Monday, January 25, 2010

Every Leader's Challenge

One characteristic all effective leaders embrace is honest introspection.  Orrin Woodward recently wrote an article touching on this very subject and commented that honest self-analysis was "Every Leader's challenge."  Jim Collins in Good to Great called it "confronting the brutal reality." The lesson here is to not be fooled into the trap of Woodward's Law.  Read on...

By Orrin Woodward

I read recently of Sturgeon's Law that states that 90% of anything is crud. Theodore Sturgeon developed his law in arguing against critics who didn't like science fiction books. His answer defended the best of the science fiction genre. Like anything in life, cream rises to the top and only a few are willing to do what it takes to climb the mountain. As I thought on Sturgeon's Law, I realized that it tied in perfectly with Chris Brady and my Tri-Lateral Leadership Ledger (TLLL) from our #1 Wall Street Journal Best Seller, Launching a Leadership Revolution. The idea behind the TLLL is that leaders must develop their skills in Character, Task and Relationships in order to influence effectively. Sturgeon's Law ties in with the TLLL by revealing that only 10% of the people will excel with character, only 10% will excel in task and only 10% excel in relationships.
The TLLL scores you on a scale from 1 to 10 in each of the three areas and then multiplies the scores together for a total leadership score. 1000 being the highest theoretical score that you can achieve - 10x10x10 and zero being the lowest score possible. Sturgeon's Law reveals that only 10%x10%x10% will excel in all three areas necessary to effectively lead. This amounts to 1 out of 1000 that lead people with character, task and relationships. This number matches with what I have learned experimentally through building communities. You have a performer for every 100 to 150 people and you have a true leader for every 1000 people associating in your community. This is just another example of how rare true leadership is. When you find someone with Character, Task and Relationship, it is important to serve them and reward them. John Maxwell says, "Everything rises and falls on leadership" and I concur.
How are you doing in the three areas? The tendency is to overrate yourself when you think through the TLLL. If you are part of a networking community and have 1000 people attending your leadership events, then you are scoring around 350 points. A 100 people at leadership events is around 100 points. Every leader has room to grow because none of us have hit anywhere close to 1000 points. What are your numbers at your training events? The numbers do not lie even if we may desire to inflate our scores. This leads me to Woodward's Law which is a natural Corollary to Sturgeon's Law pertaining to leadership. Woodward's Law - 90% of the leaders are convinced they are part of the 10% in Sturgeon's Law. Ok, that may sound strong, but self-deception has costs more people success than any other single factor. Is anything good coming from self-deception in your life? Is ignorance truly bliss?
Why do people desire to live with comfortable lies when only the uncomfortable truths will set you free? Every leader should assess their strengths and weaknesses on the TLLL and then changes what needs to be changed. In leadership, you cannot take your old self into your new reality. If you are not happy with the results you are getting then stop blaming God, society, your parents, your team, your mentor, your situation, etc. and place the blame squarely on the one person who can do something about your character, your task, and your relationships. 2010 is the year to Play to Win! Are you Playing to Win? 
God Bless, Orrin Woodward

Orrin Woodward NY Times, Wall St. Journal, USA Today, Money & Business Weekly best selling co-author of Launching a Leadership Revolution & 2010 Top 25 Leadership Gurus List. Orrin's blog is an Alltop selection and ranked in HR's Top 100 Blogs for Management & Leadership.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Presidential Leadership

Yesterday I received an email from my niece asking for my opinion on leadership for her school newspaper. Here's what she asked:
Hi everyone! Kali here! For school I'm doing a newspaper, and I have a couple questions for you. Would you please take a few minutes to answer the following questions. Thanks in advance for your time!

#1. what do you think makes a good leader?

#2. what president do you think has displayed good leadership?

#3. do you think Obama is a good leader?

why or why not?
In thinking about her questions and my personal opinion on each, I thought I'd defer the context of my answers on President Obama's leadership to someone who perhaps has a better grasp of the political nature of some of these questions. I also wanted to make sure it was consistent with my understanding of what 'good' leadership is.

In doing a very quick google search using certain key words like 'Obama' and 'Leadership,' I came across an article in the top 3 or 4 hits that I think accurately describes both. Here are a few excerpts I have chosen from that article to answer the specific questions Kali was asking. The author and complete article can be found here and I would emphatically encourage you to read it. It seems to be an objective analysis of President Obama’s leadership.
Leadership, Obama Style
Consider the president's leadership style, which has now become clear: deliver a moving speech, move on, and when push comes to shove, leave it to others to decide what to do if there's a conflict, because if there's a conflict, he doesn't want to be anywhere near it. Leadership means heading into the eye of the storm and bringing the vessel of state home safely, not going as far inland as you can because it's uncomfortable on the high seas. This president has a particular aversion to battling back gusting winds from his starboard side (the right, for the nautically challenged) and tends to give in to them. He just can't tolerate conflict, and the result is that he refuses to lead.

...It's the job of the president to be in the fray. It's his job to lead us out of it, not to run from it. It's his job to make the tough decisions and draw lines in the sand. But Obama really doesn't seem to want to get involved in the contentious decisions. They're so, you know, contentious. He wants us all to get along. Better to leave the fights to the Democrats in Congress since they're so good at them. He's like an amateur boxer who got a coupon for a half day of training with Angelo Dundee after being inspired by the tapes of Mohammed Ali. He got "float like a butterfly" in the morning but never made it to "sting like a bee."

...He doesn't need a chief of staff. He needs someone to shake him until he feels something strongly enough not just to talk about it but to act.

No Vision, No Message
The second problem relates to the first. The president just doesn't want to enunciate a progressive vision of where this country should be heading in the 21st century, particularly a progressive vision of government and its relation to business. He doesn't want to ruffle what he believes to be the feathers of the American people, to offer them a coherent, emotionally resonant, values-driven message -- starting with an alternative to Ronald Reagan's message that government is the problem and not the solution -- and to see if they might actually follow him.

...And that's where the problem of message comes in. This White House has no coherent message on anything. [emphasis added]

The Politics of the Lowest Common Denominator
And capping off all of these aspects of the president's leadership style is his preference for the lowest common denominator. That means you don't really have to fight, you don't have to take anybody on, you don't take any risks. You just find what the public is so upset about that even the Republicans would stipulate to it if forced to (e.g., that excluding people from health care because they have "pre-existing conditions" is something we can't continue to tolerate) and build it into whatever plan the special interests can hammer out around it.

... But you have to believe something.

I don't honestly know what this president believes. But I believe if he doesn't figure it out soon, start enunciating it, and start fighting for it, he's not only going to give American families hungry for security a series of half-loaves where they could have had full ones, but he's going to set back the Democratic Party and the progressive movement by decades, because the average American is coming to believe that what they're seeing right now is "liberalism," and they don't like what they see. I don't, either.

None of this is Leadership. It's not even 'bad' leadership which is not leadership at all but nothing more than pandering to the whims of others- typically those who serve the supposed leader's best interests, instead of the followers the leader is supposed to be leading [ie- serving].  No vision, no character or integrity, no direction, no example… No leadership.
 What you see IS always what you get! If what we’re seeing is floundering liberalism as the author of this article describes, then guess what? That’s what it is.
What they're seeing is weakness, waffling, and wandering through the wilderness without an ideological compass. That's a recipe for going nowhere fast...

So then, if this is NOT leadership that we're seeing in the current presidential example, then Leadership is, perhaps, the opposite. Leadership is strength, conviction, and direction through a clear vision based upon an ideological compass. It is a recipe for going where you want to be... as efficiently and effectively as possible.

 Who then would be a good example of such leadership?

Let's look at our 40th president, Ronald Reagan. Through his living example we have a timeless model of presidential leadership.

First and perhaps most important is that Leadership, at its core, begins with who you are. President Reagan was described by people who worked for him as a kind, humble, and decent person who was void of meanness and pettiness. To become an effective leader, in any arena, you must start with yourself. It begins with the necessary self-examination that leads you to first, confront the brutal reality of who you are and to intentionally work to improve and expand the personal qualities necessary to strengthen your character. Without character, nothing will work. A leader must be someone worth following. In the best-selling book Launching a Leadership RevolutionChris Brady and Orrin Woodward define a leader as ..the influence of others in a productive, vision-driven direction and is done through the example, conviction and character of the leader.

Have a Great Vision
Be a dream-maker. From the beginning, Ronald Reagan communicated an optimistic picture of America. He had campaigned on two major goals. The first was to revitalize the economy, and the second, to rebuild our military capability and restore our position in world leadership. And that is what he set out to do. “America is too great for small dreams,” said Ronald Reagan. This is so true for great leaders who are not satisfied with small dreams. Instead of trying to get just an edge over the Soviet Union, Reagan went after the total dismantling of the “Evil Empire.” And he succeeded. If you want to be a great leader, ask yourself and your team: What is the greatest dream we can possibly have for this organization? This is indeed what President Reagan did.

The Ability to Communicate
Having a vision of what needs to be done is crucial for a leader. But what truly distinguishes a leader from others is the ability to communicate this vision in such a compelling way as to attract followers who become excited about the vision and commit to achieving it. Reagan was not just a good communicator, but was called, “The Great Communicator.”

Offer Hope and Engage in Action
Reagan was the eternal optimist. He offered Americans a positive, uplifting vision of America and its future. He believed in freedom and therefore acted on behalf of the values and ideals that made it great. Unlike the current president, he did not criticize the very country he was chosen to lead nor did he apologize for its greatness or its strong Christian foundation. Ronald Reagan continually referred to the United States as The Shining City on the Hill. He matched his optimistic temperament with bold, persistent action. Everyone could actually ‘see’ this vision and feel good about it.

Build a Solid Team
Ronald Reagan accomplished so much as president because he delegated so much. He believed in appointing good people that shared his ideological convictions and that he could count on to carry out his policy. Reagan was a leader, not a manager and he surrounded himself with other leaders with strength of character, shared vision for America, and the willingness & commitment to serve its people. This is drastically different than the partisan politics and self-serving agendas we see rampant in the White House and Congress today.

Our position of leadership in the world today is in serious jeopardy as we don’t seem to have clear-cut objectives and goals and even less clear-cut strategies to achieve them. This is a direct result from a lack of leadership. Leadership is not political and it is not partisan. It is doing the right things for the right reasons no matter what the political ramifications. Margaret Thatcher in her great eulogy of Ronald Reagan summarized in one sentence his personal qualities and his great achievements: “In his lifetime, Ronald Reagan was such a cheerful and invigorating presence that it was easy to forget what daunting historic tasks he set himself. He sought to mend America's wounded spirit, to restore the strength of the free world and to free the slaves of Communism.” The Reagan legacy and President Reagan’s leadership example provide the guidelines for a future in which we have peace, freedom, and the flourishing of the human spirit, which will be a benefit not only to the United States but the whole world. It’s the very magic that can restore America as that Shining City on the Hill.

Here is a wonderful Tribute to Ronald Reagan.  For President Reagan's personal response to this debate... well, just watch this: Reagan's Response.

Well Kali, I hope this provides some thoughtful answers to the mighty middle school questions in your email. More adults need to be asking those very same questions and thinking hard on the answers. You're way ahead of the game.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Whatever Your Goals... Plan to Hit Them

Whatever your goals may be for 2010, it helps to have a plan and strategy to achieve them.

The Top 10 Secrets to Achieving Any Goal

We all have goals that are important to us. They range from quitting smoking, to creating our own businesses, to raising great kids. Unfortunately, most of us also have the experience of being unable to reach our goals, of having them always seem just out of reach. We can see them. We want to complete them, but we never quite cross that finish line. Here are 10 steps that are almost like magic! They will help you reach your goals, every time!

1. Precisely define the objective. Exactly what do you want? Measure it, put a number on it. How many pounds do you want to lose? How many dollars do you want to earn? No one can achieve a fuzzy goal. Be precise.

2. Align the objective with your values. You won't work toward a goal that conflicts with your values or sense of purpose. Make sure your goals are consistent with your religious and moral beliefs, and with other goals that you have. Internal conflict will undermine your performance, every time!

3. Develop appropriate affirmations. A series of positive, powerful, present-tense statements that describe the benefits of having your goal and how you'll feel when you've reached it are essential. They should be short, active, exciting, and you will need to write them down and repeat them many times, every day!

4. Develop powerful reasons to achieve your goals. "If you have enough why's, you'll find a way." We reach goals that excite us, that stimulate our imaginations. We reach goals that are vital to our health, our family and our future. Find lots of reasons! When it's important enough, you'll make it happen.

5. Write your goals and your reasons down! Write them on file cards every day! There is power, magic and mystery in writing your goals down. Put the cards where you'll see them through the day. Put them on your mirror, or on your desk. Carry them with you and read them, over and over, through the day.

6. Set a deadline. Again, have the courage to be exact. Quit smoking by your birthday, double your income by the end of this year, get out of debt by September 1st. A goal without a deadline is just a pipe dream! Give yourself the discipline of a date.

7. Define intermediate targets. To lose 40 pounds in 4 months, determine to lose 10 pounds EACH month. Having smaller goals makes each one easier to achieve, and you can track your progress to your larger goal. A journey of a thousand miles is just a series of steps, one after another.

8. Make your goals public. Tell friends and family what you plan to do, and your target date. Ask them to hold you accountable and to help you along the way. Knowing your friends are rooting for you is a powerful motivator. Set yourself up for success by making a public commitment to reach your goals on time.

9. Get a partner. High achievers rarely do anything significant by themselves. Get a running partner, make a friendly bet with your spouse to quit smoking, make it a family project to get out of debt. Always have at least one person who totally supports you, and make sure they are part of your campaign. Hire a coach, if appropriate.

10. Celebrate every intermediate victory! Give yourself a reward for each day without a cigarette, have a family celebration for each bill that gets paid off. High achievers find reasons to celebrate every day! Like that journey of a thousand miles, you must celebrate really celebrate! each step along the way.

Remember, "if you can imagine it, you can achieve it." Any goal that truly fires your imagination and fills your heart with joy, is reachable! Set targets, develop an adequate support system, break large goals into smaller steps, and go for it! You can do this!

Here's to your success!

Written by Dr. Philip E. Humbert, writer, speaker and success coach. Dr. Humbert has over 300 free articles, tools and resources for your success, including a great newsletter! It's all on his website at:

The following is a previous post by Orrin Woodward to plan your "attack on the status quo." Every month should have specific sum-certain goals in each and every facet of your business.  It’s your own personal mentorship with Orrin on goal setting your Mona Vie Team business.

Goal Setting
by Orrin Woodward on Sun 09 Aug 2009 01:24 PM EDT  |  Permanent Link  | 
If you are going to hit a goal, you must have a goal.  Goal setting is critical for high achievement!  A person without a goal is like a ship without a rudder - directionless.  Leaders set their own goals and help their team's set goals.  Do you have a goal? Here is a short video on goal setting. God Bless, Orrin Woodward 

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

The CASHFLOW Quadrant: Employee vs. Entrepreneur

Many people have read the bestselling books The Cashflow Quadrant and Rich Dad/Poor Dad written by Robert Kiyosaki.  Many of us have even used that information to change our perspective on money and business ownership and have shared with hundreds even thousands of people the principles Kiyosaki teaches.  For many of us, the first time we were exposed to the information in Kiyosaki’s books and that Cashlow Quadrant, we were almost in shock.  I don’t know about you, but the first time Orrin Woodward drew out that thing for me, I was not the happiest of campers.  In fact, I was downright angry that it seemed as if this perspective had been kept from me.  I was, however, very thankful that Orrin had the guts to share this information with me.  It has completely, and forever, changed my perspective on money, wealth, and the achievement of success in business.
Perhaps you have heard about this Cashfow Quadrant and may have even seen someone draw it out for you at a Team Open Meeting but do not quite fully grasp its relevance to you.  The information is powerful and the paradigm of thought surrounding it can open up your mind to the opportunities that abound in today’s market despite the doom & gloom reports of the liberal media.  Knowledge is power and it begins with having the right information.  I would highly recommend getting and reading The Cashflow Quadrant for your self.  Here is a video where Robert Kiyosaki himself goes through the difference in thinking between each of the Quadrants and shares his perspective about the network marketing and direct sales industries.

Employees clock in every day to make someone else rich. They earn a set wage and – if they’re lucky – a nice benefit package.

Self-Employed people clock in for themselves, so they have a bit more freedom but are still limited by 24 hours a day.

Business Owners have even more freedom, and we’ve all seen the success they can enjoy. People like Bill Gates, Michael Dell, Richard Branson…

Investors, on the other hand, don’t “work” for their money, they put their money to work for THEM!

Finding your proper place in The Cashflow Quadrant can totally revolutionize your income and your life.

It’s the secret to learning how you can work less, earn more, pay fewer taxes and enjoy greater financial security.

A financial revolution is underway. Times, trends and market forces are redefining business as usual.

Robert Kiyosaki, the founder of the Rich Dad, Poor Dad empire has written The Cashflow Quadrant to liberate us all from the madness of the Rat Race.

If you’re ready to elevate your station in life and set yourself free from the chains that are holding you down, order your copy of The Cashflow Quadrant today!

The following is an article written by Robert Kiyosaki further explaining the difference in thinking between the Leftside and Rightside of the Cashflow Quadrant and making the mental move from Employee to Entrepreneur.

Take Control of Your Wealth | SUCCESS Magazine | What Achievers Read
Take Control of Your Wealth

The Transition from Employee to Entrepreneur 

Robert  Kiyosaki  August 31, 2009
The power of our thoughts may never be measured or appreciated, but it became obvious to me as a young boy that there was value and power in being aware of my thoughts and how I expressed myself. I noticed that my poor dad was poor not because of the amount of money he earned—which was significant—but because of his thoughts and actions. As a young boy, having two fathers, I became acutely aware of being careful in deciding which thoughts I chose to adopt as my own and to whom should I listen—my rich dad or my poor dad.

"I noticed that my poor dad was poor not because of the amount of money he earned—which was significant—but because of his thoughts and actions."

I wasn’t born a natural entrepreneur. I had to be trained. When I was growing up, my poor dad often said, “Go to school and get good grades so you can find a good job with good benefits.” He was encouraging me to become an employee.

My rich dad often said, “Learn to build your own business and hire good people.” He was encouraging me to become an entrepreneur

The CASHFLOW Quadrant explains that there are four types of people that make up the world of business, and they are often technically, emotionally and mentally different people. 

E stands for employee; S stands for self-employed or small-business owner; B stands for big-business owner (more than 500 employees); and I stands for investor

For example, employees will always say the same words, whether they are president or janitor of the company. An employee can always be heard saying, “I’m looking for a safe, secure job with benefits.” The operative words are safe and secure. In other words, the emotion of fear keeps them boxed into that quadrant. If they want to change quadrants, not only are there skills and technical things to learn, but, in many cases, there are also emotional challenges to overcome. 

A person in the S quadrant may be heard saying, “If you want it done right, do it yourself.” In many cases, this person’s challenge is learning to trust other people to do a better job than they can. This lack often keeps them small, since it’s hard to grow a business without eventually trusting other people. If S-quadrant people do grow, they often grow as a partnership, which in many cases, is a group of S’s coming together to do the same job. 

B-quadrant people are always looking for good people and good business systems. They do not necessarily want to do the work. They want to build a business to do the work. A true B-quadrant entrepreneur can grow his or her business all over the world. An S-quadrant entrepreneur is often restricted to a small area, one that can be personally controlled. Of course, there are always exceptions. 

An I-quadrant person, the investor, is looking for a smart S or B to take care of their money and grow it. In training his son and me, rich dad was training us to build a successful S-quadrant business that had the capability of expanding into a successful B-quadrant business. 

One day I asked my rich dad what the difference was between an employee and an entrepreneur. His reply was, “Employees look for a job after the business is built. An entrepreneur’s work begins before there is a business.” 

Many entrepreneurs do not realize that many of the problems their businesses face today began yesterday, long before there was a business. The entrepreneur’s most important job is to design a business that can grow, add value to its customers, bring prosperity to all those who work on the business, be charitable and eventually no longer need the entrepreneur. Before there is a business, a successful entrepreneur is designing this type of business in his or her mind’s eye. According to my rich dad, this is the job of a true entrepreneur. 

Rich dad went on to explain that the world is filled with different types of entrepreneurs. There are entrepreneurs who are big and small, rich and poor, honest and crooked, for-profit and not-for-profit, saint and sinner, small-town and international, and successes and failures. He said, “The word entrepreneur is a big word that means different things to different people.” 

It’s time to take control of your thoughts and how you express yourself. In which quadrant do you sit? In which quadrant do you want to be? Today’s economy is a perfect time to restart, rethink and begin anew. Start the transition from employee to entrepreneur now. 

Robert Kiyosaki, author of Rich Dad Poor Dad, is an investor, entrepreneur and educator. This article is based on Robert Kiyosaki’s Before You Quit Your Job: 10 Real-Life Lessons Every Entrepreneur Should Know About Building a Multimillion-Dollar Business. Copyright © 2005 Robert T. Kiyosaki with Sharon L. Lechter. Published by Warner Books.