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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A Leader’s Heart & Words

Posted by Orrin Woodward on March 27, 2013

Developing the Heart for Leadership

The Mouth Speak: Paulo Zerbato

The Mouth Speak: Paulo Zerbato

Give me thirty minutes with anyone and through asking a series of simple questions, his words will reveal his heart. Whatever the heart dwells upon will ultimately be what the mouth speaks about. Consequently, when a person desires to change his attitude, he must dive into the recesses of his own heart. In other words, a person cannot fake love for people for long before the fakers hypocrisy is revealed. Indeed Abraham Lincoln said similarly, “You can fool some of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all the time.”

Although people with bad hearts can achieve a level of success in community building, it only last for a season because the community rejects false leadership. These people tend to jump from network to network instead of looking within their own heart or, worse yet, blame networking for their problems and hide from their sinful heart by playing the victim card.

In fact, community builders, who have maintained a solid business for a decade or longer, are extremely rare because few leadership culture’s work on heart issues. The LIFE Business, on the other hand, begins with the heart. For, in reality, a person’s heart  is the essence of his leadership. Leadership is who you are more than what you do. Does a leader truly love his people? Does he truly desire to serve them or just himself? Is he willing to sacrifice for them when sacrifice is necessary?

Everyone can say what he will do under these situations, but a community experiences first-hand the behavior of its leader when challenging circumstances arise. Today’s lesson is simple, but not easy. While learning the techniques to build a solid community, be sure to also pray for a Christ-centered heart that desires good for everyone that you come into contract with. Remember, at the end of the day, the relationships are infinitely more important than the task.

The LeaderShift demands leaders with loving hearts in order to lead communities. Below is a short article I wrote on the words flowing out of the mouth. My book RESOLVED covers much more on this subject.


Orrin Woodward

Out of the Abundance of the Mouth

For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. – Matthew 12:34

It’s amazing how much one can learn from a person just by listening.  People who believe that they have a positive attitude, give away their negativity when they speak. I like to begin mentoring sessions with, “Tell me the good, the bad, and the ugly.  The good we will celebrate, the bad we will make adjustments, and the ugly we will pray about.”  This is sure to get people talking, helping me to identify, not just what happened, but how they are thinking about what happened.  Which, in the end, is more important than the event; since the event happens only once, but how they think about the event repeats over and over in their minds and hearts.  Painful experiences happen to both achievers and non-achievers.  The difference is in the responses, achievers learning from the bad cards, choose to draw more; while non-achievers complaining about the cards of life being stacked against them, choose to quit the game.  But what’s actually stacked against them is their own thinking. Winners received the same stimulus, but chose to respond differently than the non-winners.

When something bad happens to a winner, he immediately focuses on minimizing its effects, learning anything he can from the situation.  No pity parties, no woe is me attitudes, just resolution and teachable moments.  The extent a person wins in life, is many times, related to how quickly he can go from problem identified to problem solved, learning through the pain of the process.  When people stay down for weeks, months, sometimes even years at a time, can they honestly expect a positive outcome?  There is only so much mental energy, when it’s spent dwelling on negative thoughts, allowing them to enter the heart, eventually pouring out of the mouth, why is anyone shocked that so little is accomplished in life?  The key is pulling the weeds (negative thoughts) upon entering the mind, not allowing them to move into the heart and out the mouth.  Weeds are much easier to pull when immediately seized when they enter the mind, but much tougher when allowed to root in the heart, eventually flowing out of the mouth.  Don’t provide fertile soil in the mind for weeds; don’t allow weeds to seed into the heart; and whatever you do, don’t allow negative seeds to spread out of your mouth, infecting other people. The former leader literally becoming a carrier of negativity.

Leaders are gardeners of their own minds, identifying and pulling weeds quickly.  True leaders are never down period, choosing to pull weeds promptly.  But if they ever were down, they certainly wouldn’t spread the disease to their communities, since they know that pulling weeds is an inside job.  If a weed is extra difficult, then leaders have the discipline to seek out their mentors for help, refusing to contaminate others with their weed seeds.  One of the first, and most important, assignments of any would-be leader is consistent and prompt pulling of his own weeds.  It’s not an option if he plans on inspiring others, since no one is inspired by a bitter attitude and sour faced person.  Pull your weeds, guard your mind, protect your heart, for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.  Leadership occurs when people having confidence in the leader, if a person’s attitude is unpredictable, he disqualifies himself for leadership, until he learns to pull his own weeds. Leaders are dealers in hope, change, and growth, beginning inside of them.  Perhaps it’s time that we launched a leadership revolution, let’s start the revolution by tending to our own gardens.  God Bless, Orrin Woodward

52 Responses to “A Leader’s Heart & Words”

  1. John HATCHELL said

    Thank you, You are truly a Leader with a heart after only His Kingdom. A light amongst the negative. Luv ya bro

  2. Thera LeFeuvre said

    This is indeed a hard one to put into practice all the time but it is necessary that we do master it. Thanks Orrin for this timely reminder.

  3. Mike Hilmes said


    Thanks for the words of wisdom! Im starting a new habit of checking your blog every morning. I have found this a GREAT way to start my day. Your leadership is going to effect MILLIONS of peoples lives.

    Thanks for all you do,
    Team Maximus…..Strength & Honor!!!!

  4. JeanetteP said

    “A person can not fake love for a person for long before their hypocrisy is revealed”-it’s so true Orrin. My husband and I were talking about this very subject last night!. Thank you Orrin, this was much needed!!! God bless!

  5. Bob said

    Great reminder, Thanks!!!

  6. LOVE this insight!!
    It can apply to all areas of leadership, work, community building, family every area that requires building bonds.
    I greatly appreciate your wisdom 🙂

  7. I love this Orrin. Thank you for sharing your talents and gifts of leadership with the world. My husband and I are so excited to be a part of such a wonderful organization. God speed!!

  8. Don Schultz, Team VIP Phalanx said

    Orrin, thanks for the reminder to focus on the basics; that being the health of our hearts and minds. “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.”

    People will either suffer or benefit because of who we are as leaders. Is our “copy” worth being duplicated?

  9. Randy Donais said

    As always Orrin, you can articulate the truths like nobody else can!

  10. Tina Abernathy said


    Thank you for this post. Maintaining a positive attitude is easier typed for me than kept. yet, I am extremely thankful for a system that would allow me to see that mine “stunk up the joint” and that through implementing what I have learned it is much better.

    I am not sure if you can truly show Love with out a good attitude…so I am sure my Love for people is better too. Again, thank you


  11. Gail V J Bullard said

    Your message is inline with ‘WWJD?’. Remember that fab which appeared on tshirts, bracelets, bumper stickers and the like! Matter of fact, He excepts us to be Servant Leaders as He was. For us, it starts from within first before we can lead others…

    Thank you for the reenforcement and platform.

    God Bless you!!

  12. Jill Heller said

    Thanks again Orrin! Without this knowledge many of us would not be happier loving servant people today! The Leadershift is definitely coming! Keep up the awesome work and showing us the many different changes we need in our lives to become not just better people for ourselves but better informed people for others as well! It’s a spiraling effect of the way we think as a whole Nation of people that will bring about the changes our country needs.

  13. MARIO VEGA said


  14. Richard Kroll Jr. said

    Great advice Orrin! And a wonderful reminder!! Thank you for leading by EXAMPLE!!!

  15. Orrin, Great lesson. I just posted earlier about learning to be a great leader, then I read your next post and you teach the foundation to leadership. Keep it coming!

  16. Chad Waters said

    Great Blog and great sewrvant heart Orrin!

  17. Steve Meixner said

    Orrin, working here in a Factory, I needed to read this again! The weeds just keep coming Daily…. Thanks for the reminder and I’ll keep pulling!

  18. Steve Duba said

    Thanks Orrin.When we all start weeding, we will then have room to sow good seeds.When we begin to sow good seeds,Christ will
    confer the blessings in our lives. God Bless

  19. J & P Harteis said

    Thanks, Orrin, for this reminder! You’ve never promised “easy”, but you have promised “worth it” ~ and pulling our mental weeds is definitely worth it!

  20. Terri Swartout said

    Great post Orrin – I love the pulling the weeds out and having a good attitude no matter what your going thru. Great reminder thanks

  21. Thanks for the reminder Orrin! The information that the Policy Council provides is the best “cure” that I have found for this disease. I have been struggling with this problem for years. Now that I am plugged into good information I am finally seeing personal victories in this area!!!! Thank you for all you guys do to help us move to the next level. As an aside, I would love to see the converse of that picture…what it looks like to others when uplifting things come out of your mouth?!? Blessings!!!

  22. This is a critical lesson for any leader-especially me. I’m grateful for my mentors/weed-pulling assistants.

  23. J.J. said

    Awesome stuff

  24. Great article Orrin! So true. Pulling weeds and reframing while helping others in areas that we have had success is the starting point for building TIGHT relationships.

  25. Great article. Thank you Orrin Woodward.

  26. Awesome! Great reminder….If a person’s attitude is unpredictable he disqualifies himself for leadership! I love this about my husband! I can always rest assured that Marc Militello has a predictable attitude. I’ve learned so much from him on this very subject! Thanks for sharing Orrin!

    • Michael Hartmann said

      Truer words have not been spoken. Marc is an inspiration; his steadiness in the face of adversity and calm nature regardless of circumstance is an example I can learn from each day. Blessed to have you guys in our lives. 🙂

  27. Michael Hartmann said

    Thank O for the powerful & convicting article. I’m spending time daily reflecting on Romans 12 to help strengthen my resolve to improve in this area.

  28. Alaysha said

    I really like this. It really makes me realize how I much time I’ve wasted moping instead of learning.

  29. Christine Fleury said

    Wow. Incredible blog article!
    Just this morning I recognized some of my own major weeds, which totally explains the trend of things that have continually been tripping me up from growing as the person I know I’m meant to be. It’s amazing how much having a mentor has helped lovingly shed light on things I never would have even realized were the REAL issue behind the tension and frustration I felt. Thank God, because its similar to the weeds that I’ve seen in the lives of people who have exactly what I DON’T want…. It ultimatly led to broken marriages, loss of the successes they had gotten, basically their lives crumbling around them, and an obvious loss of hope/life possibly forever. So as much as it hurts, and is even scary to imagine getting rid of something that’s been so much a part of me, so rooted, probably since childhood (we dont usually accept weeds because we know theyre weeds and want them there…something in us probably thought it was right in some way)…Im thankful to be around people and resources that God has been using to help me see and pull these weeds. Thank you.

  30. Peggi Kern said

    Excellent reminder to tend to my garden and not allow the weeds to grow in the mind, plant themselves in my heart and NEVER poison anyone else by allowing them to come out of my mouth! Thanks so much! Very timely for me.

  31. “The heart has its reasons which reason knows nothing of… We know the truth not only by the reason, but by the heart.” – Blaise Pascal …

  32. John Graff said

    Thanks Orrin,
    My wife is sooo good at reframing any incident. Me, not so much. I know I need to work harder at pulling weeds immediately. It’s not that I want to abdicate leardership, but I am aware that when my attitude isn’t right, that’s precisely what I’m doing.

    • Kevin Hamm said

      Great article Orrin,

      And great transparency John,many times I am fighting with the trials that come my way rather than peacefully overcoming them. It feels effective in the moment, but is often filled with negativity and complaining, even growling at times. 🙂 I recall Warren Weirsby’s definition of meekness – Power under control. May God grant us that kind of meekness. That alone would pull a number of weeds for me.

  33. Esther Bontrager said

    This is a timely message for me. Recently I had a run-in with one of my co-workers that was quite unpleasant but the thing I need to do is to minimize it in my mind. After all, our plan is that I’ll leave my job soon anyway- all because of the Life business. FREEDOM!!!! Thank you, Orrin, for serving all of us with such a huge heart and vision and integrity. You and Laurie are blessing us tremendously.

  34. Renee Oettinger said

    And what a joy it is to converse with those whos heart is filled with with love and kindness. Thank you for leading.

  35. There has never been a community like the LIFE community. Your statement “community builders who have maintained a solid business for a decade or longer, are extremely rare because few leadership culture’s work on heart issues.” I know for certain if it wasn’t for the quality of leaders I am blessed to follow (Chatmon, Guzzardo, you) I probably would not have stuck around. Your hearts are like no one I have ever met and that example trickles down into our groups and into me. I truly love everyone in this community and working with the LIFE members has completely changed my heart. Thanks Orrin for this great post!

    • Bill Eder said

      Kristen: You’ve certainly shown how these principles work. In the short time I’ve known you and this team I am amazed at the heartfelt way you all share. One of the things that drew me to stay was the servant hearts we discover day by day. I was so impressed at my first seminar when it began with prayer. “By thier fruits you shall know them.” Amen?

  36. Maura Galliani said

    What you write is relevant, important, and honest. Those that want to improve, grow and serve will be fed. Those that do not will be weeded out naturally. You lead with a servant’s heart, hard work and by example; but more amazing is the much-needed truth you lovingly spread without the fear of ruffling feathers. “Then you will know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free.” John 8:32

    Fired up! –Sons of Liberty (South)

  37. Kschilly said

    What a wonderful reminder and opportunity to check myself! What I think about most is what will come out of my mouth…time to make sure I have the right attitude! Thanks Orrin!

  38. Betsy said

    Orrin it’s spring & I plan to plant a garden. I see the importance of weed pulling. It’s when the sun gets hot & we’ve lost the excitement of the new venture that we have to discipline ourselves to go pull those weeds again. It has to be done before we can see the fruit of our work. Thanks for this great reminder. I pray for super weed pulling ability in the heat of the sun. Betsy runnin rhinos

  39. Bill Eder said

    Thank you Orrin for your caring servant heart.

  40. Angie Ballah said

    Thank you for this post! The picture attached creates such a graphic reminder of the importance of leading my heart first!

  41. SOUPIE Shaw said

    Thank you for leading with your HEART!

  42. Juleen Ray said

    Awesome reminder to pull the weeds quickly.

  43. chris volkmann said

    Thanks for another great blog. So true. God bless.

  44. This post is phenominal!!!! Thanks to reading listening and associating I am learning to pull the weeds better as they POP up!!! I have never successfully been able to do this so quickly before Life.

    I remember about 2 weeks in to listening to cds I came home from church and was astonished to hear myself talking positively to myself. It was just one of the most astonishing breakthroughs I have ever experienced.
    Soon after that I began noticing the negativity of people around me and started to really see that their negativity really had nothing to do with me at all.
    This was another huge breakthrough for me as I have always been the scapegoat since a little girl!!!
    I am so grateful for Life and its Founders and their courage to stand in the face of adversity! Because of there courage my life is forever being changed! Thank you Orrin And Laurie too 🙂

  45. Elizabeth Sieracki said

    I am so thankful for the books, CDs and mentorship because those things have helped me become more aware of the weeds and the need to constantly be working on getting rid of them. I have an amazing husband that pulls them out so much quicker than I. We strive to get better!

  46. Revelation of hearts intentions cause explosive anger in victimizers. That’s why poses hate you.

  47. Don Schultz, Team VIP Phalanx said

    Great thoughts Orrin!

    The article brings challenge to take personal responsibiltiy; how to do the pulling of weeds, why it is important to pull the weeds (“people will either suffer or benefit because of who you are as a leader”) and to get help from a mentor in whatever the area of “weeds” are in.

  48. Rob Robson said

    What a great article Orrin! I love the analogy that compares our mind to a garden. It’s hard work to get the garden to produce and with just a little laziness, the weeds will take it all. I am so grateful for the environment provided to me by the LIFE education system!

  49. Real wisdom has a certain grab of consciousness and inherent balm that relays the tests of experiences!
    Lifeleadership continues to nurture genuine wholesome character in all whom have a taste for true empowerment and community upliftment!
    Thanks for the marvelous, Orrin Woodward!

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