Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Dreams and Thankfulness by George Guzzardo
George Guzzardo continues to share great content on his blog about his life and team.
What goes through your mind as we prepare for the Thanksgiving holiday? Being involved in LIFE Leadership I tend to think of words that start with an F like Friends, Family, Food, or Football. But, most of all I like to think about Freedom. How did our Freedom come about? Have we forgotten, perhaps, the most important thing, ‘The Pursuit of a Dream’?
Pursuit is an action. It’s defined as a striving for, or a quest after something. I believe there are two parts to striving. In some cases it’s striving to get away from a negative situation. We want to see a personal situation change. Today we see the majority of people struggling to change a financial situation. On the other hand we see people in the pursuit of something to improve their situation. Either way we must be moved to action. Lessons about the pursuit of a dream can be learned from looking through history. However, there is no other time in the world’s history where people are seeing the need to ignite the passions to ignite people’s pursuit of a dream than now. But, by examining the past we can find endless examples of those in pursuit of a dream because of an oppressive situation. We find that when leaders became involved in moving from an intolerable situation, they created the necessary changes that are today recognized as history altering events.
An early example of leader’s in pursuit of a dream is the Biblical story of Ezra and Nehemiah. They lost Jerusalem to plunder and were led to slavery. They were however, given a chance to rebuild the temple and walls of Jerusalem. Like most leader’s, they were not aware of the long - term impact on their actions. They were faced with a very oppressive situation but their pursuit of a dream to restore their homeland moved them to action. From the study of Ezra and Nehemiah we can learn numerous leadership lessons. Because of the pursuit of a dream they faced fear, conflict, and discouragement. However, their pursuit of a dream to restore their homeland resulted in problem solving, planning, and teamwork. History is relentless in how it repeats itself. My first thought is “Are we now so slow to learn the lessons from the past?” Or, “Are we just oblivious to God’s providence?”
The great poet Virgil wrote about the founding of the Roman Empire in the ‘Aeneid’. The story tells about Romulus and Remus who left Troy right before it fell to the Greeks. They were descendents of Trojan heroes and established Rome in the middle of fertile farming lands in Italy. These heroes were in the pursuit of a dream. They had the courage to leave the oppressive forces of Greece. They began to instill the leadership qualities of hard work, discipline, endurance, and virtue, and as a result established the Roman Empire. Pliny, Seneca, Cicero, Polybius, and Virgil wrote about this history. Because of the pursuit of a dream, the founders of America used that written material to establish the longest lasting republic in history in the United States.
There is an obvious cycle from oppression leading to freedom. People respond when situations become intolerable. It appears that the pursuit of a dream to change their conditions leads people to action. Another example is when the Greek scholars fled from Constantinople in 1453. They carried with them the wisdom from Greek and Latin antiquity. The result of this new information accelerated the growth of commerce and culture throughout Europe. Familiar names like Michelangelo, Raphael, Copernicus, Shakespeare, and Isaac Newton produced unsurpassed science, beauty, poetry, and art.
People began to expect religious freedoms that came from the Reformation and Renaissance but it appears that the fluctuating cycles of history continue unabated. Political powers began to infringe upon the religious freedoms of people again. The Puritans and the Separatists began to cry for freedom. In 1604, ministers and non – conformists began to be silenced and exiled. The pursuit of a dream of religious liberty became stronger. William Bradford observed, “The more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew.” Immigration to Holland began. As persecutions continued, the Puritans fled to New England in the Pursuit of a Dream. These events led to the celebration of Thanksgiving.
Today we are now seeing a subtle type of bondage. We are losing economic freedom. We are seeing a loss of private property. People are feeling the bondage economically with over an $11 Trillion in home - owner debt. The Federal Reserve Board has become the largest purchaser of U.S. Treasury debt, effectively placing the U.S. Government in bankruptcy. James Dale Davidson and Lord William Rees – Mogg wrote, “Debt cannot go on compounding faster than out put forever.” How many of us see our friends and family under financial stress and hardship? Our society appears to be lacking hope of a better life. It appears that complacency has become normal behavior. Today’s oppressive forces go undetected like frogs in a pot of boiling water.
The need for leaders in pursuit of a dream has surfaced again. The ancient Chinese proverb reads: “Last night I thought over a thousand plans, but this morning I went my old way.” Settled habits and addiction to the familiar will smother the dreams and ideas of the night. The pursuit of a dream and the hope it brings, once again needs to be restored. Clayton M. Christensen, is the Kim B. Clark Professor at Harvard Business School writes, “The truth was that having a house wasn’t what really motivated them. It was the building of it, and how they felt about their own contribution, that they found satisfying. I had thought the destination was what was important, but it turned out it was the journey.”
In the past, oppressive forces came and stole freedom. Unsuspecting leaders emerged who had an impact that they never would have perceived. Educator Ken Robinson wrote, “Current systems of education were not designed to meet the challenges we now face. ”Imagine…what can be?“ A leadership system that links business and culture and incentivizes the awakening of a dream.” Books like best selling author Chris Brady’s ‘PAILS’ and CD’s like ‘The Ant and the Elephant, Winning the Civil War’ from leadership expertOrrin Woodward are waking people up to the reality that living a fulfilling life comes from the pursuit of a dream. Is your situation or even the situation of the country worthy of the pursuit of a dream? What can be? Happy Thanksgiving,George Guzzardo
Posted by OrrinWoodward
at 12:51 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, November 18, 2014 12:53 PM EST
Thursday, October 30, 2014
Orrin Woodward Releases The Leadership Train
Orrin Woodward released his latest book at the LIFE Leadership Fall Conventions. Here is his announcment.
The Leadership Train by Orrin Woodward
All aboard the LIFE Leadership Express! Orrin Woodward’s new book, The Leadership Train, uncovers the mysteries of network marketing and debunks any fallacies and misconceptions about its value and validity. This captivating, easy-reading narrative details one man’s complete turnaround after struggling for years with finding fulfillment in his career and putting his family relationships at jeopardy because of it. Sparked by an unexpected reunion with a long-lost friend and coworker who has gained much more peace, happiness, and success since he left his fast-climbing corporate position and built a large network marketing business, Bobby Davis embarks on a journey that helps him find his true purpose and much more satisfaction in his work and personal life.
This is a dream builder’s dream come true! Not only do you as a business owner need this book, but you need to get this book into the hands of any others you meet who might be looking for something more in life. Learn how to build a successful network marketing business from one of the greatest networkers in history, and help others to do the same. Discover how to handle pyramid and other objections and wipe out any doubts, untruths, and false beliefs that prospective members and customers, and possibly even you yourself, might have. Grab your boarding pass and bring along as many people as you can because the leadership train is going places fast, and you don’t want anyone to miss out!
Endorsements for The Leadership Train
“Having worked in network marketing for nearly two decades, I have had the privilege and blessing of working with the industry’s top field leaders, executives, and business owners, and I have ‘seen it all,’ as they say. I really believe that only Orrin Woodward could have written The Leadership Train. There is no more competent researcher or practitioner in the industry. This beautifully crafted and informative allegory will take you on a journey that will challenge every belief or misconception you may have had about network marketing as well as about yourself. Orrin lays it all out—the good, the bad, and the ugly—and shows us how he and the other founders of LIFE Leadership have eliminated the issues that have plagued the network marketing industry for years, essentially creating a whole new industry in which anyone who is hungry, honorable, and teachable can have success. Homerun!”
—Tim Marks, Bestselling Author of Voyage of a Viking and Confidence of a Champion
“The world is made a better place each and every ordinary day by the millions of unsung heroes who serve others, sell and deliver great value to customers, and build enterprises that provide jobs, grow people, and secure families. The Leadership Train captures the heart and soul of this high and holy calling and will ignite a fire of unquenchable passion within the reader’s heart!”
—John Stahl-Wert, International Bestselling Author of The Serving Leader and Ten Thousand Horses
“No one builds a networking business like Orrin Woodward. In this marvelously entertaining and easy to read book, he shares the thinking behind his extraordinary success. This should be required reading for everyone in the profession!”
—Chris Brady, New York Times Bestselling Author of Launching a Leadership Revolution
“Hilde, Orrin, and I were waiting at a red light on Friedrichstraße in Berlin, and I asked Orrin, ‘Can you tell us that thing with trains and cookies and cream again?’ We all laughed because we had been messing around with it all day, and that is when we said, ‘You need to write that book! It is a profound message that will help millions of direct sellers across the world get the business success they hunger for.’ We are so happy the book is ready! We believe it will help our team to the next level. It will be one more ‘mandatory Orrin book.’ Thank you so much, Orrin, for the impact you have on our life and success.”
—Hilde and Ørjan Sæle, Authors and World-Class Networkers
“I had barely started this informative and entertaining book when the next thing I knew, I was finished. Captivating as it is, it’s actually a manual on how to build a successful network marketing business. Orrin Woodward is truly a master at his craft, and he provides answers to many questions here. Is there anyone else out there who wants to live a life of fulfillment? Then jump on the leadership train!”
—George Guzzardo, LIFE Coach and Speaker
“Reading The Leadership Train is like being a fly on the wall watching Orrin Woodward do what he does best: develop leaders who make a difference. If even just 10 percent of the people in our profession own this book, we will impact the world in profound ways.”
—Dan Hawkins, LIFE Coach and Speaker
“I couldn’t stop reading. Orrin Woodward has already proven to be one of the foremost thought leaders of the twenty-first century. Now he reminds us of the age-old adage ‘Facts tell, but stories sell.’ The Leadership Train is a fun fiction tale that demonstrates exactly what one needs to do to create financial freedom in direct sales, written by one of the greatest networkers in history.”
—Ken Dunn, CEO of Next Century Publishing
“Over the years, I have seen the potential of many people go unfulfilled because they couldn’t frame their own doubts and fears and then overcome them. Orrin Woodward has brilliantly laid out the emotions that so many people deal with as they try to get traction and succeed and then systematically shown readers how to grow as a leader and win. Orrin has always stood above all others in understanding not just the science but also the art of building a community, and in this book, he has combined that wisdom into a clear, heartfelt tale of one man’s journey as he builds the LIFE Leadership opportunity.”
—Claude Hamilton, Bestselling Author of Toughen Up!
I can’t encourage you enough to take the time and read this short story that has actually taken over 14 years to develop. Not only will you learn the principles, techniques, and concepts to help you make a decision about life and leadership, but it will also teach you how to build a successful Compensated Community. You will not only learn about business success but I predict you will also gather golden nuggets that you can immediately apply to make your life better.
—Bill Lewis – LIFE Coach and Speaker
Posted by OrrinWoodward
at 12:46 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, October 30, 2014 12:47 PM EDT
Monday, October 27, 2014
Shocking Facts on Orrin Woodward Forbes
“All the papers that matter live off their advertisements, and the advertisers exercise an indirect censorship over news.” ― George Orwell, Why I Write
“All I know is just what I read in the papers, and that's an alibi for my ignorance.” ― Will Rogers
Chris Brady outlined the shocking facts of the Orrin Woodward Forbes article published back in 2008.
Forbes Magazine has been a respected source for business news for decades. As a widely respected publication, it has produced consistently excellent articles on business, investing, and leadership, and I have been a reader since my college years. However, even the best sometimes get it wrong. For instance, the 2008 article featuring Orrin Woodward and Network Marketing is an inexplicable outlier from the publication’s usual journalistic standards. There is so much wrong with the piece I almost didn’t know where to begin. If you’ve ever had the opportunity of being on the inside of a news story, and felt the befuddlement of comparing your experience to what was actually reported, you’ll know how I feel. The following is my briefest attempt to clean up the startling inconsistencies and omissions.
Orrin Woodward Forbes Facts
- At the time of the article, Orrin Woodward was in a major legal dispute with Amway/Quixtar. Somehow, this important fact was not mentioned.
- At the same time, Amway was funding a major advertising campaign inForbes (no links online, but see 2008 Forbes Magazine for Amway ads).
- Some of Amway’s principals were supporters of Steve Forbes and his political aspirations. (Click here)
- Forbes figures have been in public support of Amway (Rich Karlsgaad,Forbes Editor in Chief, appears in an Amway promotional video three different times (Click here))
- Newer, small companies such as Orrin’s at the time (approximately $42 million in gross annual revenue) typically do not merit attention fromForbes, which generally reports on the world’s largest and most influential firms.
- At roughly the same time as this article appeared, Newsweek wrote a similarly negative piece on MonaVie founder and President, Dallin Larsen, even though Larsen was a year away from winning the Ernst & Young Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year award (Click here). Orrin Woodward had just partnered with MonaVie, and Amway/Quixtar had promptly launched litigation against MonaVie.
- Amway also had a major advertising campaign in Newsweek. (Click here)
- Neither of these publications ever featured Orrin or Dallin before the legal dispute, nor have there been any after its settlement.
- Although the Forbes journalist admitted she had never heard of John Maxwell (#1 world renowned leadership expert (Click here)), Pastor Bill Hybels (the pastor of the largest church in her city (Click here)), and had no experience with Network Marketing (Click here), she wrote an article on leadership practices, Christian teachings, and Network Marketing.
- Of all the people the journalist interviewed for the article (Orrin gave her complete access to everyone in his organization), the only person she quoted from her many interviews (other than Orrin himself and one guy standing in line to attend a meeting), was the negative husband of a woman in Orrin’s team that had never attended a single event, nor participated in any way. In contrast, not one of the many positive people interviewed were even mentioned.
- When Orrin invited the journalist to his company’s international convention, offering her full back-stage access to everything and everyone, she politely declined because she had purchased tickets to attend a Willie Nelson concert instead.
- The journalist referred to Network Marketing as “pyramid selling schemes,” proceeded to give a very incorrect description of how they supposedly function, and then wrote, “sounds like a chain letter, doesn’t it?”, even though networking companies operate legally in all 50 states every business day. AND Forbes itself has done many positive (or at least professionally balanced) articles on the industry, as recently as last month(Click here).
- The journalist stated that as a result of Orrin Woodward’s split with Amway, his “tools” business sales “plummeted.” This wasn’t the case. She had been given the actual sales data showing that sales increased after Orrin’s departure from Amway/Quixtar.
- The journalist also stated that Orrin’s exit from Amway/Quixtar “left Woodward with motivational tools but no product to motivate people to sell.” This is also false. Orrin’s leadership material was on the NY Timesbestseller list (another fact not mentioned in the article (Click here) ). Companies were buying it to train their employees, professional athletes were reading it and talking about it in major publications (Click here), and churches were listing it in their annual suggested reading lists (Click here). Orrin’s informational products did not need to be associated with any networking company’s products in order to be valued in the marketplace. In fact, this is exactly what a Michigan judge concluded when he ruled to allow Orrin’s company to continue to function even though it had severed its association with Amway/Quixtar.
ORRIN WOODWARD SINCE THE FORBES ARTICLE
- Since departing from Amway/Quixtar, and after a brief time of partnering with MonaVie, Orrin Woodward and several of his partners launched a company called Life Leadership to provide personal and leadership development materials to individuals and organizations.
- Life Leadership products have consistently won industry awards for design and quality (Click here, and here, and here).
- Life Leadership has attracted customers in widely varying industries and applications that don’t have anything to do with Network Marketing (Click here).
- Orrin Woodward’s works continue to win awards and recognition (Click here, and here and here and here).
- In 2011, Orrin Woodward was awarded the Kettering University Entrepreneurial Achievement Award
- In 2014, Orrin Woodward was named to the Inc. Magazine Top 50 Leadership and Management Experts list (Click here).
- Also in 2014, Orrin Woodward set an official Guinness World Record with the most book signings of his latest best selling new book, And Justice for All: The Quest for Concord. (Click here)
Posted by OrrinWoodward
at 2:37 PM EDT
Thursday, September 18, 2014
The Lost Art of Communication
LIFE Leadership Co-Founder George Guzzardo shares his insights on the lost art of communication below. George has worked in the Network Marketing field for over 20 years with Orrin Woodward. Forbes Magazine recently recommended Network Marketing as a potential retirement income for Baby Boomers like George Guzzardo.
Here is George's though on connection and communication:
It appears that in the 21st century communicating ideas has become a lost art. Studies have shown that one of the reasons is that the use of technology has replaced the good old fashion ability to connect with people. In addition, the loss of a classical education when rhetoric and oratory skills where once taught has hindered the art of communicating ideas. The LIFE Leadership subscriptions have helped so many people re connect and learn to communicate again. Having these abilities is easier said than done, however. Let’s examine some perspectives on the art of communicating ideas and what may hinder our ability to connect with others.
First of all, there is a tendency for humans to be resistant to change. We become people of habit even though many of our habits won’t bring us closer to our goals. There is a tendency to stay in our comfort zones. When we stay in our own world it’s easy to think our own thoughts rather than listen to new ideas. In many cases people today think that watching T.V. or searching the internet is the only source of new ideas that they need. One reason it is so hard to listen to new ideas is that we have a tendency to hold onto our own thoughts. This is a barrier to connecting and communicating new ideas. In order to listen we have to learn to exclude our own thoughts. As an example of how difficult this is, just try and see if you can keep from thinking your own thoughts for just 5 or 10 seconds while someone else is speaking. One of the key aspects of learning new ideas is the fact that listening serves a purpose for us. People are more apt to listen if there is gain in doing it.
It’s obvious that the art of listening is the key to communicating. The easiest way to begin listening is to ask a question. “How long have you lived here?” “How did you ever get started in that profession?” Learn about the other persons likes or dislikes. To learn about people, ask them about their past. A question is a request to think about a subject. It activates the other person’s thinking. Listeners are drawn because of pleasure, excitement, or to hear a solution to a problem. Keep in mind that what is relevant to you may not be relevant to them. Listening is like a jigsaw puzzle. Hearing words is like receiving the pieces. When you put the pieces together, it’s like forming a picture. The idea or picture should contribute to understanding the point. Some thoughts may provoke the other person to work on understanding the idea. The deepest level of listening is where the listener thinks about what you are saying. They begin to visualize your ideas in a way that they would use them. This can open the door to further conversation.
To help the other person connect with your ideas it’s important to start the conversation by telling your purpose. Starting a conversation without telling your purpose may lead to distrust. Too often, one person asks questions without telling the other person in the conversation what the reasons for the questions are. Being courteous stimulates cooperation. Encourage expression. Talk about the point and leave out other ideas that don’t belong. Any idea that does not contribute to the other person’s understanding of the discussion is beside the point. Take notice that when another person asks non – meaningful questions, that they are not putting the pieces together or even that maybe their purpose of the conversation is different than yours. In that case, it may be helpful to draw them out further to find out the purpose of the statement. In some cases listening is at the surface only, where the other person can repeat back the words that were said but they have no comprehension of what was said. This might occur because they have no interest at all. Sometimes those receiving the information keep a curtain over their mind and heart so that others cannot get a glimpse of what they are thinking.
When discussing new ideas realize that emotions are interwoven within the conversation. Emotions motivate us. Fear is an unpleasant feeling that can fuel motivation. A feeling of gain can lead to motivation from fulfilling a want or a need. When you motivate from finding goals that are good for both sides a new channel now exists toward a worthwhile endeavor. Connecting is enabled when you practice thinking about what you are saying beforehand as though you were the one listening. You become a manipulator if you try to persuade people to do something that is not in their best interest. Other people should not be treated only as an object to be examined or probed. Cooperativeness in a conversation is achieved when you show that you consider the other person’s ideas and feelings as important as your own.
One of the many things that limit communication during a conversation is attitude toward other people. Self- confidence or low self- esteem appear to be a frequent block to connecting and communicating. Symptoms may include self – praise or a need for reassurance. Other symptoms include teasing or gossip. Unfavorable comparison or comparing two people may indicate low self – esteem. Irrelevant conversation may be a way of showing a need just to let out feelings with no relevant information. In that case, a person may be using the conversation itself as way of fulfillment.
When sharing an idea you may want to finish the conversation with a commitment. Scheduling a time to re connect indicates a person’s interest. Hesitation to re connect indicates reservations about the ideas that were discussed. There may be additional time to evaluate the ideas that were discussed. While working with best selling author Orrin Woodward, I’ve learned over time that there is no substitute for the motivating power of a great cause. Two people can be brought together around an idea that unites them. After the U.S. Olympic games and Peter Uberroth’s $200 million surplus, Robert Akamian wrote in Time, “He has a way of turning whatever he touches into a cause.” Connecting people may be as easy as what Dale Carnagie describes as “appealing to nobler motives.” Finally, if you are satisfied with the results you are now getting, why change? If you are not satisfied, why not experiment? Ideas, Connecting, Communicating. Try it. Let me know how it goes? God Bless, George Guzzardo
Posted by OrrinWoodward
at 1:59 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, September 18, 2014 2:03 PM EDT
Tuesday, July 15, 2014
Orrin Woodward Breaks Guinness World Record!
Orrin Woodward has done it again. He didn't just break, he shattered the Guinness World Record for largest book signing. Here is Orrin's blog article describing how the record attempt was conceived. LIFE Leadership is making waves with its revolutionary leadership development model.
And Justice For All
When Ken Dunn (CEO of Next Century Publishing) informed me that Sammy Lee from Hong Kong had shattered the old Guinness World Records by signing 4,649 books during one book signing, I was impressed. For the previous mark was mid-2000′s and he nearly doubled that amount. Shortly afterwards, Chris Brady suggested that maybe we could break Lee’s world record with the release of my new book. I knew it would demand world-class levels in the process, people, and perseverance, but also knew LIFE Leadership was up for the task.
However, I didn’t just want to break the record, I wanted LIFE Leadership to smash it by topping 6,000 books signed. Of course, this wouldn’t be easy, especially when one considers that Mr. Lee took over 11 hours to sign 4,649 copies of his book. There is no way that I could sign 6,000 copies of my new book And Justice For All at that pace and still speak later in the day. Accordingly, if LIFE Leadership truly wanted to break the Guinness World Record, an interdependent leadership strategy was needed involving people, processes, and perseverance. In other words, not just working hard, but working smart was in order.
The people portion was the area I was least concerned about. With tens of thousands of active members and customers, I knew the people needed to break the record would be in attendance. However, it wasn’t just the number of people, but the quality of the people that made the difference. The LIFE Leadership Convention is filled with people trained on the best leadership information provided on a monthly basis. I believed the people would “buy into” the record-breaking strategy and discipline themselves to get their book signed quickly with few delays. Remember, time was of the essence because even at just 10 seconds per book, to sign 6,686 books would have required over 18 1/2 hours! No way could I have done that and still fulfilled my other responsibilities.
Guinness World Record Holder
This forced LIFE Leadership to develop a process to hit the 6,000 plus book signing target and do so in under 10 hours. This had never been done before. Undeterred, Chris Brady, Rob Hallstrand, and Michelle Turner planned a process to do what until that day had been impossible. These three studied the constraints in the people and process to improve the book ordering process. From the queue to order the book, to the line to get the book signed, to how the books were placed in front of me, everything was simply world-class. To say that the process achieved its goal would be an understatement. In fact, the old record was broken in under 4 1/2 hours without even taking a break.
Finally, the small part I played in the record was perseverance to serve the people and follow the process. I made a vow at the start of the signing to not remove myself from my chair until after the record was broken. Given the length of time required to break the record previously, I knew my bladder would probably be the weak link. Nonetheless, by believing in the people and the process, I sat down and did not move until I had signed over 5,000 books. Even though I was legally allowed 5 minutes every hour that I could break to eat, drink, or use the bathroom, I wanted to beat the record without the luxury of a break.
After my first break, we pressed forward and blasted past 6,000 books on our way to our final count of 6,786 total books signed. This was a team effort and I would like to personally thank everyone involved. First of all, the people who disciplined themselves to follow the process flawlessly. Second, the office personnel for developing a world-class system to break the record. And third, a special thanks to Marc Militello, Neal Ruffner, and John Croyle for making the process fun and orchestrating the process and people through the line at record breaking speed. The Guinness World Record could not have been broken without your efforts.
Last, but not least, I would like to thank Michael Empric, the adjudicator from Guinness World Records, for investing his day in certifying the proceedings. Michael was a treat to work with and said this about LIFE Leadership’s process and people, ““What people often forget is the scope of organizing and coordinating a record attempt this large. The number of people in line was almost like being at a theme park, except instead of Space Mountain, all of these people were waiting in line to buy a book and have it signed by Orrin.” Michael went above and beyond by personally presenting the Guinness World Record plaque on the LIFE Leadership stage in front of a packed out Columbus arena. That was the perfect culmination for the record breaking day as it was a team victory.
LIFE Leadership Crowd – June Convention
In closing, leadership is the art of building belief. When people believe on the inside, a previously impossible task becomes possible. In this case, the impossible became possible once leaders believed and then developed the people, processes, and perseverance to finish. All of this, of course, inspired by the power of the dream. LIFE Leadership’s Guinness World Record performance proves that it is among the best of the best in the leadership field today. I am a blessed man to be associated with such a fine group of leaders on our way to changing the lives of millions of people.
Orrin & Laurie Woodward GWR Plaque
Guinness World Record Plaque
Michael Empric Presents GWR plaque to Orrin Woodward
Posted by OrrinWoodward
at 4:36 PM EDT
Friday, January 31, 2014
The Greeks: Concord, Chaos, or Coercion
Below is an article from Orrin Woodward on the ancient Greeks. The Greeks learned from their neighbors while adding a unique blend of liberty into their society. The results were impressive. The Greeks surpassed all other ancient societies in innovation and culture. Similarly, LIFE Leadership is adding a higher level of liberty and interdependence into community building with impressive results.
Greeks & Persians at Marathon
Here is some research I am doing on the ancient Greeks and their love of freedom. How a small band of freedom-loving people stood and conquered the mighty Persian empire only to destroy one another in bloody civil wars is one of the keys to political science. In fact, the Five Laws of Decline (FLD), which I teach in my Top 100 All-Time Best Leadership Book RESOLVED: 13 Resolutions for LIFE, predict the downfall of the Greeks. The goal of the LIFE Leadership is to prohibit the growth of the FLD through a performance-based culture where no special deals are allowed. Everyone is paid as they perform—period!
Harry Truman once said, “There is nothing new under the sun, only the history you do not know.” One of our goals in LIFE is to learn and apply the lessons of history so we don’t repeat its mistakes. Enjoy the article and please share how you avoid the growth of the Five Laws of Decline in your company.
In 481 BC, 10,000 Athenian warriors at Marathon blocked a Persian army rumored to be over 100,000 strong. Indeed, the Persians were the conquering force of the ancient world, having amassed an empire that included modern day Iran, Iraq, Israel, Egypt, Libya, Turkey, and many more. In contrast, the entire Greek peninsula and islands added together are about 2/3 the size of Portugal. Moreover, the Persians were believed to be invincible in military expeditions, having recently conquered the Ionian Greeks (on the western tip of modern day Turkey) before invading the Greek mainland. In fact, no Greek state had successfully withstood the advance of Persia and many of the mainland Greek states had succumbed to the “earth and water” tribute demanded by Persia signifying Greek subjection to the Persian King. Nonetheless, the Athenian hoplites marched over 26 miles to the plains of Marathon to defend their precious freedoms from Persian tyranny while their families awaited word in Athens.
The ancient Greeks are unique when compared to the Asian people of Persia and Egypt. In truth, the “earth and water” demanded by the Persian King wasn’t entirely unpalatable, allowing the Greeks to live peacefully if they paid their tax tribute and provided military help when the Persian King desired to conquer more territory. While many races and countries chose enslavement and peace, the Greeks, led by Sparta and Athens, chose liberty or death. Politically, because of the unique geography of Greece – no navigable rivers and mountains physically separating communities – instead of one national government ruling over smaller units of sovereignty, Greece consisted of numerous city-state sovereignties that confederated together for defense, religious ceremonies, and sporting competitions. While the rest of the world worshiped God-like kings, surrendering their freedoms like ants within a colony. The Greeks, who lived too close to their kings to be fooled, pledged loyalty instead to their cities and structured monarchies, aristocracies, or even democracies for the benefit of the polis, not the political leader. By separating their religion from their King, the Greeks began to see each other as equals before the city-state’s laws, not serfs before God’s regent on earth. The effect of this revolutionary mindset is what led the Athenian’s to fight at Marathon. In other words, they valued their freedoms more than they valued living under slavery.
The Athenian Greeks defeated the Persians on the plains of Marathon, thanks to the courageous leadership of Miltiades. Several years later, the Greeks confederation defeated the Persians again in the naval battle at Salamis, capitalizing on the leadership strategy of another Athenian hero, Themistocles. Rarely, does one find a people like the Athenians, who willingly surrendered their city to Persian destruction, taking the citizens to the island of Salamis and the men into the ships to defend their city-less country. The Greeks didn’t just speak about the value of freedom; they lived it out in their lives. With the final defeat of the Persians on the Boetian plains, led by the Spartan King Pausanius, the Greeks were finally safe from Persian tyranny. Freedom loving people conquered against overwhelming odds thanks to great courage, leadership, and strategy. But this happy story doesn’t end so well. The Greeks, who had so bravely united to defend Greece, ended up destroying one another in a series of fratricidal wars that left mainland Greece exhausted and vulnerable to Macedonian empire building.
What went wrong? How could a people who valued freedom so highly destroy one another, consequently, losing their freedom? The answer is the Five Laws of Decline. The Greeks were the first people to quest after political concord. History has proven concord is a difficult objective since it lies between the Scylla and Charybdis, rocks of chaos on one side and coercion on the other. Before Greece, the history of human civilization is a litany of kings using absolute power to enforce obedient submission of his subjects or lack of absolute power creating chaos and war until a King built enough power to rule his subjects again. Accordingly, in studying the Greek failures, keep in mind that, in the history of the West, this was the first community to attempt a political solution of concord between chaos and coercion. With no historical precedents before them, the Greeks sailed blindly into uncharted seas, confident that they could solve human civilization’s dilemma. After all, hadn’t they just defeated an alleged invincible power and displayed a fierce defense of freedom and all it entails?
Posted by OrrinWoodward
at 7:55 AM EST
Updated: Friday, January 31, 2014 7:56 AM EST
Friday, November 8, 2013
Culture, Current, and Leadership
George Guzzardo explains how the current creates culture in this leadership article. George and Orrin Woodward have been partners for 20 years culminating in the founding of LIFE Leadership.
A culture can be defined as a set of established beliefs and practices. Those practices reflect a system of values. When the culture demonstrates practices that break principles that were in place, you will begin to witness what Orrin Woodward and Oliver DeMille write in their best selling book Leadershift as “The Law of Diminishing Returns’. This type of negative result can be seen in relationships, businesses, and even our country. It’s much more difficult to restore behavior that leads to productivity than it is to maintain it.
If the culture demonstrates non - productive behavior it effects us and our lives. It’s reflected in the conflicts in our relationships, stress in our lives, and our economic conditions. A culture that exhibits poor behavior leads to a stagnant murky current. A stagnant and murky current can be measured as we witness the government’s health care insurance. With the government’s health care we can see ‘Gresham’s Law’ and the ‘Law of Diminishing Returns’ clearly in full effect from an incompetent bureaucracy. These practices and behaviors lead to the ‘Law of Inertia’ that makes it appear that a decline is inevitable. Although a non - productive culture is very difficult to restore it’s not impossible. That is why leadership is so valuable to our personal lives, our businesses, and our country.
The good news is that leaders create the culture. This creates the current where productive values, beliefs, and practices flow. This can be in our personal lives with relationships and finance or our businesses or even our country. Jim Collins who wrote the book Good to Great recognized that the upward trend a business took was when the leadership in that company took effect. This can translate all the way from our personal life to our country because the formula for a successful culture is leadership. Leaders learn, adjust, and grow. By performing they test their practices, make appropriate adjustments, and get results. They use a scoreboard as a measuring tool. A scoreboard gives feedback on how the culture is doing whether it reflects a relationship, business, or country Leaders are not driven by credentials. They are driven from principles and that correlates to character and integrity. When a culture is developed from principle it sets a standard where beliefs and practices develop. This establishes a current. A current is the speed of the culture. A positive current (unlike the murky, stagnant water from a culture that embraces non - productive behavior) leads to a deep, fast channel that magnifies growth and productivity.
In the LIFE Leadership LLR CD 587, ‘Louis Gerstner: Orchestrating a Turnaround’, Orrin Woodward notes the areas Gerstner addressed as his priorities when he took over to save the sinking company of IBM. Gerstner studied the key indicators better known as the scoreboard to determine where his business was winning or loosing. The first area he addressed was culture. He established that culture through relationships by improving communication. He set practices with the words and attitudes they used in the company. He established a learning culture. Leaders learn when they read, listen, and associate. The communication was conveyed to their constituents in what Tim Marks describes in the Life Training 67 CD as “Repeated small doses.” Gerstner also developed a culture of teamwork and service. He looked for other leaders who could solve problems and get results. When the right culture was established it created a deep, straight riverbed in which the principles and practices of success flowed throughout the environment with speed and strength. The positive current magnified and multiplied their efforts. Gerstner shows how any leader can orchestrate and manage change.
With the right leaders, system, and association, successful practices can be taught. I recently was invited to the Lennox heating and air conditioning yearly convention where my friend Dave Chatmon led a turnaround. I witnessed the results of his leadership and the use of the LIFE Leadership system. I learned that around four years ago he inherited a Territory where there was no leadership. This was reflected on the dealer’s behaviors and practices. Lennox Wisconsin was last in the nation in sales and service. Although it is very difficult to change a current, a leader recognizes what needs to be done and exhibits the leadership qualities it takes to develop the culture of productivity. I came to the convention and witnessed a turnaround. Granted it was not on the scale of IBM but it was on the state level. A leadership culture was developed over a four - year period with the assistance of the LIFE Leadership products. Now the Lennox Wisconsin current is moving and they are rated number one in sales in the nation. Needless to say the VP of Lennox global was in attendance and was taking notes. Again we see that leadership is where the value is for the company, whether on a local, state, national, or global scale.
Leaders create the culture. The culture creates the results. The results create the current. When the current is moving it magnifies and multiplies. People get caught up in effective and productive behaviors. Enhancements are noticed in people’s lives. Businesses become successful. Communities begin to thrive. The nation can be a place for a better future. This effects people. People begin to have hope in a better future. The people and a nation then see a vision of something better. They begin to expect a better future. They feel the effect of a leadership culture. God Bless, George Guzzardo
Posted by OrrinWoodward
at 8:07 AM EST
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Raising the Bar
Bill Lewis expresses how to set, and then raise, the bar on yourself. Bill has lived these principles for the last 15 years working with Orrin Woodward and Chris Brady in LIFE Leadership. Are you raising the bar on yourself?
I wasn’t sure what to title this article, but “Setting the Bar” seemed the simplest. I also thought “Set a Bar” and then I started thinking, “For Goodness Sake Please Set Any Bar!” would be good. In other words, as I was thinking about the title, my blood pressure started to rise because it seems that the “new thing to do” is to set no bar at all. Say this next statement in your best Billy Madison voice. That way everyone will be happy. That is stupidity on steroids! I know what you’re thinking. Tell us how you really feel. Let’s me try to explain what I mean.
Some of the new age thought process is, let’s not keep score because we want everybody to feel like a winner. That’s genius…..not! There was a movie that starred Bill Crystal in which he played a grandfather. One day he goes to his grandsons baseball game. The grandson was pitching and proceeded to throw three strikes but the kid in the batters box stayed where he was standing. He stayed standing there because in these baseball games you get to swing until you get a hit. I sure am glad real life is like that. You’re single, asking a girl out on a date and you just stand there and keep asking because she has to say yes. Every sales call you go on, you don’t have to worry because you know they eventually will have to tell you yes. In the NBA you get to keep shooting free throws until you make both of them ( Shaq would have loved that). In school you get to keep taking the test until you get an A. The bar isn’t set to make people feel bad; it is set to let you know how you are doing! If you don’t have a real standard to compare yourself to, then everyone gets worse because everyone is faked out into thinking that they are doing okay.
Some people say that people who set the bar are doing it wrong or not making it fair. Even if that is the case, then the issue is the people who are setting the bar, not the bar itself. This is the problem with today’s society. We try to fix things by the easiest way possible. We don’t try to fix the real issue. We just want the quickest, simplest way of fixing it, even if we are attacking the wrong thing. If my children try something and are horrible at it they can either decide to work hard, study, and practice to get better or they can decide that it’s just not for them. We have fallen into the trap that everything is supposed to feel good. If you feel good about everything then you won’t get better at anything. Some sort of pain is always required to get better. Without that emotion there is no drive to push yourself. ”Pain is weakness leaving the body.” Most of my success comes from the fact that I always felt inadequate and felt like people were better than me. When I finally decided that it was time to do something, I used that pain to drive me to get better at my craft. We must have bars to jump over or we will all lose in the end. That is what I love about Life Leadership. It doesn’t matter where you came from, what color your skin is, how tall, how big, or who your daddy was. The bar is the same for everyone and everyone can develop themselves to jump over the bar.
Posted by OrrinWoodward
at 8:41 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, October 30, 2013 8:45 AM EDT
Friday, October 4, 2013
The Power Pendulum
The following blog post is being reblogged from Orrin Woodward's blog. Orrin has a way of simplifying complex ideas so people can understand them. Here is his thoughts on the Power Pendulum.
Here are the questions to be studied and answered in my study of Western Civilizations greatest societies. This is really fun to ask and answer these question and see how the history of ideas affected how societies attempted to answer them. LIFE Leadership applies the same ask and answer concept to one’s life. What does a person desire to do? What does he need to do in order to move in that direction? When is he going to get started? In sum, the quality of one’s questions determines the quality of one’s results.
The Power Pendulum
John Locke’s Model
Western Civilization has, for the past 2500 years, been on a quest for concord (peace and harmony) within society. However, this quest remains unconsummated. For concord is achieved when the proper balance of force and freedom is maintained in a society and, although concord has been achieved for brief periods of time, it has never endured. Societal concord lies between the two extremes of chaos on one side and coercion on the other. In essence, the freedom and force movements within society behave similar to a pendulum’s trajectory – moving back and forth through various phases of chaos, concord, and coercion. Unfortunately, Western Society’s have been unable to rest the pendulum in the coveted concord region, thus the purpose of this book.
The author created the Power Pendulum (a visual indicator of the force/freedom ratio within any society) to track how various government policies affect the society’s level of force and freedom. A society is a community of individuals who choose to work together for personal, professional and societal gain. People in society, naturally work together to accomplish objectives without coercion. However, because of man’s willingness to exploit others, as society’s wealth increases, it must develop methods to check internal and external aggressors from plundering the production of others. In consequence, society forms a government and provides it with a “monopoly of force” to protect its members from acts of injustice, both internal and external. Where the rest of society secures cooperation through persuasion, the government, in contrast, is the watchman that secures justice by applying force to those who attempt to plunder others production. In other words, the government is the one segment in political society that is delegated a “monopoly of force” to restrain disobedient members from breaking the law and punishment to those who do.
The underlying questions that must be answered in order to produce concord within society is:
1. What areas of society prosper under freedom?
2. What areas of society need force to ensure justice?
3. How much force is needed in the proper areas to ensure justice reigns?
4. How does society check the delegated “monopoly of force” from flowing into areas of society better served by freedom than force?
Unfortunately, Western Civilization has never answered all four questions within one society. Nonetheless, the author still believes it is possible to do so. For history has recorded periods of concord within Western society and now must learn how to rest the pendulum in concord. However, in order to still the pendulum in concord, one must solved the paradox inherent within “monopoly of force” and limited-power. How, in other words, can an entity that is delegated a “monopoly of force” in specific spheres not use that monopoly to expand its power past the prescribed limits? Historically, when society delegates a “monopoly of force” to government, the initial limited government transforms itself, over time, into an all-powerful state. These are the underlying challenges that have hindered Western Civilization’s quest for concord.
Posted by OrrinWoodward
at 10:11 AM EDT
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
John Locke's State of Nature
Orrin Woodward continues to post enlightening content on his blog for FREE. Why would someone who has accomlished so much share his content free of charge without even collecting emails for future promotion of his materials? I believe it's because Orrin truly wants to make a difference and the way to do that is through providing information that changes lives. LIFE Leadership is changing lives daily and Orrin is leading the charge. Here is an example from his blog.
I am studying John Locke and his thoughts on the state of nature. It is fascinating to me how this ties in with the Five Laws of Decline (FLD). For every page I write, it seems I have to read 100 pages, but what I am learning is beyond anything I expected. Below is a description of man’s inalienable rights, why governments were originally founded, and what happens to these governments due to the FLD. LIFE Leadership goal is to build a community that checks the FLD and allows liberty to prosper. I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I have researching and writing.
John Locke: State of Nature
In his Second Treatise of Government, John Locke described how people, before they form societies, are in a state of nature. In the state of nature, each individual has a right and responsibility to defend his life, liberty, and property to ensure justice. However, as people realize the productive increases through specialization within society, it becomes increasingly expensive and difficult for each person, family, or clan to ensure the justice of all of its members. Accordingly, governments are created and assigned a specific role in the division of labor, namely to specialize in the systematic defense of its members life, liberty, and property, replacing each individuals personal right and responsibility to fulfill this function. Indeed, when government does its role properly, it allows each member of society to focus more of his time, resources, and skills in his field of expertise producing even further gains for himself and society. In sum then, a government’s true purpose is the delegated, specialized, and limited task of defending the people’s inalienable rights in a systematic method within society rather than the previous personal method employed by the people in the state of nature.
The historical record, interestingly, in contrast to Locke’s theory, reveals the majority of societies did not form a government under these auspices. Instead, the productive society was attacked by an external foe who sought to exploit the wealth of its weaker neighbor. In the end, an all-powerful state was forced upon the defenseless productive society after it suffered defeat in war. Curiously then, in practically every case, it was not the will of the people, but edicts issued from an external enemy backed by force, that created the state’s ruling party. The victorious invaders created a state to rule over the defeated host for its benefit. Basically, the victors created the state to discover various methods to systematically plunder the wealth generated from the productive capabilities of the defeated society. Nevertheless, in either example, whether society created a limited-government or endured a hostile takeover by an all-powerful state, the power in society seeks an equilibrium point. For every society’s rulers learn that without the consent of the masses, the government cannot endure. For instance, if at any time the ruler’s oppression becomes unbearable to the people, they will withdraw their tacit consent and turn to rebellion against their master. No ruler desires to inflame the people into these drastic measures. In essence then, the power equilibrium point is the maximum oppression the people willingly endure without resorting to resistance.
Paradoxically, the power equilibrium point reduces the tyranny of the most oppressive states, but increase it in the less oppressive ones. For on one hand, the FLD drives limited-governments to increase their power and sphere of activities through the usurpation of functions not originally delegated to it. On the other hand, however, the all-powerful states slowly surrender morsels of power to ensure the masses consent to the state’s rule. In both examples, unfortunately, the people lose their inalienable state of nature rights as the state increases its power by slight degrees over time. Dismally, the masses consent to being plundered by the state for the right to exist in peace and enslavement. Every single example of limited-government, due to the effects of FLD and the power equilibrium, has transformed itself into an all-powerful state with time. These all-powerful states grant just enough rights to the people to provide the illusion of liberty, making the people’s submission to exploitation easier than rebellion for lost rights.
For an explanation on how this occurs, it is important to remember how government’s function is different than any other in society. For every other part of society is based upon liberty and persuasion to determine the division of labor. Government, however, is based upon a delegated “monopoly of force” allegedly to defend the people’s unalienable rights. Unfortunately, this delegated force never remains within its delegated sphere. When it flows into other areas, it quickly destroys the liberty that was responsible for society’s health. In other words, what liberty and concord produced (a productive society), the unlimited power, unchecked force, and coercive measures of the state destroy. The historical record reveals numerous examples of limited governments transforming into a tyrannical states. In fact, the failures appear to follow a similar pattern where society grows under the liberty of limited-government and dies under the bondage of an all-powerful state. How many more rise-and-fall examples are needed to prove this point beyond dispute? Despite the depressing track record, however, the author still believes the quest for concord is possible. If society’s leaders can comprehend the symbiotic relationship between the liberty needed to grow society and the force needed to protect it, then the proper steps can be taken to check the excessive growth of force which leads to society’s demise.
Another important difference between the state and other areas of society is that the state does not produce any wealth. In fact, it consumes the wealth of society even when the government is limited to protecting the life, liberty, and property of its members. The question boils down to how society ensures the people’s inalienable rights it brought over from the state of nature without allowing the limited-governments to seize these liberties by converting into an all-powerful state. Yes, liberty within society produces more wealth than oppression, but plunderers care not for the overall health of society, but focus more on personal power and wealth. Accordingly, each society must solve how to create wealth and ensure the parasitic plunderers are checked. And, since society operates most effectively under liberty, but the state uses force, the key is to limit the State to only the few areas where coercion is needed (protection life, liberty, and property). This leaves the rest of society free to prosper under the blessings of liberty. Only a free society can give and take away power based upon the satisfaction of the needs and wants. A limited government only uses coercion when a member’s life, liberty, or property is threatened by either internal or external aggressors; otherwise its sword is sheathed. Unfortunately, the state, driven by mankind’s love of power, has proven itself unable to resist the temptation inherent in the “monopoly of force” to benefit itself at the society’s expense.
Posted by OrrinWoodward
at 3:02 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, September 11, 2013 3:08 PM EDT
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