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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Everything rises and falls on leadership.

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 | 36 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 »

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 »

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. 

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward

Posted in Freedom/Liberty, Leadership/Personal Development, LIFE Leadership, Orrin Woodward | 20 Comments »

Losing and Winning: Comfort or Change

Posted by Orrin Woodward on January 26, 2016

You either hate losing enough to change or you hate change enough to lose. – Orrin Woodward

Why do some people seem to win at whatever they do while most settle for the middle of pack mediocrity? I believe the difference boils down to a person’s hierarchy of needs, namely, comfort or winning. On one hand, if comfort is the most important, then the person will resist all change regardless of whether it’s better because it’s uncomfortable. On the other hand, if winning is more important, then a person will get uncomfortable enough to improve to produce the results he desires. In a nutshell, winners are different because they refuse to settle for good when great is possible.

Change or Comfort?

Change or Comfort?

I recently gave a keynote presentation where I played a classic 1988 Wendy’s advertisement that captured the key difference between those who win and those who simply work. It took less than 30 seconds for some advertising executive to pinpoint why most people don’t change. For many people are comfortable in past victories  rather than uncomfortable in present mediocrity. Can my readers identify areas where they are settling for comfortable mediocrity rather than changing into uncomfortable champions? True, winning may not be as easy as some winners make it look, but I can promise you its not as tough as some losers make it sound either. 🙂

Simply put, the toughest part of winning is (dare I say it) getting comfortable being uncomfortable. Every day winners are pushed to get better because your competition never rest. Show me someone who is comfortable with an average scoreboard and I will show you someone who is one a downward slide. In contrast, show me someone who is already winning at the highest levels, but is still uncomfortable, and I will show you someone who is on their way to revolutionizing a their chosen field. LIFE Leadership CEO Chris Brady and I have vowed to stay hungry, honorable, and honorable on our way to helping millions of people escape the Financial Matrix!

I am embedding the Wendy’s ad for your viewing pleasure. What is your takeaway from the video?

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward – Chairman of LIFE Leadership

Posted in Finances, Leadership/Personal Development, LIFE Leadership, Orrin Woodward | 29 Comments »

RESOLVED to become a School Curriculum

Posted by Orrin Woodward on April 13, 2015

ResolvedI am excited to announce that the 13 resolutions from my book RESOLVED: 13 Resolutions for LIFE is being developed into teaching curriculums for the different age K-12. Director and Principal of the American Leadership Academy, Rob Brown, proposed a partnership between LIFE Leadership and himself to develop the curriculums for both charter-schools and the home-schooling markets.

After studying through the proposal LIFE Leadership agreed to support the project and help make the dream of reaching the next generation a reality. The results of this partnership promise to make a huge impact in the educational community. Here is a portion of the letter I received from Principal Rob Brown:

 I read Resolved  over Christmas holiday and the vision began to form in my mind of a rich leadership program unlike anything offered in an elementary or secondary educational format (homeschool included). We could adapt all the curriculum we already have and apply the Mental Fitness Challenges to our high school aged students. We could build daily leadership lessons based on the 13 Resolutions and teach them to students from kindergarten through twelfth grade!

I asked myself some questions: Why don’t we teach this? What might happen if we did? What if I had learned these principles as a kid? What difference would it make if tens of thousands of K-12 students were taught about their Purpose, Character, Friendship, Finances, and Leadership on a daily basis for their entire growing-up years?

Our Nation is in crisis, and it is our responsibility to fundamentally re-establish America’s greatness. The most effective way for us to achieve greatness is through living these principles with fidelity and teaching them to the rising generation. As we teach these principles to our children they will grow up living these truths, and our homes, churches, businesses, and legislatures will be filled with those that have the right tools and the courage to do the right things in order to preserve freedom for us, our families, and our friends.

Education is like weddings and funerals. Everyone does it and the market is wide open. Covey has over two thousand Leader in Me  schools and little home school reach. Resolved  has provided a superior vehicle. I have a framework for a step by step guide to make ResolvedSchools  a reality and teach leadership to achieve greatness in our homes and country. I will be creating this for my schools regardless, however, I know that by partnering together we can create a real Win-Win that could affect countless lives.

Sincerely,

Rob Brown

Director- American Leadership Academy Gilbert Campus

It has been a joy to work with Principal Brown. He lives the resolutions on a daily basis and with his help, he took the principles of RESOLVED and explained them in way that resonates with students. If you have children (or know someone with children) in charter schools or home-schooling, then this book is the first part of a full curriculum to follow. The goal is to inspire the children to become resolution-centered leaders that make an impact in the world. Here is the introduction I wrote for the RESOLVED: Student Edition to be released later this year:

Introduction

In 2011, when I wrote RESOLVED: 13 Resolutions for LIFE, I did so to share the resolutions that had so radically changed my own life. The results of this labor of love have been nothing short of mind blowing. For within the first year, the book made the Top 100 All-Time Leadership book list and became the framework for the bestselling Mental Fitness Challenge Program.

Still, when Principal Rob Brown, of American Leadership Academy in Gilbert, Arizona, contacted me to discuss using the resolutions in RESOLVED to create an entire K-12 school curriculum, I was a little taken aback. Principal Brown had written to me:

I am the principal at American Leadership Academy in Gilbert, Arizona, a K-6 elementary charter school. As the name implies we are patriotic, leadership driven, and focused on academics. It’s the leadership part that drew me to this school. I love that we teach children the principles of leadership. When I was introduced to Resolved I was amazed at how simple and powerful each chapter was. I said, “What would happen if we taught this to kids!?!”

What would happen, in our opinion, is the students would accomplish private victories which would lead to public victories and then onward to leadership victories which, finally results in a legacy to pass on to the world. After Principal Brown, Chris Brady – CEO of LIFE Leadership, and I discussed the idea further, we realized that beyond just a school curriculum, RESOLVED – Student Edition is just the first, of many, books in a series that will eventually become The Children’s Leadership Library.

Rob Brown is not your average principal. The hunger to learn and the passion to teach is evident in everything he does. Indeed, the book you hold in your hands would not have been completed were it not for his drive to finish what he starts. Furthermore, I cannot think of a better person to partner with in spreading the power of resolutions to transform lives than a principal on the educational front lines. It has been a pleasure working with Principal Brown.

Finally, the principles taught in RESOLVED: Student’s Edition can help anyone at any age. Each section concludes with a workshop. That’s where the real power lies. Complete each workshop as you read. As you apply these principles you will gain confidence in making choices. You will really begin to understand the importance of the choices you make and how they will influence your life. I have taught for years that vision is tomorrow’s reality expressed as an idea today. It’s time to stop talking about education transformation and it’s time to start living it. This book has turned the dream into reality.

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward

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

Entrepreneurial Prime Movers: Part 2

Posted by Orrin Woodward on March 4, 2015

Most of the world is good at seeing what is, but leaders are good at seeing what could be. More pointedly, leaders must have the character and courage to make what could be a reality. How do they do this? By helping others see what they see and then building trust until the people buy into what they see. Leadership is founded upon character and courage, built upon trust and respect, and completed upon actions and rewards.  2015 is the year to lead and become the prime mover for your community.

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward – Chairman of the Board LIFE Leadership

Posted in Leadership/Personal Development, LIFE Leadership | 7 Comments »