Orrin Woodward on LIFE & Leadership

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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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LIFE Leadership: Wisdom For Families

Posted by Orrin Woodward on July 14, 2014

My good friend Michael Hartmann sent me the best message on how he applied some of the LIFE Leadership principles within his family.  This is another example of why I believe the true successes in LIFE Leadership are not just the people who reach LIFE Coach levels. Rather, the true successes in LIFE and life, are those who seek wisdom everyday to improve themselves personally and professionally. For when a person improves themselves, he/she makes life better for everyone around them.

In the early days, Chris Brady, Terri Brady, Laurie Woodward, and I, once we realized what an impact the leadership training was having within our small community, made a commitment to never stop learning and growing. Regardless of the size compensated community, we believed becoming a person of character was job one. Imagine the national transformations if everyone sought to gain wisdom like Mike and Tonya Hartmann have to become better leaders in all areas of life.

Do you have a story to share how LIFE Leadership products helped you respond with more wisdom than the scripts you learned? If you do please share them with me. Who knows, you might be the next story featured on my blog. This is Part 1 and I will post Part 2 later this week. What an inspiring story!


Orrin Woodward

The Mission

I have a hero in my life. His name is Kyle. He’s 14 years old stands 5’ 7” and weighs 115 pounds. Oh, by the way, he’s also my son.

Three weeks ago, Kyle was supposed to go on a mission’s trip to Copper Hills, Tennessee, through Keystone Community Church with the youth group and youth pastor. In a period of three months, Kyle raised over $300 in donations to cover his cost of his trip.

It was awesome to have Kyle find it in his heart to want to be part of a mission of higher purpose than I ever participated in when I was 14 years old. The opportunity to learn an incredible life lesson presented itself before the trip even began and is the inspiration for this blog. My profound respect for Kyle really comes from what happened the night before he left and how Kyle stood up to his greatest fear and how he learned a very valuable lesson that I’m sure he will carry rest of his life.

The Attack

I was out of town and leadership convention in Columbus, Ohio. My wife Tonya was with me but, due to an unforeseen circumstance, needed to leave early and was home Saturday night. I’m thankful that she was home because without her presence I don’t know how things might have turned out.

I called home at a break and talked with Kyle to see how he was doing. Tonya told me Kyle was really upset. He no longer felt excited about the trip. On the contrary, he was unsure of himself, trepid and anxious of the coming week.

I asked Kyle what was on his mind and out poured the unfiltered, emotion-filled dissonance:

“I’m quiet. I’m shy. No one talks to me. I have no friends. Please let me stay home. Please don’t make me go on this trip.”

Think back to time when you were 14 years old. That’s the onset of ninth-grade and, for all of us who survived those trying times of high school, you can probably empathize with how my son felt at this moment in time.

When feeling stressed, my natural reaction is one that was modeled to me from my father when I was an adolescent. Strict, straightforward, and blunt. There wasn’t much negotiation in the house in which I grew up. Maybe, some of the readers can relate to the“Because I said so” upbringing. This was my instant reaction:

“Kyle! You have been raising money for the last three months. We have been preparing for this very trip that entire time! The entire youth team and church leaders are expecting you to be there tomorrow morning. You need to suck it up, get a grip, and stop this doubt because you are going tomorrow. Make no mistake about it.”

Well, that went over as well as you can probably imagine. Kyle shouted back in the phone, “You don’t understand and you don’t care! I’m hanging up!”

And then he really did hang up.

The Turn Around

I immediately called back and Tonya answered the phone. My words were exactly this, “I think that went really well…”

To which Tonya replied, “What conversation are you a part of?”

I realized how insensitive and uncaring I was at that moment in time and asked to speak to Kyle again. While she was getting Kyle back on the phone, I meditated briefly and asked for wisdom & intercession, so that I would be able to share some of the leadership principles (that I have been studying for so many years) with my son to give him a different perspective and help him in his troubled time.

I started talking to Kyle and just offering perspective on what was truly happening here. I don’t know where you, the reader, may be spiritually, but here are some of our core family beliefs:

  • There is a God.
  • That very God created and calls each of us by name.
  • That we are meant for greatness.
  • That there are forces in this world that actively and constantly attack us and tear us down in order to stop us from achieving our true life mission and purpose.
  • Those very forces come out in full fury in the moments that we are about to accomplish some of our greatest achievements.

I shared the following conversation with Kyle to enlighten him on what was exactly was happening in his life:

“Kyle, you’re 14 years old and you are about to do something great. You are specifically going out to help a family in Copper Hills who, for whatever reasons, are living a life of poverty in this great nation. They need your help and it’s been on your heart for a long time to be part of this mission trip. What’s happening at this very instant is truly spiritual warfare. And you need to recognize it for exactly what it is: nothing more than a bunch of lies masquerading as doubt, fear, and worry.

“You see Kyle, you are about to accomplish something great. Something that you will look back on the rest of your life with pride and a sense of accomplishment, and the feeling and satisfaction of knowing that by your actions you made a difference in someone’s life.

“And what’s happening to you, right now, is you are under attack! These negative forces want to stop you dead in your tracks because they know that if you falter at this moment in time they will have secured a foothold from which to attack you and remind you of your ‘failure’ for the rest of your high school career and for the rest of your life. They want to prevent you from moving forward in a positive direction tomorrow and in the other opportunities you’re going to have in your future to make a difference.


“At this very moment in time, you are facing your personal Goliath. And he looks big, and scary, and mean, and he is launching his insults and doubts at you. Your Goliath is shouting his lies at you and he wants to stop you right now. And here’s the real problem:You are listening. You are listening to the voices in your head that are calling you out, that are labeling you as someone less than you really are; that are creating a distorted reality which appears intimidating and it’s creating fear. You’re listening to the voice inside your head and that voice isn’t you. That voice is tripping you up before you get your foot out the door to do something great.

“And I promise you this: You can beat him. You can go to battle you can face your Goliath. And you will win. I know because I had to do this many times in my life. And every person who walks the earth needs to do this on a regular basis if they plan on accomplishing greatness with the time they’ve been given.”

I paused to let what I was saying sink in. I asked Kyle if he wanted to learn how to turn this around. Through a quiet voice, Kyle told me he did.

“This is how you go to battle: You need to stop listening to yourself and start talking to yourself. Action conquers fear. This Goliath is accusing you of being shy, of being quiet, of having no friends. He looks as if he is a giant and he’s intimidating. But I promise you this:Goliath is nothing more than a sheet of paper standing there with nothing behind his picture.

“You need to stop listening to yourself & start talking to yourself.”

“Kyle, you need to confront your Goliath. You need to be a man walk up to him and knock him over. And you do that by talking to yourself. You need to start using your mouth and your voice to silence his lies.

“Remind yourself right now that, ‘I am outgoing. I am funny. I make people laugh. People like to have me around.’

“Remind yourself how much your family loves you and that your mom and dad wouldn’t knowingly send you in an area that we knew would harm you. As a matter fact, I know only good will come out of this!”

“Kyle, start repeating those things out loud. That you are a winner. That you are a champion. That you have what it takes to go to battle and win! Kyle, you are 14 years old, a young man. You’re not a boy. And you’re not an adult yet. But God has placed you in our care so that we can help you along this battlefield and help you cross it successfully.

“I promise you this Kyle, from the bottom of my heart: If you choose to go to battle, you will defeat this Goliath and for the rest of your life you will remember tonight as the night where you learned one of the most valuable life lessons that you possibly can learn: You can battle Goliath and, when you do, you will beat him. Once you learn that lesson, your entire up-and-coming high school existence is going to be so much easier because this is so powerful.

“You can battle Goliath and, when you do, you will beat him.”

31 Responses to “LIFE Leadership: Wisdom For Families”

  1. Doris said

    This is awesome. Working at a Bible Ranch for 4 Summers and seeing this happen in the Summer Staff of many young volunteers – hearing their stories of how in their social life at home they feel put down, but by facing Goliath and traveling long distances away from family, they have found that God can use them to fulfill His Purpose and conquer their fears, doubts and insecurities. The difference I see in them (and in me, 7 decades old) by leaving the comfort zone attests to the truths I have been, and am being taught through LIFE Leadership. Kyle and his parents are true difference makers.

  2. maryellen robson said

    THx! Ditto to everything! This would be a great EDGE cd!

  3. Mary Mazur said

    I am personally mentored by Mike Hartmann and am very close with his family. He lives this practice of talking truth versus listening to lies within our minds. He is an amazing example of slaying goliaths regularly, and such a blessing in all our lives ( as well as Tonya). How sweet that he shared the breaking of a family cycle of hardness to one of true servant leadership right with who’s dearest to his heart- his family. His humility to share how he reframed his initial reaction to one of compassionate response from the heart IS the heart of applying LIFE Leadership principles & community support in our lives! Thank you for sharing this with all of us! So proud of the Hartmann family!

  4. June Ewald said

    Thanks for sharing this Orrin. I love the transparency of the leaders in the LIFE community. You just never know how your own life experience will help someone else with their Goliath battle. I can totally relate to the overwhelming fear of stepping out of my comfort zone – daily. Mike & Tonya are great leaders in Michigan We are just totally blessed to be around them. Thanks again! June – Revolution Rising!!!

  5. What a great article, I believe that at any age we can be faced with this same Goliath. Thank you for sharing this Orrin!

  6. Braveheart Micah said

    Man! Orrin! Thanks for taking the time to bless us all with this incredible testimony! We’re hearing more and more stories like this, as men and women from every walk of life listen to audios, read books and associate with others who truly care to make a difference. This counts – we’re in the battle – and the first stone must be cast against Goliath, that voice, a slobbery toothless bulldog – telling us we can’t, we won’t, we shouldn’t, it’s not going to work, you’re wrong…etc… But through wisdom and the Word of God, we know better. We know it’s a lie and we know that God is for us!!!

    2 Timothy 1:7 New King James Version (NKJV)

    7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

    Congratulations to LIFE LEADERSHIP for its continued efforts to create leaders who have the Confidence to become Champions and bless others in their victories.
    Amazing FIRED UP Stuff!!

    – Micah

  7. Anna Walsh said

    This is such a powerful story because it is based on true principles. Mike’s sharing this has helped me too. Fear has such an incidious way of blinding us to the truth. Thank you for posting this.

  8. Sharon Ross said

    Thank you for sharing this, Orrin. It ties right in to some of the seminar talk in Lansing this past Saturday on fear. This young man, through this conversation with his father, will never, ever allow a Goliath in his life to overtake him again!!! The changes he will make in his life and our world because of this will most assuredly have a ripple effect.

    This would indeed make a wonderful EDGE CD. I am forwarding this awesome “Goliath-killing” talk to a number of people, and rereading it myself. We can all use a little extra help in this area of overcoming fear.

  9. Greg and Wendy said

    Absolutely amazing what challenges come our way. Even more important sometime is whats going on within our own families. I love the fact that this father recognized the battle going on in his sons life. He was able to turn around his own thinking. Helping his Son be Courageous and take on his Goliath with Wisdom and Strength. Amen

  10. Le'Troy Andrews said

    Wow Orrin! Thanks I’m passing this link along to my team, family & friends! Thank You Jesus for life & LIFE Leadership!

  11. M. Fitzgerald said

    WOW! Michael, this is very insightful and straight from the heart. I hope you don’t mind, but I would like to share it with others.

  12. CJ Calvert said

    Mike, fantastic leadership and encouragement to your son. What a great example for every father! Thanks for sharing this.

  13. Teesa Rossman said

    What a great story. Thanks for sharing! We tell our kids daily that God has a special plan for their lives. We are children of the King and need to recognize that we will be opposed, but we have the tools to overcome!

    • Adam M Rossman said

      Teesa is such a great example of what it looks like to be a great wife and a great mother. I’m so proud that she is my wife!!

      She is willing to make the sacrafices that are required to achieve greatness and she has the courage to do what is right even if it looks or feels challenging!

  14. Jim Wilson said

    Thank you, Orrin,
    For this post. I will be 73 towards the end of this month. I have had to battle the “shy” Goliath all my life. I learned to be outgoing from one of my youth leaders in high school. However, I still freeze up at times. Thank the Lord for mentors. When I was in college, I worked part time in sales. I would drive thirty miles to the area I was going to knock doors, drive around and around as much as an hour, never open the car door and drive home. I remember the exact spot after a meeting when one of my mentors, Wayne Butler, took me aside and asked what the problem was. He gave me a very simple solution. He said, “Jim. Get out of the car and knock on twenty doors and don’t worry about the outcome.” You know what! I could never knock twenty doors because my calendar would be full before I got there! You know, I stalled out on seeing people today for the corporate program today. Thank you, Wayne, again. I’ll be out knocking those twenty tomorrow.
    Thank you, Orrin. I am looking forward to the follow up post.
    Jim Wilson

  15. Kaylee Heninger said

    Wow! I love this post!! Honestly, this father’s message to his son is one of the most inspiring things I have read in a while. “The real problem is you’re listening”- yes!!!! I think we all know this somewhere inside, but sometimes we need a gentle kick in the pants to remember it. Thank you for sharing this!! I’m off to beat Goliath!!!

  16. Robert Rosastik said

    What a great blog, thanks Orrin. Just like the talk from Life leadership’s Edge series “self talk” it teaches youth & people of all ages the importance of talking the ourselves positively instead of listening to the negative voices which produces fear, worry and doubt.
    We all need to slay our personal Goliath’s, start Today!!

  17. Ali Staneart said

    Thank you for sharing that Orrin!!! What a fantastic story and testimony of how having the right information can help you help others put things in the right perspective. A beautiful example of how parenting in the LIFE system is vastly different than the societal norm.

  18. AMEN! Great story and example of beating Goliath! These stories represent what LIFE Leadership is really all about…impacting lives.

  19. Tammy B. said

    Hello Orrin,
    Thank you for sharing this wonderful testimony by Mike. Mike & his wife Tonya are shining examples of the leadership principles that the LIFE leadership talks about, and teach. This is one of the primary reasons My husband Don and I are a part of LIFE leadership!
    Tammy Broderick

  20. Don Schultz, Team VIP Phalanx said

    Ohh, that’s a good article. As it is said, “the purpose of learning is not gathering knowledge, but the changing of lives.”

    Orrin thank you for your commitment that you, Laurie, Chris and Terri made to develop who you are: “we realized what an impact the leadership training was having within our small community, made a commitment to never stop learning and growing. Regardless of the size compensated community, we believed becoming a person of character was job one.”

    The impact of great information in our lives helps us to live well and be the leaders God has intended for us to be.

  21. Elizabeth Sieracki said

    What a powerful story!! My eyes were brimming with tears at the end.
    Mike thanks for being open to share. You and Tonya have set such a great example for Kyle. It will be neat to see what your young man grows up to be and who he will continue to influence.
    We have such stinkin’ awesome information here!!
    What a neat example of the ripple effect our younger generation can have for the better.

  22. Steve Meixner said

    Awesome,can’t wait to read Part 2.

  23. Lindsey Padlo said

    Make this story an Edge Cd! It’s perfect for all adolescents…and even adults!

  24. Richard Kroll Jr. said

    When I told Mike and Tonya how much I appreciated them sharing this story about Kyle, they simply responded we’re just living what we are learning from the LIFE Leadership materials. This kind of straight forward humility and honesty is the kind of LEADERSHIP our world so desperately needs! BRAVO Kyle for facing and slaying a “Goliath” in your life! THANK YOU Mike and Tonya for sharing a part of your story with all of us in such a honest and transparent manner!! PRICELESS are the principles and teachings being offered by LIFE Leadership!!!

  25. Adam M Rossman said

    We LOVE that Life Leadership gives us the opportunity to follow the footsteps of those who are farther along the path we are trying to travel!! This is not just a great story; its a great example for all of us that also have children. I don’t know how I would have handled a call like that from my son, but now -because of this story- I have a better idea of how to respond in the future.

  26. Titi Woki said

    This is a powerful testimony! Thank you Mike & Tonya! Thank you Orrin for sharing with all of us! So inspiring! I love what Life Leadership is doing in this world! Kyle is going to grow up to be unstoppable in all he does! He shall prosper indeed!

  27. Maura Galliani, Sons of Liberty said

    Wow, what a powerful testimony of so many things, not the least of which is the power of God, the power of the LIFE Leadership material and its affect on lives, and the power of a parent who’s “plugged in.” I became emotional over this story for many reasons, but especially because it was a fresh reminder of how often I am still regularly attacked by the “evil one’s” lies. I REALLY needed to hear and appreciated Michael’s passionate words to his son Kyle! Thank you, Michael. Thank you, LIFE Leadership. 🙂

  28. Renee Oettinger said

    Wow!. These victories truly lay the foundation for a life of courage

  29. robert wilcox said

    True testament to Life Leadership!! Foundations!! Great story thank you soo much. Kyle’s life will be totally different in a positive way …because YOU had the courage to plug in!!!

  30. Elaine Mallios said

    very good and powerful. Thank you!

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