Orrin Woodward LIFE Leadership Team

Winner of the 2011 Independent Association of Business Top Leader Award; Orrin Woodward shares his leadership secrets.

Character – Producers vs Exploiters

Posted by Orrin Woodward on October 2, 2010

Leaders always choose the harder right rather than the easier wrong.

Character demands strength of mind, heart, and will.  Choosing to do right, regardless of what others are doing, isn’t easy or natural, but leaders refuse to surrender their character, considering it more valuable than any earthly possession.  Many talk glibly of character, boasting loudly of its importance, who, when circumstances press against them, quickly run to the easier wrong than the harder right.  Character is less about head knowledge, nearly everyone knows when they are doing wrong, but more a matter of heart knowledge, doing right when it hurts.  In life, one can choose to produce results or search for ways to exploit others results. Producers create value by serving people, either directly in the service fields, or indirectly by producing products that people desire.  Producers do not look for handouts, only hand ups.  Given the right training, they can achieve nearly anything by their efforts and tenacity.  Maintaining a productive existence requires character as people will not remain in business with exploiters unless coerced. One of the quickest way to recognize producers, is by the long term relationships built through serving others through win-win principles.  Character based people refuse to be exploiters, even though it looks easier, it always ends up hurting the person more than it benefits the pocketbook.

Exploiters, on the other hand, produce nothing or nearly nothing, relying on privileged positions gained through their political maneuverings, rewarded from the fruits of someone else’s labors.  Exploiters seek out producers, needing their production in order to live parasitic existences, hoping to fatten themselves from the fruits grown in others gardens.  Exploiters flock to professions in which tracking performance is difficult, like government, large corporations, and even the church.  These fields are ripe for exploiters because it’s easier to remain hidden, being far enough removed from the customers satisfaction.  Any field protected from the reality of the market allows exploitive means to grow and productive means to shrink. For example, a person in direct sales position gets immediate feedback if he or his product does not get the job done, but someone can hide out for an entire career in large companies never talking to a true customer.  A perfect field for exploitation. How do you accurately gauge what a person is worth to the end customer or even internal customers without a profit measure? Government exploiters can run up debts and taxes while blaming the other party; corporate exploiters can increase their salaries, stock options, or corporate expense accounts while the company and investors lose money, church leaders can manage churches into the ground, passing off there poor leadership as God’s lack of Providence. Don’t misread me, not everyone in these fields is an  exploiter, many are hard working producers that love what they do.  Not to mention, you can find exploiters in any profession, anywhere, where they have discovered how to gain at another’s expense without serving.

Free enterprise works because the customer is sovereign over his personal wishes.  Please ponder this, if anyone else is sovereign over the customer’s choices, the customer has lost his freedom to choose.  Without the freedom to choose, how can we be free?  I believe this is the biggest lesson to learn about freedom, that without economic freedom there isn’t true freedom at all. In free enterprise, if a customer isn’t happy, they vote with their feet finding someone who will serve them.  Freedom ensures that money is made through service to customers, not by control over them.  This is why it takes character to support Free Enterprise, because it gives the power to the consumers, not the State or Big Business to choose for them.  Any alternate economic system, denies the consumer his right to choose, leaving someone else as the final arbiter of the customers wishes, making a mockery of freedom.  Sadly, it doesn’t take Sherlock Holmes to understand why exploiters do not like Free Enterprise.  If all businesses were to remain free of government partnership, exploiters would lose the foothold gained in the economy.  Forced to serve the customers, the companies would either change or go out of business. Government will always provide the largest field for exploitation since they have no competitors, which makes it critical to keep government out of the economy, as this only expands the fields for exploitation further.  Free Enterprise, by making the customer king, ensures that all businesses are created to serve customers, not customers created to serve businesses.

In contrast, much that is written on the alleged benefits of socialism, a sad economic system debunked in theory (see Ludwig Von Mises) and in practice (see everywhere it has been attempted), has been written by exploiters, seeking a place to hide from their personal and professional incompetence.  Why would an exploiter write anything truthful about a free system assured to condemn in principle and deny in practice his privileged and unearned position?  Instead, exploiters will blather on about equality and fairness, without clearly defining the terms, keeping the customers confused of their rights as sovereign over his own economic choices.  I am reminded of a famous quote from credited to Winston Churchill who said, “If you aren’t socialist before twenty-five, you have no heart; if you are socialist after twenty-five, you have no brain.” Sadly, in our society, many are losing their brains, with producers being attacked by a growing legion of exploiters, demanding more of the producers fruits of their labor by stigmatizing unequal results.  Socialism is an acid, decaying the roots of our freedoms, feeding the worst aspects of human nature, giving pride, greed and envy free reign to destroy everything in its path. Is this the future we look forward to in this once great nation?  Let everyone examine himself.

This leads us full circle in our discussion, leaders must choose the harder right than the easier wrong.  America, as do other countries, stands or falls based upon the amount of producers compared to exploiters in society.  The more exploitation is rewarded, the more difficult it is to produce.  History teaches that when a country develops more exploiters than producers, the country falls.  I, for one, am hopeful, seeing many leaders developing, leaders unwilling to surrender this nation to exploiters looking for a free ride.  Just because it would be easier to become a member of the thriving exploiters community known simply as the, “Something For Nothing Club,” SFNC, doesn’t mean you should join.  One person of character standing on principle produces more than a thousand who have surrendered their character to the SFNC.  Be a producer in life, refusing to make decisions based upon conveniences; instead, make your choices based upon your character.  Perhaps your choice will be the tipping point that makes all the difference.  God Bless,  Orrin Woodward

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