The 8-Step Process for Leading Change

Yesterday, while sitting through a sermon at church, I listened intently as the pastor introduced the congregation to John Kotter’s “8-Step Process for Leading Change.” Although I’ve been studying leadership development for a number of years now, I had never reviewed this simple diagram. As I suspected, it goes hand-in-hand with what I’ve already been exposed to from leadership experts like Chris Brady and Orrin Woodward; but how it is laid out made me want to share it with all of the leaders that I work with personally. Although the steps are mainly focused on leading organizational change, this process can be used in each of the “8 F’s” of our lives. Following is a simple walk-through of what John says about the eight steps.  I hope you can appreciate and apply it as I’ve decided to do, myself.

Living Intentionally,

Zach

Step 1: Create a Sense of Urgency
»» Craft and use a significant opportunity as a means for exciting people to sign up to change their organization.

Step 2: Build a Guiding Coalition
»» Assemble a group of people with the power and energy to lead and support a collaborative change effort.

Step 3: Form a Strategic Vision and Initiatives
»» Shape a vision to help steer the best change effort, and develop strategic initiatives to achieve that vision.

Step 4: Enlist a Volunteer Army
»» Raise a large force of people who are ready, willing and urgent to drive change.

Step 5: Enable Action by Removing Barriers
»» Remove obstacles to change, change systems or structures that pose threats to the achievement of the vision.

Step 6: Generate Short-Term Wins
»» Consistently produce, track, evaluate and celebrate volumes of small and large accomplishments – and correlate them to results.

Step 7: Sustain Acceleration
»» Use increasing credibility to change systems, structures and policies that don’t align with the vision; hire, promote and develop employees who can implement the vision; reinvigorate the process with new projects, themes and volunteers.

Step 8: Institute Change
»» Articulate the connections between the new behaviors and organizational success, and develop the means to ensure leadership development and succession.

Taking a Step Back to Take a Leap Forward

Today, as I finished reading the book, Confidence of a Champion by Tim Marks, I slowly permitted my thoughts to wander over the last seven months of my young adult life.  I don’t think that it is terribly far-fetched to wager that it has been one of the craziest and fullest periods of my entire existence.  It follows, that in between discovering some new struggles and achieving many new victories, there was a mountain of lessons that had to be experienced and learned from.  I wish to share some of this testimony–not to shine light on me–but as an opportunity to encourage and inspire.

In my line of work, one of the key steps needed to move forward and become successful in any area of your life, is to seek counsel from someone that has the results that you desire.  At the end of the year 2013, like many of my colleagues, I chose to ask for some advice from my mentor, Dean Frey (also my father), so as to get a new perspective on–and a bigger picture of–the preceding twelve months.  In what most would consider a short conversation, my Dad recognized that there were a couple of “trip points” in my thinking, that had spilled over into my actions–which in turn, affected my results.  One of these oversights was related to my financial situation at the time; and the other had to do with how I was dealing with some relational clashes with people that I was in business with.  Without going into all of the exciting details, I can tell you that even after growing up in an environment that inundated me with good principles and excellence-type thinking; I was blown away by the blind spots that had crept into my daily routine.  As humbling as it is to publicly write about them, I know now that so many of us are barely keeping our heads above water because of some simple tweaks that need to be made in our thinking.  It is said that, “Experience is the best teacher, but it does not have to be your experience to learn from it.”  I hope that through my story, you may grab a nugget or two to help you advance toward your own success.

After brainstorming through some ideas over the next couple of days, my Dad asked for confirmation from his mentor, Orrin Woodward; to be sure our reasoning was going to yield the improved results most efficiently.  First, I needed to get creative to make some more money to get rid of compounded hospital debt; and second, I needed to interact with more of the people around me to relate better to their daily obstacles and struggles.  To preface the decision I made, it’s necessary to state that as a result of some success in an entrepreneurial endeavor at an early age, I had not worked in a corporate, employee-type setting in quite a while.  That being said, I decided to follow both of my mentors’ instruction and apply for a temporary position at a blue-collar job.  In my mind, this was somehow showing those around me that I had failed; but as the days turned into weeks, and the weeks turned into months, I began to see God’s hand in the “valley”.

I am a very strong believer in the idea that there is no such thing as a coincidence, and God showed me in this time that He can–and will–work through any circumstance to teach us the lessons that we need to learn.  Throughout six months of working sixty- to eighty-hour work weeks, along with maintaining and building my leadership development business, nurturing my one year old daughter, and attending to the relationship needs of my wife; I learned very quickly how to value every moment of my time.  I slept an average of 3 hours per day, ate more fast food than I care to remember, and drove over 1,600 miles per week.  In this supposedly “trying” time, however, I met many people in need of better information.  I remember hearing story after story of broken hearts and broken lives as I would drive a different handful of coworkers to the job site each day.  The fact that I had never been exposed to such hopeless negativity and bitterness is probably why it had that much more of an impact on me.  Nevertheless, I resolved to share my smile with everyone I came in contact with.  As you can imagine, this produced a polarizing effect on my comrades–as some of them became great friends and some decided to despise the positive attitude that I intended to exude.  I’d like to share a passage of the book I mentioned at the beginning of this blog as the perspective that held me up when darts were being thrown my way:

My ultimate source of confidence is my faith in God.  When I have God on my side, no earthly obstacle can shake me, no matter what it is.  As long as I am obedient to God and do everything for His glory, I will be filled with the confidence to face any challenge before me.

On July 2, 2014–six months, to the day, after I embarked on this journey–I again sat down with my Dad to review my progress.  This time, however, something was different.  After all of the experiences and different tests along the way, I had developed a completely different mindset.  Where before I had not truly understood the value of taking advantage of the time and money that we had available, now I see how incredibly important it is to view them as a blessing and an opportunity to help even more people.  Where before I shirked peoples’ objections and secretly scowled at their excuses, now I sincerely understand what they might be going through–and the grace required to help them find a way out.  God utilized the two mentors in my life to show me that taking a step back is not always a bad thing.  There is a chapter in the Bible, Ecclesiastes 3, that reminds us that there is a time for everything under the sun.  And as I heard Orrin saying this last weekend at his home in Michigan, “If we take care of being obedient, God will take care of blessing us along the way.”

Although wrapping up at this point would be acceptable, I would then miss the opportunity to share how taking this step back in my life led to a huge leap forward!  As I mentioned before, my wife and I contract our time to a leadership development company, called LIFE Leadership, with the mission of changing lives all over the world through a shift in the information that they take in on a daily basis.  Obviously, because of the tweaks in my own thinking over the last six months, I’ve been able to formulate a new perspective of which to operate from when dealing with new partners and clients.  I’m excited to say that from July 2, 2014, to the current date of July 25, 2014, Flora and I have witnessed the greatest growth in our business career that we have ever seen!  From changing my thought process, to changing my output, to changing my results; the lessons that I’ve learned along the way are now affecting lives all over the country and around the globe.  I thank God for the people that He’s put in my life to guide me, and I pray that you will seek guidance–first from your Heavenly Father–and then from those that He’s placed in front of you that live the lifestyle that you would like to live.

 

Living Intentionally,

Zach

 

P.S. On July 2nd, I did resign from my 9-5 job; and as of this very moment, I am working on giving a “hand up” to many of those that I was privileged to meet along the journey.🙂 Thank you for reading!

Confrontation…A Phlegmatic’s Worst Nightmare

During my morning reading in the book, Developing the Leaders Around You by John C. Maxwell, I came across an interesting subtitle that says, “Care Enough to Confront.”  Naturally a melancholy-phlegmatic, a couple of the weaknesses that I’ve been working on are that I like when everything is perfect–which usually means I have to tackle it myself–and I love when everyone is having a good time and getting along.  As you can imagine, this means that I stay as far away from conflict as I possibly can.  Fortunately, my father and mentor, Dean Frey, saw this and recommended that I read the book.  (As a side note, if you’re interested in studying personalities and how to identify your own strengths and weaknesses; I would highly encourage you to get and read the book, Personality Plus by Florence Littauer, on the LIFE Website.)  Tiptoeing into this section of reading, I started to get a different feel for the idea of confrontation; and I decided to allow the new thinking to penetrate.  I would like to share a portion of this chapter, so that you may also glean from the wisdom I received:

Care Enough to Confront

Rewarding the positive takes effort, but it is pretty easy to do.  Confronting negative behavior is tougher.  Many people avoid confrontation.  Some fear being disliked and rejected.  Others are afraid confrontation will make things worse by creating anger and resentment in the person they confront.  But when a person’s behavior is inappropriate, avoiding confrontation always worsens the situation.  First, the organization suffers because the person is not acting in its best interest.  Second, you suffer because the person’s deficiencies reduce your effectiveness.  And finally, when a person is acting inappropriately and isn’t told, you have robbed him of an important opportunity to learn and grow in his development process.  Any time a leader avoids a confrontation, he should ask himself whether he is holding back for his own good or for the good of the organization.  If it is for himself, he is acting under selfish motives.

Confrontation, in its best form, is a win-win situation.  In this country we have been conditioned to believe that conflict always produces a winner and a loser.  But that does not have to be true.  To produce a win-win, we must approach confrontation with the right attitude.  Think of confrontation as a chance to help and develop your people.  And never confront in anger or out of a desire to show power.  Do it with respect and the other person’s best interest at heart.  Here are ten guidelines I use to make sure I’m doing just that:

Confront ASAP.

The longer I wait, the less likely I am to do what must be done.  Another benefit to confronting immediately is that I am not likely to have to argue with the person over details.

Separate the person from the wrong action.

I am to address myself to the action and confront it, not the person.  I must continue to support and encourage the person.

Confront only what the person can change.

If I ask a person to change something he can’t, he will become frustrated and it will strain our relationship.

Give the person the benefit of the doubt.

I always try to start from the assumption that people’s motives are right and work from there.  If I can give them the benefit of the doubt, I do–especially in areas that are open to interpretation or unclear.

Be specific.

The person I’m confronting can only address and change what is specifically identified.  If you can’t identify specifics, you may be making some false assumptions.

Avoid sarcasm.

Sarcasm indicates anger with people, not their actions.  When confronting, I avoid sarcasm.

Avoid words like always and never.

When I tell a person never to do a certain behavior, I am asking him to cling blindly to a rule, even in situations when it’s not the best thing to do.  I’d rather encourage him to use his head and take the right course of action in any given situation, based on right principles.

Tell the person how you feel about what was done wrong.

If the person’s actions have offended me, I tell him right then and there.  I don’t want to be going back over old ground later in order to vent emotions.

Give the person a game plan to fix the problem.

I always want to help the person succeed, not fail.  If I can help him fix the problem, everybody wins.

Affirm him or her as a person and a friend.

I prepare to confront in the same way that I fix a sandwich.  I put the confrontation in the middle like meat.  On both sides I put affirmation and encouragement.

Positive confrontation is a sure sign that you care for a person and have his best interests at heart.  Each time you build up your people and identify their problems, you give them an opportunity to grow.

 

As I read over this passage again and again, I ask myself how this applies to my situation specifically.  I hope each of you will dig into this book at some time or another, as it has timeless nuggets that we all need as we make an impact on the world…one person at a time.

 

Living Intentionally,

Zach

Nothing Promotes Better than a Real, Live Testimony

Recently I’ve been thinking about gearing one of my New Year’s resolutions to encompass blogging on a more consistent basis.  In order to do that, I want to pass along a lot of what I am reading and learning on a weekly basis with all of you.  A couple of minutes ago, I received a new blog article from Mr. Orrin Woodward.  Orrin is constantly seeking to help others better their lives, not only through his blogs and his radio show, but also through the LIFE company that he launched at the end of 2011. I hope you love the testimony he shares as much as I did when I got to read it!

Be Grateful,

Zach

20121226-184458.jpgI received the following email from Vivian, the wife of my good friend Michael Holloway. A year ago, they joined LIFE (thanks to Laurie sharing LIFE materials with Vivian) to improve their marriage, finances, and friendships. This emails confirms the first year was a HUGE success. Interestingly, what makes the LIFE Business so different than conventional network marketing companies is the product is a better you. This can be achieved even if the person doesn’t become a celebrated millionaire. In fact, the whole purpose of LIFE is to help people achieve personal goals, whether these goals revolve around having fun, making money, or making a difference is up to them. Michael and Vivian started the business with Mike recently out of work. However, they didn’t use lack of money as an excuse not to read, listen, and associate. Indeed, with the finance pack, family pack, and Mental Fitness Challenge, they transformed their home life, leading to rewards greater than any dollar figure.

Mike and Vivian are champions because they are leading their families based upon principles today. The LIFE Business didn’t change their lives, but they did by using the principles learned from the business. Mike applied the PDCA process to acquiring his GED and received his high school diploma, ending year of living with regret for not finishing school. Moreover, he changed his leadership methods and joined the coaching staff of the local soccer club. In truth, his leadership and encouragement of his team was nothing short of amazing and made me proud to be one of the LIFE Founders because I could see firsthand the effects it was having on Michael’s life, and through his changes, he changed his family and community. Today, Mike is gainfully employed, reducing his debt monthly, and experiencing the inner joy that leads to peace. When a person changes his life, he subsequently changes the lives of everyone around him. This is why the LIFE Business is changing the world one person at a time! I am so proud of the Holloway family for living the Biblical principles that lead to real growth and change! Here is the heartwarming email from Vivian.

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward

This email has been a long time coming. My husband Michael is an amazing man. I don’t believe I could have said that and meant it a little over a year ago. Last year he recommitted his life to Christ and through prayer we were led to you and LIFE. Today, Michael has his high school diploma, has read countless amounts of books and we couldn’t be more proud of him. Through the material he has learned so much that he now has a real relationship with our daughter. Who would have thought that a man that didn’t like to read would learn patience, understanding, about relationships and so much more through Books and CDs’?
As you know he was coaching Steven’s soccer team. Due what he has learned it turned out to be a wonderful season. It was great watching other coaches yelling and getting upset and my husband would smile and say something like “that would have been me a year ago”. He is continuously confronted with situations that he would have handled in a completely different way. We all saw the changes in the players and the team as a whole through the encouraging emails he would send the players weekly. He was able to use what he had learned to boost the teams’ confidence. Even the parents requested to be copied to the emails. It’s was amazing to see the mutual respect that they developed over time.
Riding in the car with him is no longer stressful because, I know that he is not going to yell at another driver. He now smiles and makes some funny remark. He no longer agrees with us to keep the peace he truly listens to us. Life at home isn’t perfect but through the materials we are able to see where changes need to be made and because of what Michael has learned we make adjustments. Instead of thinking that he knows everything he constantly tells me that he still has growing to do. One change that has really made a big difference in our marriage is that he no longer tries to fix things or find solutions when I tell him about a problem. He just listens and supports me and that means a lot.
FYI, we still have more PDCA on our family meetings but we do not give up. We thank you and Laurie for allowing us the opportunity to help ourselves and others.

Vivian Holloway

An Intimate Moment with Mary and Joseph

As we are sliding into this Christmas season, I want to share one of the traditions from the Frey Residence.  Every year, before we bless each other with gifts and food, we take the time to read the account of Baby Jesus in a book that has touched all of our hearts.  It follows the guidelines of the usual Christmas story, but the author–Ken Gire–personifies the experience.  He helps us realize what really happened on that silent night, so I want to pass that on to all of you!  Read this account slowly, and you cannot help but get emotional about our Savior’s birth.  If you would like some background to start you off, flip over to Luke 2:1-7 in your Bible.

For the census, the royal family has to travel eighty-five miles.  Joseph walks, while Mary, nine months pregnant, rides sidesaddle on a donkey, feeling every jolt, every rut, every rock in the road.

By the time they arrive, the small hamlet of Bethlehem is swollen from an influx of travelers.  The inn is packed, people feeling lucky if they were able to negotiate even a small space on the floor.  Now it is late, everyone is asleep, and there is no room.

But fortunately, the innkeeper is not all shekels and mites.  True, his stable is crowded with his guests’ animals, but if they could squeeze out a little privacy there, they were welcome to it.

Joseph looks over at Mary, whose attention is concentrated on fighting a contraction.  “We’ll take it,” he tells the innkeeper without hesitation.

The night is still when Joseph creaks open the stable door.  As he does, a chorus of barn animals makes discordant note of the intrusion.  The stench is pungent and humid, as there have not been enough hours in the day to tend the guests, let alone the livestock.  A small oil lamp, lent them by the innkeeper, flickers to dance shadows on the walls.  A disquieting place for a woman in the throes of childbirth.  Far from home.  Far from family.  Far from what she had expected for her firstborn.

But Mary makes no complaint.  It is a relief just to finally get off the donkey.  She leans back against the wall, her feet swollen, back aching, contractions growing stronger and closer together.

Joseph’s eyes dart around the stable.  Not a minute to lose.  Quickly.  A feeding trough would have to make do for a crib.  Hay would serve as a mattress.  Blankets?  Blankets?  Ah, his robe.  That would do.  And those rags hung out to dry would help.  A gripping contraction doubles Mary over and sends him racing for a bucket of water.

The birth would not be easy, either for the mother or the child.  For every royal privilege for this son ended at conception.

A scream from Mary knifes through the calm of that silent night.  Joseph returns, breathless, water sloshing from the wooden bucket.  The top of the baby’s head has already pushed its way into the world.  Sweat pours from Mary’s contorted face as Joseph, the most unlikely midwife in all Judea, rushes to her side.

The involuntary contractions are not enough, and Mary has to push with all her strength, almost as if God were refusing to come into the world without her help.

Joseph places a garment beneath her, and with a final push and a long sigh her labor is over.

The Messiah has arrived.

Elongated head from the constricting journey through the birth canal.  Light skin, as the pigment would take days or even weeks to surface.  Mucus in his ears and nostrils.  Wet and slippery from the amniotic fluid.  The Son of the Most High God umbilically tied to a lowly Jewish girl.

The baby chokes and coughs.  Joseph instinctively turns him over and clears his throat.

Then he cries.  Mary bares her breast and reaches for the shivering baby.  She lays him on her chest, and his helpless cries subside.  His tiny head bobs around on the unfamiliar terrain.  This will be the first thing the infant-king learns.  Mary can feel his racing heartbeat as he gropes to nurse.

Deity nursing from a young maiden’s breast.  Could anything be more puzzling–or more profound?

Joseph sits exhausted, silent, full of wonder.

The baby finishes and sighs, the divine Word reduced to a few unintelligible sounds.  Then, for the first time, his eyes fix on his mother’s.  Deity straining to focus.  The Light of the World, squinting.

Tears pool in her eyes.  She touches his tiny hand.  And hands that once sculpted mountain ranges cling to her finger.

She looks up at Joseph, and through a watery veil, their souls touch.  He crowds closer, cheek to cheek with his betrothed.  Together they stare in awe at the baby Jesus, whose heavy eyelids begin to close.  It has been a long journey.  The King is tired.

And so, with barely a ripple of notice, God stepped into the warm lake of humanity.  Without protocol and without pretension.

Where you would have expected angels, there were only flies.  Where you would have expected heads of state, there were only donkeys, a few haltered cows, a nervous ball of sheep, a tethered camel, and a furtive scurry of curious barn mice.

Except for Joseph, there was no one to share Mary’s pain.  Or her joy.  Yes, there were angels announcing the Savior’s arrival–but only to a band of blue-collar shepherds.  And yes, a magnificent star shone in the sky to mark his birthplace–but only three foreigners bothered to look up and follow it.

Thus, in the little town of Bethlehem…that one silent night…the royal birth of God’s Son tiptoed quietly by…as the world slept.

 

I challenge you, this Christmas season, to look past the big decorations and crazy shopping sprees.  Look into the heart of Christmas, and I promise you won’t be disappointed.  One thing that I love about the LIFE Company is that they focus very strongly on challenging you to believe in what you believe in.  As Faith is one of the top “8 F’s”, they recognize the need to know what your life counts for–before being able to make it count.

Be Grateful,

Zach

The Subliminal Choice

Today, 12/12/12, is the first day of the rest of our lives.  Besides being my personal birth date–twenty-two years ago–this day marks a new beginning in the understanding and growth of our perception of life, as it is.

Lately, I have been reading into the power of the subconscious mind that God has greatly blessed us with.  Not only has this type of study been enlightening, but it has also been quite terrifying.  This morning–as I woke up much earlier than I usually would–the idea came to me that God not only gave us a choice to accept His Son as our personal Savior; but He gave us the ability to shape our future.  When I decided to allow this thought to take root and start developing, it seemed as though every book I opened led me to more conclusions.  I commenced my day by scribbling out some overall deductions in a journal; and by the time I had paged through four different books, my thought process had been considerably altered.  Unlike so many times in my past, today I determined to keep an open mind to find out what God was trying to teach me.  The great thing about grasping the concept that “you don’t know what you don’t know,” is that you can always glean more from your surroundings.

Scanning through the book of Numbers in the Old Testament, I found that God made one thing very clear to the Israelites–namely, His passion for a systematic approach to essentially everything they did.  From the very beginning (even before time was established), God had in mind a plan that was much bigger than any one generation of man.  He placed certain laws and principles into effect that not only made the world go ’round, but that also–like it or not–gave man the capacity to fabricate his/her individual life.

When I flipped over to the compilation of Proverbs in the middle of the Bible, my viewpoint once again took a turn for the better.  Through a couple of key verses, I came to the realization that “The thinking of principled people makes for justice,” “the speech of the upright saves,” and “well-done work has its own reward”.  What does this mean?  Where do I go from here?  One of the verses that I’ve read hundreds of times–and believed I had captured long before–now befuddled me.  “If you love learning, you love the discipline that goes with it–how shortsighted to refuse correction!”  Little did I know, I would be setting this puzzle piece next to another in a few minutes.

While in the New Testament Gospel of Luke, the Holy Spirit once again opened my eyes.  Jesus, while being tempted by the devil, used quotations from Deuteronomy to back His refusals.  He didn’t create some new made-up answer–although He very-well could have–but He followed the principles already laid down by His Father in the past.  He helped us, as humans, understand that we can discredit evil–simply by knowing and following the experience that God endowed on our very first ancestors.  Like we read in Ecclesiastes, “What was will be again, what happened will happen again. There’s nothing new on this earth.”

The fourth book that I dove into this morning helped pull some of my former speculations together.  In chapter four of the book, Resolved Primer–by Orrin Woodward–we read about the resolution to “align [our] subconscious mind with [our] conscious intention.”  The primary book that he references is The Ant and the Elephant, by Vince Poscente, that describes our much larger subconscious mind as an elephant, and our conscious mind as an ant.  In understanding that our subconscious mind (the elephant) uses two-million times the capacity of our conscious mind (the ant) at any given second, we can start to recognize the power of feeding our elephant the right information.  Jack Canfield writes that, “You only have control over three things in your life–the thoughts you think, the images you visualize, and the actions you take.”  Now this took me back to what I had read in Proverbs.  The verse, “If you love learning, you love the discipline that goes with it…”, clearly ties in to what Orrin says in his book–“And on the question of success or failure, imagination is neutral.  It is simply an obedient elephant, applying its massive strength to bring about whatever prevailing images it has been fed.  Your elephant is always charging, every second of every hour of your life. The only question is: Is it carrying you toward your dreams, or toward your fears?…Your elephant is always feeding on something. And if you don’t feed it, someone else will–someone, for example, like those in the television industry.”  If we understand this facet of how we permit our minds to be programmed by other negative sources in the world, we can also deduce that, “when you assume responsibility for what you are feeding your elephant, you change your thoughts, and the moment that happens, you change your destiny.”  In reading these lines over and over, there was still a piece missing for me.  So, you’re telling me, that if I just visualize a terrific future and feed my psyche the right information, everything will just work out?  Then I read a little further to find Orrin answering this very question through a quote by an Olympic gymnast, Peter Vidmar: “Visualization is not a substitute for hard work and dedication.  But if you add it to your training regimen–whether in sports, business, or your personal relationships–you will prepare your mind for success, which is the first step in achieving all your goals and dreams.”

Concluding my studies on this crisp, frost-covered morning, I was reminded and comforted by the verse in Romans that says, “God’s Spirit knows us far better than we know ourselves…and keeps us present before Him.  That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.”  Love, the ultimate goal, is truly what matters when everything is over.  The greatest gift that God gave us through His love for us, was the choice to spend eternity with Him.  He knew, however, that we would be spending a determined amount of time here on this planet that we call Earth; and He also gave us the choice to lead a life of influence or a life of mediocrity.  The point that is scary and refreshing at the same time–is that we get to decide.  We, as God’s creation into the systems of this world, have the responsibility to oversee the feeding of our own elephants.  In living intentionally for excellence, we in turn–while existing in the boundaries of God’s will–embrace a brighter and more exciting future.

 

Be Grateful,

Zach

An Inside Look

Every once in a while, we need to be reminded of who we are following in this world–and why.  I recently read a blog by Mister Bill Lewis (leadership expert and community-building extraordinaire) that summed up the life-purpose of a man that I highly respect and regard as one of my role models.  This man is Orrin Woodward.  It never ceases to amaze me how many people will accept someone’s written or spoken opinion on a person without ever meeting or speaking with the person in question.  I would like to share Bill’s post to give a little insight on who Orrin Woodward is when it comes to his character, his business, and his personal walk.  Bill has seen Orrin create a movement right before his eyes, as well as been personally mentored by Orrin for years.  Let us step back for a moment and analyze how God is using this man to help change where we are headed as individuals; and in addition, where we are planning to lead those who surround us.

Be Grateful,

Zach

The Shocking Truth about Orrin Woodward

If you are searching for information about Orrin Woodward and/or his business (the-team.biz / the-life-business.com) then you have come to the right spot.  Do you have questions about his character and integrity.  Do you have questions about how he has set up his business.  Maybe you just are trying to get a general feel about who he is as a man because someone you know has hyped him up sooooooo much.  Many people have asked me these questions over the past 14 years and hopefully this article will give you a little insight.  I am a very logical person and so my thought will be based on some simple knowledge and the facts as I know them.

First of all when digging into information about anything or anyone it is very important to make sure you are approaching the process the correct way.  When I go out into cyber world and try to find information I want to be looking for facts not people’s opinions.  Facts are hard to find in today’s world but as they say “the facts are the facts”.  Now, if it is a product you are researching it is usually pretty easy.  It worked or it didn’t work.  They liked this about the product or they didn’t like this about the product.  Even with that there are sites that will only try to discredit their competitor so you will go to their site and purchase the same product from them.  When researching a person, those rules are harder to follow because the person him/herself is the product and peoples’ opinions are usually not based on the facts; they are based on feelings.  Everyone reading this has a person in your life that gives you the cold shoulder and you don’t really know why.  There are only two conclusions you can come to.  They either don’t have all the facts or you would know why they felt that way, or they are unwilling to forgive for what happened.  The interesting thing about forgiveness is when they do something incorrect I am sure they will EXPECT your forgiveness.

With this thought process established lets dig a little into the 3 areas we talked about in the first paragraph.  His character, business, and Orrin as a man.  All 3 are intertwined so I will just cover them all together to finish this article.

Character

Let’s define character first because people definitely have a skewed view of what that means.  Character, to me, has two parts.  (1) Are you doing something wrong? If you are doing something that is wrong by default you can’t be doing what’s right.  (2) Are you taking action to do what is right.  Orrin has been in business for over 15 years and his business is based on developing relationships with people.  He also tells people exactly what is going to happen when they decide to join his business.  Logically, if he wasn’t telling the truth wouldn’t the people who are following him figure that out and stop following him? The fact of the matter is thousands of people continue to follow him because his actions line up with his speech. There are some that have chosen to not associate anymore and that is to be expected when building a volunteer business. But if Orrin was a liar wouldn’t the masses and those closest to him figure that out and stop associating?  Someone might think “but that’s because the ones closest to him get a special deal”.  That is a great lead into the business side of all this.

Business

The shocking part about the business model that Orrin has created is it is based on formulas and not personal agenda.  What that means is that your results are based on the effort you put in and your personal growth and not who you are friends with.   Each part of the business from the volume on the products to the profits on the CD’s, books and meetings are calculated on a formula and everyone is operating on the same formula.  Another key area to understand is that this is a business.  Any business that you get involved in is going to have a cost associated with it.

– There is an initial sign up cost that is under $200.

– There are a selection of monthly subscriptions that you can use to help grow you personally, that cost is under $200.

– There is also a business information subscription that is under $100.

– The last part is the 3 times a year leadership seminars also under $200.

The amount that you have to invest versus the return is off the charts but it is a business.  It will require an investment of money and time.  That part is no different than any other business that you would start.  The part that is different is it’s up to you to choose your level of commitment and that can change over time.  Some other unique aspects of Orrin’s business plan is that they put together a system that teaches you the art and the science that it takes to be successful.   You also have a team of people who will help mentor you through the process.  One of the biggest mistakes I see is that the start-up cost is so inexpensive that some people do not treat it the same as they would a traditional business.

The Man

The shocking part about the man is his drive to succeed but to do it the right way, based on principles.  If it is not based on principles then Orrin will not be able to function in that environment.  He is more driven to improve himself because he knows the principal of the law of the lid.  Your organization will only grow to the level of your leadership and he continually attacks his own thinking and tries to improve.  With all of that said he is human and has made mistakes.  What impresses me the most is his willingness to admit those mistakes and do what he can to fix them.  In a world where people just try to blame others Orrin accepts responsibility and tries to improve.  It’s hard to not like someone like that.  He has also separated himself by his humility and his faith.  In most organizations, the person that created it makes himself the supreme being of that company.  In many aspects Orrin takes a back seat to let others lead and to let others get the glory.  His goal is to surround himself with the best leaders and that takes a person who understands where he comes from and a humble spirit to realize that one person doesn’t have all the answers.  Personally, he has developed a successful marriage (along with his wife Laurie) and raised 4 wonderful kids.

Closing Thoughts 

In closing, the shocking truth is that for once in our life the hype does not live up to the man.  It is very rare in today’s society to find someone who lives what he preaches and teaches.  If I am going to go in business with someone I want to be in with someone who lives what I just talked about but also someone who has the results to back it up.

The final thing I would look at is what the people in the organization are saying.  If I am going to work for a company, start a business, go to school, try to be a pro athlete I don’t want to talk to people who tried it and quit.  I want to talk to people who are succeeding and are part of it.  Please read the comments after this article to get a good feel of what people think of this dynamic man. Orrin Woodward.

God Bless