One of the absolute BEST leadership books I have ever read is RESOLVED: 13 Resolutions For LIFE by Orrin Woodward! Orrin Woodward is a NewYork Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Money Magazine, and Business Weekly best selling author! As a side note: He has a new book released on April 16th titled LeaderShift Co-authored with Oliver DeMille. Resolutions were commonplace in our culture during the time of the founding of our country. Many factors have contributed to the decline in our practice of resolutions. I want to encourage you join a growing number of people who are taking this idea seriously. As a leader or someone who wants to be a bigger or better leader I cannot emphasize your need to read and implement the information in this book. Let me briefly cover the resolutions.
The First five resolutions cover personal or private achievements. Each one builds upon the prior leading into the public achievements, resolutions six thru 9. The final four (No. I’m not talking about basketball) resolutions culminate to build your leadership achievements. These 13 resolutions are designed to be implemented one at a time for one week each, covering 13 weeks or about 90 days or 3 months! Enter the 90 Day Mental Fitness Challenge (MFC). This program takes the 13 resolutions and wraps a whole program around your own website with 360 degree feedback and so much more! The MFC gives you measurable results in a reasonable amount of time! It is truly life changing! Yes. I took the challenge myself and yes, it changed my life! OK back to the resolutions…
6) Resolved: I resolve to keep score in the game of life (Keeping Score)
Orrin begins the chapter with the following statement: “I know that the scoreboard forces me to check and confront the results, making the needed adjustments in order to win.” In engineering terms, this resolution encompasses the C and A parts of the PDCA (Plan, Do, Check, Adjust) process. “The CHECK step is the scoreboard of life”. If you are not getting the results you want in life you may need to check the scoreboard and then ADJUST. By confronting brutal reality you will find that your own self-delusion is washed away exposing your own personal success. It’s the only way. Orrin says “Success is practically assured when a person realizes that he is responsible for his own perpetual personal development process.” Success is simply the PDCA journey of learning. This quote by Orrin sums it all up so perfectly; “The goal is to improve both personally and professionally, closing the gap between where one is and where one desires to be.”
7) Resolved: I resolve to develop the art and science of friendship (Friendship)
Few people have ever taken the time to write about the art of friendship and the importance and impact that a true friendship can have within our own personal lives or on society as a whole. One of the great friendships that Orrin discusses in this resolution is the friendship between J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. Orrin gives examples of how these two great men exemplified the eight principles of true friendship. 1) True friends form around shared insights. 2) true friends accept one another. 3) True friends approve one another. 4) True friends appreciate one another . 5) True friends listen with empathy. 6) True friends celebrate one another’s success. 7) True friends are trustworthy. 8) True friends are loyal. True friendship is a lost are in today’s society. In 1985 the average person had 2.94 very close friends according to the American Sociological Review. That number dropped by nearly one-third down to 2.08 friends in 2004. In the last 9 years I can only imagine how low that number has dropped. We can change that tide by choosing to be a better friend. By making an effort to be a better friend, you will find that more people want to be your friend. This is something I love about the LIFE business; real community, real friends, real fun!
8) Resolved: I resolve to develop financial intelligence (Financial Management)
“As a person moves from private achievements into public achievements, he will find his ability to make money increases.” This is truly one of the most important areas that we each need to learn and improve our understanding in. Orrin says Financial Literacy and management is as valuable, if not more so, than the ability to earn income. We must understand some basic principles such as: Debt enslaves you, Interest can work for or against you, Make more than you spend and spend less than you make. These principles and more can be found, learned and applied in your life to help you achieve the next level in getting your finances under control. A great resource for this is the Maximize Your Finances Pack from LIFE. I have personally seen the results from this pack’s information being applied in a person’s life. I have seen results in own personal finances from applying these principles. I encourage you to do the same. This resolution is THAT important!
9) Resolved: I resolve to develop the art and science of leadership (Leadership Resolution)
Regardless of the community you are involved in at work, church, social groups, or sports teams, everything rises or falls based on the leadership therein! My goal through this blog is to help you in your leadership journey by proving any information that can help you become a better leader. Orrin compares sports leaders and business leaders; “Leaders in sports win by developing and executing game plans consistently to fulfill the purpose of the organization…. business leadership is similar but with one significant difference. In a Free Enterprise environment, a business leader doesn’t just execute the game plan, he must first creat a game out of his business.” Orrin lays out a simple way to help in this process as he describes the process of treating business as a game to establish leadership. The steps involved are 1) Define the Game, 2) Track Parameter, 3) Educate Team Parameters, 4) Play and Score Game, 5) Study Score, 6) Make Adjustments in PDCA, Then back to number one and rotate. One of the best descriptions of leadership is found in the example of a current in swimming pool. If one person starts creating a current by moving in one direction and others begin to jump in and help move the current in that one direction, eventually anyone who joins the group will get swept along with the current without any effort at all. The converse is true as well. If a leader wants to change the direction of an existing culture or current, He will face tremendous force against him at first. This is the truest test of a leader: to face an existing current and tenaciously jump in to change it and influence others to join in helping to change the direction.
The following Resolutions I will cover in part 3.
10) Resolved: I resolve to develop the art of conflict resolution (Conflict Resolution)
11) Resolved: I resolve to develop systems thinking (Systems Thinking)
12) Resolved: I resolve to develop Adversity Quotient (Adversity Quotient)
13) Resolved: To reverse the current of decline in my field of mastery (Legacy)