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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Freedom and Force: The Leadership Challenge

Posted by Orrin Woodward on May 8, 2016

If we look beneath the surface of leadership, we can discern one fundamental fact of influence, namely:  to whom much is given, much is required. This is a fact that should interest all true students of leadership. He has only a secondary or derived interest in matters like character, relationship, honor, loyalty, vision and similar items of influence that fill the pages of books, magazines, and speeches of leadership gurus. All of these can be run up under one head. They have an immediate and temporary importance, and for this reason they monopolize attention, but they all come to the same thing; which is, an increase in responsibilities the higher one climbs in leadership.

It is unfortunately none too well understood that in a free society leadership is freely given by followers, not physically coerced by the leader. All the alleged power of the leader, is in fact merely the display of confidence the community has in his ability to take them where they want to go. Therefore, any attempt to physically control the community, whatever else it may be called, should certainly not be labeled leadership. In effect, influence is something a leader earns through his character and competence whereas coercion is the non-leader’s substitute for the lack of the aforementioned qualities.

Moreover, it follows that as coercion increases, true leadership decreases. After all, if the alleged leader actually had the community’s buy-in, then why would force need to be applied at all? Unfortunately, communities across the globe have become so inured to the use of force by positional leadership that the difference between influence and intimidation has been blurred beyond recognition. Bureaucratic exercise of force has been applied so steadily, that most people are unaware of any other approach to achieving the communities goals.

Nonetheless, there is a better way. In fact, it’s the only way that deserves the noble title of leadership. While neglected and abused by its ersatz replacements, true leadership is the art and science of influence without coercion. In a word, servant leadership. Under the auspices of the industrial revolution, however, servant leadership was replaced with the command and control structures modeled upon national militaries. Indeed, Big Government, Big Banks, and Big Corporations (aka: Big Bureaucracies) have all defaulted to coercion, rather than service, as the ruling modus operandi. Students of politics, naturally, recognize this trend for what it is, namely a continuation of what James Madison called “the old trick of turning every contingency into a resource for accumulating force in the government”. Needless to say, the effect all of this has upon the balance between force (coercion) and freedom (service) upon leadership cannot be overstated.

Andrew Jackson

Andrew Jackson

For these reasons, among many others, Chris Brady and I wrote Launching a Leadership Revolution. The force tide must be checked before the freedom tide will return. This, however, will not occur until people free themselves from the addiction to debt, for debt is cancerous to freedom. Imagine how many people would happily exit Big  Bureaucracies command and control structures were they financial capable of doing so to pursue their purpose rather than a paycheck. Not surprisingly, the longer a person is addicted to pleasure and debt, the more difficult it is to break the paycheck dependency.   In other words, debt addiction not only leads to craven obedience to commands, but also atrophies the ability to think and act independently.

Accordingly, the Financial Fitness Program is an essential first step in returning to freedom and servant-based leadership. After all, only when a person is financially independent can he afford to act upon his own opinions rather than simply obeying his superiors mandates. The question boils down to how important is freedom to the reader? Strangely, some of the most vociferous supporters of societal freedom do not seem to recognize the cognitive dissonance inherent in selling themselves into debt slavery.

Thankfully, the LIFE Leadership community has identified debt as the biggest roadblock to freedom in the developed world. To put it bluntly, I simply do not believe our forefathers intended to sacrifice so much for freedom so we could be debt-slaves.  The thought is ludicrous! Unlike most of the talking pundits, however, we are not just going to bewail our current situation. Instead, we are going to do something about it, namely, declare our debt independence and write our personal Emancipation Proclamation.  Then, and only then, will true leadership rise again as free people make free choices to follow servant-based leaders.

And this has brought us back to where we began.  We must maintain the torch of liberty handed to us by the sacrifice of our ancestors, for to whom much is given, much is required. 


Orrin Woodward

20 Responses to “Freedom and Force: The Leadership Challenge”

  1. Gyorgy Veszpremi said

    Another great post Orrin. Thank you for sharing and thank you for your vision. Liberty forever!

  2. James Scott said

    Once again you define so succinctly our challenge and need to address the financial competence within our great country. This is truly our challenge of our times…

    Thank you Orrin…

  3. Lynn Burns said

    Thank you Orrin and to Life Leadership … With the help of the Financial Fitness Program we are no longer under the crushing stress of our finances. We are finally able to really see a practical way to get out of debt, and will be fully free of all debt sooner than we ever imagined possible. The extra bonus is that through the Life community, we have met and become friends and family with some of the most amazing, caring and loving people I could have ever hoped to know. Thank you to you and Laurie for all that you do and to the rest of the Life founders, PC and members to help make this world a better place for all. Sharing what we now know and continuing to grow, we can bring people out of the Matrix and bring Freedom back.

  4. Andrew LaFleur said

    FIRED UP!!! The FFP equals free will!
    Imagine the political climate in 6 months??!!
    I will be a part of my country’s growth and Orrin has fired me up to get out there, make a difference and serve! Thank you sir!
    (BTW-Happy Mother’s Day mommies!)

  5. rick amdahl said

    Gods principles. For whom much is given, LIFE leadership, the much required is to keep speaking truth in a time where truth is not valued, and keep helping others get out of bondage in all areas of their lives… Excellent blog…

  6. Eli Bowman said

    Very poignant!

  7. Lloyd weiler said

    I loved the read, great nuggets to think and ponder on!

  8. Matt Foote said

    Such a great article, Orrin!!

  9. Shaun Bushey said

    Great Seeds in a great read from a masterful lead, Thanks Orrin!

  10. Excellent article Orrin, thank you for your time and efforts in our behalf, speaking with Dr. Easton Kelsey he brings up a good point as well, what are to do about the other matrix problem’s stacked against us as we become aware and eliminate the financial matrix i.e. the educational matrix, political matrix ect?

  11. Spot On!
    Financial Freedom and Personal Freedom go hand in hand.

    Great article!

  12. Rick Tillmann said

    Hey Orrin,
    It is one thing to lay out the problems we face today, between freedom and force, but something all together different to actually provide a solution to the challenge. It becomes more and more clear, as I follow the steps laid out in LIFE Leadership, that this is truly the solution to that battle between freedom and slavery. It is also becoming clearer, with each passing day, with each CD listened too and, perhaps most importantly, with every opportunity of association with such thinking, that we just need to stay the course. It will take as long as it takes, whether it be a hundred hours, or ten thousand hours, but freedom is assured with LIFE Leadership…

  13. David Kangas said

    The utmost question in 95%ville is the further downfall of the political climate. It’s amazing how simply we can help heal our nation by individual financial freedom; the tides of dissension would quickly follow.

  14. Robin SCHILLING said

    Personal leadership in all areas is the foundation. Keep inspiring us, Orrin and one individual at a time, with God’s blessing, we can change the virtue and morality of a nation and world. “Statesmen, my dear Sir, may plan and speculate for Liberty, but it is Religion and Morality alone, which can establish the Principles upon which Freedom can securely stand. The only foundation of a free Constitution is pure Virtue, and if this cannot be inspired into our People in a greater Measure than they have it now, They may change their Rulers and the forms of Government, but they will not obtain a lasting Liberty. They will only exchange Tyrants and Tyrannies.” —John Adams, Letter to Zabdiel Adams, June 21, 1776, in Letters of Delegates to Congress: Volume 4, May 16, 1776–August 15, 1776

  15. Stephen Del Castillo said

    Both well said AND well done. Thank you for your leadership Orrin! Fired up!
    Steve & Barb

  16. CJ Calvert said

    Fantastic article Orrin! Thanks for sharing!

  17. Orrin,

    Thank you for being the embodiment of Character & Competence. You are certainly modeling before messaging. It is only because you follow the God who sent THE model of servant leadership, our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ who the very essence of Character (virtue) & Competence (wisdom).

    He IS the Light, the Truth & the Way to true liberation of the captives.

    For His Purpose…onward & upward

  18. Adam Arnold said


    What an amazing display of truth in a simple to understand format that was a great read!! What a message!!

    Adam Arnold

  19. Steven Hall said

    Thanks for sharing Orrin we need to get this information out to the masses to set our country free

  20. Dave Bailey said

    Fantastic article! Thanks!

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