Thursday, December 18, 2014

Personal and Professional Turnarounds

Originally posted by Life founder and best selling author Orrin Woodward.

Thank you and God bless

Scott Johnson



I wanted to share Jim Collins’s summary of his 5 stages of decline. These stages can cause both personal and professional decline and must be recognized before its too late. Unfortunately, to paraphrase Socrates, the examined life is extremely rare and most people do not take the time to study the scoreboard of life. Here is your opportunity to study Collin’s list and see which area you can improve.
LIFE Leadership is about personal and professional development to launch a leadership revolution. Are you ready for the revolution?
Sincerely,
Our research indicates that organizational decline is largely self-inflicted, and recovery largely within our own control. So long as you never fall all the way to Stage 5, you can rebuild.
While a full exploration of the five stages is beyond the scope of this excerpt, here is a brief summary:
STAGE 1: HUBRIS BORN OF SUCCESS
Great enterprises can become insulated by success; accumulated momentum can carry an enterprise forward for a while, even if its leaders make poor decisions or lose discipline. Stage 1 kicks in when people become arrogant, regarding success virtually as an entitlement, and they lose sight of the true underlying factors that created success in the first place. When the rhetoric of success (“We’re successful because we do these specific things”) replaces penetrating understanding and insight (“We’re successful because we understand why we do these specific things and under what conditions they would no longer work”), decline will very likely follow. Luck and chance play a role in many successful outcomes, and those who fail to acknowledge the role luck may have played in their success—and thereby overestimate their own merit and capabilities—have succumbed to hubris.
The best leaders we’ve studied never presume they’ve reached ultimate understanding of all the factors that brought them success. For one thing, they retain a somewhat irrational fear that perhaps their success stems in large part from fortuitous circumstance. Suppose you discount your own success (“We might have been just really lucky/were in the right place at the right time/have been living off momentum/have been operating without serious competition”) and thereby worry incessantly about how to make yourself stronger and better-positioned for the day your good luck runs out. What’s the downside if you’re wrong? Minimal: If you’re wrong, you’ll just be that much stronger by virtue of your disciplined approach. But suppose instead you succumb to hubris and attribute success to your own superior qualities (“We deserve success because we’re so good/so smart/so innovative/so amazing”). What’s the downside if you’re wrong? Significant. You just might find yourself surprised and unprepared when you wake up to discover your vulnerabilities too late.
STAGE 2: UNDISCIPLINED PURSUIT OF MORE
Hubris from Stage 1 (“We’re so great, we can do anything!”) leads right to Stage 2, the Undisciplined Pursuit of More—more scale, more growth, more acclaim, more of whatever those in power see as “success.” Companies in Stage 2 stray from the disciplined creativity that led them to greatness in the first place, making undisciplined leaps into areas where they cannot be great or growing faster than they can achieve with excellence—or both. When an organization grows beyond its ability to fill its key seats with the right people, it has set itself up for a fall. Although complacency and resistance to change remain dangers to any successful enterprise, overreaching better captures how the mighty fall.
Discontinuous leaps into areas in which you have no burning passion is undisciplined. Taking action inconsistent with your core values is undisciplined. Investing heavily in new arenas where you cannot attain distinctive capability, better than your competitors, is undisciplined. Launching headlong into activities that do not fit with your economic or resource engine is undisciplined. Addiction to scale is undisciplined. To neglect your core business while you leap after exciting new adventures is undisciplined. To use the organization primarily as a vehicle to increase your own personal success—more wealth, more fame, more power—at the expense of its long-term success is undisciplined. To compromise your values or lose sight of your core purpose in pursuit of growth and expansion is undisciplined.
STAGE 3: DENIAL OF RISK AND PERIL
As companies move into Stage 3, internal warning signs begin to mount, yet external results remain strong enough to “explain away” disturbing data or to suggest that the difficulties are “temporary” or “cyclic” or “not that bad,” and “nothing is fundamentally wrong.” In Stage 3, leaders discount negative data, amplify positive data, and put a positive spin on ambiguous data. Those in power start to blame external factors for setbacks rather than accept responsibility. The vigorous, fact-based dialogue that characterizes high-performance teams dwindles or disappears altogether. When those in power begin to imperil the enterprise by taking outsize risks and acting in a way that denies the consequences of those risks, they are headed straight for Stage 4.
Bill Gore, founder of W.L. Gore & Associates, articulated a helpful concept for decision-making and risk-taking, what he called the “waterline” principle. Think of being on a ship, and imagine that any decision gone bad will blow a hole in the side of the ship. If you blow a hole above the waterline (where the ship won’t take on water and possibly sink), you can patch the hole, learn from the experience, and sail on. But if you blow a hole below the waterline, you can find yourself facing gushers of water pouring in, pulling you toward the ocean floor. And if it’s a big enough hole, you might go down really fast, just like some of the financial firm catastrophes of 2008. To be clear, great enterprises do make big bets, but they avoid big bets that could blow holes below the waterline.
STAGE 4: GRASPING FOR SALVATION
The cumulative peril and/or risks gone bad of Stage 3 assert themselves, throwing the enterprise into a sharp decline visible to all. The critical question is: How does its leadership respond? By lurching for a quick salvation or by getting back to the disciplines that brought about greatness in the first place? Those who grasp for salvation have fallen into Stage 4. Common “saviors” include a charismatic visionary leader, a bold but untested strategy, a radical transformation, a dramatic cultural revolution, a hoped-for blockbuster product, a “game-changing” acquisition, or any number of other silver-bullet solutions. Initial results from taking dramatic action may appear positive, but they do not last.
When we find ourselves in trouble, when we find ourselves on the cusp of falling, our survival instinct and our fear can prompt lurching—reactive behavior absolutely contrary to survival. The very moment when we need to take calm, deliberate action, we run the risk of doing the exact opposite and bringing about the very outcomes we most fear. By grasping about in fearful, frantic reaction, late Stage 4 companies accelerate their own demise. Of course, their leaders can later claim: “But look at everything we did. We changed everything. We tried everything we could think of. We fired every shot we had, and we still fell. You can’t blame us for not trying.” They fail to see that leaders atop companies in the late stages of decline need to get back to a calm, clear-headed, and focused approach. If you want to reverse decline, be rigorous about what not to do.
STAGE 5: CAPITULATION TO IRRELEVANCE OR DEATH
The longer a company remains in Stage 4, repeatedly grasping for silver bullets, the more likely it will spiral downward. In Stage 5, accumulated setbacks and expensive false starts erode financial strength and individual spirit to such an extent that leaders abandon all hope of building a great future. In some cases the company’s leader just sells out; in other cases the institution atrophies into utter insignificance; and in the most extreme cases the enterprise simply dies outright.
The point of the struggle is not just to survive, but to build an enterprise that makes such a distinctive impact on the world it touches (and does so with such superior performance) that it would leave a gaping hole—a hole that could not be easily filled by any other institution—if it ceased to exist. To accomplish this requires leaders who retain faith that they can find a way to prevail in pursuit of a cause larger than mere survival (and larger than themselves) while also maintaining the stoic will needed to take whatever actions must be taken, however excruciating, for the sake of that cause.



Why Most People Fail: Lack of Vision

Originally posted by Life Founder and author Orrin Woodward.

Orrin has co-founded two multi-million dollar leadership companies and serves as the Chairman of the Board of LIFE Leadership.

Thank you and God bless

Scott Johnson



I tweeted out a quote this morning that read: Winners learn from the past, live in the present, and lead into the future.
Failures, however, reject this advice. In fact, they follow an opposite path which ensures failure.
If I were to tweet out how to fail in life it would read: Failures replay the past, react in the present, and rationalize away the future.
If this quote is closer to your current mindset, the good news is – YOU can change it!
Now I am not promising it will be easy. Failure is a mindset that quickly becomes a habitual. Nonetheless, with disciplined mental and physical work, a failure mindset can be transformed into a winning one. I believe your future is worth changing for. Doing so will bless, not only your life, but also those you love.
Let’s unpack each step of the failure mindset.
First, failures do not learn from the past. Instead, they beat themselves (or others) up for their past mistakes. Replaying the past to blame or justify is a sure recipe for failure. Wearing a victim lens in life may reduce the short-term pain but only by ensuring longterm failure. In short, a person cannot learn from the past when he is playing the victim card.
Second, because failures don’t learn from the past, they often repeat it. Wisdom is the fruit enjoyed by those who accept personal responsibility for all of life’s outcomes. True, unfair things happen to everyone, but how a person responds is the key. Failures, because they do not seek wisdom, end up living reactively rather than proactively.
Finally, because failures constantly replay past mistakes and are reactive rather than proactive, they have little time to focus on the future. Of course, this ensures they will not effectively lead themselves nor others into a brighter future. Instead, failures rationalize away their futures on altars of past failures. How sad.
Fortunately, there is another plan.
Winners have a different mindset. It doesn’t matter what happened in the past because it is history. All that is left from the past are the lessons one can learn from them. It doesn’t matter how bad it is in the present because it’s just a function of reaping what you have sowed in the past. However (drum roll please), to truly change one’s life, it is absolutely essential to envision where one wants to go. For without a clear picture of the future life a person desires, he will not generate the internal motivation necessary to create real change.  
Lead with Vision
Lead with Vision
Failures have to see it to believe it and thus never believe or do anything without seeing first. But this means they merely react to what is presented to them rather than pro-act to create something new. Winners, on the other hand, believe it, see it, and thus work like crazy to make what they “see” come true. That’s the SECRET! Successful people apply consistent effort to turn their mental dreams into physical realities. 
Yes, winners work hard, but so do many failures. It’s important to understand that it’s not the work that separates the successful from the unsuccessful; it’s vision. More specifically, it’s a vision believed so deeply that it becomes a metaphysically reality. The physical work, then, is just investing the time to formally present externally what is already known internally. 
Accordingly, the key question for all success is: are you disciplining your mind to see your future reality? I know, I know, the reader is probably thinking – but I don’t have time for that. Think through that statement for a second. A person who says he doesn't have time to envision his future, is like a tourist who says he doesn't have time to look at the local map. Although the tourist may save time in the short run, he ends up repeating many steps and loses out on many rewards in the long run. In a similar fashion, so too does the hard worker without vision.
I believe it’s time to learn from the past while living in the present, and leading (with massive vision) into the future? In fact, I believe this so strongly, I co-founded LIFE Leadership to help people live the life they've always wanted.
Sincerely,

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Who Is Leading This Thing

Originally posted by Life Leadership member and one of my favorite Leaders Mr. Steve Leurquin

Thank you,
Scott Johnson



Voyage of a VikingI recently read a blog post (with accompanied video) by Tim Marks with jaw dropping amazement and anger as to how much I am not aware of. I have watched this video 4 times now. I am reposting this blog for a simple reason, I hope it has the same affect on you! I hope you watch it, show someone else, and then show someone else.
Enjoy, Steve Leurquin




ARE YOU LEFT, RIGHT, OR IN THE MIDDLE?


Over years of a self-directed education, having read many books on a variety of topics including history and politics, I always try to step back and look at the facts as they are and not as I want them to be. With that in mind, I’d like to share a video from Edward Griffin, an excellent researcher and historian.  I don’t agree with him on everything, but he offers some thought-provoking insights on our political parties.
In this clip, Griffin shares a bone-chilling question that was asked by a university history professor who actually mentored William Clinton while he was a student (a question that is the opposite of what I personally stand for.)  The question asked was:
“How do you let people think they are directing their own political destiny, while at the same time we, the elite, are [actually] the ones  directing their political destiny, without them [the people] knowing it?”
The answer, once you hear it, will cast a light on the political charade we see in our government today.  Remember: we can’t make our world better until we understand it.
The video below casts light on things many of us have wondered or felt from time to time, and answers some questions about why we are stuck as a country and not following any one party’s “agenda” but really following an agenda we are not even aware of.  Thankfully, through LIFE Leadership, we have excellent books like Orrin Woodward’s And Justice For All that help us all continue a self-directed political education.  Enjoy the video!
God bless,
Tim

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Forbes Magazine suggests MLM Business for Boomers!

Originally posted by Life founder and Author Mr. Tim Marks.

Thank you, Scott Johnson


Forbes Magazine suggests MLM Business for Boomers!


Hey gang!  Here is an interesting article from Forbes magazine.  The author is an advocate for baby-boomers to consider starting their own MLM business, and discusses the pros and cons quite candidly.  It is a refreshing and positive article from a widely distributed source.  Not all major publications have always shared a positive opinion about our incredible industry, which makes this article a refreshing break from other articles I have come across.
These are powerful points to consider as you build a business that reaches ALL ages.  LIFE Leadership, lead by NY Times Bestselling Author and Inc Magazine Top 50 Leadership expert Orrin Woodward, is experiencing some of it’s greatest growth ever, and we are poised to capitalize on this momentum.  Enjoy the article!
God bless, Tim


Monday, September 15, 2014

Leaders are Readers

Originally posted By an amazing Leader and Life Leadership member Mr. Wayne MacNamara.

Thank you and god bless,

Scott Johnson


It has been said many times that leaders are readers, and this statement could not be more accurate.  The biggest leaders I know are all voracious readers.  My personal mentor Claude Hamilton is constantly reading books in all different areas to help improve those areas of his own life, and be able to help other’s in those areas as well.  Orrin Woodward, with whom I also mentor, has read thousands of books!  He can devour a book (or two) on a flight somewhere, never giving up  ”spare time” to learn from the experience of others.  That is what reading is, it’s learning from the 40, 50, or 60 years of experience one man or woman has had in their area of expertise without having to go through all the same struggles they went through.
When I finished high school I told myself I would never read another book, I didn’t enjoy reading and wasn’t going to waste my time on it.  However, when I was introduced to Claude Hamilton, and the Life Leadership organization, he told me I had to read if I wanted to achieve the goals I had set out for my wife and myself.  Reading was not easy at first, I was a slow reader and was frustrated by my lack of progress.  Eventually, after reading a few books and applying the principles in them into my life, I realized how wrong I had been about reading (good books).  It added so much value to my life and helped me through so many hurdles I was dealing with.
Recently, a book was published entitled Turn The Page.  I wish this book had been around when I started on my leadership journey and my reading expedition.  The tips in this book are invaluable if applied to one’s reading habits.  There are so many good ideas on how to read like a top leader, and get the most out of the books you are reading, I urge everyone who doesn’t like to read (or at least thinks they don’t) to start here.  Pick up this book, apply its principles to the rest of your reading and you will see a huge difference in how much you enjoy reading and how much you get out of it.
There are a few tips from this book that really stood out to me when I read it;

Write in Your Books

Whenever I read a book I didn’t want to make a mess of it, so I never thought about writing in it.  I learned though, through mentorship and through this book, that writing in your books as you read them is such an important part of reading.  When you write in your books it makes reading an active process, it makes you really think about what you are reading as you take the words on the page and turn them into thoughts and then sentences in the margins of your book.  Then you not only have the author’s thoughts in your book but also your own, which can be helpful when you look back at books you have previously read.  It is much easier to find important points if you made notes about them when you read through the book originally.

Start With a Question

When I started reading books, I was reading them just to read them and therefore not getting much out of them. Claude told me however that I needed to start with a question before I opened the book.  Readers will get much more out of books if they are looking for the answers to questions, not just reading for the sake of reading.  ”Leaders understand that important answers often come from unexpected places, so they don’t limit themselves to getting business advice only from business books, mentoring advice only from mentoring books, and so forth.”  As you read more and are thinking deeply about what you are reading, the answers to your questions can pop up in places you never expected them to.

Read Several Books at Once

This advice came as a bit of a shock to me at the beginning because I could hardly focus on one book enough to finish it, let alone four or five.  However, as Turn The Page points out, there are so many benefits to reading more than one book at a time.  Readers are more likely to read more if they have more than one book on the go.  They may not feel like reading book A, but they might feel like reading book C.  If they were only reading book A at that time however, they may not have picked up a book at all that day.  Another amazing benefit of reading more than one book at a time is the connections you can make between books that don’t seem to be connected at all.  I love reading a book in one area, then picking up a book in a completely different area and making connections that help me find answers to the questions I started with.  Making these connections makes you think more which stretches you as a leader.

Read Anywhere

Reading anywhere is something we can all take advantage of.  Claude encouraged me to always have a book on me incase I ever had a few spare minutes to read, I reluctantly agreed even though I really thought I would have no spare moments.  I was quickly proven wrong.  Waiting at the doctor’s office, on my lunch break, waiting in a store while my wife tried on clothes.  There were so many opportunities to read a few pages here and there, and I finished books so much faster than I ever though I could.  I always carry books with me now, because I never know where I will get a chance to sneak in a couple of minutes of good reading.

Read and Reread

When I started reading, I was so happy to finish a book and cross it off my list, the thought of picking it back up and reading it again was not very high on my priority list.  However, there are so many benefits to rereading books.  You already know what to read because you know which books were helpful and full of good information and you know which ones were not.  Some questions that Turn The Page suggests asking yourself before rereading a book are extremely helpful in deciding if it would be beneficial; did it change me?  Am I better for having read it?  Did it inspire powerful action in me?  A second great reason to reread books is to catch all the details you missed the first time through.  There have been many occasions (almost every time I have reread a book) where I could have sworn the book had changed since the last time I read it because of how much new information I picked up.  ”In this way, rereading will help you achieve greater depth in your reading and better understanding of the valuable nuggets of truth that are sometimes hidden in the pages.”
Turn The Page is a phenomenal book on how to read like a leader.  I urge anyone who is serious about leadership, or wanting to become serious, to pick up this book and learn how the leaders read, because leaders are readers, but not all readers are leaders.

God Bless,
Wayne

5 Steps for Overcoming the Crippling “Bystander Effect”

Originally posted by Stephen Palmer.

Stephen Palmer is a writer and entrepreneur devoted to helping people conquer limitations, maximize their potential, and achieve true freedom.

 Thank you and God bless,

Scott Johnson 

 

 

Given the choice, Kitty Genovese would rather not have become the subject of social psychology research.

As she was returning home from work on March 13, 1964, Kitty was approached by a man who attacked and stabbed her.

 She screamed repeatedly for help. At least a dozen people heard her screams, but it took a full thirty minutes before someone contacted the police.

Four years later, researchers John Darley and Bibb Latané, fascinated by the Kitty Genovese case, first demonstrated the “bystander effect” in the lab.

The greater the number of people present, they discovered, the less likely people are to help a person in distress.  

For example, they staged an experiment around a woman in distress. 70 percent of the people alone called out or went to help the woman after they believed she had fallen and was hurt. But when there were other people in the room only 40 percent offered help.

The “bystander effect” is explained by what social psychologists call “diffusion of responsibility”: In a large group of people, people may feel that individual responsibility to intervene is lessened because it is shared by all of the onlookers.

Let’s cut through all the psychological jargon and state it bluntly: People in crowds are stupid. They become followers. They stop taking responsibility for their actions.

That’s precisely why following the crowd cripples our success — not because following is intrinsically wrong, but because when following a crowd our sense of responsibility is stifled.

Taking ultimate, unflinching responsibility for our choices, results, and happiness is the first and foundational principle of success.

No progress can be made without responsibility. As long as we have someone to blame or some reason to justify and excuse our lack of success, we can never claim our power.

There is an inverse relationship between excellence and conformity. The more we conform to social pressure, the less excellence we achieve.

By definition, excellence is unique. The principles for achieving it may be universal, but no two expressions of excellence are alike.

Michelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel ceiling and sculpted David. Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Steve Jobs built Apple Computers.

What’s your unique expression of excellence? What pressures are you conforming to that are restraining your unique purpose and voice?

Being a bystander in crowds is bad enough, but even worse is people being passive bystanders to their own mediocre lives.

They drift on the wind and waves of life without a clearly defined purpose and a firm commitment to a cause. They let fear, doubt, and worry dictate their choices rather than faith and courage.

According to research, bystanders go through these cognitive and behavioral processes:
  1. Notice that something is going on
  2. Interpret the situation as being an emergency
  3. Degree of responsibility felt
  4. Determine the form of assistance
  5. Implement the action choice
These five processes provide the steps for overcoming the bystander effect in our own lives:
  1. Notice: Take stock of your life. Where are you currently? Where do you want to be? What do you want to do? Who do you want to be? What is your purpose? Write down your answers.
  2. Interpret: Be honest with yourself. Are you living up to your full potential? How big is the gap between your current performance and what you know you’re capable of?
  3. Take Responsibility: Don’t blame your parents, your circumstances, your lack of talent, your lack of connections. No justification or rationalization. You were brought to your current state by your own choices. Period.
  4. Determine Your Action Plan: What are you trying to make happen? How will you measure success?
  5. Implement: Just do it. Make it happen. Start that business. Write that book. Take that dream vacation. Hike to the top of that mountain. Cut up that credit card. Stop wishing and DO IT.
Kitty Genovese was murdered while bystanders watched. Likewise, human potential is snuffed out while people conform to culture and passively watch their lives pass by.

Just because everyone around you is living a scripted life doesn’t mean it’s okay for you. Break the mold. Stand out from the crowd. Be the change.

Would you rather be studied by social psychologists for your conformity, or by descendants for your greatness?


Tuesday, September 2, 2014

You are the people you associate with

Originally posted by Life Founder and Author Claude Hamilton.

God bless, Scott Johnson


Think about the top five people you’re spending time with. Are they successful? Committed to a cause? Do they toughen up when they need to? If this sounds like the people you’ve surrounded yourself with, chances are good that you’re going to be pretty successful yourself.

On the other hand, if those five people aren’t working towards anything, quit when the going gets tough, and have poor lifestyle habits, you probably do the same things.

My mother smoked for 42 years. Eventually, she got to the point where she needed a machine to help her breathe at night. When she reached that point, she decided it was time to quit. But amazingly, some of her friends weren’t supportive. They would offer her cigarettes and try to convince her to start smoking again. Thankfully, she resisted, but those friends were no help at all.

Fortunately, we get to choose the people we spend time with. For example, in the early days, when I was still building my business, one of the men I was working with called me up and asked if we could talk. We met in person, and he told me that he wanted to take a break from the business. As I questioned him, I realized that this “break” was actually a subtle way of quitting. So I responded with, “Ah, man, we were doing so well. I was really relating to you, we were getting along really well, and I was enjoying my time with you. We were kickin’ butt. We were on a path to really growing our business, and I thought you’d become a leader in our company. And now you want to quit. It’s really sad.”

Harsh, right? Well, I was probably a little harder on him than I should have been, but it was really important to me to make sure I was surrounded by successful, likeminded people. After all, one of the pillars of my system is knowing that there’s only one way to turn a loser into a winner. It has nothing to do with giving them money and opportunity. It’s all about changing the way they think.

That was a tough conversation, but there was an important principle I needed to pass on. If you spend time with people who are willing to give up when they get tired, or when things get tough, their attitude will influence you. Having courage means loving yourself enough to say, “I will not let my goals be hindered by people who aren’t willing to work to achieve theirs.”

It’s possible that my former associate did have a good reason for taking a break–maybe he wanted to play baseball to strengthen his relationship with his son. If so, that’s wonderful. But we need to remember: we can’t achieve our goals if we’re constantly falling back on excuses.

Take a few minutes to think. Are you letting excuses stop you from achieving your goals? If so, it’s time to reconnect with your reason for pursuing that cause in the first place.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Make Yourself Unforgettable

Originally posted by Life Leadership member and an exemplary Leader himself Mr. Steve Leurquin.

God bless, Scott Johnson


In living out my purpose in life helping others, I meet hundreds if not thousands of people for the first time every month.  When I first began this journey I was so self conscious that I would try to impress them as fast as possible with the words that came out of my mouth. After reading many books and many hours of experience, without a doubt I know the best way to be unforgettable to someone is to become a great listener.

The Dale Carnegie Training book: Make Yourself Unforgettable, teaches how to make a lasting impression through class. In a world where everyone is talking but nobody is being heard, becoming unforgettable is as simple as becoming a good listener.

Some common mistakes when listening to others:

*Rehearsing – Thinking of what you will say and not hearing what they are saying.

*Evaluating or Prejudging.

*Story Topping.

*Truth Telling – You are fixer so you “tell them how it is” as they are telling you a stressor in their life.

*Fault Finding – Disagreeing with them for the fun of it.

*Placating – Not listing but saying things like “Really” to appear that you are listening.

*Derailing – Taking over the conversation.

Now, we are all guilty of doing each of these mistakes at some point in our lives. The idea is to not beat yourself up about it rather know what they are so we can identify them in the future. This would be the defense of good listening. The offense of good listening is taking a proactive approach and not focus just on what bad listening is, but also focus on what good listeners do.

What good listening is:

*Make listening a conscious choice – make a decision to become a good listener.

*Put your expectations aside – Hear what they are saying and not what you think they are saying through your filter.

*Ask Questions

*Maintain eye contact

*Pay attention – focus Danielson! Don’t check out!

It is funny that when my influence was smaller, I did most of the talking. Now I found that most places I go, I do most of the listening and yet now I lead much larger groups of people. I find that people are so hungry to be heard in a world that does not listen, you become a person of class when you will truly listen to them to inspire them to reach the the life they have always wanted to live.

Hope this helps! It has helped me immensely!

Steve Leurquin

The Journey of an Idea

Originally posted by Life Founder and Best Selling Author Chris Brady.

God bless, Scott Johnson


Ideas are funny things, and everyone seems to have some sort of idea about ideas.

For instance, one famous quote (usually attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson, but which is actually a misquote of an earlier statement by him) goes like this:

"Build a better mousetrap and people will beat a path to your door."

But a more accurate quote, which I'm sure all of you who've had good ideas can agree with, goes like this:

"Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats." --Howard Aiken

Take wheels on suitcases, for instance. Now there's an idea so good, as soon as you see it you can't imagine how anyone ever got along without it. But would you believe that we put a man on the moon a full two years before we put wheels on suitcases? Probably because we didn't have an American President making speeches and compelling a nation to pull together and fulfill the grand vision of figuring out a way to "make our baggage more mobile within a decade! Ask not what your country can do for you . . . ."

But one man, Bernard Sadow, had the idea for wheeled luggage, and (would you believe it?) he actually had trouble selling his idea! You can read about him here.

In studying this topic and giving some talks about it recently (watch for my soon-to-be-released CD from Life Leadership's Launching a Leadership Revolution series, entitled "Jared and the Journey of an Idea"), I have decided to add to the already enormous body of thought on the subject. It might not be a good idea to do so, but hey, good ideas are hard to launch. So a not-so-good idea? I figure I may as well give it a try. So here goes:

An idea goes through many stages on its journey to fruition:

1. Realization - you see the problem to be fixed, clearly, and perhaps for the first time

2. Mechanization - the method by which you "think it up." It may be a brainstorming session, a conversation with someone, or an accidental occurrence (the invention of Post-It notes comes to mind)

3. Assimilation - the combining of previous ideas into a new one

4. Inspiration - the catalystic spark or insight that puts it together for the first time, and the desire to change the status quo that pushes the process along

5.Germination - most ideas are not hatched fully formed, instead, they need to grow and blossom under more thought and consideration (and even discussion)

6. Elation - the passion that arises when pursuing a real improvement or breakthrough

7. Confirmation - when you first begin to realize you've got it, and evidence suggests that it really will work.

8. Dissemination - the act of forcing your good idea down other people's throats!

Of course, there are many additional "ation" words we could throw at this, but, um, that wouldn't be a good idea.

What's helpful in this is to realize there's a process by which most good ideas come to life, and by considering these steps, we can put ourselves in a position to be more creative and better at problem solving. Let's look at the 8 steps again with an eye to how to apply them:

1. Make sure you have invested the thought time to clearly identify and classify the problem, truly understanding it as thoroughly as possible. Be sure to work toward the root cause and avoid being misled by the symptoms.

2. Take steps to actively generate possible solutions. This may involve gathering with others, making sketches, having a brainstorming session, benchmarking the competition, or just playing around with things.

3. Realize that most new ideas are just combinations of previous ones, and ask questions such as, "What could we combine that has never been combined before?" and "What do we already have available or have already done that could be synthesized into something new here?"

4. Provide motivation to yourself and your team by visualizing and vision-casting success and a new, desired reality that will be brought about by the solving of this problem or the creation of a breakthrough idea.

5. Provide healthy nurturing and incubation for your ideas, allowing them to be considered openly without having to survive the negative attacks of "It'll never work" and "Not my idea." Keep egos and reality tests away from your new ideas when they are young and give them time to morph into something real.

6. Enjoy the process and refuse to become frustrated, which often shuts down creative channels. Instead, foster the enthusiasm of a treasure hunter nearing the red X on a map.

7. Carefully test your new ideas to verify their validity, and have an open process for analyzing how effective they might actually be in the real world.

8. Have a process for sharing your idea outward into your organization (or the world)  that allows it to first be received by those who stand the most to gain by it, thereby gaining momentum and strength before it attracts critics and detractors.

But the most important thing to know is this: the future can be whatever you want it to be, you merely have to think it up!

At least that's the idea.

Sincerely,

Chris Brady

Forum

Friday, July 25, 2014

LIFE Leadership: Wisdom For Families

Originally posted by Life Leadership Founder and Best selling Author Orrin Woodward.

God bless, Scott Johnson


My good friend Michael Hartmann sent me the best message on how he applied some of the LIFE Leadership principles within his family.  This is another example of why I believe the true successes in LIFE Leadership are not just the people who reach LIFE Coach levels. Rather, the true successes in LIFE and life, are those who seek wisdom everyday to improve themselves personally and professionally. For when a person improves themselves, he/she makes life better for everyone around them.
In the early days, Chris Brady, Terri Brady, Laurie Woodward, and I, once we realized what an impact the leadership training was having within our small community, made a commitment to never stop learning and growing. Regardless of the size compensated community, we believed becoming a person of character was job one. Imagine the national transformations if everyone sought to gain wisdom like Mike and Tonya Hartmann have to become better leaders in all areas of life.
Do you have a story to share how LIFE Leadership products helped you respond with more wisdom than the scripts you learned? If you do please share them with me. Who knows, you might be the next story featured on my blog. This is Part 1 and I will post Part 2 later this week. What an inspiring story!
Sincerely,
Orrin Woodward

The Mission

I have a hero in my life. His name is Kyle. He’s 14 years old stands 5’ 7” and weighs 115 pounds. Oh, by the way, he’s also my son.
Three weeks ago, Kyle was supposed to go on a mission’s trip to Copper Hills, Tennessee, through Keystone Community Church with the youth group and youth pastor. In a period of three months, Kyle raised over $300 in donations to cover his cost of his trip.
It was awesome to have Kyle find it in his heart to want to be part of a mission of higher purpose than I ever participated in when I was 14 years old. The opportunity to learn an incredible life lesson presented itself before the trip even began and is the inspiration for this blog. My profound respect for Kyle really comes from what happened the night before he left and how Kyle stood up to his greatest fear and how he learned a very valuable lesson that I’m sure he will carry rest of his life.

The Attack

I was out of town and leadership convention in Columbus, Ohio. My wife Tonya was with me but, due to an unforeseen circumstance, needed to leave early and was home Saturday night. I’m thankful that she was home because without her presence I don’t know how things might have turned out.
I called home at a break and talked with Kyle to see how he was doing. Tonya told me Kyle was really upset. He no longer felt excited about the trip. On the contrary, he was unsure of himself, trepid and anxious of the coming week.
I asked Kyle what was on his mind and out poured the unfiltered, emotion-filled dissonance:
“I’m quiet. I’m shy. No one talks to me. I have no friends. Please let me stay home. Please don’t make me go on this trip.”
Think back to time when you were 14 years old. That’s the onset of ninth-grade and, for all of us who survived those trying times of high school, you can probably empathize with how my son felt at this moment in time.
When feeling stressed, my natural reaction is one that was modeled to me from my father when I was an adolescent. Strict, straightforward, and blunt. There wasn’t much negotiation in the house in which I grew up. Maybe, some of the readers can relate to the“Because I said so” upbringing. This was my instant reaction:
“Kyle! You have been raising money for the last three months. We have been preparing for this very trip that entire time! The entire youth team and church leaders are expecting you to be there tomorrow morning. You need to suck it up, get a grip, and stop this doubt because you are going tomorrow. Make no mistake about it.”
Well, that went over as well as you can probably imagine. Kyle shouted back in the phone, “You don’t understand and you don’t care! I’m hanging up!”
And then he really did hang up.

The Turn Around

I immediately called back and Tonya answered the phone. My words were exactly this, “I think that went really well…”
To which Tonya replied, “What conversation are you a part of?”
I realized how insensitive and uncaring I was at that moment in time and asked to speak to Kyle again. While she was getting Kyle back on the phone, I meditated briefly and asked for wisdom & intercession, so that I would be able to share some of the leadership principles (that I have been studying for so many years) with my son to give him a different perspective and help him in his troubled time.
I started talking to Kyle and just offering perspective on what was truly happening here. I don’t know where you, the reader, may be spiritually, but here are some of our core family beliefs:
  • There is a God.
  • That very God created and calls each of us by name.
  • That we are meant for greatness.
  • That there are forces in this world that actively and constantly attack us and tear us down in order to stop us from achieving our true life mission and purpose.
  • Those very forces come out in full fury in the moments that we are about to accomplish some of our greatest achievements.
I shared the following conversation with Kyle to enlighten him on what was exactly was happening in his life:
“Kyle, you’re 14 years old and you are about to do something great. You are specifically going out to help a family in Copper Hills who, for whatever reasons, are living a life of poverty in this great nation. They need your help and it’s been on your heart for a long time to be part of this mission trip. What’s happening at this very instant is truly spiritual warfare. And you need to recognize it for exactly what it is: nothing more than a bunch of lies masquerading as doubt, fear, and worry.
“You see Kyle, you are about to accomplish something great. Something that you will look back on the rest of your life with pride and a sense of accomplishment, and the feeling and satisfaction of knowing that by your actions you made a difference in someone’s life.
“And what’s happening to you, right now, is you are under attack! These negative forces want to stop you dead in your tracks because they know that if you falter at this moment in time they will have secured a foothold from which to attack you and remind you of your ‘failure’ for the rest of your high school career and for the rest of your life. They want to prevent you from moving forward in a positive direction tomorrow and in the other opportunities you’re going to have in your future to make a difference.
David_Goliath
“At this very moment in time, you are facing your personal Goliath. And he looks big, and scary, and mean, and he is launching his insults and doubts at you. Your Goliath is shouting his lies at you and he wants to stop you right now. And here’s the real problem:You are listening. You are listening to the voices in your head that are calling you out, that are labeling you as someone less than you really are; that are creating a distorted reality which appears intimidating and it’s creating fear. You’re listening to the voice inside your head and that voice isn’t you. That voice is tripping you up before you get your foot out the door to do something great.
“And I promise you this: You can beat him. You can go to battle you can face your Goliath. And you will win. I know because I had to do this many times in my life. And every person who walks the earth needs to do this on a regular basis if they plan on accomplishing greatness with the time they’ve been given.”
I paused to let what I was saying sink in. I asked Kyle if he wanted to learn how to turn this around. Through a quiet voice, Kyle told me he did.
“This is how you go to battle: You need to stop listening to yourself and start talking to yourself. Action conquers fear. This Goliath is accusing you of being shy, of being quiet, of having no friends. He looks as if he is a giant and he’s intimidating. But I promise you this:Goliath is nothing more than a sheet of paper standing there with nothing behind his picture.

“You need to stop listening to yourself & start talking to yourself.”

“Kyle, you need to confront your Goliath. You need to be a man walk up to him and knock him over. And you do that by talking to yourself. You need to start using your mouth and your voice to silence his lies.
“Remind yourself right now that, ‘I am outgoing. I am funny. I make people laugh. People like to have me around.’
“Remind yourself how much your family loves you and that your mom and dad wouldn’t knowingly send you in an area that we knew would harm you. As a matter fact, I know only good will come out of this!”
“Kyle, start repeating those things out loud. That you are a winner. That you are a champion. That you have what it takes to go to battle and win! Kyle, you are 14 years old, a young man. You’re not a boy. And you’re not an adult yet. But God has placed you in our care so that we can help you along this battlefield and help you cross it successfully.
“I promise you this Kyle, from the bottom of my heart: If you choose to go to battle, you will defeat this Goliath and for the rest of your life you will remember tonight as the night where you learned one of the most valuable life lessons that you possibly can learn: You can battle Goliath and, when you do, you will beat him. Once you learn that lesson, your entire up-and-coming high school existence is going to be so much easier because this is so powerful.

“You can battle Goliath and, when you do, you will beat him.”

Saturday, July 19, 2014

The Rule of Law in Western Civilization

Originally posted by Life Leadership Founder and best selling Author Orrin Woodward.

God bless, Scott Johnson

Do not give in to evil, but proceed ever more boldly against it.
Do not give in to evil, but proceed ever more boldly against it.

Winston Churchill once wrote:

There are few words which are used more loosely than the word “Civilization.” What does it mean? It means a society based upon the opinion of civilians. It means that violence, the rule of warriors and despotic chiefs, the conditions of camps and warfare, of riot and tyranny, give place to parliaments where laws are made, and independent courts of justice in which over long periods those laws are maintained. 

That is Civilization—and in its soil grow continually freedom, comfort and culture. When Civilization reigns, in any country, a wider and less harassed life is afforded to the masses of the people. The traditions of the past are cherished, and the inheritance bequeathed to us by former wise or valiant men becomes a rich estate to be enjoyed and used by all.
Today, this view is becoming increasingly ignored as the State seeks to gain more power over society. In the video below I discuss some of the ramifications of the Rule of Law on liberty in Western Civilization.

Sincerely,
Orrin WoodwardLIFE Leadership Chairman of the Board

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Leaders Create a Virtuous Teaching Cycle Culture

Originally posted by Life Leadership Founder and Best selling author Orrin Woodward.

God bless, Scott Johnson


Although anyone can be a leader, it is important to understand that leadership is rare. While most people wait for something to happen, leaders make things happen. In fact, true leaders cannot stand to sit on the sidelines when the team’s game, business, or purpose is on the line.

Indeed, what makes leaders different is the unceasing desire to improve and then to share what they learned with others. This quality of all great leaders is called the Virtuous Teaching Cycle – learning, doing, and then teaching. In a word, the best way to determine the quality of the leader is to identify the quality of leaders he or she is building.

I am so proud of LIFE Leadership for so many reasons, including the level of leadership developing throughout the organization. Despite not chasing after leadership credentials (since true leadership isn’t based upon titles, but rather the size of the community following the leaders), LIFE has produced two NY Times bestselling authors and several other bestselling authors in its first few years. 

LIFE is poised to explode onto the mainstream leadership stage by simply serving people rather than chasing credentials. Recently, for instance, Inc Magazine announced their Top 50 Leadership list, using a complicated formula to measure the real reach and influence of each leader. The Top 50 list includes many great leaders, but only one organization had two leaders place in the Top 50 – LIFE Leadership.

This represents what makes LIFE Leadership different. For LIFE believes the true measure of leadership greatness is how many great leaders one serves. How was this achieved? First, by the Grace of God and his continual blessings in our lives and second by building a Virtuous Teaching Cycle where anyone desiring to lead can learn from those already leading at the highest of levels. 

I believe over the next decade that the Virtuous Teaching Cycle will catapult many more LIFE Leaders onto the world stage as we create a servant-based leadership dynasty? How? By improving ourselves daily and sharing what we learn with others. 

Western Civilization is suffering from a leadership drought. It’s not going to be fixed by government credentialists more concerned with padding their pocketbooks and power contacts. Rather, it’s going to take leaders willing to serve people within society. LIFE Leadership is a group of men and women who refuse to keep waiting for something to happen. Instead, we are  going to make it happen. Will you help? 
Sincerely,
Orrin Woodward

Monday, June 9, 2014

Seek Wisdom

Originally posted by Life Founder and Best Selling Author Orrin Woodward.

God bless, Scott Johnson


Life is less like a box of chocolates and more like a box of jalapeños. If you don’t apply wisdom, what you do today may burn your butt tomorrow.

I read a tweet recently from Brian Powers on life, chocolates, and jalapeños. I changed the quote slightly to tie it to the importance of wisdom and the quote above resulted. Life truly is about gaining wisdom in the 8F’s so that one can learn to handle any situation with peace and grace. Since everyone experiences the ups and downs in life, wisdom is the key delineator between successfully navigating the storms of life or being added to the growing list of shipwrecked lives.



Relativism = Value Free
Relativism = Value Free
The Free Dictionary defines wisdom as the ability to discern or judge what is true, right, or lasting; insight. If wisdom requires one to judge between truthfulness and rightness of one’s actions then one must believe that there is truth and right in the world. After all, how can one discern truth and right when one is a relativist and rejects the notions of good/evil, truth/error, and right/wrong?
 
LIFE Leadership begins with this foundational principle to seek wisdom. The Bible states, “Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind” and the transformation for many begins with the recognition of a moral order in the world. For without this moral order, seeking wisdom is a fools errand as one would have rejected the goal (discerning truth) before one begins the journey.

One of the many things I love about the LIFE Leadership community is it is difficult to remain a relativist when one attempts to lead. Leadership, at its essence, is buying into one’s purpose/vision and then selling it to others. This purpose/vision must be inspirational and rational in order to be bought into with conviction by the community. However, a relativist struggles with conviction. This isn’t surprising when one considers that a relativist’s statement of faith centers around, “nothing is true absolutely.” Of course, my quick rejoinder is, “are you absolutely sure that nothing is true absolutely?”

This is the quandary for all relativist who attempt to lead a community. If he answers my question by saying, “I am absolutely sure,” then he has disproved his own statement of faith. If he says, “I am not absolutely sure,” then I say, “great, let’s help you start reading, listening, and associating, so you can be sure about what you believe.”

At the end of the day, it’s the leader’s certainty, and the conviction that comes from this certainty, that creates the passion around the purpose for other’s to follow. Thus, knowing why you believe what you believe is foundational to all leadership.

How has LIFE Leadership helped you develop wisdom in life and discern truth and right in today’s relativistic age?

Sincerely,
Orrin Woodward

Friday, June 6, 2014

And Justice For All

Originally posted by Life Founder and Best Selling Author Orrin Woodward.

God bless, Scott Johnson




I am so excited to be finally releasing the first of a trilogy of books on the never-ending power-struggle between the State and Society in human history. And Justice for All will be released at the LIFE Leadership Major Convention in Columbus Ohio in June. I am so thankful to the LIFE Leaders who have blessed me with their friendship, thoughts, and suggestions to make this book better.

A special thanks to my amazing wife Laurie Woodward and our two youngest sons (Lance and Jeremy) for participating in our family discussions upon the concepts in this book. I have experienced first-hand the growth of these two teenager of their knowledge of the roles of the State and Society. 

Here is a short segment from the book to illustrate the power of ideas in one’s life.

Sincerely, Orrin Woodward


Author Warren T. Brookes captures how the duality within human nature and methods for creating wealth has led to a division within the science of economics as well:

One view, defined by Adam Smith and Jean-Baptist Say, is that wealth is primarily metaphysical, the results of ideas, imagination, innovation, and individual creativity, and is therefore, relatively speaking, unlimited, susceptible to great growth and development . . . After all, if wealth truly is metaphysical, the result more of mind than matter, the “wealth of nations” has to be seen as the direct result of the creative activity of individuals and the degree to which that activity is either liberated or restricted by governmental, trade, or societal structures and strictures . . . The other, espoused by Thomas Malthus and Karl Marx, contends that wealth is essentially and primarily physical, and therefore ultimately finite. The modern presentation of this view argues that since usable energy is steadily diminishing into entropy, all wealth is really cost to be shared more equitably . . .  If one believes that wealth is primarily a function of material resources, and is therefore limited (or declining), it is only natural that one would see the role of economic policy as the just and collective conservation, distribution, and redistribution of these limited resources until the end is reached.

Smith and Say believe wealth is metaphysical, and since ideas are unlimited, society should employ the “economics means” of wealth creation to raise the tide of humanity and its societal ships. In contrast, Malthus and Marx believe wealth is physical, and since resources are limited, society should employ the “political means” of wealth expropriation to direct the tide equitably between societal ships. This divergence in economic thought relates back to the divergence in methods to create wealth which tracks back to the divergence within man himself.

One of the key objectives of this book is to educate leaders in the systematic interactions between these two opposing forces within society.  For only when this is understood can we achieve long lasting concord within society.  Towards that end, there are three questions that must be answered in order to achieve enduring concord within society.

  1. What areas of society prosper best under liberty and persuasion?
  2. What is the proper role of government within society to ensure justice for all?
  3. How does society check government’s “monopoly of force” from expanding into areas it doesn’t belong?

Friday, May 30, 2014

Great Leaders Don’t Always Start Out Looking Like Great Leaders

This amazing couple will be speaking at the LIFE Live seminar Saturday, June 07, 2014 at the
St. Charles Convention Center
One Convention Center Plaza
St. Charles , MO 63303
636-669-3000
Success Talk Speaker: Dan & Lisa Hawkins
General Session Speaker: Dan & Lisa Hawkins



Dan & Lisa Hawkins will present the Success Talk, Teaching, Story and Next Step sessions. *Please remember, No Food or Beverage allowed in the facility. Seminar will be in the Junior Ballroom BCD


 Originally posted by Eric Blomdahl in Uncategorized. Tagged: , , , , , , , .




 
Dan & Lisa Hawkins


 Orrin Woodward posted a great article the other day about Dan and Lisa Hawkins. Dan and Lisa are Policy Council members of TEAM and co-founders of the new LIFE business. Dan and Lisa have developed into an incredible couple and incredible leaders. Leadership guru, Orrin Woodward wrote this in his post about Dan and Lisa:

“…Dan and Lisa are not your typical mechanic or daycare provider.
What’s the difference?

It isn’t talent, as everyone has the talent to develop into a leader. It isn’t connections, as Dan and Lisa didn’t have any. In fact, Dan may be the shyest person I have ever personally witnessed build the business to the PC level. (He attended four phone calling sessions without calling anyone!)
Then how did they do it?

Simply put, courage. Dan and Lisa had the courage of their convictions to go against the grain, refusing to listen to the naysayers of life; instead, they chose to pursue their dreams. They disciplined themselves to read, listen, and apply the leadership training, falling in love with the learning process. Because of their courage, because they confronted every goliath in their path, the Hawkins are now TEAM PC members and LIFE Founders.”

Dan and Lisa have been friends and business associates of mine for the past 9 years and I have had the privilege of having a front row seat to watch their journey and development into great leaders. Their story of dream/struggle/victory provides a great opportunity to share a valuable lesson for anyone to have success in life.

When you look at the Dan & Lisa Hawkins of today, it’s easy to say, “Well of course they made it, look how great they are.” But the Dan & Lisa Hawkins I met 9 years ago were quite different. In fact, my thoughts back then were, “They’re never going to make it.” My reason for sharing this with you is not to de-edify or take anything away from Dan & Lisa, but rather to let you know that great leaders don’t always start out looking like great leaders. What I learned from watching their journey is this…great leaders of tomorrow start out looking like YOU today! Here are some characteristics they developed into habits into their life that made all the difference:

1) Dared to dream BIG – they got an “elephant-sized” dream and then kept that dream in front of them daily.

2) Selected a single source of information that provided them with true success principles and didn’t let any outside source contaminate their thinking (this is actually a topic for a separate blog article by itself).

3) Developed courage – when you know your right, it’s much easier to have courage and fight through the negative and critics (remember, critics don’t have courage).

4) Listened to CD’s and read books daily that taught them success principles.

5) Consistent and persistent action – they did what they know they needed to do on a daily basis regardless of whether they felt like doing it or not (this is an important point…great leaders do what needs to be done even when they don’t feel like doing it).

6) Humbled themselves to mentor on a regular basis.

So, if you want to see what a great leader of tomorrow looks like…go look in the mirror! Make sure you check out Orrin’s full article.

Your future is waiting…go get it!

God bless and have a wonderful day, Eric Blomdahl