraid to fall off – with resilience, you can still fall off, only to get back up again! Thank you, Orrin!

  22. cody newton said

    Orrin this is right inline with the statement you said on the google hangout that was profound.
    “Find a Victory in Every Defeat, to remain Hopeful & Find a Defeat in Every Victory, to remain Humble” – Orrin Woodward
    Thank you for being the leader of leaders

  23. Jerry & Polly said

    Great post Orrin. That ability to rise again knowing to your purpose has to be fulfilled and that it must
    be done. When we were younger we were called stubborn for such a trait. Like that was a bad thing. It will lead to great success if we are willing to come back stronger and perhaps with a little different strategy the next time. Resilience comes from the inside and how deflated we may feel at the moment. A ball with higher pressure inside bounces higher than one that’s been deflated. So pump up the volume and bounce back.

  24. Brian Richardson said

    Great Orrin,
    how much can the spirit of man take, set back after set back, you see a lot go down and sometimes out.
    Though with a life purpose…as your article points to…. Up and on you go. My grandfather used to be heard saying “that’s the spirit ….go on you give it another go…. That’s the spirit” even though I don’t know his life’s purpose or if he had one he was sure encouraging when we went down or failed at anything, never once heard him say you can’t. Thanks to life leadership and encouraging leader on we go. Thank you. Brian Richardson

  25. Leah Stadel said

    I had to laugh when I saw the photo you chose for this blog post, Orrin. I saw this when I was in college and had to pull 2 all-nighters in a row because I had accidentally deleted my final research paper. That picture inspired me to reframe my situation…that not only could I write that paper, but that I could write an AWESOME paper in record time with an even greater tone of conviction. And as I read your post, I was reminded to keep doing that same thing on a daily basis with both big and small “challenges” that come my way. What is so great for me and my family is that we are in a tremendous culture in this LIFE business to grow the mentality of resilience and reap the wonderful benefits. Thanks again, Orrin,
    Leah Stadel

  26. Kristi McVicker said

    Thank you Mr. Woodward!

  27. “he shouldn’t blame the program, plans, or Providence; rather, it’s in the lack of purpose that ultimately leads to the lack of resilience.”

    I LOVE this part! I think often times “providence” gets used when life and LIFE gets tough and we want to quit. That’s when we have to keep pushing through and using the PDCA process not quit! Thanks for sharing Orrin!

  28. Jim Martin said

    Great post Orrin!!!


  29. Kevin Hamm said


    So many, in times of hardship, assume God doesn’t want something to happen when actually, He just has things for us to learn. Our tough times are just opportunities for us to become more like Christ. There are few things that hold such potential for inspiration as a great story of perseverance. I am grateful for all of the struggle in life, as each day holds a new story potential. I’m on my second round through the new top 50 since the Major and WOW! what inspiration it holds. I will hang tight to this community until the fruits of my efforts are born in stories of my own. Thanks so much for the inspiration and opportunity.

  30. Kyle Starr said

    awesome Orrin Thanks again for another great post I agree
    “he shouldn’t blame the program, plans, or Providence; rather, it’s in the lack of purpose that ultimately leads to the lack of resilience.” so true, if people would stop “blaming” just imagine how it would change things..

  31. Awesome post Orrin! I believe the LIFE culture gives us the backbone to develop resilience and the accountability to stay true to our purpose. I am so thankful for that!

  32. Robin Lawrence said

    Great post Orrin! Can’t wait for the next soft skill.

  33. Marty Becker said


    Thank you for the article. In our ‘something for nothing’ society it’s so easy to get knocked off track and then criticized for attempting something great. I used to let this upset me and shut me down for weeks, months and in some cases years before I would get refocused and start moving forward again. Through the constant reading and listening of LIFE material it’s getting easier to get back up immediately and keep moving forward because now I see criticism as an indicator that I’m moving in the right direction. Along with a daily unearthing of my purpose I can maintain the focus to move through the failure without losing large amounts of valuable time.

    Thank you,

    Marty Becker AOJ1

  34. Yitz Weiss said

    Thanks for a great post Orrin! I couldn’t agree more – no one is born gifted at leadership. Those are skills that must be learned and honed over time.

  35. Adam Gonzales said

    Truth is so counter cultural thank you Orrin for this Truth!!
    One million in Texas!

  36. Anthony Nieto said

    It is so funny how the easiest things to explain are the hardest to implement. I believe it’s that way because God made it that way so ANYONE who chooses to succeed CAN! Thanks Orrin for your time!!

  37. Joe Marchbanks said

    Thanks again Orrin. I am really enjoying this series of articles!

  38. Bob Rasmussen said

    We are fortunate to have a God who allows us to suffer and fail in order to become better leaders for him! God bless

  39. Bob Pollock said


    You are SO right! Think of how many people quit just before success strikes.

    I’m a sales professional. I see it all the time.

    As you always say, “Success is just on the other side of convenience.”

  40. Thanks You! Recently my husband and I have made the decision to jump in over our heads and run in the life bussiness. Since doing so adversity has kicked in Big Time! However, with the courage to change and refusing to choose the cowardice way, and blame, we can see so many blessings God is giving to us 🙂 right now. I am so grateful for Life and the results I am seeing personally in my own life. I know that we are on the right path and in the ‘flock of right thinkers’. Thank you Orrin and Laurie you have captured our hearts and our lives are improving by leaps and bounds. God bless you and your family and all our leaders as we all find and carry out our purpose.

  41. Matthew Scott said

    ““A person either hates losing enough to change, or he hates changing enough to lose.” I HATE losing and when life knocks me down, which is has many times, I use the “down” time to reflect on what I can learn from this failure and why I need to get back up and run again. This is the KEY to leadership!””

    This is so very true and is exactly what I needed to see tonight. Thanks, Orrin

  42. Christine Fleury said

    Yes! You’re so right….so simple to understand yet so hard to implement. Relieving at the same time though, reminding us that if we’re failing, we’re on track! The point is to keep learning from the failures and keep getting back up! Kids know this instinctively…where along the way do we lose it? “Faith like a child” as the Bible says, right? Thank you for a team that is helping restore God’s original intent for all of us.

  43. Robert Daley said

    Thanks for the reminder Orrin
    I love reading your posts as a regular PDCA…. I need the constant input to tell my elephant that we are heading in the right direction…. The Lord has great things in store for my future ….. The past failures are getting me equipped to lead thousands…. It’s a great time to be alive in LIFE
    God bless

  44. Dean Strube said

    Love that one Orrin, that never give up attitude is one that I love about the people in this business. No chance of this guy quitting. Thanks for the post

  45. Lisa Elliott said

    Great Post.

  46. KimDecker said

    This is so true as we all know and how many of us forget to get up. It is a very hard lesson and without LIFE/TEAM sometimes I think I would still be knocked down forgetting to get back up. Thank you to all for the encouragement given.

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