Life Leadership Scam….are you nuts?

life leadershipIt is so exciting to be entering into 2014 with Life Leadership running on all cylinders! Ive heard from a few mis-informed people lately that Life Leadership sounds like a Life Leadership scam?  My typical response is, ‘Are you nuts!’ We are two years into this grand venture, and it already feels like we are on the 20 yard line with our directional innovation!  We are in the red-zone my friends, with an endless number of downs, an all-pro line-up, and Orrin Woodward is the quarterback!!  Can you say hut 1, hut 2….TOUCHDOWN!!!

There are so many things to be excited about, I mean jacked out of your mind about, with LIFE Leadership taking 2014 by storm!  Here is a short list just off the top of my head -

1) Leaders worth following – As John Maxwell likes to say, ‘Everything rises and falls on leadership’.  LIFE Leadership has more character-based, courageous, purpose-filled, talented, genius, tenacious, hungry, service-oriented, God fearing leaders than any other organization, corporation, government, team, or community on the planet.  I have had a front row seat for over a decade to watch this epic story unfold, which is the life of Orrin Woodward, Chris Brady and the other founders of LIFE.  They are not perfect, but I have seen them tried by fire again and again, during good times, bad times and ugly times, and in each and every situation their foundation of character, courage and purpose have always risen to the occasion!  I like to compare them to that old SCI FI movie ‘The Blob’.  It doesn’t matter what hits them, they always come out stronger and better every time!  All kidding aside, they are real men and women of character who I would trust with my money, my family and my future.  How many people could say that with peace in their heart about their boss, partner, CEO, president, or even pastor?  They are leaders worth following, they are a force for good, and these are not statements I throw around lightly!

2) Big MONEY – there are a lot of advantages to having information as your product, one of which is the potential for a massive profit margin!  Bill Gates became one of the richest people in the world selling us information that makes our computers run better.  We sell information that makes YOU run better…your thinking, your attitude, your self-esteem, your marriage, your children, your career, your bank account, etc…  When information is your product, it hardly costs anything to mass produce it!  The manufacturing cost for a download, a phone app, a CD, a DVD, or even a book is literally pennies on the dollar, especially when you don’t spend any money on the middlemen (wholesalers, retailers, stores, advertising, etc…).  The price for our LIFE-changing information was willingly paid in full by the leaders who delivered the information.  It was paid by the great demands they put on themselves day after day and week after week for decades prior to giving that talk or writing the book.

Its the best of both worlds; we have a product that has an extremely low manufacturing cost, but at the same time it can not be duplicated or copied by another company.  Where else are you going to find a community of front-line leaders who are willing to pay the price of blood, sweat and tears for decades to become the leaders worthy and qualified to give those talks and write those books.  As Chris Brady says, ‘You can’t commoditize community’.  We are one of a kind!  This and many other reasons allows LIFE Leadership to continually pour more and more money into their industry leading compensation plan!  It’s pretty amazing when a company that already pays back 70+%, after only 2 years, decides to throw in $350,000 more dollars into the One Time Cash Awards for 2014!  Are you stinking kidding me?!

And Just think about it, as technology continually improves over the next several years, it will just make the transfer and delivery of our LIFE-changing product cheaper, easier and more user friendly for everyone all over the globe!  For example, there is a day coming soon when you will be at work listening to Rascal Radio and your co-worker will be complaining about how financial stress is killing him and you will be able to push a button on your watch communicator and it will transfer a world-class LIFE Leadership financial talk to your friends glasses communicator that he can listen to and watch in 3D.  Just think about it, you’ve got to be pumped when your product is LIFE-changing information!

3) Free Enterprise at its best! – One of the biggest things that Orrin Woodward, Chris Brady, Bill Lewis and the other founders of LIFE fell in love with years ago when they joined a struggling home-based business was the idea of free enterprise.  The idea of a fair business model that is all about win/win competition and purely pay by performance.  A model that recognizes and pays the right behaviors and habits that truly ‘stimulate’ our economy.  The idea that your financial destiny is in your own hands.  The founders of LIFE and many other top leaders in the world believe that one of the only things that can save America, Canada, and the free world for that matter, is a community of entrepreneurs pouring their heart and soul into making their business as successful as possible.  LIFE Leadership, in my opinion, offers hungry and aspiring entrepreneurs, who want a change in their life, the purest form of a free enterprise business available anywhere.

4) Become ‘all you can be’ – this has historically been a military slogan, but I don’t believe it.  No offense to any person who has courageously served their country in any branch of the military, but I don’t believe that the US armed forces is the place for you if you are looking to become ‘all you can be’.  If you really want to become the best you can possibly be, then I whole-heartedly recommend you get launched with LIFE Leadership.  You just can’t beat the power of a supportive community that promotes a self-directed education and lifts up listening, reading and associating .  You just can’t beat a community that highlights and lifts-up achievements, but at the same time accepts you right where you are at.  You just can’t beat a community that messages and models leadership principles such as; character counts, service before self, failure is not fatal, win-win or no deal, excellence lies on the other side of inconvenience, etc…  You can’t beat a community that understands that God is on the throne, and ultimately is looking to do His will.

If you dare to want to become the the best you can be…..Welcome to LIFE Leadership!  God bless, Kirk Birtles

Tenacity, Resilience, and Endurance: The Doolittle Raiders

03_doolittles_raidersWhat a great Saturday morning here in Michigan!  It is the first Saturday in a long time that I have nothing planned or scheduled.  I decided to start the day off like I start most days off with some reading and thinking.  I am two-thirds of the way through a LIFE Leadership Essential Series book titled Mentoring Matters….a great read!  Reading Chapter 56 – Mentoring Tenacity, Resilience, and Endurance reminded me of an email from my father, that I just had read, about the famous Doolittle Raiders from World War II.  If ever there was a group of men who personified Tenacity, Resilience, and Endurance, it was this amazing unit of 80 men.  I am going to attempt to weave together this heroic story of the Doolittle Raiders and these 3 foundational leadership characteristics.

Mentoring Matters states, ‘The three traits of of Tenacity, Resilience, and Endurance build on one another.  Tenacity is the hard work that gets you on the path to greatness.  Once you’re on the path, you make enemies and face obstacles, and these can bring you down.  That’s why you need resilience: to get back up, brush off the dust, and keep walking.  Every bout of resilience has the capacity to completely drain you and therefore endurance is needed.  Endurance is the thing inside that says,  “It’s all worth it, and no matter what, I will not give up…not ever.”  Endurance is the thing that says that, and it’s the only thing that does it.’  This insiteful books goes on to say that the best way a mentor can teach Tenacity, Resilience, and Endurance is through Example, Principle, and Experience.  The Doolittle Raiders mentor by action and not by word, but their action is rich in example, principle and experience that we can all appreciate and learn from by knowing their unbelievable story.

December 7th, 1941, Japan surprised the United States with a ruthless attack on the parked Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor.  The United States was shocked, set back on their heels and enraged.  President Roosevelt and the US powers that be, came up with a way to get back at the island giant and give the American people a morale boost with a secret bombing raid on the heart of Japan.  Lt. Col James Doolittle was chosen to lead this daring raid.  He helped select 16 of America’s best and brightest B-25 bombing crews to attempt a mission that had never been tried before.  The mission was to sail across the length of the Pacific Ocean into enemy waters with a few aircraft carriers, 16 B-25 bombers, 200 men, and a lot of faith and courage.  You see, there were no friendly airstrips close enough to the islands of Japan for the Raiders to take off from.  Therefore, they had to innovate and figure out how to have these big, heavy bombers take off from these small, floating runways!  This type of mission had never been attempted before.  It would be the only time in history that bombers were launched from aircraft carriers.h53420

On April 18th, 1942, the Doolittle Raiders were forced to begin their bombing raid on Japan 10 hours early because they were sighted by a Japanese ship and the element of surprise was gone.  Doolittle and his men already new that there was a good chance that they would not have enough fuel to make it back to the carriers, but now having to take off 10 hours early and hundreds of miles further out than planned, they were told that there would not be enough fuel to make it to safety at all.  The Raiders were convinced, to the last man, that this was going to be their last and hopefully their finest hour.  They had planned and worked hard in preparation for this moment in time.  They were tenacity on fire!

The 80 courageous men, in 16 over-loaded planes, were now in the air, headed into the unknown.  They all made it to Japan, dropped their payloads on the assigned targets and headed west with hopes of somehow making it to China.  4 planes crash-landed in China, 11 crews ran out of fuel and bailed out, and 1 crew landed in Russia.  They had just completed the longest combat mission ever for a B-25 bomber with an average flying distance of 2,250 miles.  Of the 80 Raiders, 69 were miraculously able to avoid capture or death.  The other 11 members either died upon crash landing, were executed in a Japanese prison camp, starved to death or were held prisoners till the war was over.  Many of the Raiders were back in the air within weeks.  12 of the survivors died on subsequent missions within months of the Doolittle Raid.  The Doolittle Raiders personified resilience…the ability to avoid being broken and to bounce back after being bent.

Lt. Col Doolittle and the rest of his men sent a message for the United States to it’s enemies and to the rest of the world that, ‘We will fight!  And, no matter what it takes, we will win!!’

The courage, valor and patriotism of these 80 Raiders set the tone for millions of Americans to hang tough and fight the good fight over the next 3 years till the end of World War II.

Starting in April, 1946, the surviving Raiders started the tradition of a yearly reunion to celebrate the victory and to honor their fallen comrades.  The city of Tucson, Arizona donated 80 silver goblets to the raiders.  Each goblet had a Raider’s name etched into the silver.  Every year, for the last 71 years, a wooden display, bearing all 80 goblets is transported to the reunion city.  Each time a Raider dies, his goblet is turned upside down in the case.  The highpoint of the reunion is a solemn, private ceremony in which the surviving men perform a roll call, then toast their fellow, fallen Raiders who have died over the years.

At the beginning of 2013, there were only 5 Raiders still alive, all in their nineties.  In February, 2013 another Doolittle Raider succumbed to old age.  Mr. Thomas Griffin’s life is a testament to Tenacity, Resilience, and especially Endurance.  Thomas Griffin’s obituary in the Cincinnatti Enquirer reads as follows:

“Thomas Griffin, one of the Doolittle’s Raiders in World War II bailed out over the mountains of China and almost died from malaria.  When he recovered, Tom Griffin was sent to the war in Europe, destined to fly many more combat missions before being shot down over Germany.  He was captured and spent 22 months in a German prisoner of war camp.

Later in life, Mr. Griffin’s wife of many decades became ill and was put into a nursing home.  He visited his sick wife every day. In his late 80s he walked to and from the nursing home every day, fed his wife and at the end of the day brought home her clothes.  At night, Mr. Griffin washed and ironed her clothes and walked them back to her the next morning.  He did this for 3 years until her death in 2005″Doolittle_70th_SEALE

Thomas Griffin and the rest of the Doolittle Raiders were men of character who’s example of tenacity, resilience and endurance will live in our hearts and minds for many generations to come.  The final toast to the fallen Raiders will take place between the 4 survivors on November 9th, 2013 at a museum in Ohio.

To the Doolittle Raiders and to all the other service men and women who fought, bled and/or died for our freedom….we salute you!  God bless, kb

The truth, nothing but the truth…let’s see what you think?

Alleged interview with soon to be ‘Francis’ the 266th Pope

I am the person who rarely reads forwarded emails, and NEVER forwards forwarded email…except, when the email catches my eye and absolutely BLOWS ME AWAY!
I assure you, that taking the time to read this alleged interview by Chris Mathews of the then soon to be Pope, will either educate you and make your day, or it will educate you and tick you off!!  There is debate whether this interview was real or was fabricated?  I cannot find a clear, definitive answer one way or another, but either way, it will most assuredly make you think!  Read for yourself and let’s see what happens…

(Alleged Interview – again, not sure if this is real or fabricated) Subject: NEW POPE, YOU DECIDE

A SOCIALIST CATHOLIC REPORTER, CHRIS MATHEWS, CHALLENGES NEW POPE AND GET HIS HEAD HANDED TO HIM ON A PLATTER. LONG READ–WELL WORTH YOUR TIME

YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BE A CATHOLIC TO APPRECIATE THIS INTERVIEW WITH THE NEW POPE.

The following is a transcript of an interview between CHRIS MATHEWS, MSNBC American journalist and then Cardinal Bergolio. It is clear why the interview was never broadcast. This Pope is a breath of fresh air; a very enlightening, clear understanding of social justice. It is clear that Matthews never understood or learned a thing.

CAMERA ON / BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

REPORTER: Welcome Cardinal.

BERGOGLIO: Thank you. Happy to speak with you.

REPORTER: Well, let me get into it directly. Last conclave, you were almost elected Pope. Can this happen again?

BERGOGLIO: What? That I will almost be the Pope, again?

REPORTER: No. Will you be the next Pope?

BERGOGLIO: Friend, I’m only jesting with you. I understand the question. I will not be the next Pope

REPORTER: Why not?

BERGOGLIO: I chose not to. God has someone else in mind I’m certain.

REPORTER: But you would take the job if it were offered.

BERGOGLIO: I think not.

REPORTER: Why not.

BERGOGLIO: I believe I’m too embroiled in the secular fiasco. It is a spiritual job, and I’m a soldier. Look at the nature of power. In Europe first and now in America, elected men have taken it upon themselves to indebt their people to create an atmosphere of dependency. And why? For their own selfish need to increase their own personal power. I’ve been a keen observer of the effect this has on the people, especially the poor. They are very good at creating poverty where there is no reason to explain it. My job is try to alleviate poverty and if that means to oppose the cause then I will not be Pope.

REPORTER: But you are worried you would be a spend thrift pope?

BERGOGLIO: Friend. Where did you go to school?

REPORTER: La Salle College High School in Pennsylvania and.

BERGOGLIO: And after that?

REPORTER: College of the Holy Cross.

BERGOGLIO: They told me you were Catholic. Once elected the Pope is by virtue of the promise of Jesus to Peter, the Pope is preserved from the possibility of error. God would change any spend thrift politician into a responsible Pope. I’m just saying I’m not that man.

REPORTER: So what is your job?

BERGOGLIO: My job is to ask you? Why are men creating poverty?

REPORTER: What do you mean?

BERGOGLIO: I mean that poverty is part of the natural condition and that is bad enough. But my task is to prevent the aggravation of this condition. The ideology that adds to the poverty must be denounced. I have and this is the reason I will not be Pope. I have a saying for myself, no more poverty than God originally intended in the fall from Grace?

REPORTER: Oh.

BERGOGLIO: It is a spiritual choice, and I’m a political person. I’m sorry. I know you will make more money from this interview if I’m Pope. Or want to be Pope. But I’m sorry. I can’t help you. God has already chosen someone anyway. Right? You learned this in school?

REPORTER: Yes. Well? Where are you on the issues that matter most, issues about contraception, women priests?

BERGOGLIO: This might be a surprise to you, but I am Catholic. We are Catholic. It isn’t an issue and for you to pretend that it is being debated goes against God.

REPORTER: If you were Pope, then you would not change anything.

BERGOGLIO: Certainly God would direct the new Pope to have more compassion for these newly created poor. And if there is any social justice in the Church, the new Pope would have a stern word for the creators of the new situation.

REPORTER: But you are staunchly orthodox on the issues of abortion, contraception, and same-sex marriage.

BERGOGLIO: I am catholic.

REPORTER: You were punished for opposed same-sex marriage in Argentina. You opposed free contraception and the government exiled you. What do you have to say about that?

BERGOGLIO: I am catholic.

REPORTER: In the secular world, as you say, you follow the conservative line. You oppose, uh, same-sex marriages, very popular with young people. You are conservative on birth control. Won’t that be the doom of the Church, alienating young people who support reality based faith?

BERGOGLIO: Since God created the world, he also created reality. You seem to be arguing that a man can’t be Catholic in reality. Son, you are a Catholic?

REPORTER: Yes, of course. I meant no disrespect

BERGOGLIO: You don’t have to worry about offending me.

REPORTER: Okay, good. Can a, uh, Pope even be elected if he is pro-choice or pro-love? I mean isn’t the election sort of fixed in favor of anti-abortion and anti-gay marriage?

BERGOGLIO: Yes, the election is fixed by God.

REPORTER: Very witty.

BERGOGLIO: Well, you did ask.

REPORTER: It is being reported in America that you are against marriage equality. Is that why you feel that you can’t be Pope?

BERGOGLIO: God chooses the Pope, and God also made men and women different.

REPORTER: But you are… a conservative and oppose abortion!

BERGOGLIO: Friend the expression on your face gives you away.

REPORTER: I’m sorry, I’m just trying to do my job.

BERGOGLIO: And what job is that?

REPORTER: I’ve been sent to interview eight men in line for the papacy.

BERGOGLIO: And I guarantee you that they all oppose abortion. So?

REPORTER: But?

BERGOGLIO: So, you feel like you need to alienate the eight from the flock?

REPORTER: That isn’t it. How can the church attract young people when it is opposed to abortion and contraception?

BERGOGLIO: Young people are just as attracted to the truth as they are convenience and expediency. So we will call it a draw.

REPORTER: Doesn’t the church need to modernize?

BERGOGLIO: Finally, I’ve met someone who will advocate publicly painting over the Sistine Chapel with one of the contemporary street artists. Are you sure you support this and in public?

REPORTER: What?

BERGOGLIO: Forgive me, I was rude.

REPORTER: Won’t the new pope, don’t these cardinals realize what they’ve gotta do if they want to attract young people to the church?

BERGOGLIO: I am a cardinal.

REPORTER: Won’t the new pope, don’t you and the other cardinals realize what they must do if they want to attract young people to the church?

BERGOGLIO: I’ve explained the mysteries of the atom to rural young people and also I’ve explained the Grace of God. And you know what? They can understand both perfectly well. Frankly, I have more trouble with adults understanding both.

REPORTER: But they have done focus groups; if you want to spread your message you can’t have this position that’s anti-gay marriage and anti-contraception.

BERGOGLIO: And you treat the church as a political institution.

REPORTER: So we were not gonna see any kind of change when it comes to things that matter like abortion or gay marriage?

BERGOGLIO: All eight of the men you will be talking to are Catholic.

REPORTER: Okay, I understand. Let’s talk about your controversial stand on poverty.

BERGOGLIO: You want it to be controversial?

REPORTER: But don’t you blame various governments around the world for poverty?

BERGOGLIO: Some. Yes.

REPORTER: But you refuse to blame corporations for their role.

BERGOGLIO: Okay, they also told me you have a degree in economics. No buyer, or seller either, enters into any exchange against his will. It is the nature of the economy. Man is frail, and he makes mistakes and sometimes is greedy and they enter into exchanges that don’t help them. Sometimes they become poor, but they made choices. There is nothing the Church can do except try to educate people to become good consumers. Chiefly, for me, it is an education solution on that side. And the Church has more schools around the globe than any other faith. I say teach the people to save their souls, and also teach them how not to become poor. And now not to allow the government to trick them into poverty.

REPORTER: And you blame government.

BERGOGLIO: No, I blame the self-serving politicians.

REPORTER: So your solution to poverty is to change the nature of politics?

BERGOGLIO: Please feel free to broadcast this; I don’t want to be pope. Friend, you are a socialist and your friends are socialists. And you are the reason for 70 years of misery in Russia and Europe now is seizing in pain from your policies. You believe in the redistribution of wealth and it makes entire populations poor. You want to nationalize everything and bring every human endeavor under your control. You destroy a man’s incentive to take care of his very own family, a crime against nature and nature’s God. You want social control over populations and incrementally you are making everything against the law. Together this ideology creates more poverty today than all the corporations you vilify have in the history of man.

REPORTER: I’ve never heard such from a Cardinal. I’m not sure if you are here to help yourself or disqualify yourself.

BERGOGLIO: Please air this interview. People being dominated by socialists need to know we don’t all have to be poor. Some poverty is part of our being cast out of the Garden of Eden. But look at the empire of dependency created by Hugo Chavez. Promising them, tricking them into worship of government and his very own person. Giving them fish but not allowing them to fish. If a fisherman does develop a talent today in Latin America; he is castigated and his catch stolen by the socialists. He stops?

REPORTER: You would be the first pope from the Americas.

BERGOGLIO: He stops fishing. I will not be pope, but yes I am from Argentina.

REPORTER: And you didn’t want to be pope?

BERGOGLIO: God didn’t want me to be pope.

REPORTER: Perhaps he changed his mind.

BERGOGLIO: Ludicrous.

REPORTER: Okay, I’m sorry. I feel like we are getting off on the wrong path. I’m sorry.

BERGOGLIO: Yes, let’s be productive.

REPORTER: You are a classic conservative Catholic theologian?

BERGOGLIO: Of course there’s politics clearly in the Curia throughout the Vatican, but in terms of church teaching, it’s not a political institution. It’s religious.

REPORTER: I heard people, in fact, media people, “Is this cardinal, is he a liberal? Is he a conservative?”

BERGOGLIO: Tell them please, He’s a Catholic. It’s no more complicated than that. Catholicism is what it is. You don’t have to believe it; you may not. You don’t have to follow it; you may not go to Mass. But it’s not up to you to modernize us.

REPORTER: You see no room for reform?

BERGOGLIO: It’s not up to any religion, although some do this, ’cause they want the money. They want the membership. But the Catholic Church doesn’t do it. It’s not up to them to bend and shape and mold itself to accommodate the shrinking depravity of a worldwide culture. It’s to provide the exact opposite. It’s to provide a beacon out of depravity, socialism and sin, among other things.

REPORTER: If pope you would be bad news for the left.

BERGOGLIO: I won’t be pope. But I am opposed to abortion. I’m opposed to euthanasia. The pro-choice movement is a culture of death. I oppose the demonic same-sex marriage. I oppose gay adoption on the grounds that it is discriminatory to the child. I was exiled by the Cristina Kirchner government, but I hold no grudge. How is this bad news?

REPORTER: John Paul II rescued you?

BERGOGLIO: He made me the archbishop of Buenos Aires. Yes.

REPORTER: And so you feel like you owe the Right some sort of repayment?

BERGOGLIO: There are many values and many types of people. Perhaps it is my interest in mathematics, but I’m the type of human who is interested most in the truth. God gave me a healthy love for the truth. Loyalty is only a virtue if in support of the truth or another important value.

REPORTER: Cristina Kirchner said you held a grudge.

BERGOGLIO: Funny I’ve never spoken her name. Not once. And it is a battle of ideas not a battle of two or more people. I’m only concerned with ideas.

REPORTER: She said you refused to speak up for civil rights violations.

BERGOGLIO: As a spiritual leader, I opposed cultural modernization, and so I became a political enemy. I understand politics as well as I do mathematics.

REPORTER: And the Jesuits, they were eager to cast you out, which they did.

BERGOGLIO: So you are implying that I’m a vengeful priest?

REPORTER: Do you feel that you need to erase the progress recently made in Latin America?

BERGOGLIO: I say poverty. You say progress.

REPORTER: Let’s talk about poverty.

BERGOGLIO: Sure, there is voluntary poverty that is virtuous. Many understood the nobility of making themselves independent of the fleeting things of earth. They are distractions from our pursuit of the truth. I have no problem with this. I only oppose involuntary poverty.

REPORTER: That is what I thought you would say.

BERGOGLIO: Why?

REPORTER: Because you are a capitalist right?

BERGOGLIO: Yes, I think capital is needed to build a factory, a parochial school, or a church or hospital, all. Do you oppose factories or churches or hospitals?

REPORTER: Of course not, but don’t you think the capital is sucked out of peoples hands by greedy business types to pay for these factories?

BERGOGLIO: No, I think people agree, through their economic choices, that some of their money goes to build these. Capital building should be voluntary. Only when the politician confiscates their wealth to build government factories, government schools, government hospitals; only then do the people not agree. Money given voluntarily is legitimate to build with. Money coerced from the people is not legitimate to build with, because it isn’t given voluntarily.

REPORTER: You are opposed to all government?

BERGOGLIO: No of course not. But it isn’t the seat of wisdom in any society I’ve seen in my life. The best government was created by the Americans, in which they admitted that people are endowed by their creator and most of the administration of society was left to the relationship between God and man. However, slowly that has been eroded by the atheists on the left who would replace man’s relationship with God with a new relationship with an opportunist like Hugo Chavez.

REPORTER: I just found it fascinating that you were willing to stand up to an entire government in Argentina. You where cast aside. Didn’t you care about your career?

BERGOGLIO: Yes, there are people who cave to worldly authority. Even priests.

REPORTER: But you didn’t?

BERGOGLIO: No, I changed nothing. How did I have the power to change anything in church teaching? My opinion? The democrats, seeking votes, only wanted me to change my opinion and legitimize their decadence. I did not, as evidenced by the fact that I was teaching high school math in small isolated town.

REPORTER: I’m sorry that happened to you.

BERGOGLIO: Why don’t you feel for others oppressed for their interest in freedom.

REPORTER: Freedom isn’t punished anywhere, is it?

BERGOGLIO: Certainly it is.

REPORTER: In Latin America?

BERGOGLIO: I’m afraid Latin America is lost. The people of the entire area are controlled by a bloc of militant socialist regimes in the region, most prominently Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia and Nicaragua. They have a gun pointed at their head. So their heart is now captured. Who will save them at this point?

REPORTER: So the game is over. Checkmate?

BERGOGLIO: Friend, I’ve been studying America this month before the Pope chose to resign. You must not have fear at speaking the truth. It is for the salvation of souls and the recovery of Thomas Jefferson’s people. America must not fall to the new painted communism. Even the low information voters don’t want America to be sold into slavery. I pray they cast out the money changers in their government! What manner of government is there that condones sin? Abomination upon abomination–giving monies for the murder of children, giving monies for the murder of the elderly! You are an American. Your government, My child, has been infiltrated by men of sin.

REPORTER: These are pretty radical ideas.

BERGOGLIO: No. Perhaps reactionary. Radical means something different. But a very long time ago, Khrushchev warned that we cannot expect Americans to fly from capitalism to communism, but we can assist their elected leaders in giving Americans small injections of socialism until they suddenly awake to find out they have Communism. This is what is happening now in an ancient bastion of freedom. How can America save Latin America when they are slaves to the government themselves?

REPORTER: I’m having a hard time digesting most of this.

BERGOGLIO: The truth can be painful. You look angry; do you want to stop or ask a question? But you have created a new type of state, the so-called welfare state. This has happened in order to respond to the needs of the politically created poor. However, intervening directly is depriving the original society of its responsibility. Families escape responsibility in the welfare state. And churches even escape responsibility. People stop giving to charity and see every poor person as the government’s problem. I am a Catholic priest and there are no poor for me to take care of, they are made permanently poor and the property of the politicians.

REPORTER: I’m not sure this interview is going to work.

BERGOGLIO: You asked and now you will listen, my son. The social assistance state leads to a loss of human energies and an inordinate increase of public agencies, which are dominated more by bureaucratic thinking than by real concern for helping people. Needs are best understood and satisfied by people who are closest to them who act as neighbors and parish members to those in need. It should be added that certain kinds of demands often call for a response which is not simply material but which is capable of perceiving the deeper human need. This is not to mention the welfare states excesses and abuses.

REPORTER: I think we are done.

BERGOGLIO: Wait. If I speak on the ordination of women, on celibacy, on divorce, will you air this interview and my message?

REPORTER: No, we are done.

BERGOGLIO: Partially what irritates me to the core is the media’s inability to look at anything without looking into the cause of the various problems. People are made poor so they will vote for the very candidates that made them poor.

REPORTER: Have a nice day and thanks for your time.

CAMERA OFF / END TRANSCRIPT”

The new Pope chose ‘Francis’ as his namesake in honor of  Saint Francis of Assisi, because of his heart and concern for the poor.

Long live the truth!

God bless,

kb

When the going gets tough, the tough get going!

fight photoOne of the biggest success principles I have learned from being involved with Orrin Woodward and the Life business is, ‘When the going gets tough, the tough get going’.  Being a tough, thought-reframing, pain-ignoring, conflict-resolving, overcoming and problem-solving man or woman is a big part of what it is all about to be a true success.  As you probably noticed, the saying is not ‘if’ it gets tough, its ‘when’ it gets tough.  We will all face obstacles, challenges on our success journey.  The question is will we be ready to face these mini-golliaths as they come up on the road to success. We have all heard the old cliche statements like, ‘success is always on the other side of inconvenience’, ‘dream, struggle, victory’, and ‘The greater the obstacle, the greater the glory’, etc….  The more I dig into leadership and success, the more I am convinced that all these cornball statements are absolutely true!  God has equipped us all with abilities way beyond what we currently believe.  Let’s have the faith and trust in this to be tough and see it through.

As I am sitting here in my office thinking of what to write next, I look around at my bookshelves chocked-full of biographies of the most successful & tough people that have ever lived.  People like Winston Churchill, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Ernest Shackleton, Sam Walton, Tom Monaghan, Jackie Chan, Chuck Yeager, Jay Leno, Jim Elliot, Vince Lombardi, Cal Ripken, the apostle Paul, Theodore Roosevelt, and countless others.  People who are or have been the best in the world at their respective craft, but at the same time have proven to be about as tough as you can get.  There is a definite correlation between ‘success’ and ‘toughness’.  In other words, if you want to have more success and move on in life, it’s time to TOUGHEN UP!

Here are 5 ‘Toughness’ life categories and some tips and resources to help you toughen up:

The battle of the mind – due to our fallen nature, and the ever-present trials and tribulations of this world, our thinking always tends to head as they say, ‘south of cheese’.  In other words, it starts to become doubt-ridden, negative, whiney, cynical, sarcastic, depressed, and over all ‘stinking’.  Orrin Woodward is one of the best in the world I have seen at constantly reframing his thinking and never letting it get close to ‘south of cheese’.  A few months ago, Orrin was interviewed by a top international success magazine, and the interviewer/writer asked Orrin what he did when he had a bad week?   Orrin said, ‘A bad week?  I never have a bad week!’  The interviewer said, ‘Ok.  What about when you have a bad day?’  Orrin replied, ‘A bad day?  I never have a bad day!  If I have a bad second, I am doing everything in my power to reframe my thinking and stop that weed from growing even before it even starts!’  Pause for a minute, and truly consider the magnitude of this little glimpse into Orrin Woodward’s life.  If you can understand and embrace what he was telling that interviewer, you will be on the road to massive success.

Physical Pain – One common factor of all people, no matter where you come from, or how well you live, is that we are physically falling apart and almost always, somehow sick or in pain.  If you were in a room of 1000 people and somehow could read their minds, you would realize that everyone has some physical issue that they are fighting through.  Here are some examples – common cold, back-pain, head-ache, arthritis, digestive problems, allergies, and many, many more.  The key to overcoming this ‘pain’ is not obsessing over it, and telling everyone you know about it.  The key is to not buy your own excuses.  Listen to what Dr. David Swartz says in his mega best-seller, the Magic of Thinking Big:

Study the lives of successful people and you’ll discover this: all the excuses made by the mediocre fellow could be, but aren’t made by the successful person.  Health excusitis ranges all the way from the chronic ‘I don’t feel good’, to the more specific ‘I’ve got such and such wrong with me.’  Millions and millions of people suffer health excusitis and is used as an excuse not to do what they need to do to become successful.

Here are four things you can do to lick health excusitis:  1) Refuse to talk about your health.  2) Refuse to worry about your health.  3) Be genuinely grateful that your health is as good as it is.  4) Remind yourself often, ‘It’s better to wear out, than to rust out’.  Resolve to ‘live until you die’!

Conflict – Orrin Woodward says in his Top 100 leadership book, Resolved: 13 Resolutions for life, that:

Whether leading a business, church, or charitable organization, the ability to resolve conflict is essential to success.  Everyone should make it a rule that if he thinks about a hurt more than once, not being able to forgive the other party, that he should address the issue promptly.

If you have a conflict with someone, and both of you desire resolution, use the following 5 steps for conflict resolution:  1) Affirm the relationship.  2) Seek to understand.  3) Seek to be understood.  4) Own responsibility by apologizing.  5) Seek agreement.

Failure – It is important to understand that ‘failure is not fatal’.  In fact, it is a necessary learning step on the way to success.  Abraham Lincoln famously failed himself to success.  Have a look at this impressive list of Lincoln failures on the road to becoming the President:

1832 – lost his job, 1833 – failed in business, 1835 – his sweetheart dies, 1836 – suffered a nervous breakdown, 1838 – defeated for speaker of the house, 1843 – defeated for congress, 1848 – defeated for congress, 1854 – defeated for senate, 1856 – defeated for Vice President, 1858 – defeated for senate.

In 1860, after failing, reframing and learning several times, Abraham Lincoln was elected the 16th President of the United States of America.  In the famous words of the not so famous Chumbawamba band, ‘When I get knocked down, I get up again.  You’re never going to keep me down!’

Murphy’s law  – If something could possibly go wrong, it probably will.  Are you prepared to handle the problems that you know are bound to happen?   Leaders are problem solvers!   Listen to what Robert Updegraff says about troubles and obstacles on your job:

A man should be grateful every hour of every day for the troubles of his job: they pay at least half his wage or salary.  For if there were no troubles it would be easy to get someone to do his work for half, or even a third, of the pay he is getting.  If he wants a bigger job, with a better income, he has to look for more troubles, and learn how to lick them.  A bigger job will usually gravitate to him–often actually seek him out–if he is capable of coping with the problems and troubles that go with it.  Especially is this true if he has cultivated the knack of doing everything pleasantly and with apparent ease and assurance.  It is this special knack, which incidentally is perfectly possible for any man to cultivate, that usually puts the fancy edge on a salary.

I hope this article and the amazing resources cited help you to ‘TOUGHEN UP’ on the road to success!

God bless,

Kirk Birtles

The BAND OF BROTHERS CREED

I have learned many things over the last 10 years from some legendary leaders like Holger Spiewak, Bill Lewis and Orrin Woodward.  One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is that, ‘The leader builds the culture, and the culture builds the team’.  The following Band of Brothers Creed is a self explanatory model, created by the leaders of the Band of Brothers, to BUILD and PROTECT an amazing, winning culture!  In the immortal words of Shakespeare,

‘We few, we happy few, we Band of Brothers…for whoever sheds his blood with me today shall forever be my brother!’

                                                                                         

                                        BAND OF BROTHERS CREED

I understand, that as a member of the Band of Brothers, that I am part of a great tradition of HONOR, LOYALTY, SERVICE, UNITY and WINNING.  I understand that, as a member of the Band of Brothers, that I have a great responsibility to uphold this tradition through my ATTITUDE, my WORDS and my ACTIONS.

I understand that the CULTURE of a team determines its success, destiny and legacy, and as a member of the Band of Brothers, I commit to making our culture a winning culture, to be known around the world as what a united team of champions should look like.  As a member of the Band of Brothers, I pledge my SACRED HONOR to help BUILD and PROTECT this culture with my EXAMPLE, my CHARACTER, and my COMMITMENT.

I Resolve…

To buy into the VISION that the BAND OF BROTHERS will be the the team with the best duplication and the best attitude.  I understand that the BAND OF BROTHERS goal is to become the TAPROOT of the TEAM, which is the BEST TEAM with the MOST LEADERS.  I fully understand that what we do now will determine our future for the next 20 years.  I understand that my: goals, dreams, freedom, children’s future, country’s future, and ‘The LIFE I’ve always wanted’ all hang in the balance!

To model the ‘HEART OF A CHAMPION’ through my attitude and my example.  I understand that there is a price for progress and I commit to pay it in full.  I commit to have the faith & courage necessary to believe in this cause & to deserve victory.  I understand that there are always 3 choices: give-in, give-up, or give it all you’ve got.  I will always choose to GIVE IT ALL I’VE GOT!

To model the 4 Es: ENTHUSIASM, ENCOURAGEMENT, EXPECTATION, AND EDIFICATION in my attitude, words, and actions.  I understand the principle of ‘Zeal without knowledge is dangerous, but knowledge without zeal is dead’.  I understand that, as a member of the Band of Brothers, I need to be the thermostat and not the thermometer.  I will set the tone with ENTHUSIASM at every meeting, event, and at all times.  I will ENCOURAGE through acceptance, approval and appreciation, and never criticize, condemn or complain.  I will work to adopt a NO NEGATIVE philosophy in my life and take it everywhere I go.  I understand how important EXPECTATION is, and I will work to set a positive, winning expectation. I will be the example in expecting excellence, but at the same time, never judge others.  I understand the power of EDIFICATION.  I will learn to speak all the good I can of others to their face, from stage and behind their back.  I will make a point of honestly edifying others, especially my leaders, every chance I get.

To be the BEST STUDENT I can be by mastering the Team Tools, the Team System, and the Top 5 books.  No team will know, use or promote the Team  tools, the Team system, and top 5 books better than the Band of Brothers, and I know this begins with me.  I will be a walking, talking CD listening to and promoting machine.  I will work to listen to, to know, and to promote the Team packs first, the Team system second, and all of the LIFE material third.  I understand how important people skills are and I will be ONE OF THE BEST AT DEALING WITH PEOPLE by reading the Top 5 books on a regular basis.

To MASTER THE  BASICS of the 5 Step Pattern, Team Approach, PowerPlayer, and  Game-Planning.  I understand that DEPTH builds POSTURE & BELIEF and I will never forget it!  I will strive to get in action and to master the 5 step pattern.  I commit to learning and practicing the methods of TEAM APPROACH.  I understand that POWERPLAYER has always been and always will be our play.  I know now that PowerPlayer is my goal.  I know that it is important to have a Game-Plan and to Keep Score.  I understand, that in order to use a coach effectively, that I need to be showing plans and will work diligently to do so.  If I am showing 15 plans a month, I will seek out my coach with a HUMBLE and a HUNGRY attitude. I will KEEP SCORE by drawing out my team and having it ready for my coach when we get together.  I understand that my team’s goal is to go 10 DEEP this month and every month, and I commit to playing my part!

To BE A PROFESSIONAL in all I do, which includes attitude, words, dress and deeds. I understand that 100% of what I do wrong and 50% of what I do right will be duplicated. I realize that ATTITUDE MATTERS and resolve to have a great one everywhere I go, but at the same time have GRACE for others who might be having a bad day.  I will ‘suit-up’ for all house-plans, open meetings, and seminars.  I understand that 50% of success is just showing up, and therefore, I will strive to go to everything I qualify for, including: opens, challenge groups, seminars, leaderships, and promotions.   I will try my best to come early, sit as close to the front as possible, and stay late.  If there is a ‘Live Event’ available to me, if at all possible, I’m there!  I will be the first to volunteer and encourage others to volunteer anytime the TEAM calls on the Band of Brothers.  I realize that this is my team too, and I will work valiantly to adopt the principle of service before self.  I understand that not everyone is going to do what I’m willing to do, but nobody will ever do what I’m not willing to do.

To always have TEAM PRIDE: first for the TEAM, then for the Band of Brothers, and third for my division of the Band of Brothers.  I Understand that LOYALTY and UNITY matter, and that everyone wants to be part of a TIGHT and WINNING team.  I will take ownership and play my part.  I will be the LOUDEST and most ENTHUSIASTIC person at every event, and especially anytime the Band of Brothers or any individual Band of Brother is speaking, recognized, or mentioned from stage.  I will have the COURAGE to be the first to cheer and the last to stop.  I will bring my B.O.B. rowdy rag, etc… and parade them with HONOR & PRIDE.  At every event, I will seek out the ‘heartbeat’ of the Band of Brothers, which is it’s leaders: directors, Round Tables, and PCs.  Getting around them means sitting by them, introducing my new people and teammates to them to help create powerful bonds, and seeking them out for a hug, handshake, smile, and to say that, ‘I am with you’!  I know that I am part of a very rare ‘Fellowship of the heart’, and will not take this for granted.

To build and maintain SPEED OF TRUST with my leader and with my team.  This starts and ends with LOVE, CHARACTER, & GRACE.  I understand that character is doing the right thing despite inconvenience, feeling, fear, or consequence.  I will strive to have my yes, always mean yes, and my no, to always mean no.  I will take pride in having a great speed of trust in all areas of my life including, but not limited to the following: words, respect, time, and money.  I will resolve any conflict with courage and grace anytime I see or sense a problem.

To build a ‘BATTLE-CRY’ culture.  I understand the principle of ‘Iron sharpens Iron’ and the power of  belief & encouragement, and therefore I will strive to leave a ‘battle-cry’ every night I am out building the Team, conquering new territory, showing the plan, signing up new members, moving tickets, and breaking power-players by sending out a text or Team-Talk to my leader and to my team.

To build and model a ‘RUN TO THE LAST SECOND‘ culture.  I understand the significance of FIGHTING to the FINISH and never giving up on a Conquer, Fortify, or Domesticate goal.  I fully appreciate that great things always happen by being faithful and running to the last second.  As they say, ‘Good things come from the stretch’!  I understand that by running to the last second today, could equal thousands of leaders running to the last second 2 years from now.  I also understand, that to be truly successful, running to the last second does not mean waiting to the last second to start running.  I will run from ‘the GUN to the TAPE’!  I will be the example, to my team and to the next generation of leaders, of what running to the finish truly means.  I will adopt the mindset that, as a member of the Band of Brothers, I will either hit the goal that has been set, or die on the battle-field in DEFIANCE of surrender!  As Winston Churchill and the leaders of the Band of Brothers say, ‘Never give in…. never, never, never, never, ever, give in’!

Lastly, I resolve to be one of the many who are going to BUILD and PROTECT this amazing Band of Brothers Culture.  I understand that it only takes a few Stout-Hearted men and women, with COURAGE, COMMITMENT, and PASSION, to lead to 10,000 more.  I pledge to be a true team-player, to have endurance when it gets tough, to understand the power of duplication & momentum, and to always be the example.  I will have the FAITH & COURAGE to BELIEVE & DESERVE!  I will do everything in my power, God willing, to honor God, to serve my fellow man, and to build and protect a culture that all of the Band of Brothers can be proud of!

Band of Brothers lead the way…..

 “Give me some men

Who are Stout-Hearted Men

Who will fight for the right they adore

Start me with ten

Who are Stout-Hearted Men

And I’ll soon give you ten thousand more

Shoulder to shoulder, and bolder and bolder

They grow as they go to the fore…”

 

Orrin Woodward: Man, Myth, or Legend?

I am writing this article about a good friend and mentor of mine, Orrin Woodward.  Orrin Woodward is the founder of LIFE and Team, and is quickly becoming one of the most influential leaders in North America.  The reason I am writing this is because I believe to do anything great and worthwhile in life, you can’t do it by yourself.  You need to have some honorable friends along the way to be your ‘wingmen’,  have your back, and stand in the gap with you irregardless of the consequences.  One of Orrin Woodward’s greatest strengths and endearing qualities is his ability to build and maintain what Stephen M.R. Covey calls, ‘Speed of Trust’.  I have seen Orrin in the greatest of times, in the lowest of times, and in the toughest of times display uncompromising character, even when it totally went against his self-interest and the outlook was bleak at best.  He has earned the trust of tens of thousands and counting, including myself, and deserves to have more people courageously stand tall next to him and fight the good fight for honor, truth, and the future of our families.  There is a lot of gossip flying around concerning what and who Orrin Woodward actually is: a Man, Myth, or Legend?  This article is just a quick snapshot of this leaders perspective of who and what Orrin Woodward is, and why he does what he does in the face of continual adversity!

Lets start with Legend.  In my eyes, to be considered a Legend, you either have to be dead or retired.  I know many of  Orrin’s critics and competitors wish that he was dead or retired, but if you know or follow Orrin Woodward, you know that he is clearly just getting started!  His concern is not his reputation or status as a would be legend.  Orrin’s concerns deal with things that are much more important and eternal.  He knows that what counts at the end of the day, is the content of his character and what he did to get better and further his God-given purpose. Last year, Orrin gave a now famous talk called ‘Not on our watch’ that personifies his passion and purpose to not let America, and western civilization fall without a fight!  Orrin, truly wants his life story to count, to matter, and to make a difference, and just to clarify, his story in not even close to being finished!

How about myth?  Myth is defined at http://www.answers.com as, ‘a popular belief or story that has become associated with a person, institution, or occurrence.  A fiction or half-truth, especially one that forms part of an ideology.’  There are many myths out there spinning fiction and half-truths about Orrin Woodward.  The question you always have to ask yourself when someone is droning on about another person in a poor light, ‘What is their motive?  Why in the world would someone put so much time and energy into de-edifying, and tearing down another human being?  Taking precious time and energy away from their family and their purpose to criticize, condemn and complain about another person’?  The answer can only be one or more of the following reasons: They are being paid to do so, they don’t like  the idea of someone fighting to make a difference in the world when they personally are not, Orrin has a better idea and they know it, they quit Orrin at some point along the way and therefore must make sure that other people believe that Orrin and everything he does is what Aesop calls  ‘sour grapes’, criticizing Orrin furthers their own agenda, or they have a deep and vested interest in keeping the world just like it is!  Just remember, when you hear something or read something negative, the smart person with common sense always checks the source, and the motive, because more than likely,  it’s just a ‘myth’ with an agenda!

The last and most obvious choice to those who know him, is that Orrin Woodward is a man, but not just any man!  He is a man of character, purpose, conviction, wisdom, tenacity, perspective, love, vision, and a drive to follow God’s will and make a difference.  Orrin would be the first to admit that he is not perfect, and never will be.  But most of all, he knows that if he falls he will have the courage to get back up, if he fails, he is called to learn from it and try again, if he gets hit, he will continue to move forward stronger than the step before.  He is a man, not just a male!  Orrin is not a professional athlete, a movie star, or super hero…he is better!  Orrin is just more willing to take shot after shot, blow after blow, and keep moving forward than anyone else I know on the planet.  He’s not all talk….talks cheap!  He walks the walk, leading people to the truth, paying it forward, giving to the hurting, getting better and doing more on a daily basis, and raising up a whole army of leaders to fight valiantly for truth, family, and freedom!!!  He is a man’s man, and he is the real deal!  As a testament to the kind of man Orrin Woodward is, here is a list of some of his private, public and leadership achievements.

Private Achievements -

* A fine-tuned sense of purpose, character, attitude, and honor evidenced in his new book Resolved: 13 Resolutions for life, and his life that bares so much fruit!

* Marriage – Married for 20 years, happily for 15 years to the always wonderful Laurie Woodward.  A great accomplishment in of itself considering their marriage did not start out very well at all, and was quickly headed for pain and divorce. Through courage, the right information and the grace of God, they have made their ‘black and white’ marriage into a marriage full of ‘bright and vivid color’ that is a great example for all to follow and model!

*Father – Father of four wonderful teenage children.  What is so neat about the Woodward kids, and a testament to Orrin and Laurie as parents, is that each one of them are warm, considerate, down to earth, and respectful teenagers, but at the same time, unique, creative, and their own amazing person.

*Giving –  Orrin is not just an excellent example of  how to manage your finances, he is also one of the biggest givers I have ever met.  Orrin would never tell you this, but having a front row seat on this journey for many years, I have seen Orrin give away so much to so many,  you wouldn’t believe it: building churches, supporting pastors, supporting missionaries, and giving to the suffering of the world through dozens of worthwhile charities.  He has and will continue to pour his heart, soul and fortune into serving and helping his fellow-man.  Orrin has given away more than most people make in several lifetimes.  A great example of his giving heart is the pact that he and Chris Brady made to give away every dime of the proceeds from their best-selling book, Launching a Leadership Revolution.  Come on, who does that?   Give away all the profits from their best-selling book?  I will tell you who, real men of character like Orrin Woodward and Chris Brady!

Public Achievements – Orrin Woodward has many public achievements, here are just a few:

* Short career as an Engineer – Manufacturing systems degree from Kettering University, 4 U.S. patents in production, national bench-marking award for technical competitive bench-marking, and one of the youngest senior engineers in General Motor’s history, all before the age of 25.

* Author – has written numerous books, including the National Best seller, Launching a Leadership Revolution, Resolved: 13 Resolutions for lifea new book coming out soon called 1913, and many others!

Leadership Achievements – Orrin Woodward arguably has more ‘front-line’ leadership experience than anyone else in the world over the last 20 years.  Orrin has literally read thousands of books on leadership and success, has listened to 10s of thousands of personal development audios, has ten thousand hours of speaking experience on leadership to crowds of 10 – 30,000 people, and thousands of hours of mentoring experience.  Orrin Woodward does not lead from some ‘Ivory leadership tower’, he leads from the front, meeting people right where they are at with all their limiting beliefs, blind spots, rough edges and problems.

Leadership expert – Orrin has been in the Top 25 leadership experts for the last three years running, the top 10 for the last two years.  He is the only leadership expert in the world to mentor someone else into the top 25.  He writes and runs several highly popular leadership blogs that have been recognized as ‘all top leadership’ blog selections, and HRs top 100 blogs for management and leadership.  Orrin is also one of the top 100 authors to follow on Twitter.

* Leadership awards – He won a prestigious award from the IAB, Independent Association of Business, for his 2011 leadership content.  Orrin did not even know he was up for the award from this 1 million + member organization, but beat out every leader in the world including John Maxwell (author of 25+ best sellers, #1 leadership guru), Jim Collins (Author of Good to great, Built to last, etc…), Jack Canfield (Author of  Chicken soup for the soul series), Jack Welch (former CEO of General Electric, best-selling author), Anthony Robbins (100 million dollar leadership guru), etc…

* Founder of LIFE and TEAM.  LIFE – a leadership information company with world-class, inexpensive materials and opportunities.  Team – the worlds leading experts on building and teaching how to build compensated communities.

To Orrin Woodward, we who have decided to stand in the gap with you, honor you, and salute you!   For those of you who have resolved to change the world by first changing yourself, I hope you have enjoyed this article and trust that you will continue to fight the good fight!   Please leave a comment if Orrin Woodward has impacted your life directly or indirectly!   God bless, kb

The Machine Gun Preacher

The other day I ran across a movie called ‘The Machine Gun Preacher’, starring well-known actor Gerard Butler.  It caught my eye because it was a true story of a reckless drug dealing criminal who found God, changed his ways, and was now fighting for the lives of the thousands of orphans of East Africa.  Sam Childers is the Machine Gun Preacher!

Sam Childers was born and raised in the hills of Pennsylvania in a good family, but somewhere along the way his life was darkened with anger, drugs, crime and violence.  Sam was always a man of action, but it was always action doing the wrong thing!  He was in and of trouble and jail when his wife asked God to come into her life and He totally changed everything.  Sam continued to run from God and pushed everything good in his life aside.  To the few friends and family he had, he was an angry man with a death wish.  He was like an out of control, runaway locomotive headed for a deadly train wreck.  Finally, after thinking he had stabbed someone to death while high, drunk and angry, Sam desperately reached out to his wife for help and God came into his life.  His is a great story of the power of God, and his ability to forgive and save those who repent and believe!   From that moment, Sam was compelled to use his strong sense of action as a force for good in his family’s life and in God’s kingdom.

On the journey of turning away from all the chaos and sin and focusing on turning his life around, Sam was convicted by a message at church given by a pastor from Africa who was asking for help for the people of the Sudan.  The pastor painted the picture of a terrible civil war in this region of East Africa, and how food, clean water, shelter, safety, etc… was very much-needed.  Sam answered the call, thinking that  his construction knowledge and skill would serve well to hopefully make a difference.  God used this short little mission trip to Africa to help convict Sam Childers of his purpose that he fights passionately for still to this day!  While in East Africa, Sam got to see the off-limits war zone and saw first hand the suffering of the people being brutally abused or killed by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA).  Sam now had a cause, much bigger than anything he ever expected, seared into his conscience when he held a dying boy who just had stepped on a land mine while out chasing his dog.  He left Africa, and went back to Pennsylvania a different man.  He was so moved by God and by what he had seen in Africa that he developed a vision and a plan to build an orphanage smack dab in the middle of the war zone of the Sudan in an attempt to make a difference in the lives of some of the thousands of children who were being orphaned, maimed or killed on a daily basis.

Fast forward 13 years, and you will still find Sam in action:  loving, saving, and protecting many of the orphaned children of East Africa.   He is attempting to fulfill the mission God has given him, what Orrin Woodward calls to ‘work and keep’.  ‘Working’, to save, feed, care, and provide shelter for suffering orphans of the region, and striving to ‘keep’ them safe in the arms of  God!  The war in the Sudan region is not a war anymore, but what some would call ‘genocide’.  Over 400,000 men, women and children have been killed by the LRA and over 40,000 children abducted to be used as soldiers or to be sold as a sex slaves.

I don’t quite know why I am writing this post, other than I was very touched by this story and I believe Sam Childers ministry is a worthwhile cause.  As I sit here in my air-conditioned office, with my kids swimming safely with some friends, I feel and see a huge dichotomy between my family’s life and the life of the suffering thousands in East Africa and in many other parts of the world. .  We so take for granted the blessings we have in our lives here in the states and Canada: fresh water, food everyday, safety, love, and opportunity!  I mean come on, nobody is trying to kill us and abduct our children!!!  If you know history, this makes us some of the most blessed people who have ever been!  I ask myself, ‘What can I do to help’?  Well you just read the last blessing I listed that we take for granted, opportunity!  Sam Childers, the widows and orphans of East Africa and millions of others around the world desperately need time, money, energy, prayer and love from us!!!  As Galatians 5:13 says, ‘For you were called to freedom, brothers.  Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.’

In closing, let me ask you this, if your child was scared, starving, maimed and abducted, what would you do?…..what would you do?  How you can use your freedom and opportunity to better serve the hurting people of this world?  For more information on Sam Childers, the children of East Africa and his ministry, watch the following short video and go to machinegunpreacher.org.   God bless, kb

Mental Fitness Challenge: You can’t afford not to ‘Take the challenge’!

The Mental Fitness Challenge is a new life changing product from Orrin Woodward, Chris Brady and LIFE.  The Mental Fitness Challenge, MFC for short, is meant to show anyone who is hungry for a change in their life, marked improvement in 90 days in their thinking, attitude, and most importantly, in their belief that they can and will get better through the right information! The MFC is sorely needed everywhere we turn as evidenced by the following experiences that my wife and I have had in the last few days!

I was talking to a good friend of mine the other day when he told me that his elderly grandma has 68 grown grandkids, and in the same breath he said that only 4 of the 68 are still married!  I asked him if this was a common thing in the Latino community?  He said,  ‘no, we were not raised that way.  I truly don’t know where its coming from, but its sad and out of control!’  The next day I was helping a delightful Christian gal in her mid 40s and a few other people look through some of our leadership material.  I happened to glance over while this lady was staring down at one of our marriage packs in her hands.  I told her she looked a little confused and asked her what was wrong?  She said, ‘this pack looks great, but I don’t think I know even one married person’!   I asked, ‘are you kidding?  Is this pretty common in the African-American community?’  She said, ‘I guess it is!’  Last night my wife and I were watching our 9 year-old play baseball.  My wife happened to sit next to what I guess you would consider the ‘team mom’.  Cassie, my wife, is one of the best encouragers and listeners on the planet and instantly started talking and listening to this lady as she kept score for the team.  Within 10 minutes this gal shared that her marriage was not going well, her relationship with her soon to be teenage daughter was shaky and volatile at best, she was in the middle of working 2 jobs, she is not talking with her adopted mom, and never gets to see her biological mom (who she says has a good relationship with) because of poor finances.  This lady is a white Christian lady in her late 30s.  I asked Cassie, ‘Is this a pretty common story that you hear?’  She said, ‘I hear it and see it all the time!’  My point with the above three stories is that  ‘life train wrecks’ are happening all around us, in your community, in your neighborhood, at an epidemic pace!  What can we do?  How can we stop it?  How do we reverse the decline and fall of the ‘American Community’?  How can you avoid ‘life train wrecks’ in your own home?

With that being said, I hope you all have checked out and are excited about the Mental Fitness Challenge (MFC)!  LIFE, a world-class leadership company, launched this ‘Flagship’ product at the end of April 2012.  The challenge is based on Orrin Woodward‘s fantastic new book Resolved: 13 Resolutions for Life.  The MFC is a simple, guided, 90 day approach to get better  in any area of your life.  With all the life train wrecks happening around us, and life’s casualty list growing daily, maybe even under our own roof, it is more important than ever to embody what Stephen Covey calls the 1st habit for success, being ‘proactive’ with getting better and pursuing a better life.  The true product of the LIFE company, through the MFC, is to help people get ‘The life they always wanted’.

Yesterday, Orrin Woodward, shared a great perspective that he heard from a leadership associate down in Kansas about what the Mental Fitness Challenge should be used for.  In healthcare, there are two main types of treatment: ‘Preventative’ and ‘Palliative’.  ‘Preventative’ treatment is a proactive intervention, based on risk factors, and warning signs, to avoid a major health ‘train wreck’ such as a heart attack, cancer, or diabetes.  ‘Palliative’ treatment is when you ignore the warning signs, and attempt to treat the problem after the ‘train wreck’ has already happened.  Studies have shown that ‘Preventative’ treatment is 10-1000 times less expensive than ‘Palliative’ treatment in terms of time, money and energy, not to mention 100s of time more effective in giving the patient ‘the health they always wanted’ to live a long and happy life.

  • The MFC is a classic example of ‘Preventative’ care for all areas of life!  Unfortunately, most people either have the ‘a life train wreck  will never happen to me’ philosophy, or they are like the old hound dog laying on the farmers porch.”One day a traveling seed salesman was making sales calls to farmers on an old country road.  Toward the end of a long day the salesman happen to see a farmer and his dog relaxing in the shade on the front porch of his little farm-house.  The salesman walked up to the farmer and started to sell him on the features and benefits of his company’s seeds.  Each time he started to talk the hound dog would start ‘bellowing’ and ‘barking’ loud as all get out.  Finally, after being interrupted 3 times by the old dog, the salesman asked the farmer, ‘Mister, what in the heck is wrong with your dog?’  The farmer replied, ‘ Oh, he is laying on a nail that is sticking up out of the porch.’  The salesman looking confused and asked, ‘Well if it’s hurting him why doesn’t he get up and move?’  The farmer said chuckling, ‘Well, it hurts enough to yell and complain about it but not enough to do something about it and move!'”

Everyone, and I mean everyone, is ‘bellowing’  and ‘barking’ about something in their life!  If it be their marriage, finances, job, health, children, relationships, government, depression, etc…  They are headed fast and furious for a painful and expensive train wreck such as a divorce, bankruptcy, major health issue, an estranged relationship, rebelling and hurting children, job loss, or maybe even a suicide.  The MFC is the best and least expensive ‘Preventative’ treatment on the planet to help you avoid a ‘life train wreck’ and to live ‘the life you always wanted’.  You truly can’t afford not to take the Mental Fitness Challenge!  For more information, find a LIFE distributor near you or go to http://www.mental-fitness-challenge.com.  Take a chance….Take the challenge!!!

THIRSTY?

The other day I was sitting in a Tim Hortons cafe, in a fairly affluent and conservative town, preparing for a conference call when I happened to  hear some young Tim Horton’s employees having a friendly discussion.  One girl said, ‘Boy, I sure am excited for the weekend!  I get to go see my dad.’  The other young gal said, ‘Your parents aren’t together anymore?’  To which the first replied, ‘No.  They got divorced when I was in elementary school.  My dad saw a show on TV of what signs to look for in your wife to see if she may be having an affair.  My dad saw the signs, and hired a private detective friend of his to follow my mom around.  The private detective says he caught my mom with another man.  My dad confronted my mom and she denied everything.  My dad still wanted to work it out despite not believing her.  My mom felt completely betrayed and decided to divorce my dad.  She still denies the affair to this day.  Anyway, I’m very excited to see my dad.  He is the light of my life and I hardly ever get to see him.’  The other girl, not to be outdone, said, ‘My parents got divorced when I was five.  My mom remarried and when I was 14 my step-dad killed himself in front of me and my mom.  After that, my real mom and dad got back together.  Weird, huh?  I’ve seen way to much for my age, but I think I’m doing all right.’  A few minutes later as I sat there processing all that I had just overheard, in walked the young manager who I had seen a couple of times before.  He said to the second young lady, ‘You’re pregnant again?  You’re back together with what’s his name?’  The young pregnant mom replied, ‘I am pregnant again, and yes, the same guy is the dad.  We got back together for a little bit, but now we are done for good.  He just got in trouble again and is going back to jail for 6 months.’

As I sat there in a sad and melancholy state, I became more and more convicted about what we do with LIFE.  As Orrin Woodward put it, ‘It is as though we are in a massive desert and have happened upon an endless well of water.  Fresh, clean, life-giving water, and everyone who passes by is dying of thirst!’  I have no doubt that If these girls were open to listening to a few LIFE CDs, reading great books like Rascal, Resolved or The Magic of Thinking Big, and commit to being part of a ‘Challenge group‘ every other Tuesday that they could totally get their lives on track and potentially turn the madness into gladness for future generations.  As Dale Carnegie said, ‘Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain….and most fools do!’  Chris Brady says, ‘The only way to truly be happy is to give happy’. What we do is so simple: start conversations, listen for needs, pass out some CDs, and lead the ones who liked the CDs to the Mental Fitness Challenge.  It’s that simple, just pay it forward!  There is nothing more fulfilling than knowing that what you are doing on a daily basis is fulfilling your purpose and making a difference.  We have our hands on something great!  Don’t play small!!  No fear, no excuses, no regrets……Take a chance!!!

‘Family Man’ to ‘Master Communicator’

I don’t know about you, but I am always a sucker for a good biography!  I love to read and learn about men and women who have become a master of their craft, whether it be in sports, business, leadership, you name it.  If the person in question is a master, Im interested.  While  doing a lot of reading and research on the topic of parenting, I ran across a biography of Dr. James Dobson called, ‘Family Man’ by Dale Buss.  In many circles, Dr. Dobson is considered the resident expert on parenting, as well the founder of the world renowned organization, ‘Focus on the Family’.  I was excited to potentially get some parenting insight from reading his personal story, what I didn’t expect to find was a proverbial treasure trove of insight on effective communication, specifically public speaking!

Dr. James Dobson’s business, purpose and passion for the last 45 years has been educating people across the world on fostering the family, biblical parenting and instilling family values into the up and coming generations. Over the last 45 years, Dr. Dobson has become what I would consider ‘a Master Communicator‘.  Listen to just a few of his credentials:

- Author of 26 books

- Co-author of 10 books

- 10,000+ hours of public speaking to hundreds of thousands of people across the world.

- Made his first film on parenting in the 70’s.  Over 100 million people watched it within 3 years. (before YouTube and blue-ray)

- Has been a guest on hundreds of television talk shows and news shows.

- Founder of Focus on the Family

- Host of Focus on the Family daily radio program for 25+ years.  A radio program that was translated into 12 different languages, broadcast to 7,000 stations worldwide, and heard by 220 million in 164 different countries.

- Said to be ‘The nation’s most influential Christian leader.’ Time magazine

What a great resource to learn how to effectively communicate from.  Dale Buss allots an entire chapter entitled ‘Packing the house‘ to how Dr. Dobson fine-tuned and mastered the craft of public speaking.  Here is a summary overview of how Dr. James Dobson became a master communicator:

1) You need a purpose and a passion to drive your engine. – Dr. Dobson did not enter his career with a belief that he was naturally  a good public speaker.  His passion for the family and family values drove him to work extremely hard on becoming an effective communicator.  One associate said that Dobson ‘worked harder than any other public speaker he knew, but didn’t want you to know it.’

2) Nothing can take the place of Preparation, Practice and PDCA.  – He would spend weeks putting together a talk, then plan small engagements where he could try out certain parts, points, and paces of delivery.  In the beginning he accepted every speaking engagement that came along to get more hours of what Geoff Colvin calls ‘Deliberate Practice’ on his way to the 10,000 hours Malcolm Gladwell says is typically required for ‘Mastery’.  He would drive hours in any direction to speak to 10-15 PTA members.  Dr. Dobson was continually refining his style, or as best-selling author Orrin Woodward says, ‘PDCAing’ (Planning, Doing, Checking and Adjusting).

3) Find and study other Master Communicators and their strengths. –  Dr. Dobson gives recognition to 5 master communicators for greatly influencing his speaking ability and style in Dale Buss’s book Family Man:

“James Dobson’s father had always shied away from emotionalism during his evangelistic messages.  The elder Dobson drew crowds with his humility, prayerfulness, and an integrity that shone through his words.  Dobson Jr. also had observed his uncle, the evangelist Holland B. London, engage audiences; his delivery was the opposite, rapid-fire and heavily emotional, bringing people to the precipice of tears one moment and swinging them to laughter the next.  One technique that Dobson Jr. borrowed from his father and uncle was the use of illustrations every three to four minutes.  Another influence was Rev. Reuben Welch, a Pasadena College professor.  Dobson said it felt like it was just you and he in a conversation when Rev. Welch spoke.  People relate more to someone who ‘talks’ with them rather than one who ‘speaks’ at them.  Dobson also learned a great deal from Jesus Christ who often addressed crowds using parables and stories.  Lastly, Dr. Dobson learned the crucial area of humor from watching Johnny Carson on the Tonight Show in the 80s.  He was always looking to pick up pointers from Carson’s mastery of pace and timing in his delivery.”

Dobson developed his unique style of speaking from studying and using the strengths of others.

4) Master the ability to Prepare, Speak and Teach by way of illustration and story.  He developed his own system for cataloging stories by creating an index of 3 basic categories – Prose, Ideas, and Humor, and putting them in 2 divisions: ‘What will speak’ and ‘what will write’.  He later was able to put his decades of cataloged stories in a computer database to make them easy to search and find like using an internet search engine.  If you think of or come across a good story, take time to jot it down on a notepad, smart phone, or planner, and when you get a chance, catalog them in some way in  your computer or a journal in order  to easily reference them anytime you need a good story to work into a talk.

Dr. Dobson said, “Always be watching for human stories and keep a record of every poignant one, and then when you speak, tell the stories and ask yourself, what concepts they illustrate.  Then you throw in a few concepts.  That’s how you influence people!”

Chris & Terri Brady are some of the best I have ever seen or heard at using stories to communicate, deliver and teach powerful principles that could otherwise be rather difficult to teach and hard to follow.  They are co-founders of Team and LIFE are an absolute pleasure to listen to and learn from.

5) You’ve got to keep it interesting, personal and humorous. – Dobson says, “You have to entertain them, reveal a bit of yourself, and have some humor.”  He recommends that you grab people’s attention in the first 2 or 3 minutes of your talk, and every 3 or 4 minutes there after you must have something in your speech that is really worth listening to.  He says that most speakers aren’t willing to pay the price to keep the talk interesting, personal and humorous.  The price of preparation, practice, and PDCA.

Another great example of a master communicator who is able to grab and keep your interest the entire time is Mr. Claude Hamilton.  He always keeps it interesting with stories and examples, is very transparent to add that personal touch, and is full of humor.  The reason I mention this is because I just listened to an audio of his last night, and was laughing, smiling and learning the entire length of  the CD.

Dr. Dobson states that he has developed a barometer in his head that measures people’s interest level while he is speaking.  It measures surface noise (shuffling, texting, time checking, talking, and coughing) in the audience to indicate whether you are connecting or not.

I trust these 5 points have been helpful, knowing that we are fully vested in the information age and what author Robert Putnam calls the age of ‘Social Capital’, or measuring wealth in relationships.  An age where we can’t afford not to learn how to communicate effectively. Public Speaking is a vital component of heralding the message that furthers your passion and your purpose!  I hope you have enjoyed learning from Dr. James Dobson, one of the master communicators and statesmen of our time!  God bless, KB