Orrin Woodward LIFE Leadership Team

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

Archive for the ‘Leadership/Personal Development’ Category

Everything rises and falls on leadership.

LIFE & Team: Compensated Communities

Posted by Orrin Woodward on May 24, 2012

As a kid growing up in the LakeVille school district, wrestling was big. There were great coaches, many strong farm boys, and a rabid fan base. I started organized wrestling (my two brothers and I were always wrestling at home) as a 7th grader and loved it; however, in the 8th grade LakeVille lost its millage and sports were canceled for the year.

Regretfully, I stopped wrestling when sports returned my freshman year of high school, playing basketball instead. Looking back, this was a huge mistake, since basketball, although a great game, wasn’t tapping into my potential like wrestling did. Fortunately, my junior year I returned to wrestling, albeit woefully behind my former teammates. I tell you all of this to make a few points about wrestling and to draw an analogy of my wrestling experience with the new Mental Fitness Challenge program.

First, to be a good wrestler it requires two key attributes:

1. Physical and Mental Strength
2. Technical wrestling skills for leverage

I don’t care how technically skilled a wrestler is; if he doesn’t have physical and mental strength, he won’t be a good wrestler. On the other hand, he can have all the strength needed to be a great wrestler, but if he doesn’t have the technicals skills to leverage his strength against his opponents, he will still never be a champion.

In many tournaments, I witnessed muscle-bound kids tossed around the mat by physically less impressive opponents who knew how to leverage the strength they had. Consequently, I realized quickly that, although I was strong enough, I needed a crash course on the technical skills for leverage in order to win. I could toss many of the kids around, but they would eventually wear me down using leverage to use my strength against me. In my senior year, I wrestled varsity at 126 pounds. It’s practically unheard of for someone to wrestle varsity at LakeVille as a senior (kind of like drinking water from a fire hose) :), but it was what is was.

Thankfully, I had an assistant coach who spent extra time with me, drilling me through routine after routine, making the moves part of my sub-conscious mind rather than having to consciously think about every action. At first, I was an average wrestler at best. Eventually, however, with my coach’s help, I developed the technical skills to leverage my strength against my opponents to compete. Accordingly, I spent the second half of the year wrestling many of the opponents who had beaten me in the first half and evening the scoreboard. 🙂

In the same way, the Mental Fitness Challenge develop mental strength which is a non-negotiable for success. Indeed, to be a champion in any field requires mental toughness to withstand the pressure and setbacks. However, with that said, mental toughness alone isn’t itself sufficient to create champions. Likewise, in each field, technical skills and leverage points must be learned to effectively capitalize on a person’s improved mental toughness. In relation to the compensated community field, the MFC builds a person’s mental toughness and the Team teaches the technical skills to leverage his results to build a large community.

For the many customers of LIFE, the MFC is sufficient because it teaches the mental toughness to achieve greatness when combined with the technical skills and leverage points in the customer’s profession. In contrast, for those involved in the LIFE compensated communities the Mental Fitness Challenge is essential but not sufficient. To build large communities one must develop the technical understanding around Power-Player and its inherent leveraging capabilities.

Essentially, someone in LIFE and MFC without studying the Team training materials is like a strong wrestler being tossed around the mat. He is strong, but doesn’t understand how to leverage his strength in his chosen sport or profession. I study the principles for mental strength and community building skills, because I remember being one of those wrestlers getting beaten on the mat and I refuse to simulate it again in my current field! 🙂

Every profession separates the professionals from the amateurs in the same way: 1) Mental strength and 2) leveraging specific skills repeatedly. The community building field is no different. Power-Player is our play and it scores every time we run it properly. Effective execution of Power-Player requires the same hunger, discipline, and practice to become a champion as it does for a winner in any field – mental strength and leverage skills.

I am thankful for my brothers, who helped me develop my physical strength by wrestling at home; however, placing second in the District meet as a first-year varsity wrestler (an unheard of feat) was the work of an encouraging assistant who invested his time to teach me the leverage skills for wrestling. Similarly, if you are in LIFE, are you willing to invest the time to develop your leverage skills or do you think mental strength is sufficient? Champions in LIFE will master the mental toughness provided through the MFC and the technical skills for leverage provided by Team and win on a huge scale.

Like I have said many times: A person either hates losing enough to change or he hates changing enough to lose. I hate losing; therefore, I change. LIFE is creating a group of interdependent mentally tough leaders, who have mastered the skills of community building through the play that scores every time and its called: Power Player.

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward

Posted in Leadership/Personal Development, Mental Fitness Challenge (MFC) | Tagged: | 59 Comments »

Magna Carta: The Great Charter

Posted by Orrin Woodward on May 21, 2012

Here is an excellent short history of the Magna Carta, one of the first building blocks of English speaking freedoms, from the Constitutional Rights Foundation.  In fact, several of the points from the Magna Carta were carried forward into the United States Constitution, as well as each of the commonwealth nations of the former English Empire. The key to the document was the agreement for the nobles to check the king’s actions, ensuring the protection of the subjects against tyranny. Although the original Magan Carta agreement didn’t last long, many of the principles themselves have withstood the test of time.

The goal of the LIFE community and the Mental Fitness Challenge is to reteach the principles of freedom and following, along with the other six F’s into communities of learners. The only way to ensure freedom is to ensure knowledge, since a person is only as free as what he or she knows. Enjoy the article.

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward

Meeting at Runnymede

The Story of King John and Magna Carta

Myth and history are intertwined in the England of 800 years ago. We all remember the outlaw, Robin Hood. From his hideout in Sherwood Forest, he and his band of Merry Men preyed on the rich and gave to the poor. Their archenemy was the Sheriff of Nottingham, who took his orders from the sinister Prince John. While Robin Hood never existed, John certainly did. He was the central character in a real life drama that led to a milestone in human liberty: Magna Carta. Prince John’s older brother, Richard, became king of England when their father, Henry II, died in 1189. King Richard I (also called Richard the Lionhearted) spent almost the entire 10 years of his reign away from England. He fought in tournaments, led crusades and waged several wars on the continent of Europe.

Since Richard needed revenue to pay for his adventures, he taxed his subjects heavily. At one point Richard was captured by his enemies and held for ransom (a common practice in feudal Europe). Richard’s tax collectors in England had to raise an enormous sum of money to free him. Despite Richard’s demands, the people back home in England loved him as a conquering hero.

When Richard died in 1199, John became King. Unlike his brother, John tended to stay at home and run his kingdom on a day to day basis. John, however, continued his brother’s harsh tax policy. Because John lacked Richard’s heroic image and charisma, his subjects began to hate him for his constant demands for more tax money.

King John vs. the Church

King John made more enemies when he refused to accept the appointment of Stephen Langton as Archbishop of Canterbury, the most important position in the English Catholic Church. By so doing, John challenged the authority of Pope Innocent III in Rome, who punished John by excommunication. John retaliated by taxing the Church in England, confiscating its lands and forcing many priests to leave their parishes.

While King John carried on his dispute with the Pope, powerful English landowners called barons conspired against him. Fuming over John’s heavy taxes and other abuses of power, the barons plotted rebellion. To head them off, King John made an unexpected move.

In 1212, King John agreed to have Stephen Langton become Archbishop of Canterbury. John also promised to compensate the Church for its money and lands. John even went so far as to make England a fief of the Pope. King John still ruled England, but, as John’s liege lord, the Pope gained tremendous prestige throughout Europe. Pope Innocent was delighted and in 1213 ended John’s excommunication. With John now under the protection of the Church, the resentful barons retreated—at least for a while.

King John vs. the Barons

Convinced that his throne was again safe, King John returned to one of his favorite projects. For years he had dreamed to retake possession of lands in France that had once belonged to his ancestors. Once before, John had led a military expedition to France. Although he won a number of battles, John failed to decisively defeat the French king. Now, in 1213, John planned another campaign.

An invasion of France required many soldiers and more money. Under feudal law, a liege lord had the right to call upon his vassals to provide knights or money during times of war. From the English barons, all vassals of King John, he demanded men-at-arms or gold to support his new French war. Many of the barons refused, having little interest in John’s quarrel with the French king. Enraged, King John set out to punish them by attacking their castles.

Early in 1214, he abandoned his domestic quarrels and left with a force of loyal barons and mercenaries (paid soldiers) for France. History repeated itself. John succeeded in winning some battles, but failed to gain control of the disputed lands.

The Road to Runnymede

Soon after returning to English soil in October 1214, King John resumed his demand for money from the rebellious barons. His demands fell on deaf ears. Sensing John’s weakness after his failure in France, the barons began to make their own demands. In January 1215, a group of them appeared before King John asking for a written charter from him confirming ancient liberties granted by earlier kings of England. Evidence suggests that the newly appointed Archbishop Stephen Langton may have encouraged these demands.

John decided to stall for time; he would give the barons an answer later in the spring. In the meantime, John sent letters to enlist the support of Pope Innocent III, and also began to assemble a mercenary army.

In April, the barons presented John with more specific demands. John flatly rejected them. He remarked: “Why do not the barons, with these unjust exactions, ask my kingdom?”

In response, the barons withdrew their allegiance to King John, and started to form their own rebel army. At the head of the rebel forces was Robert FitzWalter, who called himself “Marshal of the army of God and Holy Church.” In an effort to cool things off, John proposed that the Pope settle their differences. With the Pope openly siding with King John, the barons refused. John ordered his sheriffs to crush the rebel barons and they retaliated by occupying London.

A stalemate ensued. The 40 or so rebel barons and their forces held London as well as their own fortified castles throughout England. King John commanded a slightly smaller force of loyalist barons and mercenaries. Unaligned were about 100 barons plus a group of church leaders headed by the ever-present Archbishop Stephen Langton. Langton (who was sympathetic to the rebels if not one himself) began to work for a negotiated settlement to prevent all-out civil war and arranged a meeting to be held at Runnymede, a meadow on the Thames west of London.

Meeting at Runnymede

King John and his supporters, the rebel barons, the neutrals, church leaders and Archbishop Langton all met at Runnymede on June 15, 1215. Significantly, while most of King John’s fighting men were scattered throughout his kingdom, the rebels appeared at full military strength.

Little is known about the details of this historic meeting. We do know that King John placed his seal of approval on a document called the “Articles of the Barons.” Over the next few days these articles were rewritten, expanded, and put into the legal language of a royal charter.

At some point, probably on June 19, King John put his seal on the final draft of what we call today “Magna Carta” or “The Great Charter.” In exchange, the rebellious barons renewed their oath of allegiance to King John, thus ending the immediate threat of civil war.

In its original form Magna Carta consisted of 63 articles or chapters. Many concerned matters of feudal law that were important to the rebel barons, but are of little relevance to us today. Other parts of Magna Carta corrected King John’s abuses of power against the barons, Church officials, merchants and other “free men” who together made up about 25% of England’s population. Magna Carta virtually ignored the remaining 75% of the population.

For people today the most significant part of Magna Carta is Chapter 39:
No free man shall be arrested or imprisoned or disseised [property taken] or outlawed or exiled or in any way victimized, neither will we attack him or send anyone to attack him, except by the lawful judgment of his peers or by the law of the land.
Some have interpreted this provision to mean that Magna Carta guaranteed to free men the right to a trial by jury. However, the idea of a jury trial as we would recognize it today had not yet developed by 1215.

The purpose of this chapter was to prevent King John from personally ordering the arrest and punishment of a free man without lawful judgment. According to Magna Carta, “lawful judgment” could only be made by judges ruled by “the law of the land,” or by one’s peers in a trial by combat.

Magna Carta of 1215 was not really intended to be a list of rights for Englishmen or even the barons themselves. It was more like a contract in which John bound himself to abide by its provisions. The barons only wanted King John to satisfy their complaints against his abusive rule, not overthrow the monarchy. The real significance of this document lies in the basic idea that a ruler, just like everyone else, is subject to the rule of law. When King John agreed to Magna Carta, he admitted that the law was above the king’s will, a revolutionary idea in 1215.

Aftermath

King John surrendered significant power when he agreed to Magna Carta. It is doubtful that he really ever intended to live up to all his promises. While John did satisfy some of the barons’ personal grievances, he secretly wrote the Pope asking him to cancel Magna Carta on the grounds that he signed it against his will. At the same time he continued to build up his mercenary army. Not trusting John’s intentions, the rebel barons held on to London and maintained their own army.

Pope Innocent III replied favorably to King John’s appeal. He condemned Magna Carta and declared it null and void. By September 1215, King John and his army were roving the countryside attacking the castles of individual barons, but he avoided the rebel stronghold of London. The barons charged that King John had defaulted on his agreement with them and they were justified in removing him from the throne. They offered the throne to the son of the French king, if he would aid their rebellion.
A long and bloody civil war loomed across England, when suddenly, King John died. A round of heavy eating and drinking apparently led to a case of dysentery causing his death on October 18, 1216. Ten days later John’s nine-year-old son, Henry, was crowned as the new king of England. With John out of the way, the conflict gradually ceased. Less than a month after Henry was crowned, his supporters confirmed Magna Carta in his name. This time it received the approval of the Pope.

Magna Carta, carrying with it the idea of “the rule of law,” was reconfirmed a number of times over the next 80 years, becoming a foundation of English law. Eventually, Magna Carta would become the source of important legal concepts found in our American Constitution and Bill of Rights. Among these are the principle of no taxation without representation and the right to a fair trial under law. These foundations of our own constitutional system had their beginnings in a meadow beside a river almost 800 years ago.

Posted in Freedom/Liberty, Leadership/Personal Development, The LIFE Business | 20 Comments »

The Role of Intellectuals in Societal Change

Posted by Orrin Woodward on May 20, 2012

The late Murray Rothbard was a polymathic genius. I have read few authors who have studied and understood history, economics, philosophy, sociology, liberty, and power, in as entertaining and informative a manner. I find that, even when I disagree with Rothbard, he still makes me think. In truth, isn’t this the goal of all reading? I don’t read to believe everything the author writes; rather, I read to sharpen myself on the iron thinking of other great minds. Unfortunately, our school systems, newspapers, magazines, television sets, and radio stations are all geared to tell you what to think (propaganda) instead of teaching you how to think (education).

After reading Rothbard’s analysis of the Revolutionary War from his book Conceived in Liberty and the role of intellectuals in the conflict, it became crystal clear to me who the court intellectuals are today.  Invest the time to read Rothbard’s analysis of 18th century America for yourself. See if you can identify some of the court intellectuals today who share the ruling statist ideology in our society. Likewise, think of some of the anti-statist authors and organizations who faithfully teach our English heritage from the Magna Carta, Petition of Rights, and Bill of Rights. These great documents protected the citizens against un-checked statist power, helping create a society ruled by law to protect life, liberty, and property.

Did anyone ever study these three documents in high school? How about college? Amazingly, three off the most precious documents in the history of the English-speaking people that, along with the King James Bible, flowered freedom to a level previously unknown throughout the world is largely forgotten. Even though these documents produced a level of liberty that was the envy of every other European nation. Indeed, the West would not even be conceivable without these documents. However, if this is true, then why aren’t these great truths shared in every school in every English speaking country? Moreover, is there anything that English speaking citizens from around the world can do about this catastrophic, at least from a liberty perspective, series of egregious events?

Call me a dreamer, but if only there were communities who inspired people to begin a self-directed education. If only people began reading, learning, and sharing from the original sources with one another to learn the great truths of freedom by working around society’s purveyors of propaganda. 🙂 Imagine the impact of millions of people taking the Mental Fitness Challenge and launching a self-directed education into their personal lives while associating with others taking the same journey? Yes folks, the road ahead will be challenging; however, great leadership is only revealed when the obstacles encountered cannot be resolved with anything less. Like my friend Chris Brady says: Today’s the day!

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward

The essence of the state throughout history is a minority of the population, constituting a power elite or a “ruling class,” governing and living off the majority, or the “ruled.” Since a majority cannot live parasitically off a minority without the economy and the social system breaking down very quickly, and since the majority can never act permanently by itself but must always be led by an oligarchy, every state will subsist by plundering the majority in behalf of a ruling minority. A further reason for the inevitability of minority rule is the pervasive fact of the division of labor: the majority of the public must spend most of its time going about the business of making a living. Hence the actual rule of the state must be left to full-time professionals who are necessarily a minority of the society.

Throughout history, then, the state has consisted of a minority plundering and tyrannizing over a majority. This brings us to the great question, the great mystery, of political philosophy: the mystery of civil obedience. From Etienne de La Boetie to David Hume to Ludwig von Mises, political philosophers have shown that no state—no minority—can continue long in power unless supported, even if passively, by the majority. Why then does the majority continue to accept or support the state when it is clearly acquiescing in its own subjection? Why does the majority continue to obey the minority?

Here we arrive at the age-old role of the intellectuals, the opinion-molding groups in society. The ruling class—be it warlords, nobles, bureaucrats, feudal landlords, monopoly merchants, or a coalition of several of these groups—must employ intellectuals to convince the majority of the public that its rule is beneficent, inevitable, necessary, and even divine. The leading role of the intellectual throughout history is that of the court intellectual, who, in return for a share of, a junior partnership in, the power and pelf offered by the rest of the ruling class, spins the apologias for state rule with which to convince a misguided public. This is the age-old alliance of church and state, of throne and altar, with the church in modern times being largely replaced by secular intellectuals and “scientific” technocrats.

When state rulers act, then, to use and aggrandize state power, their primary motivation is economic: to increase their plunder at the expense of the subject and the taxpayer. The ideology that they profess and that is formulated and spread through society by the court intellectuals is an elaborate rationalization for their economic interests. The ideology is the camouflage for their looting, the fictitious clothes spun by the intellectuals to hide the naked plundering of the emperor. The economic motive behind the ideological garb of the state is the heart of the issue.

But what of the actions of the rebels against state power—those infrequent but vital situations in history when the subjects rise up to diminish, whittle away, or abolish state power? What, in short, of such great events as the American Revolution or the classical liberal movements of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries? Of course, an economic motive exists here, too, in this case one of defending the private property of the subjects from the depredations of the state. But our contention here is that, even when conjoined as in the American Revolution, the major motive of the opposition, or of the revolutionaries, will be ideological rather than economic.

The basic reason for this assertion is that the ruling class, being small and largely specialized, is motivated to think about its economic interests twenty-four hours a day. Manufacturers seeking a tariff, merchants seeking to cripple their competition, bankers looking for taxes to repay their government bonds, rulers seeking a strong state from which to acquire revenue, bureaucrats wishing to expand their empire—all of these are professionals in statism. They are constantly at work trying to preserve and expand their privileges. Hence the primacy of the economic motive in their actions. But the majority has allowed itself to be misled largely because its immediate interests are generally diffuse and hard to observe, and because the majority comprises not professional “antistatists” but people going about their business of daily living.

What can the average person know of the arcane processes of subsidy or taxation or bond issue? Generally, he is too wrapped up in his daily life, too habituated to his lot after centuries of state-guided propaganda, to give any thought to his unfortunate fate. Hence, an opposition or revolutionary movement, or indeed any mass movement from below, cannot be primarily guided by ordinary economic motives.

For such a mass movement to form, the masses must be fired up, must be aroused to a rare and uncommon pitch of fervor against the existing system. But for that to happen, the masses must be fired up by ideology. Only ideology, guided either by a new religious conversion or by a passion for justice, can arouse the interest of the masses (in the current jargon, “raise their consciousness”) and lead them out of the morass of daily habit into an uncommon and militant activity in opposition to the state.

This is not to say that an economic motive—for example, a defense of their property—does not play an important role. But to form a mass movement in opposition means that the people must shake off their habits, their daily mundane concerns of several lifetimes, and become politically aroused and determined as never before in their lives. Only a commonly held and passionately believed-in ideology can perform that role. Hence our conclusion that a mass movement like the American Revolution must be centrally motivated by a commonly shared ideology.

How then do the masses of subjects acquire this guiding and determining ideology? By the very nature of the masses, it is impossible for them to arrive at such an opposition or revolutionary ideology on their own. Habituated as they are to their narrow and daily rounds, uninterested in ideology as they normally are, it is impossible for the masses to lift themselves up by their own bootstraps to hammer out an ideological movement in opposition to the existing state.

Here we arrive at the vital role of the intellectuals. Only intellectuals, full-time (or largely full-time) professionals in ideas, have the time, the ability, and the inclination to formulate an opposition ideology and then to spread the word to the people. In contrast to the statist court intellectual, whose role is a junior partner in rationalizing the economic interests of the ruling class, the radical or opposition intellectual’s role is the centrally guiding one of formulating the opposition or revolutionary ideology and then of spreading the ideology to the masses, thereby welding them into a revolutionary movement.

An important corollary: in weighing the motivations of the intellectuals themselves or even of the masses, it is generally true that setting oneself up in opposition to an existing state is a lonely, thorny, and often dangerous road. It is usually directly in the economic interests of the radical intellectuals to allow themselves to “sell out,” to be co-opted by the ruling state apparatus. The intellectuals who do choose the radical opposition path, who pledge—in the famous words of the American revolutionaries—“their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor,” can scarcely be dominated by economic motives; on the contrary, only a fiercely held ideology, centering on a passion for justice, can keep the intellectuals to the rigorous path of truth. Hence, again, the likelihood of a dominant role for ideology in an opposition movement.

Thus, statists tend to be governed by economic motivation, with ideology serving as a smokescreen for such motives, while libertarians or anti-statists are ruled principally and centrally by ideology, with economic defense playing a subordinate role. By this dichotomy we may at last resolve the age-old historiographical dispute over whether ideology or economic interests play the dominant role in historical motivation.

Posted in Freedom/Liberty, Leadership/Personal Development, Orrin Woodward | Tagged: | 24 Comments »

Challenge Groups & Community

Posted by Orrin Woodward on May 16, 2012

The Challenge Groups kicked off around the country this week, and the feedback has been amazing. Communities are essential to the health of individuals, families, and society. The LIFE business builds communities and bonds them together through the Mental Fitness Challenge. If you attended a Challenge Group last night, please share your thoughts and highlights.

Here is one of several articles I have written on community.

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward

The Desire for Community

The more I read, the more I realize the true secret to success in business and life is related to the strength of relationships within a person’s community. The myth of rugged isolated individualism, although enduring, is, in truth, only a myth. Economic, educational, even political effectiveness are all improved when people work together. Please don’t misunderstand me; I haven’t turned to economic communism; however, I do comprehend better than I previously did how so many people have been drawn into this evil illogical doctrine. Specifically, most people, if given the choice between being alone or in community, will choose community, even if the association is Biblically wrong, thus communism’s growth. In fact, a cursory look at organizations as diverse as communism, the mafia, and gangs will exhibit the enduring need for community.

If community is essential to human beings, then the question is: How do we incorporate community into a society without sacrificing life, liberty, and property? Since liberty cannot exist where the State dictates, the idea of community and freedom precludes State control. Therefore, free communities are misnomers unless they are voluntary organizations. However, although the non-involvement of the State is essential, it isn’t sufficient to create community. The other side of the equation is for people to learn how to work within a community setting. Consequently, the atomistic rugged individualism of American myth must be replaced by men and women who work within a Biblical framework of ordered liberty and love. In other words, the greedy, self-centered capitalist is not a true picture of a free-enterprise Biblical community. In fact, this caricature of American freedoms pinpoints what is plaguing America – the loss of community roots and liberty (Social Power), instead, replaced by today’s (State Power) crony capitalism.

State Power vs. Social Power

Murray Rothbard, the late dean of Austrian Economists, wrote in Conceived in Liberty:

My own basic perspective on the history of man, and a fortiori on the history of the United States, is to place central importance on the great conflict which is eternally waged between Liberty and Power, a conflict, by the way, which was seen with crystal clarity by the American revolutionaries of the eighteenth century. I see the liberty of the individual not only as a great moral good in itself (or, with Lord Acton, as the highest political good), but also as the necessary condition for the flowering of all other goods that mankind cherishes: moral virtue, civilization, the arts and sciences, economic prosperity. Out of liberty, then, stem the glories of civilized life. But liberty has always been threatened by the encroachments of power, power which seeks to suppress, control, cripple, tax, and exploit the fruits of liberty and production. Power, then, the enemy of liberty, is consequently the enemy of all the other goods and fruits of civilization that mankind holds dear. And power is almost always centered in and focused on the central repository of power and violence: the state. With Albert Jay Nock, the twentieth-century American political philosopher, I see history as centrally a race and conflict between “social power” — the productive consequence of voluntary interactions among men — and state power. In those eras of history when liberty — social power — has managed to race ahead of state power and control, the country and even mankind have flourished. In those eras when state power has managed to catch up with or surpass social power, mankind suffers and declines.

In sum, wherever State Power flourishes, Social Power declines. Thankfully, however, the reverse is true as well. By standing on the intellectual shoulders of both Nock and Rothbard, we see that societies can be organized around two competing philosophical choices:

1. State Power: Top down external discipline and the subsequent loss of liberty endured.
2. Social Power: Bottom up internal discipline and the subsequent ordered liberty enjoyed.

Restoring Social Power – Volunteer Communities

The first option (State Power) is the real-life history of America since around the Civil War, with State Power moving ahead and Social Power in subsequent decline. Since 1913, however, the battle has become a full-fledged drubbing, with State Powers triumphing in the Federal Reserve Act, the Federal Income Tax amendment, and the democratic election of Senators. In truth, it’s hard to fathom a worse mix of legislation (as related to Social Power) in one year, in one country, than what occurred in America in that disastrous year of 1913. In other words, 1913 wasn’t just (to use Oliver DeMille’s term) a freedom shift, it was a freedom rout. DeMille’s soon-to-be-released book 1913 will elaborate further on these fateful events.

The second option (Social Power) is America’s (and the West’s) best hope for freedom. America needs a community restoration, starting, not from the top down (State Power), but rather, from the bottom up (Social Power), in order to revitalize America. Social Power is fueled by social capital – a sociological concept which refers to the value of social relations and the role of cooperation and confidence to get collective results in any endeavor – to paraphrase Robert Putnam, in is classic Bowling Alone. Putnam explains the key role of social capital, “A society characterized by generalized reciprocity is more efficient than a distrustful society, for the same reason that money is more efficient than barter. If we don’t have to balance every exchange instantly, we can get a lot more accomplished. Trustworthiness lubricates life. Frequent interaction among a diverse set of people tends to produce a norm of generalized reciprocity.” Furthermore, Putnam argues, “Does social capital have salutary effects on individuals, communities, or even entire nations? Yes, an impressive and growing body of research suggests that civic connections help make us healthy, wealthy, and wise. Living without social capital is not easy, whether one is a villager in southern Italy or a poor person in the American inner city or a well-heeled entrepreneur in a high-tech district.” Social capital matters, in other words, both personally, professionally, and politically.

Converting Dreams into Realities through Communities

Putnam goes on to list five specific areas where the trust and understanding inured by social capital helps translate aspirations into realities:

1. Social capital allows citizens to resolve collective problems more easily through improved teamwork.
2. Social capital greases the wheels that allow communities to advance smoothly through improved trust.
3. Social capital helps widen the awareness of fellow citizens that their fates are intertwined through improved understanding.
4. Social capital serves as conduits for the flow of helpful information and resources to accomplish community and individual goals.
5. Social capital improves individual lives through psychological and biological processes. In fact, numerous studies suggest lives that are rich in social capital cope with trauma and illnesses significantly more effectively.

Despite social capital’s overwhelming advantages, Putnam acknowledges its decline, writing, “Americans have had a growing sense at some visceral level of disintegrating social bonds.” Furthermore, he writes, “More than 80% of Americans said there should be more emphasis on community, even if it puts more demands on individuals.” In sum, social capital isn’t just the fuel for Social Power – a necessary check on State Power – but it also enhances individual lives through the sense of belonging engendered within communities. Strikingly, then, the decline of social capital, not only attacks society’s freedoms, but also attacks an individual’s well-being. Simply put, America cannot remain free without a revival of Social Power through building social capital in voluntary communities. With so much at stake, why aren’t more people focused on restoring voluntary communities throughout America and the West? That question will be answered in further articles on Social Power and communities. Sincerely, Orrin Woodward

Posted in Community/Friends, Leadership/Personal Development | Tagged: | 73 Comments »

Resolved to Change

Posted by Orrin Woodward on May 15, 2012

A person either hates losing enough to change, or he hates changing enough to lose. These are the two options available to anyone at any time. The Mental Fitness Challenge is a program of personal change designed for the person that wants to grow, change, and win at the next level. What areas in life would you like to improve? What are you doing to create the appropriate changes in your life? Here is a video describing what George Washington did in order to change.

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward

Posted in Leadership/Personal Development, Orrin Woodward | Tagged: , | 21 Comments »

Living the 13 Resolutions

Posted by Orrin Woodward on May 14, 2012

George Washington, Ben Franklin, and Jonathan Edwards were all eighteenth-century colonial Americans who made a difference in the world. What did they have in common? Each developed resolutions to live their lives by. Today, the Mental Fitness Challenge (MFC) captures the wisdom of the ages into a 90-day program for long-term success. 

What is the life you have always wanted to live? Many know what they want but are unsure how to get there. The MFC is a road map to help you get there through my new book RESOLVED: 13 Resolutions for LIFE. Here is a short video describing the process in the lives of these three great colonial Americans.

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward

Posted in Leadership/Personal Development | Tagged: , | 50 Comments »

Thriving or Dying Through Change

Posted by Orrin Woodward on May 9, 2012

All improvement, by necessity, requires change. For if a person never changes anything, nothing will ever improve. Interestingly, although everyone knows this intellectually and accepts it as a fact of life, most people still resist change. Why? Having been in a people business for nearly 19 years now, I have a couple of points for people to ponder.

First, recognize the truth in the statement that techniques may change, but principles never do. For example, the team community has been built upon character, community, and leadership from the day it was formed. In 19 years of business, this has never changed. However, the techniques utilized by the community to communicate the message of character, community, and leadership will constantly change since society and the team continue to grow and change.

Second, equilibrium ought to be sought from the resolutions/principles within a person, not the external circumstances experienced. In my life, the 13 Resolutions (covered in my book RESOLVED: 13 Resolutions for LIFE) are non-negotiable core principles that won’t change regardless of how much external change swirls around me. Peace, in other words, must be sought on the inside, not on the outside. Those taking the Mental Fitness Challenge will quickly realize that the internal achievements precede the external achievements, which precede the leadership achievements and legacy. These principles have stood the test of time.

Third, looking back on my life, some of the biggest blessings that I have are things that I resisted at first. Why? Because I didn’t know what I didn’t know. I have learned to trust God and his plan for my life, even when I don’t understand it.

The movie Karate Kid demonstrated a beautiful example of trust. When the wise Mr. Miyagi told Danny to wax his car, Danny was incredulous at first. Even so, he waxed the car because he wanted to learn Karate so badly that he was willing to do what he didn’t want to do in order to be able to do what he did want to do. Danny began with the end in mind, knowing that by learning Karate, he could defend himself from the bullies. Here is the dialogue between the mentor and student:

Miyagi: First, wash all car. Then wax. Wax on …

Daniel: Hey, why do I have to? …

Miyagi: Ah, ah! Remember deal! No questions!

Daniel: Yeah, but …

Miyagi: Hai!

[makes circular gestures with each hand]

Miyagi: Wax on, right hand. Wax off, left hand. Wax on, wax off.

At first, through lack of trust, Daniel thought he was being taken advantage of, but in truth, Miyagi was teaching him the basic skills of Karate and improving his hand coordination and muscle strength. However, the most important principles Daniel learned from Miyagi through this process were earned trust and self-discipline. In other words, Daniel’s mentor had proven himself by displaying character and results over his lifetime, so Daniel didn’t have to understand the why to do the how. He trusted Miyagi had a plan even though he couldn’t see how the end result would be achieved through the beginning actions. In truth, he didn’t need to because Miyagi did!

It’s called “Speed of Trust” in the business world. Indeed, an organization’s health and vitality directly correlate to this “Speed of Trust” within it. It’s similar to a principle I teach called “slow to go fast.” A team, in other words, cannot run together until it has learned to walk together. Unless the team has trust (a combination of character and competence), there is no point in attempting to execute plans to achieve objectives, since everyone will question everything. In contrast, when trust is high, changes can occur quickly because the organization knows the character and competence of its leaders in the given field of operation.

Trust, then, is a two-way street. If the leadership team has exhibited character and competence over time, then trust and execution constitute the reciprocity given by a thankful team. Daniel, in the end, reciprocated to Mr. Miyagi because he knew he could trust his mentor to lead him to the results he desired. Admittedly, in today’s pragmatic world, where character-based leadership is on the decline, it’s hard to trust; however, the two ways to ensure failure are to trust no one or to trust everyone. Trust must be earned!

Chris Brady, Tim Marks, Claude Hamilton, Bill Lewis, George Guzzardo, and Dan Hawkins have earned my trust by displaying character and competence over time. We have all learned from the 13 Resolutions in our own lives; that is why we developed the Mental Fitness Challenge to share with others. Have you earned “Speed of Trust” leadership with others?

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward

Posted in Leadership/Personal Development | Tagged: , , | 26 Comments »

Mental Fitness Challenge Testimonials

Posted by Orrin Woodward on May 8, 2012

Mental Fitness Challenge

The Mental Fitness Challenge (MFC) is entering its second week, and the reports from the mental workouts are mind blowing! 🙂 When a person changes his or her thinking, he or she changes nearly everything. When I formed the idea of RESOLVED: 13 Resolutions for LIFE, I began by studying the principles that were absolutely essential for success in my own life. This wasn’t a quick process as I didn’t want to leave out any key element in the success process. Eventually, after nearly a year of examining every part of my own life and the lives of other successful people around me, I was left with thirteen essential resolutions for success. After another year of writing, the book was released in November of last year.

However, that’s just the beginning of the story. For when Chris Brady finished the book and we talked through the concepts, we realized it wasn’t just a book, but a road map to true success. The Brady/Woodward partnership strikes again with the development and release of the Mental Fitness Challenge total success system. Everyone can improve in the resolutions as I attempt to do daily. And with a step-by-step program, accountability partners, CDs, books, and weekly follow-up videos, this is a complete package. In fact, the MFC is as close to a connect-the-dot success plan as I have ever experienced.

Mental Fitness Challenge Results

With that said, we all know that the proof is in the pudding. Therefore, for any of the thousands of people taking the Mental Fitness Challenge currently, I would like to offer a small reward for the best testimonial. Chris Brady and I will autograph a first-release edition of our LIFE book and personally deliver to you a FREE copy at one of the seminars or leadership conventions around the country. I want to shake the hand of the man or woman who has changed the most thanks to the MFC. So sharpen up your writing skills and pen your MFC testimonial below.

All testimonials must be submitted by comment on this blog by June 8, 2012. Here are some questions to get you started:

1. How has the information changed you?
2. How are you thinking and responding differently?
3. What is the biggest breakthrough you have had so far?
4. Have others noticed changes in you?

The MFC is going to change millions of people’s lives, but first the information must change ours.

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward

Posted in Leadership/Personal Development, Mental Fitness Challenge (MFC) | Tagged: , , | 279 Comments »

The Tom Chenault Show

Posted by Orrin Woodward on May 7, 2012

Tom Chenault, my good friend and a top leader in community building across the globe, recently asked me to join him on his radio show The Tom Chenault Show. I enjoyed the interview immensely as Tom has a unique way of coaxing out the good stuff and summarizing the material into bite-sized morsels for mental consumption.

My personal highlight of the interview, however, wasn’t anything I said, but what Tom and Denice (Tom’s lovely bride) shared about his recovery from alcohol abuse, being sober now for over 23 years. Tom’s forthright conversation on his alcohol addiction and his resolve to join AA many years ago was inspiring. This victory is impressive enough, but there’s more. At the beginning of this year, he added further resolutions to his plate – working out, attending daily AA meetings, etc. – and has followed through faithfully. This is what makes the Chenaults champions. I loved hearing Denice explain how the resolutions have helped Tom grow and change. You can hear the authenticity of the admiration coming from her voice in the interview.

Tom and Denice Chenault exemplify the power of resolutions to change a person’s life. The whole point of my writing RESOLVED: 13 Resolutions for LIFE and launching the Mental Fitness Challenge was to have millions of stories like that of Tom and Denice, who went through the struggles, resolved to change, and through God’s grace, achieved victory! To God alone be the glory!

Here is the link to the interview (about 25 minutes into first hour) if you would like to give it a listen for yourself. Have a great day and resolve to live the life you’ve always wanted today!

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward

Posted in Leadership/Personal Development | Tagged: , , | 11 Comments »

Are You Trip Tracking?

Posted by Orrin Woodward on May 2, 2012

One of the keys to launching the Mental Fitness Challenge was to provide significant incentives for the newer LIFE Members to develop proper business habits. When a person is trip tracking, he or she qualifies for a trip at the ridiculously low level of 6,000 points! All the qualification details are described below. People are going to begin the Mental Fitness Challenge program and resolve to go on a dream trip within the first year of starting their business. LIFE has never been better! 🙂 What goals have you set, and which trip are you taking?

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward

Incentive Trips: Where Are You Going?
At the Spring Leadership Convention in Columbus, Ohio, LIFE was thrilled to introduce one of its most prodigious new programs: Incentive Trips! Rewards don’t get much bigger or more sensational than this! Read on to learn more about the fabulous trip options available and the criteria necessary for LIFE Members to qualify for one of these splendid world-class vacations.

Incentive #1: 6,000 for 6 Trip

Qualifications

Trip Tracker – 200 Personal/Customer PV each and every month. For existing LIFE Members, Trip Tracker can start in April or May. For new Members, Trip Tracking begins with the first month in business.  If one month is missed, including even the first month for the new member, then the member is no longer eligible for this trip.

PV – 6,000 Total PV for 6 consecutive months with a minimum of 4,000 PV in Team #1 and an additional 2,000 PV, including personal and customer volume, outside of Team #1.

For example, a new member that was enrolled in May would start trip tracking in the month of May and continue to do 200 PV each month through the six month consecutive PV requirement.

If in the months of January – March 2012 a member has not met the PV requirements, they are eligible to qualify for the 6,000 for 6 trip.

Trip Options

Disney World, Orlando, Florida – 4-day/3-night stay at Disney’s Beach Club Deluxe Resort. Disney’s Beach Club Resort is a New England-style Disney Deluxe Resort, shaded by broad oak trees and lapped by the gentle waters of the 25-acre Crescent Lake. This trip includes a round-trip airfare credit, Disney Park Hopper Passes, Disney dining meal plan, transportation to and from the airport, and transportation to all Disney properties and theme parks.

Arenal, Costa Rica – 6-day/5-night stay at the Arenal Kiori Suites and Spa hotel.  Perched one thousand feet above the Arenal Valley, the Arenal Kiori allows for incomparable views of the Arenal volcano, the lush valley, and the surrounding towns that sparkle at night. This trip includes an airfare credit, daily breakfast, canopy tour, volcano hike, and safari boat floating.

Oasis of the Seas, Bahamas Cruise – 8-day/7-night balcony cabin cruise. Experience the ship that revolutionized cruising; its revolutionary and breath-taking design includes seven distinct neighborhoods tailored to create the ultimate experience of enjoyment for all passengers.

Incentive #2: Leader 6 Trip

Qualifications

Trip Tracker – 200 Personal/Customer PV each and every month. For existing LIFE Members, Trip Tracker can start in April or May. For new Members, Trip Tracking begins with the first month in business.
PV – 15,000 PV for 6 consecutive months with a minimum of 9,000 PV in Team #1 and an additional 6,000 PV, including personal and customer volume, outside of Team #1.
If in the months of January – March 2012 a member has not met the PV requirements, they are eligible to qualify for the Leader 6 trip.

Trip Options

Disney World, Orlando, Florida – 6-day/5-night stay at Disney’s Grand Floridian Deluxe Hotel. Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa is a Victorian-style Disney Deluxe Resort distinguished as the flagship hotel of the Walt Disney World Resorts and offering world-class dining, entertainment, and luxurious accommodations in its six striking red-gabled buildings. This magnificent hotel sits along the white-sand shores of Seven Seas Lagoon. This trip includes a round-trip airfare credit, Disney Park Hopper Passes, Disney dining meal plan, transportation to and from the airport, and transportation to all Disney properties and theme parks.

Maui, Hawaii – 5-day/4-night stay at the Wailea Beach Marriott Resort and Spa, which is located between two beautiful beaches with pristine white sands and endless blue water. This trip includes a round-trip airfare credit, transportation from the airport to the hotel, Lei greeting, and a helicopter tour ride.

Ocho Rios, Jamaica – 5-day/4-night stay at the Beaches Boscobel, which takes advantage of its stunning seaside locale to infuse all of its accommodations with the flavor of Jamaica. This trip includes a round-trip airfare credit and access to Pirates Island Water Park. Parent magazine voted Beaches Boscobel among the Top 10 Best Beach Resorts.

Celebrity Cruise – 10-day/9-night trip package, including a 7-night cruise from Seattle on the Seattle Celebrity Solstice, 3 nights at a 4-star hotel, and a Mount Rainer sightseeing trip.

Princess Cruise – 10-day/9-night Alaskan cruise on the Coral Princess. This trip includes a 7-day voyage of the glaciers cruise, 1 night at Mount McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge, 1 night at the Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge, a natural history tour, and a 1-night Fairbanks with Sternwheeler Riverboat Cruise. This cruise is perfect for witnessing all that Alaska has to offer.

Posted in Fun, Leadership/Personal Development | Tagged: | 23 Comments »

 
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