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 Leadership Breaks Guinness World Record!

Posted by Orrin Woodward on June 25, 2014

And Justice For All

And Justice For All

When Ken Dunn (CEO of Next Century Publishing) informed me that Sammy Lee from Hong Kong had shattered the old Guinness World Records by signing 4,649 books during one book signing, I was impressed. For the previous mark was mid-2000’s and he nearly doubled that amount. Shortly afterwards, Chris Brady suggested that maybe we could break Lee’s world record with the release of my new book. I knew it would demand world-class levels in the process, people, and perseverance, but also knew LIFE Leadership was up for the task.

However, I didn’t just want to break the record, I wanted LIFE Leadership to smash it by topping 6,000 books signed. Of course, this wouldn’t be easy, especially when one considers that Mr. Lee took over 11 hours to sign 4,649 copies of his book. There is no way that I could sign 6,000 copies of my new book And Justice For All at that pace and still speak later in the day. Accordingly, if LIFE Leadership truly wanted to break the Guinness World Record, an interdependent leadership strategy was needed involving people, processes, and perseverance. In other words, not just working hard, but working smart was in order.

The people portion was the area I was least concerned about. With tens of thousands of active members and customers, I knew the people needed to break the record would be in attendance. However, it wasn’t just the number of people, but the quality of the people that made the difference. The LIFE Leadership Convention is filled with people trained on the best leadership information provided on a monthly basis. I believed the people would “buy into” the record-breaking strategy and discipline themselves to get their book signed quickly with few delays. Remember, time was of the essence because even at just 10 seconds per book, to sign 6,686 books would have required over 18 1/2 hours! No way could I have done that and still fulfilled my other responsibilities.

Official Guinness World Record Holder

Guinness World Record Holder

This forced LIFE Leadership to develop a process to hit the 6,000 plus book signing target and do so in under 10 hours. This had never been done before. Undeterred, Chris Brady, Rob Hallstrand, and Michelle Turner planned a process to do what until that day had been impossible. These three studied the constraints in the people and process to improve the book ordering process. From the queue to order the book, to the line to get the book signed, to how the books were placed in front of me, everything was simply world-class. To say that the process achieved its goal would be an understatement. In fact, the old record was broken in under 4 1/2 hours without even taking a break.

Finally, the small part I played in the record was perseverance to serve the people and follow the process. I made a vow at the start of the signing to not remove myself from my chair until after the record was broken. Given the length of time required to break the record previously, I knew my bladder would probably be the weak link. 🙂 Nonetheless, by believing in the people and the process, I sat down and did not move until I had signed over 5,000 books. Even though I was legally allowed 5 minutes every hour that I could break to eat, drink, or use the bathroom, I wanted to beat the record without the luxury of a break.

After my first break, we pressed forward and blasted past 6,000 books on our way to our final count of 6,786 total books signed. This was a team effort and I would like to personally thank everyone involved. First of all, the people who disciplined themselves to follow the process flawlessly. Second, the office personnel for developing a world-class system to break the record. And third, a special thanks to Marc Militello, Neal Ruffner, and John Croyle for making the process fun and orchestrating the process and people through the line at record breaking speed. The Guinness World Record could not have been broken without your efforts.

Last, but not least, I would like to thank Michael Empric, the adjudicator from Guinness World Records, for investing his day in certifying the proceedings. Michael was a treat to work with and said this about LIFE Leadership’s process and people, ““What people often forget is the scope of organizing and coordinating a record attempt this large. The number of people in line was almost like being at a theme park, except instead of Space Mountain, all of these people were waiting in line to buy a book and have it signed by Orrin.” Michael went above and beyond by personally presenting the Guinness World Record plaque on the LIFE Leadership stage in front of a packed out Columbus arena. That was the perfect culmination for the record breaking day as it was a team victory.

LIFE Leadership Crowd - June Convention

LIFE Leadership Crowd – June Convention

In closing, leadership is the art of building belief. When people believe on the inside, a previously impossible task becomes possible. In this case, the impossible became possible once leaders believed and then developed the people, processes, and perseverance to finish. All of this, of course, inspired by the power of the dream. LIFE Leadership’s Guinness World Record performance proves that it is among the best of the best in the leadership field today. I am a blessed man to be associated with such a fine group of leaders on our way to changing the lives of millions of people.


Orrin Woodward

Orrin & Laurie Woodward GWR Plaque

Orrin & Laurie Woodward GWR Plaque

Guinness World Record Plaque

Guinness World Record Plaque

Guinness World Record Award Ceremony

Michael Empric Presents GWR plaque to Orrin Woodward

41 Responses to “LIFE Leadership Breaks Guinness World Record!”

  1. Maura Galliani, Sons of Liberty said

    So glad to have been a part of the book signing and part of helping you break the record, Orrin. Looking forward to reading the book! 🙂

  2. Holger said

    Fantastic!!! So excited that you and LIFE LEADERSHIP made this happen!! Thank you for leading by example and always serving!!
    TTD!!! 🙂

  3. Chad Waters said

    Hi Orrin!

    Power of community and great leaders!
    Great job!
    God Bless!

  4. Ed Fancon said

    Was an awesome event! Glad to be part of it! Great book too!

  5. Michelle Turner said

    Watching Orrin sign 6,786 books was amazing. He did it in a machine-like fashion. One LIFE Member said to Orrin, “I bet you didn’t think you would be back on the assembly line!” It was just that systematic. Every area, and every individual involved, systematically helped Orrin break this record! I am so grateful to have been a part of this historical event.

  6. Amazing experience, one we will not soon forget

  7. Glen Ewald said

    Thanks Orrin, one of my favorite parts of the weekend was being able to serve the Team by helping people find a line to pay for the book, even though I missed most of the morning session.

    • Orrin Woodward said

      Glen, that is exactly what I am talking about. Servant-leaders who filled in a gap and sacrificed personally for the good of the LIFE organization. Thank YOU! 🙂

    • Michelle Turner said

      I agree, a special thank you to the countless volunteers who stepped up and made this record happen! The selfless service shown was completely remarkable.

  8. Orrin, you are so incredible! What made the accomplishment even more rewarding was how you made eye contact with every person whose book you signed – even when it would have been easy not to. You weren’t just focused on the goal, you were focused on the people which proves that you care more about others than you do about your own accomplishments. We love you Orrin and are so proud to be a part of this fun record breaking victory and to represent LIFE leadership.

  9. Dani Miller said

    It was a pleasure to take part in this record breaking achievement. Even though the signing itself was very quick, Orrin still took the time to say Hello and make each participant feel special. Thanks for another great example of a servant leader.

  10. Renee Bishop said

    Orrin, it really was touching to see so many people standing in line to support you and your phenomenal book! I’ve never seen so many people passionate to read and learn! I’ve just finished going through the CD pack for your book (I intend to listen to it over again) and I must say I was having conversations with you and Chris as I was listening to each CD agreeing with you guys. I loved it! I feel truly blessed and highly favored to be a part of a league of extraordinary people doing selfless acts of kindness. This information led me to reaffirm that my true calling isn’t in IT but it’s in fighting for social injustice (even if I use IT as a tool to solve social issues). I’m eternally grateful to have stumbled upon the Life Leadership community and I intend to continue to grow and stretch myself beyond my own understanding and to help people reach their full potential. Again thank you Orrin! See you at the top!

  11. Neal D. Ruffner said

    Awesome Orrin!! I was such a blast and an honor to be a part of that historic day with you. Congratulations once again!!

    As you famously and repetitively put it that entire day, “WHATEVER IT TAKES!!”. 🙂

  12. Hilary said

    It was awesome! Way to go Orrin!

  13. jeremy pethke said

    Guinness book of world records site has you listed as signing 6786 books! 🙂

    • Orrin Woodward said

      Yup, I believed I changed it already. Let me know if its still wrong in the article. I typed so fast, I mistyped the total. 🙂

  14. Gary Severson said

    This is just “par for the course”, Orrin…. Over the past few years, I’ve watched you over and over again make everything about the members/community before yourself. This new record and the efficiency in which it was achieved is a direct reflection of your leadership. Empowering others to COLLECTIVELY, do something great! Congrats and thank you!

  15. Nola Garvin said

    Orrin, you chuckled when I got my book signed after I made the comment “When are you going to run for President? ” I wondered if maybe I wasn’t the first to ask you that question. I know you would be the best man for the job! Please consider it!!!

  16. What a great opportunity to be a part of a historic event during my first Life Leadership Major Convention; even better, my wife and I are so blessed and thankful to be a part of such an amazing, inspiring and world-changing community of people headed in the right direction! Thank you Orrin and Chris and all the other mentors out there in Life, simply phenominal!

  17. Scott Staley said

    Thank you for allowing us to all play a part in the process – my copy is proudly displayed on my bookshelf. My reading copy will bear the brunt of my high lighting, and note taking in the margins! I loved your comment – We’re on the way to 1 million, and we have a World Record to prove it!

  18. BraveheartMicah said

    I totally underestimated the excitement of this venture!! I now know better! 🙂 But when Chris took the stage to count down the number of books you were signing to break the record, excitement and joy swelled up inside me and all of the other tool room volunteers and LIFE Leadership members at the check out stations….we all stopped in our tracks to celebrate, cheer and high five each other. It is so great to run with a pack of RASCALS willing, able and committed to making a difference!!! Thank you, Thank you, Thank you. I am so grateful for the system, model and example you’ve given us all.

    God Bless,

  19. James Deming said

    It was an amazing experience to be a small part of, I truly have to admire the smoothness of the whole experience. The people at the register were so friendly and efficient, gave very clear instructions and Mark Millatello at the line was a treat, I think his hand had to be sore from all the high fives( might check to see what that record is) Orrin was friendly and it went so smoothly I was incredibly impressed. Thank you Orrin and the leaders of life leadership for the opportunity to participate.

  20. Sharon Marlow said

    It was fun taking part in this world record setting event. With my husband and I, we have 2 signed books. So, do we keep them both, or give one away? And if we give one away, who will be the lucky recipient of that one? We knew this would be a well planned lesson in how “systems” work. Congratulations Orrin. Your record should stand for a very long time.

  21. James Deming said

    One more goal, since Orrin was up for the challenge of breaking a record with is book, I decide to do the same in setting a reading goal for myself. I finished “And Justice for All” before our last plane landed home. It wasn’t hard because of the content of the book was absolutely amazing and really grabbed my attention. Thank you Orrin for writing a great book.

    • Orrin Woodward said

      Thank you James. When an author writes and writes, he grows tired of his own content and then wonders if he should have written it at all. I know there are important principles in the book to help liberty and concord, but after reading it dozens of times, it becomes a monster as Winston Churchill once said about writing. 🙂

  22. maryellen robson said

    I believe this is just the tip of the iceberg for the milestones that Life Leadership is going to hit! So grateful to be a part of it with our family! If you can think it, you can do it! Thx for all you do and imagine!

  23. Libby Burckhalter said

    Great job Orrin! It was so exciting to see and be part of the record! I have heard you tell the story of the race you ran in the gym and it was awesome to witness this race first hand. I never doubted you would accomplish this. Thank you for being such a great leader and bringing us along too!

  24. Dawn Morrison said

    Congratulations Orrin.
    I am proud to have been a part of this accomplishment…..Extremely proud to be part of the Life Community….Thank You for your leadership…..

  25. James Kozak said

    Awesome Job Orrin. Congrats i wish i was there to see that and be apart of it. Life Leadership is the best

  26. Amy Antonucci said

    And, in fact, my favorite quote from the weekend comes from the book signing. One of the line security people said something like, “Here at Life we don’t stand in line; we run in line!”

  27. Renee Oettinger said

    Breaking the record is awesome and the number of people whose lives will be changed because of the book will be incredible. Thank you for serving.

  28. Adam Michael Rossman said

    So cool….GREAT job!!!

  29. What an inspiring weekend! Those first-time attendees will never forget the calibre of leaders serving to make Compensated Community the business and education platform to span generations!

  30. Elizabeth Sieracki said

    It was our pleasure to take part. What a fun day!!! We have our own pictures to prove it. Thanks Orrin for going above the bar once again.

  31. Elaine Mallios said

    You know I didn’t think we would get our book signed because we were working in the tool room. But suddenly it opened up and we did get to see you and get it signed. That is a great book. Thank you so much. We were excited to be part of the record breaking!

  32. george guzzardo said

    Orrin, I wonder what it was like the day you woke up and thought, “I think I’ll break the guinness book of records today?” It’s not a normal conversation around breakfast for most of us. Keep on doing what you do and don’t ever think it’s not making a difference!

  33. Michael & Priscilla Casas said

    Congratulations!!!!!!!! You guys are the best on setting goals and achieving them.

  34. Antonio Rosselli said

    Congratulations …

  35. new games said

    It was an amazing experience to be a small part of, I truly have to admire the smoothness of the whole experience.

  36. Congratulations on a huge victory. Glad I was able to witness this event in person!

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