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    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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American Politics: The Buck Stops Over There

Posted by Orrin Woodward on July 10, 2013

Here is an article that Oliver DeMille and I wrote on the American Political scene. In contrast to the political method of passing the buck, LIFE Leadership teaches people to accept personal responsibility. For leadership is only possible when a person accepts responsibility. With few exceptions, the Republicans and Democrats are too focused on party, promotion and popularity to lead anyone anymore. This must change. Indeed, when a person chooses to be part of the solution, and not part of the problem, he is on his way to leading change.


Orrin Woodward

The Buck Stops Over There 
by Orrin Woodward and Oliver DeMille

Harry Truman: The Buck Stops Here

Harry Truman: The Buck Stops Here

President Obama’s handling of the recent scandals reveals a lot about his leadership. One of the first principles of leadership is to take responsibility– something the President has proven loathe to do. Where Harry Truman is said to have put a small sign on his desk that read “The Buck Stops Here,” the current administration prefers to point fingers elsewhere.

Yet the number of scandals continues to increase. At first, Fast and Furious seemed to be an isolated scandal, a reminder that Washington bears watching and that free societies require the vigilance of the media and citizenry. As Fast and Furious heated up in the media and on Capitol Hill, the White House deflected questions to other agencies—as if these agencies don’t report directly to the Oval Office.

This became a pattern when the IRS and Benghazi scandals dominated the news for a week, with the President and his closest advisors firing a top official (who was slated to retire anyway and wasn’t asked to leave for a couple of weeks) and casting blame on others. The agencies were at fault, the White House assured us, not the President. In fact, according to this narrative, the President was the great solution to these scandals.

Then came more scandals, and this leadership pattern deepened. Deflect blame. Act like the President is the solution, not part of the problem. Promise to clean house. Talk tough. Don’t apologize. Don’t take responsibility. Blame terrorism. Send out aides to argue technicalities. Point fingers at executive agencies, never at the Executive.

This was the Obama Administration’s response to the AP scandal, the military sex scandal, the PRISM scandal, and the revelation that the government is collecting and storing people’s emails and phone records.

The military sex scandal is particularly illuminating. The crux of the problem lies in the military’s policy of allowing direct commanders to determine how to handle allegations of sexual assault. This is a clear conflict of interest, since the commanders central mission is to win in battle. Charging soldiers with crimes removes them from their duties and weakens the commanders’ fighting force. As a result, many commanders prefer to sweep things under rug wherever possible.

The Administration seems to fancy the same approach. If an agency under its leadership abuses power, the White House is prone to make excuses, redirect blame, and act as if this was an isolated act by a rogue official. But the President and his top team are responsible for setting the tone and culture of the agencies.

Even Chris Matthews has been critical of the President’s refusal to take responsibility for executive agencies, and the The New York Times Editorial Board wrote that the President has lost all credibility on how he’s handled these scandals.
Other presidential administrations have behaved in a similar way, from missing WMDs to political targeting of state attorneys general under the Bush Administration. The executive branch must be closely watched in any free society, and administrations that pursue a policy of redirecting blame to lower agencies.

Ironically, the concern is even higher for an administration whose overall policy approach has been to increase America’s trust in government and desire for more government programs. The Five Laws of Decline are at play, and one of them, the Law of Diminishing Returns, has made it so no one person can oversee government anymore. For every scandal that gets exposed, there are others brewing.

If the President is right and the Oval Office can no longer keep tabs on the executive branch, this is a national emergency. On the current scale, it’s practically Watergate every month. If we elect a president to oversee the government, yet he protests he can’t, something is deeply, structurally wrong. If nobody can seem to find “The Buck,” Leviathan is looming.

43 Responses to “American Politics: The Buck Stops Over There”

  1. Chad Waters said

    Hi Orrin,

    The buck must stop here, that is one thing Life coaching teaches well to go take responsibilty for our actions and even when not our fault to help solve a situation/ bad feeling even sooner! Thick skin and soft heart! If society could adopt this let alone our political leaders (and yes the Canadian Government is currently in the same situation) we would change our societies fast! So for now the 10% will need to lead by example and maybe the “leaders” (term used very loosely) can learn something from the status quo?!
    God Bless

  2. Diane Hussey said

    “Leviathan is looming.” WOW! That statement captures the essence of where we are as a nation and our world. Thank you for succinctly summarizing where we are as a nation. (Personal experience battling a Leviathan.)

  3. Leslie Gebhart said

    Dear Orrin,
    Your leadership, vision, and faith are all that stand between us and no bucks. (and no freedom)
    I sincerely thank you and the entire policy council for offering hope in such a time as this.
    God Bless.

  4. Sharon Marlow said

    If the President protests that he can’t oversee the government (as stated in your last paragraph)then he should be fired or resign. Why think you are worth being reelected if you can’t do the job you signed up to do? Great article Orrin & Oliver!

  5. What an accurate description of business in Washington DC on Pennsylvania ave.

  6. Larry Pahl said

    I guess the jest of “Im so broke I can’t even pay attention” would fit this scenario. So “the buck stops here” cannot apply because there’s no buck left. Thank for the article. FREEDOM MATTERS!!!

  7. Wendi Witkowski said

    It is great to be apart of a community that is doing something. I would not have the film removed from my eyes if not for the Life Leadership community.

  8. george guzzardo said

    Orrin, Here is an insert from my new blog ‘A Leaders Scoreboard”. I thought it fits perfectly: “When someone hates change they will distort the truth. Non – leaders point fingers, blame others, pass the buck, and excuse themselves. A leader refuses to run from issues. They will pick excellence over ego every time. They must escape mediocrity. Change is tough and requires strength and courage but the victory is worth the sacrifice. When you declare war on mediocrity you will change Sturgeon’s Law and will rise into the 10%.”

  9. Scott Russell said

    Great Article!! Its our turn to rise and shine while others rise and whine!!!!

  10. Judith Hodgson said

    It’s not very comforting to know our country is with out a leader! It’s scary that 90% of our country are like Ostriches with their heads stuck in the sand. They don’t understand they’ll wake up one day to find our nation, free no more… Actions speak louder than words, 90% are only talking. The only hope we have to take back our nation, is your vision of a million, God Bless you for such leadership..We will be the 10% to lead!!

  11. Clint Fix said

    Our administration’s scandal of the week program just reinforced my conviction that what we’re doing with LIFE is right and needed.

  12. Heidi said

    Everything is much easier to understand when we learn the principles that underlie the issues and the problems. We don’t need to run around wondering what’s wrong and feel helpless if we’re educated. Thank you for leading the charge to educate America, Orrin!

  13. Jason Dames said

    Wow Orrin.. I had no idea some of these things were happening. I pray that the Lord would raise up leaders in the Ten % and thankfully I have the ability to be a part of that through this wonderful company!! God bless you!!

  14. Dewain Forbis said

    While agree with the majority of your stated position and the overall conclusion, I don’t agree with your position on sexual assualts in the military! Having served in the Navy for 13 years I understand the perception, but don’t agree that the military justice system is the root cause! Or that ant President is the root cause.

    • Orrin Woodward said

      Dewain, Thanks you. What do you feel is the root cause? I believe its human nature and an unchecked FLD. In any organization, whether it be church, military, club, or government, and unchecked FLD will allow human nature to expand beyond the proper moral boundaries and abuse power through exploitation – be it sexual, monetary, oppression, etc. thanks, Orrin

      • Dewain Forbis said

        Thank you for taking the time to respond. I agree with the FLD statement. I believe the root cause is the lack of personal values being taught at home by parents. Our society has made a habit of letting others teach our children moral values (or lack thereof). I was raised to respect women in general. Are our youth being taught that?

  15. Maura Galliani, Sons of Liberty South said

    This is the stuff nightmares are made of … I pray it is not too late!

  16. Elizabeth said

    Discouraging topics when you lump it all together. I’m proud to be a part of a community that wants resolution. There are people that are hungry for it. Thank you Orrin for your knowledge and ability to break down the facts.

  17. Anthony Nieto said

    Wow! Now that is life changing information needed to be learned and shared in our culture. When you hear truth sometimes it is so logical. But like you say Orrin “common sense is not so common”.

  18. Kim Decker said

    This scares many but only the few are actually trying to don something about it. Most people would rather sit back and complain than do anything.

  19. Thank you Orin for commenting on the “tough” things in public.
    It is admirable to bring forth a discussion and also offer solutions at the same time. I would encourage any new reader of your blog to investigate some of the great works you have released such as Leadershift.
    Im greatfull to be associated with you.
    Michael Leahy

  20. Lana Harriman said

    I pray that we reach 1 million people soon. The Liberators in Florida are doing their part to share the LIFE business and change peoples lives so that one day we can have LIFE leaders in American society to regain our Freedom for future generations….

    JR & Lana Harriman

  21. Scott Staley said

    Actions do speak louder than words – I hope that more people start listening (watching) and acting on their observations.

    Thanks for the article – it’s very insightful.

  22. Rob Robson said

    I am so grateful that we have a Leadershift game plan! We the People, have to wake up!

  23. Thanks again Orrin, for yet another great article. I love the phrase “Leviathan is looming”. It truley is, which makes it all the more important for us each to get involved localy as described in your LEADERSHIFT book. It’s time to get free, help a whole lot of other people get free, and help them to help others acheive that same freedom so that as we rise up as leaders in our home towns we can influence our culture! We have precious little time left. The time is now!

    As a man of faith, sensitive to the works of the Holy Spirit, I can say with conviction that God is about to do something so big in the Pacific North West and around the country. Like a giant chess game, the Lord is moving the pieces into position and preparing for the check-mate move that will stun the world. I believe LIFE-Leadership will play a big role in what is to come in the near future!

    Thank-you Orrin!

  24. Yikes, this article is so true and so scary…but with the LIFE leadership community there is hope! Many leaders coming together to stop the buck. Looking forward to seeing you and Laurie in Wisconsin this weekend! Thank you for everything!!

  25. What a great article!

  26. Steve Meixner said

    I read your blog almost daily. This is the kind of stuff that disturbs me! The person holding the Highest office in our Country cannot stand up and take charge for the wrong doing under his administration. I am a Military Vet and I love my Country. I thought that the Commander in Chief was supposed to care just as deeply about his Country as I did? I don’t feel or see this to be TRUE! Keep the posts coming, I will keep reading and doing all I can do to help!
    Thank You, Steve

  27. Marsha Wiggins said

    Orrin-Thank You for this article. I appreciate your leadership, vision and sacrifice. There is hope for our country because there are many groups like Life Leadership that are fighting the battle for freedom. Sometimes in life it is difficult to know what to say. As with the good information we receive in “Life”, it would be best to get the good (truthful) information in life. How does one suggest that direction without seeming to have an agenda?

    To quote Dietrich Bonhoeffer, “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”

  28. David Nelson said

    The sixth law of decline People do what they want to do not what God wants them to do What does God want you to do He sent his son Jesus Christ into the world to make us all disciples He says the harvest is large and the workers are few Are we going to do what Jesus wants us to do or what we want to do You say Leviathan and is coming I say God is here already, in the Bible he takes away from people who are doing what they want to do, Until they come back and start worshiping him again. We do not have the power to fight evil one unless we have the Holy Spirit in us.
    Did you Give the glory to God or do you give everything to God.
    In the Bible , Paul gave him everything.
    Do you want God to turn everything to good? We need to prove to him we believe

  29. David Cadarette said

    Ditch riders!!! Let’s RIDE!!

    Thanks Orrin and Oliver!!

    David and Victoria

  30. robert wilcox said

    A masterpiece!! Thanks for taking the time and sharing with us!!!

  31. Steve Leurquin said

    Great article Orrin. As I am reading the comments I am encouraged by an increase number of people that are starting to educate themselves as to how this country was meant to be run. I am also encouraged by Dewain’s disagreement with parts of your post and your response to it. It shows that there is a group of people who can share ideas and then discuss them in a civilized manner, respecting differences of opinion.
    Thank you,

    • matt mielke said

      I had the same observation Steve. We need to bring back good discussions into the public forum again. Of course that would require civility which is not taught or caught in today’s society. M

    • Steve Sager said

      This is what our country and North America needs. Educated men and women applying thought, discussion and solutions to real world problems and issues. I too was encouraged by Dewain’s point since I have seen the same FLD in my 16 years of Law Enforcement as well… Can you picture actual public forum’s of discussion and conflict resolution??

  32. Rob Crichlow said

    This review of where we are is spot on. As others have mentioned, readers of this blog should read Leadershift, which is great stimulation of thought on this issue with government not leading from the front.

    Thanks Orrin!

  33. Larry Auman said

    Thanks for the great article Orrin. When you and Oliver put your heads together, you’re able to take things to the next level. I am proud that the buck will stop with our organization as we take responsibility and lead our nation from one living room at a time…

  34. Ken Hendon said

    Sad movies always make me cry.

    You hi-lite a truly sad state of affairs.

  35. David Nelson said

    Thanks for the great finance pack I love it and I’m doing it and it has changed my life and the CDs are fantastic to
    Imagine living in a country where the current government says that the founding fathers didn’t know what it was like to be in war
    That’s saying you don’t know what you don’t know and what you do know half of it isnt even so is so apropos
    Yes I encourage you and the leaders to keep doing what you’re doing because you are very appreciated
    Thank you for getting my brain out of the pain zone
    Sincerely David Nelson
    Learning to speak all over again With a voice to text phone

  36. Andrew Rockwell said

    Great article! Education is so vital to making a change!

  37. Renee Oettinger said

    Fantastic post. It is great to be lead in the direction of making important changes for our country. Orrin and Oliver are definitely a courageous example of leadership.

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