Monday, January 31, 2005

Orrin Woodward - H.D.T. & S.S.

"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined."- Henry David Thoreau

"A great deal of talent is lost to the world for want of a little courage. Every day sends to their graves obscure men whose timidity prevented them from making a first effort."- Sydney Smith

Saw these and was reminded of Orrin Woodward - a man of courage, a dreamer.

Why not live the life you imagined? Can you honestly say that today's four meetings at work were about what you reallly value in life? Think back. Think hard.

What will be the reward for all your effort, for all the years of attending meeting after meeting after meeting after meeting? Will you be pushed out without the pension you thought you were going to get? Or will you get a smaller than expected pension to match those ever-diminishing medical benefits? What kind of life will you really have?

You can have the life of your dreams. All that is required is that you make the first effort - that you begin.

That's what Orrin Woodward did. That's what I did. That is what you can do.

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Orrin Woodward - Emerson

"The characteristic of heroism is persistency. All men have wandering impulses, fits and starts of generosity. But when you have chosen your part, abide by it, and do not weakly try to reconcile yourself with the world. The heroic cannot be the common, nor the common heroic. Yet we have the weakness to expect the sympathy of people in those actions whose excellence is that they outrun sympathy and appeal to a tardy justice. If you would serve your brother because it is fit for you to serve him, do not take back your words when you find that prudent people do not commend you." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Orrin Woodward invited me and we invite you - to choose your part, to be uncommon, even when those "prudent" people do not commend you. Quit trying to reconcile yourself with the world.

Yours can be a heroic life.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Orrin Woodward - Herb Kelleher

Here's a quote from Herb Kelleher, CEO of Southwest Airlines on Leadership:

"I'd describe leadership as servanthood. The best leaders, I think, have to be good followers as well. You have to be quite willing to accept other people's ideas even when they are in conflict with your own. You have to be willling to subjugate your ego to the needs of your business. You have to be willing to take risks for your people. If you won't fight for your people, you can count on your people not fighting for you."

An accurate description of Orrin Woodward and many of the other leaders on the team as well.

Friday, January 28, 2005

Orrin Woodward - Disraeli

Two quotes by Benjamin Disraeli that bring to mind Orrin Woodward:

"The greatest good you can do for another is not just share your riches, but to reveal to him his own."

"The more extensive a man's knowledge of what has been done, the greater will be his power of knowing what to do."

Thanks Orrin, for always doing for me the first, and being a great example for all of us of the second.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Orrin Woodward - Pat Riley

Hey, I found a great quote by basketball coach Pat Riley that reminds me of Orrin Woodward.

Riley has formulated what he calls "Riley's Laws of Motivation" which says: "You motivate yourself by trying to develop another reason above and beyond the natural motivation of just wanting to be successful. Everyone wants to win a championship. The ones who can really separate themselves from the pack are those who understand what it takes to sustain excellence. They understand that you have to get away from a "to have" mentality and prioritize "to be" ahead of "to have". And when you're thinking about being the very best, you're thinking about making sure that you're being a person, a performer, of whom you can be proud."

I am proud to be a part of a great team and I'm proud to follow a man like Orrin Woodward because of who he is. (BTW, I found this quote in a great book entitled "The Paradox of Power" by Pat Williams. I recommend it!)

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Orrin Woodward - Margaret Thatcher

Found another great quote in "The Paradox of Power", the Pat Williams book. On page 176, Pat quotes Margaret Thatcher describing Orrin Woodward! Listen to this as she describes the four ingredients to being a great leader:

"First, know what matters to you. Have a set of principles and follow them. Your principles serve as the foundation of your leadership.

Second, speak up! Be bold and fearless about asserting your principles.

Third, anticipate problems. Use information, instinct and intuition to forsee problems and crises before anyone else does.

Fourth, make bold decisions. Base your decisions on your principles and on the information and the insight you have. Meet problems and opportunities head-on, then take bold action. Those are the four ingredients of a great leader."

OK, so Lady Thatcher wasn't describing Orrin at that particular moment, but she was describing Orrin. He embodies all four ingredients. Orrin Woodward is a great leader.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Orrin Woodward - Doing All That Can Be Done

One of my favorite Ronald Regan quotes:

"You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We will preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we will sentence them to take the first step into a thousand years of darkness. If we fail, at least let our children and our children's children say of us we justified our brief moment here. We did all that could be done." - Ronald Reagan

Reminds me of Orrin Woodward.

Of Orrin I can happily say, he is doing "all that can be done."

Monday, January 24, 2005

Why I Hired Orrin Woodward

I think it was back in 1997, (could have been '96) when a friend asked me if I was looking for new consultants. "Of course." was my response. "I think I've got a guy you'd be interested in" he said. "What can you tell me about the guy?" My friend described a young man named Orrin Woodward, 25 years old, working at GM who had four (4) patents (all, I believe, in production) and had just become the youngest winner of a prestigious national engineering award - the National Benchmarking award.

Those credentials piqued my interest. I graduated from the same engineering undergrad school as this young man (GMI - General Motors Institute -- now Kettering University) and had been around engineers most of my adult life. Darn few of them even had one patent to their name, let alone four. And the winner of a national engineering award is usually "in demand". I agreed to meet him for a coffee and size him up.

The first thing that impressed me about Orrin was his positive attitude. He was interested in checking out the world of consulting he said and he had done a smart thing. He asked a gentleman (my friend) who knew alot of engineers and some engineering consultants to recommend some to him and vice-versa. Orrin told me that he was considering a career change, just as I had done when I left GM in 1987 to strike out on my own. He was considering taking a short leave of absence from GM to do some consulting and make an informed life decision based on the experience. Smart.

I asked him to develop a proposal for a Benchmarking study that I could deliver to some of the VPs of Engineering I knew from my years of consulting. (Some years before I met Orrin, Ford Motor Company had contracted with me to train all of their Tier 1 suppliers in Europe and Australia, many of their suppliers in the US and many of their own staff around the world as well. I knew alot of VPs.) If any of them expressed an interest, we could talk money. He agreed.

Orrin had an inner intensity about him that was compelling - which I realized was a passion for winning. You can see it in some men's eyes. I knew I was looking at a winner. But he wasn't cocky. He just had a calm confidence - an eagerness that I liked and, Orrin was personable. I had a feeling that when I put him in a conference room with an Engineering VP and a few of his staff that the young man would hold his own. I wasn't disappointed.

More of the story in a future post....

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Orrin Woodward - Success

"To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; to leave the world a little better; whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is the meaning of success." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

A better description of Orrin Woodward could not be written.

Of course, that's just my opinion.

Well, mine and probably about seventy thousand other people.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Orrin Woodward - Gratitude

I want the world to know the reasons I decided to get into business with Orrin Woodward and why I'll stick with this business for the rest of my life.

Let’s cut to the chase.

Thanks to Orrin Woodward and the greatest leadership development system in the world, my wife and I no longer work at a "job". We have two children in college and we are debt free excluding our home. We have wonderful friendships. We have a much stronger faith in God and our marriage is stronger. We are both more physically fit than when we worked from 9 to 5 (6 to 6 in my case) because we have the time to work out on a regular basis. We feel younger, far less stressed, and we have more energy. Overall, our quality of life has improved dramatically. We are able to contribute both time and money to causes we believe in. And let me make this very clear - we owe it all to our relationship with Orrin & Laurie Woodward. Sound corney? Well, you would have had to walk in my shoes for the past few years to be qualified to make a judgement like that.

In my next post, I'll tell you how I met Orrin Woodward and why I hired him back then as a consultant in my Engineering Consulting business.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Orrin Woodward - Listening

Ran across this paragraph on listening today which put me in mind of Orrin Woodward.

"In our time-starved society, attentiveness and listening skills seem to have fallen to the wayside. In order to make those with whom you communicate feel important, brush up on your listening skills. Make sure to give the speaker your undivided attention: regardless of how great you are at multi-tasking, treating an individual as a "task" is not a good idea. Eye-contact, nodding in agreement, asking leading questions and using your face to provide feedback also contribute to a positive communication experience that will foster the growth of the relationship."

Sound advice. I wonder if anyone is listening...

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Orrin Woodward - Reading

As I considered Orrin Woodward's voracious appetite for books, (the man reads 2-3 books each week and has done so since we made our acquaintance some six years ago) I was reminded of these pithy comments regarding the subject, made by a prodigious reader himself, Morton Blackwell of the Leadership Institute:

"Some people bluntly say they don't read.

Others offer an excuse: They would read if only they had the time.

I will also be blunt: People who don't read cheat themselves. By not reading, they limit what they can achieve, make mistakes they could avoid, and miss opportunities that could improve their lives. Finally, as the gaps in their knowledge become apparent, they must reconcile themselves to not being taken seriously."

Well said Mr. Blackwell.

So dear reader, I wonder....
Are you being taken seriously?

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Orrin Woodward - Leadership

"The leader is one who mobilizes others toward a goal shared by leaders and followers...Leaders, followers and goals make up the three equally necessary supports for leadership." - Gary Wills

Orrin Woodward has all three covered. And then some.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Orrin Woodward - Leadership

"Men make history and not the other way around. In periods where there is no leadership, society stands still. Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better." - Harry Truman

Mark my words, Orrin Woodward is making history.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Orrin Woodward - Possibilities

Here's yet another quote that fits this time of year:

"The Old Year has gone. Let the dead past bury its own dead. The New Year has taken possession of the clock of time. All hail the duties and possibilities of the coming twelve months!"- Edward Payson Powell

Orrin Woodward would second that! The Team is going to have its best year yet. We're comin' alive in 2005! Don't believe it?

Check back in December.

Friday, January 07, 2005

Orrin Woodward and the New Year

Saw a quote that I had to share:

"Every man should be born again on the first day of January. Start with a fresh page. Take up one hole more in the buckle if necessary, or let down one, according to circumstances; but on the first of January let every man gird himself once more, with his face to the front, and take no interest in the things that were and are past."- Henry Ward Beecher

Solid advice to be sure. Orrin Woodward would add one caveat. "Be sure you Learned Something from the things that were and are past; or, "The lesson will continue until the lesson is learned."

Monday, January 03, 2005

Orrin Woodward & George Washington - Final 10

Here at last are the final 10 of the behavioral maxims so indelibly self-imprinted on our country's first President, and for that matter no doubt, countless other future leaders, not among the least of whom is Orrin Woodward of the Team.

101st Rince not your Mouth in the Presence of Others.

102nd It is out of use to call upon the Company often to Eat nor need you Drink to others every Time you Drink.

103rd In Company of your Betters be not longer in eating than they are lay not your Arm but only your hand upon the table.

104th It belongs to the Chiefest in Company to unfold his Napkin and fall to Meat first, But he ought then to Begin in time & to Dispatch with Dexterity that the Slowest may have time allowed him.

105th Be not Angry at Table whatever happens & if you have reason to be so, Shew it not but on a Chearfull Countenance especially if there be Strangers for Good Humour makes one Dish of Meat a Feast.

106th Set not yourself at the upper of the Table but if it Be your Due or that the Master of the house will have it So, Contend not, least you Should Trouble the Company.

107th If others talk at Table be attentive but talk not with Meat in your Mouth.

108th When you Speak of God or his Atributes, let it be Seriously & [wt.] Reverence. Honour & Obey your Natural Parents altho they be Poor.

109th Let your Recreations be Manfull not Sinfull.

110th Labour to keep alive in your Breast that Little Spark of Celestial fire Called Conscience.

Well, there they are. A few additional table manners and bringing the list to a close, a final strong three regarding spirituality. I need not elaborate, but I cannot resist imploring you dear reader, to pay the closest attention to #110.

I am thankful that our first (and in my humble opinion, our finest) president did, and that my friend, Orrin Woodward does.