Orrin Woodward Leadership

Inc Magazine Top 20 Leader shares his financial & leadership secrets.

  • Orrin Woodward

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    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 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 Leadership. 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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Self-Betrayal: Sabotaging Success

Posted by Orrin Woodward on August 6, 2016

The fatal flaw to success, a flaw so personal and painful that most people avoid its truth at all costs, an avoidance that derails more dreams than all other obstacles combined, is self-betrayal. Of all the challenges facing leaders today, perhaps none has more impact on the community’s success than personal character. After all, leadership is character in motion and how can someone have character if he betrays himself?

Self-Betrayal to Self-Deception

Self-Betrayal to Self-Deception

Self-betrayal begins the moment a person does not follow through on his personal commitments. This type of betrayal is so difficult to detect because its so subtle. For instance, maybe the reader set a goal to get up early and study or exercise before work, but when the alarm went off, you quickly shut it off and rationalized you needed sleep more than following through on your commitment to yourself. Of course, this “little” lie fuels further compromises and before long lying to oneself has become a habit. In fact, any time you make a commitment to yourself, and do not follow through, you have taught yourself that lying is acceptable. This is where most people fail – personal character to one’s self. I know. I know. No one likes to be called a liar, but how many times have you committed to do something and didn’t follow through? I’m not talking about commitments to others, but rather personal commitments.

I still remember the day, reading underneath a huge maple tree at lunch, when Stephen Covey kicked me below the belt. He said, “Many times success begins with mind over mattress!” Ugh! That one hurt, because I had made hundreds of excuses for why I just couldn’t be more disciplined in Bible studies, believing I had too much work to do. Covey’s statement changed my perspective, helping me realize that my self-betrayal had already progressed into self-deception – where I convinced myself that lying was ok if it was only to myself. In reality, however, if one cannot tell the truth to himself, he stands no chance of telling the truth to others. Internal character, in a word, always precedes external character.

At the risk of saying too much, for today’s age doesn’t like self-analysis much, probably because these matters hit too close to home for most people and if thought upon for long, they would have to address some of the personal issues. Nevertheless, I believe self-deception is the biggest killer of dreams in the world! People deceive themselves to avoid changing, but the price for this avoidance is their own success. The self-betrayal blooms into self-denial and then people become offended if others dare to question their impeccable character. 🙂 Most people react defensively, thinking, “How dare anyone question my character when I have spent years rationalizing it to myself?”

In all seriousness, I have never given a talk, nor written an article, without the guns first being directed at myself. I, along with every other human being, cannot live our ideals 100% of the time. I am in need of the grace of Jesus Christ just as much, if not more, than you are. Still, why get offended at truth? How is this going to help you change? Indeed, when a person gets offended at unpalatable facts, its a sure sign that self-betrayal is leading to self-deception. Truth has been sacrificed on the altar of personal ego.

If the reader will grant me just a little more time, I would like to suggest a remedy for self-betrayal. The Bible states, “those who are faithful in the little things will be faithful in the bigger things.” Did you catch that? Character begins by being faithful in the little things that if avoided, no one would know but you. Many believe this is ok, since you didn’t let anyone else down, but this is a lie from the depths of hell. For a person that would have no qualms about lying to himself, a self he typically loves more than any other human being in existence, will not be a truth-teller to others. Internal lies lead to external ones. If anything, compromises in personal character lead to greater compromises in one’s relationships with others.

Consequently, true character begins with character to self. Once the war for personal character is accomplished, the authentic individual is now ready to treat others with the same level of character. Not surprisingly, in today’s self-betrayal and self-deception age, it’s pretty much a given that leaders with character will suffer attacks from those who have self-betrayed themselves. Since leaders with character grow big communities, simply by the law of averages, they will have people who perpetually lie to themselves join their community. Naturally, albeit ironically, the people who have cheated and lied to themselves the most are the ones who shout the loudest that others have lied and cheated them. Playing the victim, evidently, is their key strategy to not have to address the lies keeping them from success.

The simple, but painful, truth is no matter how much a leader wants to help others, he truly can’t help until they are ready to help themselves. Self-liars must confront reality and admit it’s their own lies keeping them in bondage. For when people resist truth they are also fighting the change that would set them free. Nonetheless, when people have spent a lifetime betraying themselves, giving up for the umpteenth time in life, their self-deception quickly identifies the reason for the failure and they play the victim card once again. Self-deception has so entrapped them in a web of lies that the truth can no longer set them free. Thus, they are sentenced to a life of victimhood unless God’s graces pierces the veil and wakes them up to this eternal truth, namely, as Shakespeare said, “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings.”

Heraclitus once said, “Character is fate” and I concur. Character is an inside job and only those who develop character will ever see longterm success. Start today! What is a personal commitment one can make to yourself, you family, your community? Make the commitment and keep it! Quit betraying yourself and your dreams! Quit playing the blame game! Get out there and achieve to serve the greater community! This is your mind over mattress, or to add others, life over lies, and purpose over pokemon moment! 🙂

Remember, success is three things. 1) What does one want? 2) What does it cost? 3) Pay it! Only when a person accepts responsibility for his life will he determine what he want, determine its cost, and then pay it! What area of your life are you ready to stop self-betrayal and let the truth set you free? 

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward: LIFE Chairman of the Board

Posted in Freedom/Liberty, Leadership/Personal Development | 45 Comments »

Leadership Culture and Cognitive Dissonance

Posted by Orrin Woodward on July 13, 2016

There is nothing more important, its proper implementation determining the destiny of nations, companies, charities, and families, than the creation of culture. Culture, a system of beliefs, values, and customs a community follows, cannot be seen, but it influences every behavior within the community.  Interestingly, despite nearly every leader expressing the need for right culture to produce right results,  few seem to build culture with specific intent. This, I believe, is one of the biggest leadership mistakes.

In other words, every community must get intentional about culture or suffer the grave consequences. Just over a year ago, in a conversation with Chris Brady, he boiled down influence within a company to the three R’s – require, recognize, or reward it. Although we weren’t specifically talking culture at the time, it didn’t take me long for me to realize Brady had just summed up the different methods one can create culture within a community. Ever since, I have thought deeply on how to create a culture that requires, recognizes, and rewards the right behaviors.

Cognitive Dissonance

Cognitive Dissonance

Needless to say, this is much more difficult to do than it sounds, for most companies suffer from cognitive dissonance – a malady where the organization promotes one thing while rewarding another. Cognitive dissonance is perhaps the biggest failure-mode for most communities because it involves a misalignment between the culture and the longterm vision. This misalignment creates cultural inertia that, left to itself, will divide the community and blur the vision. Dissonance, in a word, destroys unity.

Accordingly, great leaders must identify the purpose and vision of the community; then develop the culture of requiring, recognizing, and rewarding to ensure the proper behaviors are performed to accomplish the vision. Moreover, if the leader realizes the 3 R’s currently instituted will not achieve the stated purpose and vision, he must have the courage to make the needed adjustments. In fact, this is what makes the leader the leader, namely, the courage to create the culture in order to achieve the community’s purpose. Any leader not willing to do this, is not truly a leader, for he merely follows the current culture rather than building the proper culture. 

In essence, leaders are responsible for eliminating cognitive dissonance out of the culture to ensure the actions of the organization move it towards its purpose and vision. After all, nothing validates the leader’s value so much as his/her ability to move the cultural current in the proper direction. It doesn’t matter if it’s easy; it doesn’t matter if it’s convenient; it doesn’t even matter if it’s popular, but what does matters is whether the community can accomplish its reason for existing with the current culture. Thus, if there is cognitive dissonance, the culture must change.

When an organization is suffering in the throes of cognitive dissonance, the leader’s responsibility is to charge to the front lines and resist the improper cultural current, converting the dissonance into resonance by aligning the 3 Rs to the purpose and vision. Indeed, when the cultural current is flowing smoothly, the requirements, recognition, and rewards align the people win personally and professionally when the company wins purposefully. Proper leadership, therefore, creates the culture and the culture creates the results.

What is the purpose for your company? What is the culture of your company? Do the culture’s results aligned with the purpose of the company? If so, then the community will win. If not, then the leader must get to the front and lead, for as Harry Truman once said about leadership, “the buck stops here”.

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward

Posted in Leadership/Personal Development, LIFE Leadership, Orrin Woodward | 35 Comments »

A Tribute to Denny Smith

Posted by Orrin Woodward on June 27, 2016

Today, Laurie and I headed up to Pennsylvania to see some of our best friends and to celebrate Denny Smith’s life. I first met Denny speaking at a conference back in 2006, his hunger to learn was evident from our first conversation, a conversation that would turn into a lifelong friendship. 

Rhino Leaders

Denny, Greg, Orrin, & Tony

Denny soon became a trusted confidante, one who could be relied upon to do the right thing because it was the right thing. He modeled the character, tasks, and relationships necessary for great leadership, leadership strengthened by mentoring with Greg Johnson. In many ways, the relationship these two formed reminded me of the partnership I have enjoyed with Chris Brady, built upon respect, trust, and loyalty.

Greg and Denny joined forces when neither one of them had a nickel to their name. Nonetheless, through the power of dreams, work-ethic, and persistence, these two forged an amazing lifestyle for their families. Denny, the muscular Marine, and Greg, the intellectual Ivy Leaguer, may have started in different fields, but they quickly united around the principles of the American Dream, a dream focused on life, liberty, and the pursuit of their goals and dreams.

These two men accomplished so much and their example has inspired thousands of others to do similarly. Needless to say, I am one of those countless others and one of my greatest joys was spending time with these two men, hearing their crazy stories of how they persisted, despite the pain of the process, to achieve their dreams. Between globetrotting around the world, living in beautiful mansions, and enjoying the time/money to spend with friends and family, these two experienced life like few others. 

Dreams, however, this side of heaven, do not last forever. For every person, whether rich or poor, is appointed to die. Death, in a word, is the great equalizer. Perhaps, no single event turns a person’s perspective from this life to the next faster than the loss of a loved one. Denny’s cancer and death caught all of us by surprise. To say we are going to miss him is a huge understatement. Thankfully, Denny was a Christian who knew his Lord and Savior and even though he enjoyed this life, he also prepared for the next one. I will miss Denny greatly, but I rest in the fact that I will meet him again. This is why I am going up to Pennsylvania, not to mourn, but rather to celebrate Denny’s life.

Denny seemed the picture of health, not only was he the poster-child of positivity, but he also regularly exercised and lived a moral life. Last year, however, he simply could not shake off a bad cough. I remember the day Denny and Donna picked me up in Philadelphia because we had scheduled a morning tour through Independence Hall. Denny and I both loved liberty and history so we did what we always did when we hung out – we laughed and learned. In reality, this was true anytime Laurie and I spent time with Denny and Donna, for both of these two loved to learn and laugh. This is what made them so special to so many.

Denny and Donna Smith

Denny and Donna Smith

Still, something was amiss, I couldn’t help but notice that Denny’s laugh ended in coughing fits. Finally, after practically prying it out of him – Denny never like to talk negatively about anything, especially himself – he admitted he was having difficulty shaking this “cold”. Donna said she had been on him to go to the doctor for over a month, but Denny, the tough Marine, believed he would beat it on his own. I took Donna’s side and asked Denny to get this checked out immediately. Denny agreed and we resumed enjoying the rest of the day.

Several weeks later, I received a call from Denny. He said the doctor had run test confirmed his cough was from an aggressive form of lung cancer and the odds did not look good. Denny’s attitude through all of this was amazing. He spent most of the phone call encouraging me! This is the type of man Denny was. He received bad news and yet he called to encourage me? Who does this? I asked Denny how he was doing and he said he was going to fight with everything he had. I told him if anyone could beat this, it would be Denny Smith, the tough as nails Marine. We prayed together and asked God to intervene for His Glory, no matter what the outcome. Denny then began the fight for his life, knowing, through his faith in Jesus Christ, he would win either way.

I have many great people in our leadership community, but what Denny accomplished the last 6 months of his life is amazing. Despite investing time to catch up with friends and family, undergoing exhausting chemo-therapy session, and endless hours researching lung cancer, Denny grew his community. Incredibly, while fighting for his life, he went CAB Coordinator, qualified for Operation Advance, and the prestigious Fun-in-the-Sun trip. In fact, the day before he passed away, he was in our hotel suite with 25 other guys. I asked Greg Johnson to give Denny a proper introduction because many of the younger leaders did not know his story. Greg’s introduction made many of them tear up as they realized what Denny had overcome to be there. Not surprisingly, Denny, although short of breath, proceeded to build the dream like few people can. He encouraged everyone to dream bigger and chase down the dream within the time each of us is allotted. 

In my mind, this moment perfectly encapsulated Denny Smith, the quintessential dreamer and doer, who refused to give up. He didn’t wait for life to happen but rather went out and made it happen. One may wonder why a man, so close to death, would share about the power of the dream, but I knew what Denny was doing and I couldn’t help but notice the juxtaposition.  While most people breathe without difficulty, they struggle to dream; Denny, in contrast, struggled to breathe, but dreamed without difficulty. Denny never stopped dreaming. This is his enduring legacy – Denny dreamed while others slept, worked while others recreated, and accomplished while others excused.

Later that day, he was admitted to the Cape Coral hospital and the following day Denny went home to be with the Lord. I know I speak for the tens of thousands of people Denny touched when I say – thank you, Denny, for teaching us how press toward the mark and leave it all on the field even to the last second. And I do mean the last second, for as the doctors hooked Denny’s body up to a breathing ventilator, his lungs shutting down from his lost war against cancer, Denny looked at his friends and family one more time and gave them a thumbs up. What a man and leader. Only a person who was sure of his destiny would, even at this crucial juncture, still maintain his love for others over himself.

This is why I love Denny Smith and this is why Laurie and I are traveling up to Pennsylvania to celebrate his life. If you knew or heard Denny Smith share the dream, I would love to hear how he touched your heart.

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward

Posted in Faith, Family, Freedom/Liberty, LIFE Leadership | 37 Comments »

The Lost Art of Action

Posted by Orrin Woodward on June 20, 2016

One of my all-time favorite quotes, a quote I first heard from a professor at GMI-EMI (now Kettering University), a thunderbolt of wisdom that changed my perspective, is, “When all is said and done, much more is said than is ever done.” Perhaps, the reason it struck me so profoundly, back in the day, was the financial strain I was under. Having moved out of my parent’s house on my 19th birthday and completely oblivious to living expenses, I was so broke that I could not even afford to pay attention. 🙂 Seriously, I lived on one hot dog and one potato per night, kept the heat at 50 degrees Fahrenheit in the middle of the winter, and still didn’t have enough money for bills and school. Tuition alone costs more than I made as a Co-Op student at AC Spark Plug, forcing me to borrow $17,500 just to continue my education.

Picture of Farah's Market One Block From Apartment

Picture of Farah’s Market One Block From Apartment on Third Avenue – Flint, Michigan

Although hopelessly naive and inexperienced in the ways of the world, I vowed to make it without having to run to mommy and daddy for help. Of course, this wasn’t easy, but nothing worthwhile ever is. I lived in a dangerous neighborhood in the most wretched of conditions, renting the bottom half of a varmint-infested house, a house condemned less than a year after I moved out. Nonetheless, I was not depressed or even fearful, for I had a dream, a plan, and the motivation to escape my poverty and live my dreams. I quickly realized the key to making the dream come true was massive action! Without this, I would be out of college, out of a job, and practically out of options. Needless to say, my back was against the proverbial wall; however, I believed that if I walked my talk by implementing the game plan, busting my butt at work, and graduating as an engineer, my life would improve. 

Reflecting back, I believe the lack of options was a blessing because it narrowed my focus and helped me apply massive action on the one plan I had in front of me.  I simply didn’t have the time or money to even entertain other options? This is how I was blessed with FOCUS! 🙂 To me, the process boiled down to three things: 1) What do you want? 2) What does it cost? and 3) Pay it. Strangely, however, while the first two question are talked about incessantly, the third step, the action one, is rarely applied. What gives? Why, in other words, would perfectly capable people, who know what they want and know what it’s going to take to achieve it, refuse to do the actions necessary to accomplish it? I believe this is one of the biggest leadership paradoxes facing people moving from the performer lens (I can do this) to the leadership lens (we can do this).

After all, true leaders are not people who coax people into doing something they DON’T want to accomplish, for that would be manipulation. Rather, leadership is about inspiring people perform the actions necessary to accomplish what they DO want. Over the next decade, in the process of building leadership communities, I realized just how rare the person who does what he says actually is. For instance, if I had a dollar for everyone who said they were going to become a top leader, I would be a millionaire all over again. It reminds me of my friend Chris Brady, whose dad told him repeatedly, “Talk is cheap, but it takes money to buy whiskey.” Likewise, talk is cheap, but it takes action to buy one’s dreams.”

The reason I am sharing this is to emphasize to my readers the importance of ACTION! Quit waiting for conditions to be right, for they rarely are; quit waiting for others to lead, for they rarely do; finally, quit waiting for inspiration and focus on perspiration! So many, in other words, wait to feel right before acting right. I have learned, over the years, that a person must start acting right, then he will feel right about it. If you have a dream, then act on it, regardless of feelings. Shamefully, most people wait their whole life and accomplish little of substance. This reminds me of the old Chinese proverb which stated, “Man who stands on side of mountain waiting for roasted duck to fly into his mouth waits a long time.” 🙂

Although many seem to think there are hundreds of ways to become a Financial Sovereign (ethically, morally, and honorably), this simply isn’t the case. Most careers pay just enough to keep someone comfortably (or uncomfortably) stuck in the Financial Matrix. Bottom line is: If you have a vehicle to win, then develop a plan, determine its price, and pay it by applying massive action! Everyone wants to live his dreams, but only those who plan and work ever truly will. My accounting professor at GMI-EMI gave me a priceless nugget and now I am passing it onto you, “When all is said and done, much more is said than is ever done.”

The world is filled with talkers, but everything Laurie and I have accomplished as leaders is based upon dreaming a big dream, creating a culture that separates the talkers from the walkers, and learning to love the talkers while leading the walkers. Indeed, the art and science of leadership is nothing more or less than modeling the right behaviors, messaging the right behaviors, and then mentoring those who ACT on the right behaviors. This is the culture of execution that every great leader in every field develops to create lasting success.

Well, the article is done and this is the point where everyone talks, but I think it’s time to take action. Why not leave a comment and state: 1) What do you want? 2) What will it cost? 3) Whether you are ready to pay the price? Nine out of ten of the people reading this will not comment and instead will just talk about their dreams, but the one out of ten will comment and ACT their way to their dreams! I encourage you to be part of the ten percent because that’s what leaders do. 🙂

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward: LIFE Leadership – Chairman of the Board

Posted in Leadership/Personal Development, LIFE Leadership, Orrin Woodward | 69 Comments »

The Greeks: Freedom and Force

Posted by Orrin Woodward on June 1, 2016

This is Part 2. For Part 1, please click here.

Unfortunately, the Greek miracle does not have a happy ending, but it does have a huge lesson. For the same drive to compete that built Greek society also destroyed it when the positive life-lifting competition in arts, sciences, and sports, degenerated into negative death-delivering competition of military campaigns. Importantly, no one wins in war, certainly the losers don’t, but neither do the alleged winners. The defeated sacrifice many of their best leaders on the altar of a lost cause, not to mention the untold wealth, figuratively and literally, burnt to ashes, and finally the lost freedoms as the “winners” assume control over society. The winners, however, lose as we’ll because many of their best citizens were also sacrificed on the altar of war. Furthermore, they lost the hunger to produce wealth, for why build wealth when you can steal it, and the Five Laws of Decline secretes its poison into society. To add insult to injury, they also lose their liberties by denying others’ the right to enjoy theirs. Paradoxically, the winners must now set up a prisoner society where the defeated are closely viewed, supervised, and cajoled into obedience 24-7. The costs in time, money, and lifestyle lost by the oppressors outweighs the benefit of the oppression, but rare is the State who realizes this.

The Spartans and Helots

The Spartans and Helots

Indeed, Greek history is filled with many examples of this principle at work, where both the winners and losers pay greatly by going to war – the ultimate lose-lose vehicle. Perhaps the Peloponnesian war is the best example of lose-lose but there are many more. For instance, just a cursory look at the “victorious” Spartans in the Messenian War will reveal the Spartans lost as much as the defeated, for boys under 10 were forced to live in military barracks for the next twenty plus years, suffered under an oppressive form of socialism, and lived in a state of constant state of paranoia, fearing the Helots, who outnumbered the Spartans by as much as 20 to 1, would revolt. To deny freedom to others, in other words, one ends up destroying his own. Of course, if this was the fate of the winners, imagine how much worse the fate of the Messenian Helots. Unfortunately, no one seems to learn from history. This is why, although I support our national military, my dad was an elite Green Beret after all, its function should be defensive, protecting against foreign aggression, not offensive, expanding into foreign territories; otherwise, the same fate visited upon Sparta, Rome, and England, to name just a few, will knock on America’s door.

This leads to a strange twist in the battle between force and freedom. Whereas competition benefits in every life-lifting endeavor, it is a tragedy in death-delivering ones. When the the centralized State is eliminated, the void must be filled with mini-states to ensure order and not anarchy. If there is not a force strong enough to ensure the strong do not oppress the weak, rest assured they will. The mini-states maintain order while creating competition in the life-lifting activities, at the same time a limited central government ensures the mini-states do not compete in the death-delivering ones. The key to freedom is the limited central state is no longer is absolute within society; instead, it merely ensures the mini-states settle their disputes peacefully through adjudication and arbitration rather than through war.

The centralized body is now limited in its power, capable of enforcing judgments and protecting the mini-states political, economic, and religious freedoms without growing big enough to issue central commands in areas it does not belong. Limited funds are essential here, for anytime the State has access to unlimited funds, it quickly obtains unlimited power. Limited funds, in a word, for a limited State. Imagine the state of freedom if, in the USA, the centralized Federal government’s only funds came from a straight 10% import tax. This is plenty for the federal government to effectively arbitrate disputes amongst the fifty states and also defend our borders militarily – defense only. True, we would have to exit the over 140 nations where the USA presently has a military presence, but the improvement in society by the reduced money, time, and heartaches (lost loved ones from foreign wars) is worth the loss of empire. No longer would State bureaucrats have the power to send our children off to war to increase their need for power and glory.

Imagine the competition and cooperation that would result in the USA if the functions of government were moved from the monolithic Federal government to the local township/city levels. All the interactions between citizens and State could be achieved at the local level, ensuring a higher level of justice because those closest to the facts are the one’s addressing the issue. The locality would be responsible for the judicial and police  functions to ensure justice while each locality would compete to outdo its rivals in life-giving functions just as the Greeks did originally. If they serve the customers they will prosper, if they don’t they will not. Moreover, because the locality receives its income from a 5% property tax, it will seek to serve its community because as it serves them well, the community will grow, and thus the tax base grows. Naturally, the reverse is true also, for if they don’t serve, the community doesn’t grow, and the tax base decreases. Welcome to State competition to serve the customers, namely, its citizens! What a concept.

The state governments would adjudicate disputes between localities/cities and be funded by a 5% state sales tax. Again, every state would compete to increase business because it would benefit from increased tax revenues as economic activity increase within the state. Further, the state leaders would select the next president from amongst the governors of the state. No longer would the Presidency be the democratic charade parade where those with the most power and money get elected. Instead, the  governors of each state would select the governor with the best track record, his proven performance in balancing budgets and running a just government making the difference. The President would not be elected by the people at large, thus eliminating the media’s negative manipulation against anyone who threatens their power. Instead, governor peers, elected by the leaders of each locality, select the President, similar to how the founder originally intended the President to be elected. See Oliver DeMille and my New York Times bestseller LeaderShift for more details on these concepts.

Finally, as mentioned previously, the Federal government would survive on a 10% import tax and nothing else. Imagine, no more IRS needed! Of course, the ability to create money out of thin air (Federal Reserve) and the special deal fractional-reserve banking would be rescinded. The gold standard would be calibrated to the current money supply and only 100% reserve banking would be permitted by law from here forward. Think about it, the people would elect the local governments (those who know them the best) by returning to town hall meetings. The local leaders would elect the State leaders (governors) because they work with each other on a monthly basis to approve the state budgets. Cream rises to the top and the local leaders, from amongst their peers, will select the governor from among the most qualified. Finally, the state leaders will elect the federal President because they work with them monthly and approve the federal balanced budget. Yes, balanced budgets are a given or the irresponsible leader is immediately subject to recall and a new election. Mediocrity and poor leadership can no longer be tolerated by public servants, especially if they expect us to trust and follow them.

To restore freedom, we must end the control over money (no one should have centralized control over money creation), then follow it up by ending the monolithic control of the media (less than six corporations, all with interconnected boards, control what the people read and think), and only once these two are accomplished, will the controlled, centralized State be overturned and America launch a Freedom-shift. Numerous local governments are much more difficult to capture than on centralized government, especially when the centralist controllers already control the money and media.

Ok, my rant is done. Needless to say, what I propose is a huge dream and it’s going to take work, but only those who have a big dream can expect a big dream to come true. For the past twenty years, I have read extensively on leadership, liberty, and the State, and believe history supports my conclusions. The challenge, however, is the elites are not on the side of history, but rather on the side of force, and thus, centralization. In consequence, the Money Power rewards its media (TV, Newspapers, Magazines, Universities, and Foundations) for rewriting history, a history that makes the State the hero of the story and freedom the anti-hero. Pedictably, the “educated” (propagandized) people demand the State hero fix the challenges facing society while the noose tightens around freedom’s neck. This is why the elites will tolerate any change so long as the money system (what I have termed the Financial Matrix) is not changed.

As I said at the beginning of Part 1, freedom and force are in a battle to the death, and, dismally, freedom is the one dying. Is there anyone left who will, like our forefathers and foremothers, pledge their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor to resuscitate freedom?

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward: LIFE Leadership Chairman of the Board

Posted in Freedom/Liberty, Leadership/Personal Development, Orrin Woodward | 14 Comments »

Memorial Day Message: Freedom and Force

Posted by Orrin Woodward on May 30, 2016

Since the dawn of civilization, freedom and force have fought for mastery in human societies. Freedom, to the liberty-lover, implies the ideal way to freely reward people for serving others. Each society is set up to follow the laws of the land (just laws that permit no person or group to receive a special deal), a society where the State’s role is like referee rather than a participant, ensuring a level playing field for all competitors. The ideal of ordered freedom is the best mankind can aspire to this side of heaven, or so the liberty-lovers claimed.

To Statist controllers, in contrast, freedom leads to chaos, greed, and an unholy desire to separate one’s self from the herd. Absolute force is the Statist’s answer to ensure society remains peaceful, compliant, and equal. Naturally, the State must be given this absolute power, a power entrusted to a group of ruling-elite, who will make decisions not based upon personal advantages but only for the good of society. The masses must simply trust and obey, or so the Statist controllers claimed.

Interestingly, the battle between liberty and force has a celebrated history. Force/Freedom battles between the Pharaoh vs. Moses, Caesar vs. Cicero, Jesus vs Pharisees, are just a few of the legendary conflicts that come to mind. In one sense, the history of the world can be viewed as a series of particular battles in the universal struggle between the State and Society to secure either force or freedom.

Ancient Greece Innovations

Ancient Greece Innovations

For most of human history, the controllers have had the upper hand. The Egyptians, Babylonians, and Persians elites ruled absolutely as god-kings though centrally-controlled oppressive civilizations. Although there were flickers of freedom scattered throughout society, the flame was snuffed out before it could catch fire. Something, however, changed with the birth of Greek civilization, for the pendulum clearly moved towards liberty. While many explanations have been suggested for freedom’s growth, perhaps the most significant was the multitude of Greek city-states increased the number of competitors seeking centralized control over Greek society. Whereas in previous civilizations the State controlled vast swaths of territory extending for thousands of miles, the Greek landscape, mountainous with few inland rivers, made centralized control over the whole are extremely difficult.

As a result, smaller units of centralization, the city-state, prospered. Each city-state’s laws were only enforced within the confines of its territory, effectively creating hundreds of mini-states ruling over a fragmented Greek society. This was the dreaded conditions for chaos that the absolutist controllers feared. However, instead of collapsing into chaos, the competition amongst city-states for political, economic, and military power, created innovation and improvements like never seen before. The competition amongst the city-states led to cooperation within them.

Instead of the oppressive standardization experienced by cities within the former centralized tyrannical States, the fragmented, decentralized city-states, shockingly, through the competition for power and glory, created, as it were, a free market environment for State services – each city seeking to impress the other Greek city-states with its ability to solve the political, economic, and religious challenges better than its neighbors. Of course, this led to a significant increases in freedom for the people since ideas were favored, not because the bureaucratic representatives of the god-king issued it, but rather because the idea worked to solve the challenge it intended to address. The city-state that solved the most issues and served its people the best would rise in this free market environment against its rivals.

Talent, effort, and innovation became the buzz words that drove the Greeks forward in their mission to achieve their rational and aesthetic objectives. Practically every field of the arts and sciences saw levels of innovation and discovery never witnessed before as society’s cream rose to the top made possible by the increased societal freedom. The monolithic State no longer controlled every city, and thus, the brightest minds with the best ideas were rewarded as each city sought to outdo its competitors in the arts, sciences, and even the sporting events of its day.

The Greek miracle, according to historian Michael Grant, was accomplished by the work of less than 500 individuals. In other words, although millions lived and died in Greece, freedom enabled 500 people to use their gifts to bless everyone in the Greek communities. Where previously, talented individuals had lived and died in obscurity, the freedom allowed this cream to rise for the benefit of all. This created the world’s first Renaissance, not repeated until the Italian Renaissance over a millennia afterwards.

Perhaps the biggest lesson to learn from the Greek experience is the importance of competition, namely, when the number of competitors in any field increases, society benefits. Of course, the antithesis is true also – when the number of competitors is limited in any field, society is harmed. The monolithic State, not surprisingly, is the peak of reduced competition since there is no competition. The State, in a word, is like one contestant in a beauty contest, and she always takes first place. 🙂 This does not mean the author believes in anarchy; rather, the goal should be a fragmented state similar to the ancient Greeks. In fact, this is what Oliver DeMille and I proposed in our New York Times bestseller LeaderShift.  Stay tuned for Part 2 where I unpack the fragmented state and how to protect against anarchy. Happy Memorial Day!

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward: LIFE Leadership Chairman of the Board

Posted in Freedom/Liberty, Leadership/Personal Development, Orrin Woodward | 13 Comments »

Financial Sovereignty: Aligning the Mind

Posted by Orrin Woodward on May 29, 2016

Financial Matrix Quadrants

Financial Matrix Quadrants

Financial Sovereignty, a lifestyle where people enjoy ownership and choices, one lived by less than 1% of North Americans, is created when people align their conscious (logical mind) with their subconscious (emotional mind).

Whereas the conscious mind stimulates 2,000 neurons per second when thinking with logic, the subconscious mind stimulates 4,000,000,000 per second when visualizing with emotion! The subconscious mind, in other words,  the one that thinks in images and emotions, engages two million times more brain power per second than the conscious mind. As a result, the tip of the iceberg metaphor is outdated, as Dr. Timothy Wilson pointed out when he noted, “Freud’s view that consciousness is the tip of the mental iceberg, was short of the mark … it may be more the size of a snowball on top of that iceberg” 

Interestingly, began calling the conscious mind the ant and the subconscious mind the elephant to represent the vast disparity in processing power of the two minds. Moreover, Olympic Gold Medalist, Vince Poscente even wrote a book called the Ant and the Elephant, emphasizing the importance of aligning the conscious and subconscious mind  to achieve mastery in any field of human achievement. 

Conscious and Subconscious Mind

Conscious and Subconscious Mind

Unfortunately, despite the research and popular books, few people have any idea how important it is to learn how to align the Ant and the Elephant mind. Instead, their minds are in a state of constant turmoil, a civil war brewing between the logical mind and the emotional mind, a battle that destroys all hope for united mental action. Of course, without mental alignment, the person burns all his energy in internal battles and has little left for the external battles necessary for all success. This is success suicide, for every high-achiever must utilize his logical and emotional mind to achieve success? 

Accordingly, three out of the four quadrants in the Financial Matrix have sub-optimized their success because they have not aligned the Ant and The Elephant. First, the Financial Subject shuts down the logical mind (refusing to ponder how foolish it is to subjugate himself to debt merely for a temporary emotional purchase buzz) and allows the emotional mind to take charge. The Financial Subject, as a result, experiences the short-term joy of counterfeit dreams (choices) and the longterm pain of compounding personal debt (no ownership). How insane!

Second, the Financial Serf, in contrast, does the opposite. He shuts down his emotional mind (refusing to dream because he hates debt) and allows the rational mind to take control. While commendably owning most of his assets, he also has rationalizes away his dreams (no choices) and lives a settle-for life, resisting anyone or anything that attempts to get him dreaming again. Dismally, through an impressive act of will, the Financial Serf forces himself to live below his means, killing his debt by killing his dreams.  How sad!

The worst case, however, is the Financial Slave, who has no ownership or choices. Indeed, he has completely submitted himself to the Financial Matrix, his Ant and Elephant minds both disengaged from reality while his debts increase and his dreams decrease. The Financial Slave has surrendered his dreams, no longer a grown up dreamer but a given up debtor. His debt crushes his ability to think, so he simply works to pay his bills and live another day.  How inhuman!

Needless to say, none of these quadrants permit people to live their dreams because they haven’t aligned the Ant and the Elephant and ended the mental civil war. This is what make the Financial Sovereign quadrant so unique, for it is the only one to end the civil war. The person in this quadrant enjoys both the ownership of assets and the liberty of choices because he uses his rational mind to play defense and his emotional mind to dream. How liberating!

In the video below, I describe how Laurie and I, starting with little skills, money, or time, built the life we always wanted. This certainly wasn’t easy in the beginning, but then again, failing financially isn’t easy in the beginning, the middle, or the end. 🙂 What did we do? Well, in a nutshell, we ended the civil war, aligning our Ant and the Elephant minds through reading, listening, and associating with other successful minds who had already terminated their civil war.

That is to say, the fastest way to to end your civil war, is to learn from others who have already done so. Like my friend Larry VanBuskirk once said, “If you are unhappy with the results you are producing in life, perhaps it’s time to STOP taking your own advice” 🙂 This explains the importance of LIFE Leadership seminars, namely, to expose the people who are failing financially (because of the ongoing mental civil war) to people who are winning financially (because the mental civil war is over) to help everyone move ahead. 

 The Financial Fitness Program teaches people about the Financial Matrix playing field, the Ant-mode Defense (logical plan), and the Elephant-mode Offense (emotional reason). A person will not escape the Financial Matrix until he first understands what it is and how the web of debt captured him; then, he must use his Ant mind to develop a logical plan to spend less than he makes; finally, he must picture his future clearly, for thoughts are things, and get to work to turn the thoughts into reality.

Please share which Financial Matrix Quadrant you were in when you started your escape?

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward: LIFE Leadership Chairman of the Board

Posted in Finances, LIFE Leadership, Orrin Woodward | 14 Comments »

Life Leadership: The Insiders’ Confession

Posted by Orrin Woodward on May 27, 2016

Socialism is Equal Sharing of Misery

Socialism is Equal Sharing of Misery

LIFE Leadership insiders have confessed! In this video, viewers will learn the many reasons why someone should not join LIFE Leadership, or any other business for that matter. According to Chairman of the Board  Orrin Woodward and CEO Chris Brady, success takes focus, hard work, and perseverance, traits that take time to develop – who has time for that? 🙂

People looking for get-rich-quick schemes, people looking for something-for-nothing and people looking for a hand-out rather than a hand-up, will NOT be happy after watching this video. LIFE Leadership has the temerity to encourage people to learn, grow, and change! As stated previously, who has time for that? 🙂

Then again, practically all successful people express that the person they become is more important than the money they make, but what do they know? In this exclusive video, we have captured Orrin and Chris spilling the beans on LIFE Leadership, a company that clearly refuses to lower the bar, even when so many are demanding it. Undoubtedly, LIFE isn’t for everyone! 🙂

Then again, it may be for you.

Posted in Fun, Leadership/Personal Development, LIFE Leadership, Orrin Woodward | 17 Comments »

LIFE Leadership: Financial Matrix Scam

Posted by Orrin Woodward on May 23, 2016

Financial Matrix Quadrants

Financial Matrix Quadrants

Did you know that fifty percent of all American workers are Financial Slaves! Don’t believe me? I don’t blame you, I could hardly believe it myself until I started doing my own research. According to the latest data reported on Economist.com, over half of all Americans over 18 have no net worth, not even a penny. Let that sink in for a moment. Imagine all the hours husbands and wives work every year and over half of the households have NOTHING to show for it? No ownership and no choices is simply slavery under a different name.

Furthermore, over 80% of Americans over age 18 are in debt, a debt trapping them into financeal subjugation. For if the typical family loses one of its jobs, be it by downsizing or medial challenge, the family boat is capsized. This makes the family subject to the whims of employers and health – not a good position to be in.  Is this really the American Dream we imagined growing for people living in the home of the brave and the land of the free? BTW, for the Canadians reading  this, the data is very similar and the Financial Matrix has trapped your nation as well.

Financial Matrix TrapThe two groups getting hammered by the Financial Matrix Scam are the Financial Slaves (no net worth) and the Financial Subjects (servicing debt to survive). In total the Financial Matrix is siphoning trillions of dollars from these two groups plus businesses and governments at every level.  In the video below, I share how to move from Slave and Subject to Serf and eventually Financial Sovereign, the coveted position where citizens have ownership and choices over their life. Everyone can be free if they are willing to learn how to play defense and offense to avoid the web of debt and control inherent within the Financial Matrix.

Watch the twelve minute video below and the reader will realize the question is which quadrant are you in and what is your plan to move onto Financial Sovereignty? If you don’t have a workable plan, perhaps the Financial Fitness Program can help. 

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward: Life Leadership Chairman of the Board

Posted in Finances, Freedom/Liberty, LIFE Leadership, Orrin Woodward | 29 Comments »

Political Parties: America’s New Religion

Posted by Orrin Woodward on May 12, 2016

Modern society is not as irreligious as it claims to be. In fact, today’s most popular religion arguably has more true believers, as the numbers attending its “worship” services reveal, than any other American faith. With its own variety of high-priests, shamans, and bishops, not to mention excommunicated heretics, the new faith feeds on people’s hunger to believe in unbelievable times. While faith in God has waned, a substitute faith, for nature abhors a vacuum, has filled the space. These pseudo-religious political parties, whether in its Democrat or Republican variety, have, over the last one hundred years, eclipsed the older faiths. Today, people no longer go to church and trust in the promised Messiah, but rather go to political rallies and trust in the promises of the latest  “political messiah”.

In the Middle Ages, the priest was the divinely commissioned agent and the State merely the divinely tolerated power to enforce God’s rule. Unfortunately, shortly after the Protestant Reformation, Luther’s friend Melanchthon, among others, denied the church had authority to make laws the bound the conscience, claiming only the State had that power. Naturally, the State leaders readily agreed and subsequently seized the moral power from the naive church leaders. The doctrine of the divine right of kings originated from this sequence of events, embodied by kings claiming their power derived not from the Pope, as in earlier days, but instead directly from God himself.

The divine right of kings, in effect, was the king’s declaration of independence from the church’s authority. Interestingly enough, the reformation, although arguably a return to Biblical doctrines, was a mixed blessing. For the various protest disintegrated the Church and integrated the State. This culminated in King James I boldly proclaiming complete independence of the State from church interference. To add insult to injury, the Religious Peace of Augsburg dealt an even more destructive blow to the ancient claim of the church as the universal moral influence within society. Among other things, it was agreed that the citizen of each state must adopt the religion of his sovereign. Cuius regio eius religio. Instead of religious liberty, this was the supreme assertion of State power over society.

Harold MacMillan

Harold MacMillan

Whereas previously one of the roles of the church was to protect society’s members from overzealous kings, the door was now open for the State’s absolute control over morality and law. Although  people today claim the State does not regulate morals, nothing could be further from the truth. All law is merely the culture’s value-system enforced by State Power. In fact, the only real difference between law in the Middle-Ages and today’s law is the value-system is developed independently from Biblical influences. For instance, the State still has portions of the Ten Commandments code in its law (murder and stealing come to mind), but as time passes the State drifts further from Biblical law into political law.  Shockingly, as I study the  historical events, the State’s increase in power comes with the church’s decrease. The unintended consequence of the reformers efforts to purify the church resulted in the splintering of the only entity strong enough to resist the State’s desire for absolute power. The avenue was now open for the birth of the absolute State, a world-order that would have been entirely incomprehensible to the men who labored during the age of faith.

To be sure, the divine right of kings philosophy no longer influences the State, but what has replaced it (the divine right of the people), judging merely its results, is even worse.  For the increase in the people’s power has not actually helped the people; instead, it has allowed the money elites, through their control of the media, to sway the masses into signing away their birthright.  The absolute State can exist in monarchies, aristocracies, and democracies, but the money elites love democracies the best.  Because man in mass is the predictable, in a democracy, all the elites have to do is purchase enough votes by promising government handouts and applying liberal layers of media propaganda. The predictable outcome is the mass of people dance to the paid piper’s tune. Monarchies and aristocracies, in contrast, might stand up to the elites manipulation, and why run that risk when the people are so gullible? Simply by telling the people they have the power, the people will defend the system that ensures their own enslavement, not thinking to actually examine if liberty has increased or decreased since the divine rights of people has allegedly reigned supreme.

John Adams

John Adams

Be that as it may, the State democracies have led to absolute power without any moral checks upon it. The State has become God to modern man. For example, the State God controls its subjects in ways that kings from yesterday could only dream of, including: the power to tax incomes, the power to draft society’s young, the power to educate, the power to define morals, the power to create money, and even the power to punish peaceable dissent. Dismally, despite modern democracies boast of maximum liberty with equality, the actual differences between democracies, fascists, and communists is one of a few degrees. In contrast, the difference between the Middle Age State, with its moral check from the Church, and today’s absolute State, with no moral checks, is night and day.

Please don’t misunderstand me. I am not suggesting a return to the Middle Ages, but I do believe we can learn much from our political heritage. For instance, just because the church is no longer influencing the State does not mean the State is not being influence. Rather, it just ensures the older faiths have been replaced by today political religions. In other words, as the formal faiths fade, the void is filled with the hype and rhetoric of the latest “political messiah”, proclaiming his/her prophecies of the future in front of thousands of the faithful.

James Madison

James Madison

Perhaps some will think I am pessimistic, but actually I am very confident in the future. Injustice is always punished by God Almighty and I believe the Financial Matrix will ultimately damage society to the point where it can no longer deny the obvious, namely, that the State cannot have absolute power. The reason the Financial Matrix seeks to have the people genuflect to the latest political puppet is this ensures the underlying systemic causes of the mess are ignored. Yes, I am all for good leadership, but until I hear someone speak truthfully on the injustice of anyone controlling society’s money and media, I know the Financial Matrix has just applied new lipstick on an old pig. 🙂 Think about it for a minute. So long as money and media are in the hands of the elites, why would anyone be shocked the candidates (whether of the Democratic or Republican religion) are merely obedient puppets? After all, it takes hundreds of millions of dollars and constant media coverage to get elected and who controls both of these? Accordingly, State control is a foregone conclusion until money and media are set free from the elite’s grip. The Money, Media, and Military trifecta, a trifecta that has liberty in a death grip, must be broken before liberty can breathe freely again.

Alright, I will step down from my Cassandran (see Homer’s Iliad) soap box and return to my work. This year’s religious processions have inspired the faithful and my non-participation is not hurting anyone. The media can whip up that lost feeling of hope for the masses one more time as they paradoxically struggle to pay their bills in the richest society in history of mankind. I guess I am now officially a heretic of the State religion for I do not believe this religion has, nor ever will, deliver the goods. Indeed, no matter how many services the faithful attend; no matter of how many sincere prayers are offered up; and no matter how many candidates are propped up; the truth is, until the Financial Matrix ends, the people lose. Its a rigged game – heads,the elites win; tails, and the people lose.

Mass Movements Driving Change

Mass Movements Driving Change

Thankfully, the road to victory begins the moment we turn from our false religion. Instead of bowing before the political puppets, what if millions of men and women restored their conscience and character by bowing before the real Messiah? What if we admitted our addiction to debt and materialism and turned from the false idols. What if, in other words, we played defense to wipe out our debt and then offense to create the life we’ve always wanted debt-free? Then, as Financial Sovereigns, we could address the Financial Matrix and restore freedom for the next-generation.

Sure, this is an ambitious task, but what’s the point of leadership if we are just playing it safe. Some will say, people trapped in ignorance and apathy don’t know and don’t care. Nevertheless, I know I care and I know you care, for you wouldn’t have read this far if you didn’t. The Financial Fitness Program from LIFE Leadership is designed to help people help themselves and then others. Are you ready to be part of the solution? I don’t promise easy, but I do promise worth it.

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward

Posted in Finances, Freedom/Liberty, LIFE Leadership, Orrin Woodward | 18 Comments »