Wednesday, November 27, 2013

THE DECLINE OF THE ROMAN AND AMERICAN EMPIRES

Recently, Orrin Woodward released some small segments from his new book on State, Society, and Justice. Anyone who reads those small samples are going to be exposed to break through research as this best selling author prepares for this release. The book Leadershift and the 5 Laws of Decline has already provided many insights. These materials are critical for educational and leadership purposes. By learning lessons of the past we will better prepare ourselves from letting history repeat itself. How can there be influence from leadership if there is no learning about this most important subject of history?
Research by experts show many similarities to the Fall of the Roman Empire and the Decline of the American Empire. Like the fish in the sea, our population does not notice the contamination in the water until it is too late. We can all recognize very little importance being placed on history from our educational system. Much of the research shows how our history is being subtly changed by revisionists.  Robbed of our past, we begin to accept any future. Wouldn’t it make sense to teach our population the elements of decline that the Sumerians, Babylonians, Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, and the French Enlightenment period all had in common? From Carlyle, to Gibbon, to Toynbee, to Spengler, they all recognize and report that societies in decline demonstrate, social disintegration, educational failure, cultural degradation, deterioration of moral standards, and the demise of the basic unit of civilization, the family. Why wouldn’t this be common knowledge? Thomas Sowell taught economics at Cornell and UCLA. He was also a scholar in residence at the Hoover institute, Stanford University had these comments regarding the prerequisites to a declining society: “The techniques of brainwashing developed in totalitarian countries are routinely used in psychological conditioning programs imposed on American school children. These include emotional shock and desensitization, psychological isolation from sources of support, stripping away defenses, manipulative cross – examination of the individual’s underlying moral values, and inducing acceptance of alternative values by psychological rather than rational means.”
When Rome fell, it was in part because no one remembered how things used to be and no one stood up for traditional values. In his book, ‘The American Hour’, Os Guiness writes, “A generation that fails to read the signs of the times may by forced to read the writing on the wall.” Are we witnessing the eradication of the past in favor of a new agenda? In his book ‘Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire’, Edward Gibbon writes, “The final collapse of Rome was made inevitable by the slow decay of classical learning and the loss of intellectual curiosity.”  Have we replaced common understanding, common tradition, common ideas, and common ideals with communication through television, computers and cell phones?  The Family Research Counsil feels our country’s crime and injustices will never be solved until balance and order are restored in the home. They note a 40% increase in our population while there are 25% fewer marriages.  Some studies show, Americans spend less time with their children than any other people on earth. There may be a correlation to the fact that 3 million crimes are committed in or around our nation’s schools each year. John Adams wrote, “Have you ever found in history, one single example of a nation, thoroughly corrupted, that was afterwards restored to virtue? And without virtue there can be no political liberty.” Virtue is defined as moral excellence. Theodore Roosevelt said, “To educate a person in mind but not morals is to educate a menace to society.”
There are economic similarities between the Roman and American Empires as well. Ludwig von Mises warned, “The wavelike movement affecting the economic system, the recurrence of periods of boom which are followed by periods of depression, is the unavoidable outcome of the attempts, repeated again and again, to lower the gross market rate of interest by means of credit expansion.  There is no means of avoiding the final collapse of a boom brought about by credit expansion, The alternative is only whether the crisis should come sooner as the result of voluntary abandonment of further credit expansion, or later as final and total catastrophe of the currency system involved.” Can we see the similarities of the economic trends in America and Rome? Each grew so big and sprawling that they became impossible to manage. The nation’s top auditor, David M. Walker writes, “The sum of all the benefits, programs, debt payments, and other expenses has grown from $20.4 trillion, to $56.4 trillion – a 176 percent increase.” H.J. Haskel compares similarities in his book, ‘The New Deal in Old Rome’. Augustus adopted an easy – money policy. Repeatedly he made gifts of money to the poor, perhaps in the hope of tiding them over while they looked for jobs. In addition he instituted great public works, partly for work relief for the unemployed, partly because of his natural love of the magnificent. His public works repaired all the roads in Italy and the streets in Rome. He aided many cities by gifts of aqueducts, baths, temples, and public buildings. It is estimated that fifty million dollars in new money flowed out to the public. As the spoils of conquest were exhausted, there were no reserves to draw upon. ”Overspending” writes Professor Adcock, “so weakened the financial and economic resources of the Empire that the crisis that was to come in the third century was in part the price that the world had to pay for the gilding of the Golden Age.” Haskel finishes with, “ “People were schooled to expect something for nothing. The poor sunk to a level where the selling of votes was widespread and elections went to the highest bidder.” Similar to the break down of standards and virtues, Haskel writes, “The youth got the idea that the highest aim in life was to have a good time. Many of the elders confused their moral values.”
Many of us want the truth. The LIFE Leadership Freedom Series subscription is a way to inform us about our history and the history of free civilizations. We can learn what it took for great societies to rise and decline. But there is more to learning the history about businesses that were disrupted, wealth that was redistributed, taxes that increased, and currencies that were devalued. There is leadership. Leadership is about courage and character to do the right thing. What do you want to be remembered for? I heard it said, “If you can’t answer that by the time you are 50 you’ve wasted your life.” It’s time to quit worrying and start leading. It’s time to see how you will finish. Studying the past you’ll find that the world was not helped by people who were driven to understand themselves but people who want to change the world.” Isn’t it time to stop worrying and take hold of a great vision that you can make a difference?

God bless, Scott Johnson

Monday, November 25, 2013

Learning From The Past

I found this article the other day on a blog written by Orrin Woodard. It is amazing to me how much we can learn from history when we look to the correct places. I found this article eye-opening and troubling as I learned the parallels to our times. (Originally posted by STEVE LEURQUIN)
I will not comment on my thoughts as I do not want to sway your impressions of the article but I eagerly await to hear what you have to say about the thoughts from Dr. Mario Pei.

Dr. Mario Pei, who came to this country from Italy in 1908, is Professor of Romance Philology at Columbia University in New York. He is the author of several distinguished books and numerous magazine articles. The Foundation was given special permission by the Saturday Evening Post to reprint the above article. Copyright 1952 by The Curtis Publishing Company
When I first came to America, many years ago, I learned a new meaning of the word “Liberty”—freedom from government.
I did not learn a new meaning for “democracy.” The European country from which I came, Italy, was at that time as “democratic” as America. It was a constitutional monarchy, with a parliament, free and frequent elections, lots of political parties and plenty of freedom of religion, speech, press, and assembly.
But my native country was government-ridden. A vast bureaucracy held it in its countless tentacles. Regardless of the party or coalition of parties that might be in power at the moment, the government was everywhere. Wherever one looked, one saw signs of the ever present government: in the uniforms of numberless royal, rural, and municipal policemen, soldiers, officers, gold-braided functionaries of all sorts. You could not take a step without government intervention.
Many industries and businesses were government owned and government run railroads, telegraphs, salt, and tobacco among them. No agreement, however trivial, was legal unless written on government-stamped paper. If you stepped out of the city into the country and came back with a ham, a loaf of bread, or a bottle of wine, you had to stop at the internal-revenue barriers and pay duty to the government, and so did the farmers who brought in the city’s food supply every morning. No business could be started or run without the official sanction of a hundred bureaucrats.
Young people did not dream of going into business for themselves; they dreamed of a modest but safe government job, where they would have tenure, security, and a pitiful pension at the end of their plodding careers. There was grinding taxation to support the many government functions and the innumerable public servants. Everybody hated the government—not just the party in power, but the government itself. They had even coined a phrase, “It’s raining—thief of a government!” as though even the evils of nature were the government’s fault. Yet, I repeat, the country was democratically run, with all the trappings of a many-party system and all the freedoms of which we in America boast today.
America in those days made you open your lungs wide and inhale great gulps of freedom-laden air, for here was one additional freedom—freedom from government.
The government was conspicuous by its very absence. There were no men in uniform, save occasional cops and firemen, no visible bureaucrats, no stifling restrictions, no government monopolies. It was wonderful to get used to the American system: to learn that a contract was valid if written on the side of a house; that you could move not only from the city to the country but from state to state and never be asked what your business was or whether you had anything to declare; that you could open and conduct your own business, provided it was a legitimate one, without government interference; that you could go from one end of the year to the other and never have contact with the national government, save for the cheery postman who delivered your mail with a speed and efficiency unknown today; that there were no national taxes, save hidden excises and import duties that you did not even know you paid.
In that horse-and-buggy America, if you made an honest dollar, you could pocket it or spend it without having to figure what portion of it you “owed” the government or what possible deductions you could allege against that government’s claims. You did not have to keep books and records of every bit of income and expenditure or run the risk of being called a liar and a cheat by someone in authority.
Above all, the national ideal was not the obscure security of a government job, but the boundless opportunity that all Americans seemed to consider their birthright. Those same Americans loved their government then. It was there to help, protect, and defend them, not to restrict, befuddle, and harass them. At the same time, they did not look to the government for a livelihood or for special privileges and hand­outs. They were independent men in the full sense of the word.
Foreign-born citizens have been watching with alarm the gradual Europeanization of America over the past twenty years. They have seen the growth of the familiar European-style government octopus, along with the vanishing of the American spirit of freedom and opportunity and its replacement by a breathless search for “security” that is doomed to defeat in advance in a world where nothing, not even life itself, is secure.
Far more than the native born, they are in a position to make comparisons. They see that America is fast becoming a nineteenth century-model European country. They are asked to believe that this is progress. But they know from bitter experience that it just isn’t so.
Milk on the Doorstep
“It is remarkable,” comments George Schwartz, an English writer, in an article in The New York Times Magazine, “how many people can see no sense in the existing order of Western society, the easiest criticism of which is that it is not order but disorder. With the milk on the doorstep every morning, the free economy is denounced as unplanned, uncoordinated, and chaotic.”
It is a valid observation. There are countries—notably Russia—that have all the necessary material resources but still can’t get the morning milk to the doorstep. Their society’s system of production and distribution is fully ordered, carefully blueprinted by government experts. But they have the plan and no milk while we have the milk and no plan.
The fact is, of course, that our economy does not exist in disorder. In the milk business, to take the everyday example mentioned by Mr. Schwartz, there are literally thousands of individuals—farmers, truckers, processors, and salesmen, and the thousands more who are their suppliers—who make the major or minor decisions that get the milk to the doorstep, and earn a profit in the process. No group of government experts could equal the input of knowledge, industry, flexibility, and efficiency that is the combined total contribution of all of these individuals.

From V town to New York

Here is a story written by Chris Mattis about a close friend of his. This is a true story.
To learn more about Chris Mattis please watch the video below.

God bless, Scott Johnson


I have a very good friend, Tedd Romero who grew up in Vallejo California.   Not a well know town, other than the birth place of pro athletes, rappers and high crime rates.   Affectionately called “V town”, Vallejo sits on water in the north east corner on the San Francisco Bay Area.   Tedd started his culinary career at Taco Bell.   Today he is the Executive Pastry Chef at Lucy Restaurant at the Bardessono Hotel in the Napa Valley.   Tedd’s  journey in life started as so many do, with a single mom trying to raise a son while working all the time to provide.   He wrestled in school, got into trouble, met his future wife, Alesha, and had a son all by the time he was eighteen.   When I met Tedd and Alesha and their son Daniel, Tedd was already a gifted Pastry Chef working atop the financial district in San Francisco at the famous Mandarin Oriental Hotel.   What I didn’t know was that he was sleeping on the couch and living out of a box while his wife was getting their divorce papers together.   They were introduced to me by a good friend and business partner, Victor Scargle, a very famous and very good Executive Chef, and Tedd’s former boss.
Victor wanted to work with Tedd again and Tedd saw the opportunity.   Tedd and Alesha immediately started to subscribe to the Leadership materials for personal use.   Then I got a call from Tedd asking for some counsel, “I got laid off today.   The last time this happened I got so depressed it took me nine months to get another job.   I don’t want that to happen again.   How do I fix that?”   He explained to me that in the cooking world when an Executive Chef is fired it’s standard operating procedure to lay off everyone that chef hired, due to loyalty and sabotage issues.   After explaining the difference between looking for a job and wanting work (there is always work for those that want it) we set out a two piece game plan.
First – You get whatever you focus on, so focus on creating.   If you want to be hired read good books and start with The Magic of Thinking Big, two hours everyday until hired.   Listen to audio talks & seminars, eight per day, everyday until hired.   This will guarantee you have a positive attitude and put you in action creating.
Second – People are hired because they are the most persistent, not because they are the most qualified.   Dress as if if you were going to be interviewed and go into as many places each day as you can and meet the person in charge—the owner if possible—but at minimum the person who does the hiring.   Shake their hand, look them in the eye, ask their name, how long they have been with the company, and what they are looking for in their staff.   Give them a resume (after getting help putting it together; it shocks me what people leave out that is valuable!).   Ask when they are interviewing next, tell them why you want to work there and what you bring to the table.   A work ethic, a willingness and ability to learn, and a great attitude should be the bare minimum.   Smart managers and leaders hire attitude first, because you can always teach technically ability.   It’s a waste of time to drag a negative complainer into your company.   Two days later call and talk with whoever you gave your resume and application to and ask if they have scheduled any interviews or have an idea of when they might be.   Remind them why you want to work there and thank them for the time and consideration.   Two days after that, stop in again and see the same person, this time with a letter of recommendation.   Many places will tell You they don’t take them, but leave it with them anyway, most will give you a higher ranking because of it.   Call again two days later and ask what else you can do to work for them.   Persistence and Massive Action always Win!
My Beautiful God Daughter
My Beautiful God Daughter
Tedd worked the game plan and ten days later had four job offers.   An interesting note both: he and Alesha made growing on purpose a new habit, reading and listening daily, attending seminars monthly and getting counsel regularly from then on.   Some of the byproducts of their new learning curve were promotions, a better marriage, and a new daughter, Leticia my God-Daughter.   Eighteen months later Tedd had a very different experience with that next employer.   He came into work to find the Executive Chef that hired him had been fired that day, but something very unexpected followed.   The General Manager sat down with him and explained that they would normally let him go at this point, but they were hoping he would be willing to stay on without her, his former Executive Chef, citing the reason that, “You have become such an important part of the Leadership here.”   Tedd has never been laid off since.
Pan seared salmon green garlic pea soup Creme Fraiche sherbet
Pan seared salmon green garlic pea soup Creme Fraiche sherbet
This year Tedd’s current Executive Chef and close friendVictor Scargle encouraged him to compete in a prestigious fish competition.   It is funny to me because Tedd doesn’t like to eat fish, yet he not only won the Northern California competition he also placed high enough on the West Coast to be given an all expense paid trip for him and his wife to New York for a week coming up in December.
Where does a young guy from V town become a famous Chef and win free trips to New York?   In the world of LIFE Leadership with examples of rags-to-riches stories, like Orrin & Laurie Woodward and Tim & Amy Marks.   Better information leads to better thinking and better thinking leads to better results, every time!
The Whole Family
The Whole Family

Home Business Radio Network’s Leadership Factory

Wednesday morning I awoke to find a text from a world ranked Leader and Author, Orrin Woodward.   He asked if I would be a guest on HBRN’s Leadership Factory.   I am so honored to be considered for this interview.   Here is the interview in it’s entirety.   

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

When Life Doesn’t Go As Planned and a Tornado Blows Through Town

I recently read a post from a lady by the name of Rebekah that was written about the recent tornado outbreak in central Illinois and I just had to share it with others.
 My wife and three older children were at church actually about 5 miles away from where all the devastation had happened that day. I do not know this woman, but after reading some of her other post's I realized that we could all truly learn a lot from her and relate to her as well. Rebekah's Blog!

Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those individuals who may have suffered from these storms.
God bless, Scott Johnson



Well, this was one of those days that didn't quite go as planned…whatever that means.
It started out like any other Sunday.  I woke up and immediately began getting people ready for church, beginning with a shower for myself.  A little one rolled out of bed, and an infant woke up crying and a little boy that seems to be growing an inch a week made his way out from his room.
Grandma was here and well, Sunday mornings go so much smoother when grandma is here.  We worked together for about an hour getting kids ready and fed and she corralled the four older children and headed to Sunday school.  I stayed behind.  I’ve gotten out of the habit of attending Bible class.  You skip church or Bible class once and it’s so much easier to skip the next week.
The baby went down for a short nap and I attempted to make myself presentable with the two year old make up that sits on the bathroom counter.  Sunday might be the one time a week I actually brush my hair.  Maybe the second, I don’t really know.  I contemplated going back to bed for 30 minutes but I figured I could catch a nap in the afternoon, so I decided to set the table instead.  I had a few more minutes to kill so I checked Facebook.  I don’t ever comment or “like” anything Sunday morning though, I wouldn’t want anyone to know the Pastor’s wife is checking Facebook during Bible Class.
The time came to leave, so I woke the baby up and we headed out the door.  It’s normally pretty windy in this town, but today was windy, even for a windy town.  The previous day was very similar.  I remember looking up at the sky, feeling the unsettled atmosphere swirling and blowing my long hair everywhere and telling my husband, “It’s almost like God is frustrated.”  Well, the last thing I’m going to do is make some prophetic claim that God is frustrated, but it was just a thought that passed by as quickly as the leaves rustling and blowing down the street.
We did the normal church thing and we sat in the back pew, my favorite pew of all.  The kids filled up the pew with bulletins and communion cards, the (thankfully) happy baby jumped and wiggled and grabbed hymnal pages and the toddler did the usual toddler thing.  They were pretty good actually.
The pastor preached a mighty strong sermon.  One that stood out.  Not that they don’t usually stand out, but I particularly love the “end of the world” passages of the Gospels.  He talked about all the terrible things that had happened in ages past to the followers of Christ.  He talked how these things were only a foretaste of the calamities to come upon the world as the end of time draws near.  Devastations and persecutions.  Enough to make you terribly frightened if you stay awake (or wake up) long enough to think about it.
As always, there was a message of hope.  These disasters are not reason to despair, but rather to rejoice.  Because they merely point to the hope that we are a day closer to the end of it all.   Jesus said it himself.  When we see these things take place, look up and lift up your heads, for your redemption is drawing near.  Our Lord is returning soon to put an end to death and disaster forever.  To release creation from the groans of the curse that befell the world  long ago.
Even though it was a good sermon, I probably would’ve forgotten about it.  After all, we went home, prepared to eat lunch and have our afternoon quiet time as planned.
That is, until the tornado sirens sounded.
Plans can change in an instant.
The lasagna will have to just wait because out of nowhere tornado sirens were going off and that meant heading down into the basement to take cover.  The women and children sought shelter while the husband stayed upstairs, keeping watch on the radar and skies.
We huddle beneath the steps and to the children I read aloud the words of Psalm 91.  My standard reading for the dozen plus times we’ve huddled under those steps during a storm.
“He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.”….The words seem appropriate as clouds swirl above the house, a funnel cloud forms a mile away, and in times like that all you can do is pray that God will be merciful and spare any disaster from coming near our tent (Psalm 91:10).
The kids ask, “What if our house is blown down?”  All I can say is, “Well, if our house blows down, we will deal with that if it comes, but we can rest assured knowing that God is in control of the storms, we needn’t fear.”
Needless to say, this isn’t exactly how we’d planned to spend the afternoon.
Sometimes life doesn’t quite go as planned.
Sometimes it means squishing together under basement stairs instead of eating lunch.  Sometimes it means a hard-working pastor misses an afternoon Sunday nap because a tornado just plowed through out the outskirts of town, and there is a house down the street that has flipped upside down and neighbors need help clearing debris.  It means instead of energetic teens going bowling for a youth group event, they cancel the event to go help their neighbors in need.  It means many hard-working men who planned on relaxing and watching a Sunday afternoon football game, get up off the couch and jump into a fire truck and bravely head out into the unknown, ready to help anyone that might need it.
For some people, it meant they woke up expecting to have a house to fall asleep in that night, but instead have no house any longer.  For a few, it meant they woke up this morning…only to fall asleep in death, falling victim to the storm.
I don’t know what it meant for most people, but God does.
Yeah, today was one of those days that didn’t quite go as planned.
But I can’t help but think of this morning’s sermon.  About disasters and troublesome times falling upon the earth.  We often feel immune in a small town, until that is, a tornado plows through out of nowhere.
So is this time for despair or for hope?
When things don’t go as planned, is it time question God or to trust God?
Storms can level homes, snap a telephone pole in half, and uproot a massive tree from the earth.  Storms will weaken the foundation of houses and might even weaker our faith in a good God.  Storms can suck up livestock and barns and literally suck the breath of life out of a human being.
But the storms of life can strengthen communities, strengthen hearts and strengthen the hope we have in our Lord Jesus Christ.
I remember the words from the Gospel reading in church today, the same day the storm came through:
“Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”  Luke 21:28
Rejoice, little towns and all who live there and those who suffer now.  Lift up your head.  Our redemption is one day closer.
Says the God who rebuked and calmed the storm.

TOUGHEN UP: Oath of Allegiance

This is the second part of the previous post TOUGHEN UP: Rules of Engagement by Wayne McNamara.
Thank you, Scott Johnson


Part two of Claude Hamilton‘s new book TOUGHEN UP covers three more of Claude’s strengths.  These three principles are essential for long-term success and are only mastered through a long-term commitment to pursuing greatness in them, just as Claude has done.  As you are reading through TOUGHEN UP I encourage you to really study its principle’s and apply them to your life, not just read the book to say you did.  There are so many great lessons that can be learned throughout the entire book that can be used to improve your life in so many areas.
Part two of TOUGHEN UP outlines the second three strengths:
  1. Attitude
  2. Courage
  3. Character
  4. Duty
  5. Honour
  6. Relationships
Here are some of my favourite sections of Part Two: Oath of Allegiance
  • Duty
“Success means doing the right thing no matter what.”
“I am a firm believer that love, not hope of reward or fear of bad consequences, is the real reason people do their duty.  I learned this in the military, and I believe it holds true in other areas of life as well”.
“This is duty to God, family, and country – because when you are your best self, your truly excellent self, you serve God, family, and country at the highest level!  This is real.  Anything less than excellence means you aren’t quite doing your duty”.
  • Honour
“Be the kind of person who always honours those who deserve it.”
“Without honour, nothing else really matters in our lives.  George Bernard Shaw wrote, ‘The most tragic thing in the world is a man of genius who is not a man of honour’.”
“Honour, on the other hand, is all about enthusiasm!  When we have honour, we do the right things because we really, truly feel passionate about them.  We don’t necessarily have to do them to be a good person, like we do with out duties, but we choose to do them because we care.”
“As Lana and I started experiencing real success, we felt overwhelming gratitude for Orrin and Laurie Woodward and the others who showed us the way.  We felt great respect and a profound sense of honour toward them.  We knew we simply could not have accomplished what we did without their help.”
  • Relationships
“Let them see me cry.  It’s okay.  I cry sometimes when I cuddle my son.  I’m soft with him and tough about pursuing my life purpose.”
“Monday morning I put on my search-and-rescue jacket and combat boots, stashed three samples of the vitamins and other products I sold for my business into my pack, and put my pistol in my belt, and I walked to the highway and started hitchhiking.”
“This means spending a lot of time with those you care about most.  Time builds depth, if you approach it with the right attitude.  As I already mentioned, I hated that my military work kept me too busy to spend as much time as I wanted with my family.”
“They say the word sacrifice as if it’s something bad.  But my military background taught me a different way to think about sacrifice.  For me, sacrifice is the production of sacred things.  I sacrificed my twenties for my business, but I got the rest of my life with financial freedom.”
I hope everyone is enjoying reading this book as much as I have and learning more about what it takes to TOUGHEN UP!  Maybe you know someone who needs to TOUGHEN UP a little in some area of their life, or maybe you know someone who would just really enjoy what Claude has to share.  Either way, this book could make an awesome gift for Christmas or any occasion.
Make sure to check back next week for the third and final instalment of my TOUGHEN UP series.
God Bless,

TOUGHEN UP: Rules of Engagement

I read this post from Wayne McNamara's blog and just had to share it. There are two parts to this post so I really do hope you all enjoy this.

I believe Claude Hamilton to be one of the greatest and most talented leaders on the team. The Life principles that he teaches through his talks and his book is just amazing. 

I hope you all enjoy.
God bless, Scott Johnson


Over the years in the community building industry, I have seen my business partner and leadership expert, Claude Hamilton, exemplify the statement; It’s not only what you tell me, but what you show me.  Albert Schweitzer says, “Example is not the main thing in influencing others; it’s the only thing.”  Claude’s example as a husband, Father, and business leader have been invaluable in my life.
Claude has many loyal business partners and friends because he loves and serves them unconditionally. I remember the first time I met Claude 10 years ago; by his posture alone I could tell he was someone who was going somewhere.  Everywhere he went, people were looking to get time with him and introduce their newest business partners to him. He seemed to be a magnet that attracted everyone that was hungry to learn leadership and business building principles. If you are ever blessed to spend time with Claude, you will quickly realize that his powerful vision and unstoppable work ethic inspire others to act boldly. Many times I have heard him say, “The spines of the weak are stiffened in the presence of the bold.” Claude Hamilton is BOLD!
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You can get a glimpse of Claude’s knowledge and wisdom in his new book TOUGHEN UP!  Through personal experience in both his military and business life, Claude outlines eight strengths that are essential for real toughness in leadership.  Claude reveals these principles, and their importance to toughness, through his real life struggles; from military basic training to financial stresses.  Overcoming his struggles and striving for excellence in each of the eight strengths is what makes Claude the great leader he is today.
Part one of TOUGHEN UP outlines the first three strengths:
  1. Attitude
  2. Courage
  3. Character
The following excerpts from the first three chapters are just a glimpse of the wisdom that is etched into the pages of TOUGHEN UP!
  • Attitude
“Attitude makes all the difference.  The tougher things are, the more opportunity we have to analyze our attitude and choose the right posture.  Those early rejections defined me because they made me take stock of what I really wanted and decide whether to fight for what our family needed or give in and just let life happen to us”.
  • Courage
“…if you do the right thing in small matters, you’re going to be a lot more likely to do the right thing when it’s hard.  We build courage every time we do the right thing, even something seemingly simple as listening to audios and reading important books.  In fact, these things are actually high.  Find a great leader with success in your field, and you’re almost certain to find that he or she listens to audios and reads – a lot”.
  • Character
“…when I say someone is ‘a man of character’ or ‘he has character,’ I mean he has integrity, loyalty, and strength.  I mean he will stand for the right things, even when it is hard.  I mean he is honest and dedicated.  I mean I can trust him to do the right thing”.
“I learned as a military diver that a person’s real character is seen when he faces adversity.  Paul Newman once noted, ‘A man with no enemies is a man with no character’.”
Anyone, in any profession, at any stage of their life will benefit from the knowledge they gain from reading TOUGHEN UP!  The principles are universal and the values are timeless.  I encourage everyone to read this book then pass it on to someone else they care about who they want to see succeed in any area of their life.
God Bless,

Friday, November 15, 2013

Governments: Five Laws of Decline

Posted by Orrin Woodward on November 15, 2013


Orrin Woodward is a NY Times bestselling author of LeaderShift, Launching a Leadership Revolution, and numerous other books on leadership and liberty. His first solo book RESOLVED: 13 Resolutions for LIFE made the Top 100 All-Time Best Leadership Books and the 13 Resolutions are the framework for the top selling Mental Fitness Challenge personal development program.

Orrin has co-founded two multi-million dollar leadership companies and serves as the Chairman of the Board of the LIFE Business. He has a B.S. degree from GMI-EMI (now Kettering University) in manufacturing systems engineering. He holds four U.S. patents, and won an exclusive National Technical Benchmarking Award.
God bless, Scott Johnson

I am still diligently working on my next book on State, Society, and Justice. Boy, what a project I have undertaken here. I am, at the same time, have the blast and pulling my hair out. There are so many subtle nuances that must be cleared up to keep the main thing the main thing. At any rate, this is what LIFE Leadership is about – learning, growing, and helping to create positive change. Here is a segment on government and the Five Laws of Decline.
Sincerely,
Throughout recorded history, human beings have been shown to be capable of remarkable acts of honor and correspondingly astonishing acts of dishonor. Indeed, if a Biblical scholar were to describe this historical fact from a Judeo/Christian worldview, he would say – although mankind is made in the image of God, his rebellion led to his alienation from God and his self-centered will is capable of spectacular deeds of both good and evil. For on one hand, when people work cooperatively together in justice, the SDS thrive in a growing society. However, when mankind seeks to exploit his fellow man for his own gain, the magnitude of injustice man is incapable of of being quantified. For the history of genocides, mass murders, and total war boggles the mind. In effect, the Five Laws of Decline (FLD) describes, in a systematic fashion, mankind’s exploitive nature which results in his ongoing inhumanity to his fellow man. Dismally, the historical record is loaded with egregious examples of man reaping where he didn't sow, exploiting the production of others rather than producing wealth for himself. Ironically, when the SDS are thriving under justice that the risk of exploitation and injustice is the greatest. For the increased wealth becomes an irresistible temptation for the exploitive potential within mankind. In other words, the more wealth a society produces by just “economic means”, the more creative the exploiters will become in seeking to plunder it by “political means”. Accordingly, wealthy societies must forever be vigilant to identify where the FLD is seeking to siphon off its wealth. For the FLD is a systematic method for describing how man’s fallen, exploitive, and anti-social behavior seeks to gain plunder at society’s expense. The Five Laws of Decline were first introduced in my book RESOLVED: 13 Resolutions for LIFE to describe how organizations decline. These concepts were then further expanded into the political field with the release of LeaderShift, co-authored with Oliver DeMille.
In general, when the FLD are not checked, society is split into two groups – those who produce wealth and those who plunder it. James Madison described man’s nature appropriately when he wrote, “If men were angels, no government would be necessary.” Men, however, are not angels; therefore, most men, when they recognize opportunities for plunder without punishment, will move in this direction. The purpose of just governments, in essence, is to check mankind’s exploitive nature to ensure justice for all. For then society’s members will choose cooperation “economic means” to create wealth since exploitation “political means” is not viable. For just as a pickpocket avoids practicing his craft in the vicinity of police officers, so too do exploiters steer clear of plunder if the government punishes it properly. However, it’s vital to remember that society’s protector (government) consist of men and women who also have good and evil within them; thus, if society isn’t diligent, plunderers will seek to redirect the government’s “monopoly of force” away from protecting against injustice into initiating injustice at the exploiters command. In fact, much of third-world poverty is a disgraceful record of government force being used as a tool of injustice rather than justice. Although Western Society governments are, of course, less overt when practicing injustice than their third-world counterparts, the same principle still holds true. All governments, in short, must be watched to ensure exploiters do not gain control of government and set up systems of exploitation. Thus, using the “monopoly of force” for unjust ends.
Indeed, the real challenge to taming the FLD within society is that any government with sufficient power to protect, is, by definition, also powerful enough to exploit. For when government receives the “monopoly of force” to restrain injustice, what is to ensure this force is not used unjustly by the rulers themselves? Regardless of governmental form society chooses, the underlying systemic issues of FLD must be specifically addressed, for the FLD is inherent within the human heart. Hence, since governmental leaders are human in every form of government, the FLD question must be addressed and answered or liberty will die as exploitation increases. Professor Issac Kramnick aptly described the challenges of government power and man’s inhumanity to man in his discussion on the French Revolution and the ideas of Thomas Paine and Edmund Burke:
French Revolution: Guillotine
French Revolution: Guillotine
Government is simply a necessary evil, useful, if not mandatory, to control ourselves when we fail one another. How we effect that control (and what additional restraints need to be governmentally supported) is for each age to decide. The important consequence for Paine was that no matter how much reverence Burke adduces to support the undeniably important wisdom of the ages, Paine asserts that those living now should not have to forfeit their right to pass judgment on choices made by those no longer alive. Both Paine and Burke decried the extremes of the French Revolution, and both were disillusioned by man’s inhumanity to man, but both saw opportunity for needed change in the events unfolding in Paris. Paine’s support of the revolution was founded in the insanity of the French monarchy. Burke’s denunciation of the revolution was rooted in the insanity of the republic. Both were right.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

They won, we lost….. Not Anymore!

The video in this article has been banned from Face Book!


They won, we lost.....Not Anymore! is an article that was written by Matt Mielke. Matt is one of the fastest growing leaders in the Life business. Here is one of the greatest articles I've seen in a long time.

God bless, Scott Johnson
Freedom series
I just listened to an excellent CD from the November 2013 LIFE Leadership Freedom Series titled “Three Bubbles” by Chris Brady.  Brady describes three bubbles that are effecting our daily freedoms:  money, commodities, and housing.
The money bubble:  With all the printing of money, currently known as quantitative easing, or QE, our dollars aren't worth as much.  In other words, it takes significantly more money to buy the same things.  For further information on this topic, listen to the LIFE Leadership audios titled “Camel in the Tent” and “Good as Gold” by Chris Brady.  I've also embedded below an excellent video describing the problem by Mike Maloney.  An interesting fact is Facebook has banned this video, labeling it “aggressive content.”   The only thing “aggressive” in my opinion is that truth can be bittersweet to the ears and the manipulation from a few, very large banks has been exposed and “they” don’t like it.   So far, they won, we lost.
The commodities bubble:  Commodities are things we need for everyday living like oil, corn, wheat, beef etc.  In a five-year period, 2003-2008, the average prices of these everyday things rose over 200%.  What’s interesting is how Brady exposes that prices didn’t just inflate naturally, but happened out of design through secret, special deals for a few investment banks.  Instead, we were led to believe that price increases were entirely our fault (a nation of gluttons driving oil-guzzling SUV s).  Again, they won, we lost.
The housing bubble:  Bank failures and government bail-outs of those banks in 2008 led to home values decreasing yet mortgage payments stayed the same.  Because the American public had less money left over each month because of the first two bubbles, they defaulted more on their home loans. They won, we lost.
This post isn't to throw a pity party for the American public.  Many Americans have spent well above their means, prioritizing entertainment over real priorities. The root of the problem comes down to our thinking lays in our ignorance.
We are lead to believe the problem is Republican vs Democrat, red vs blue, elephant vs donkey.    The winds of truth our lifting the smoke screen and exposing the lies that have clouded our thinking for over a century.  Our political system is broken and we are waking up to the fact we are just a cog in someone else’s wheel.  We are at the mercy of a small group of people who purposefully create these scenarios which has ultimately eroded much of our freedom.  
It is surprising how free we can be when we chose to live by principles and not opinions.  How free we will become when truth and justice are anchored again by a biblical foundation and not moral relativism.
There are great men and women starting to stand-up for truth and the LIFE Leadership organization has become the beacon for many to identify as the leading place to find that truth.   Godspeed on your journey to truth.  Matt