“The higher you want to climb, the more you need leadership. The greater the impact you want to make, the greater your influence needs to be.” John Maxwell
When I was first introduced to the leadership concepts taught in the Team training system and the-life-business, my eyes were opened to a new way of thinking. I believe if anyone is going to have significance in any area, they must pass through three phases. Orrin Woodward is the ultimate example of a man who has demonstrated excellence is all three phases discussed; especially in the field of leadership and influence.
When someone gets started in anything, the journey seems long and treacherous. It is here where we find out who we are. It is here where we develop a spine; where our patience is tested and where we make decisions that could change the course of our lives forever. When we talk about ‘making it’ it isn’t always defined by results or money, I see it as defined by character and heart. For example: I ran a half marathon about 5 years ago when I was in college. It was something I always knew I wanted to do but never thought I could. So when I started to train for this race, my goal was to finish; it wasn’t to finish in the top 10 or break any records. I didn’t know a lot about distance running but over the course of my training I did learn a lot more than when I started. The entire process was painful, not only did the training leading up to the race require a lot of discipline, the race itself was no walk in the park. The course had a lot of hills and I pulled my hamstring at the 10.5 mile mark. It would have been easy to walk off the course and say that I was injured and be done; but my mind was already made up, I was going to finish what I started – and I did. I believe if anyone wants to move to a mastery level in anything, they have to make it first by developing the character and heart to decide to finish what they started. This is true with any beginner in any process. But I knew by just completing one half marathon I certainly wasn’t a master runner. I only started the process of knowing I could run.
Orrin Woodward reminds us that 10,000 hours is a requirement for mastery in any craft. If we know this, then why do so few people make it past their 10,000 hours? I am going to use the same example above but go beyond myself to someone who has mastered competitive running. In my leadership group I am working with a man who is a professional in the ‘running world.’ Just in the last four years, Matthew Mooney has completed two full Roman’s, one full marathon, 7 half iron man’s, 10 or more half marathons and over 30 half triathlon’s and running races. He has also completed the 24 hour Ragner Relay from Madison to Chicago (avg 34 miles per person) and is completing this same race again this year. We could all agree that Matt has thoroughly exhausted his 10,000 hours and reached the level of mastery in his craft. The reason most people don’t reach this level in whatever the endeavor is because comfort becomes way more attractive than the discomfort associated with the process of mastery. Our society paints this picture that it’s okay to just ‘make it.’ It’s great that someone makes a decision to do something, but if that person never excels beyond their comfort zone, then what purpose does it serve? A person can decide to get a job and then show up to work everyday and be satisfied that they followed through with their decision to get a job. But if that person never moves past that decision into a passionate profession where they can go on to master their craft, then their initial decision to ‘make it’ will never really matter.
Before I go on to explain, I want to provide a disclaimer first. Very few people reach this phase. And it’s not because it’s impossible or because you have to be some kind of special person to get here, it’s because this phase can sometimes take a lifetime to get to and many people lack the persistence and courage to stay the course long enough to reach it. Not only does this phase require the character and heart to finish what they started and to reach mastery beyond their 10,000 hours, but it requires a hunger to develop beyond what has already been done. One’s purpose is generally wrapped around this craft and no longer is this a plan for themselves but one that will be left behind for future generations. Generally someone who reaches this phase see’s this endeavor as their legacy. This is how they will be remembered. There are countless examples of men and women throughout history and even names we recognize today that have made it to this phase and we know them today as hero’s. My life’s mission is to reach this phase before I die.
Orrin Woodward has gone far beyond the level of mastery in his craft and has created something that matters in our culture today. He exemplifies these three phases in every thought, word and deed; and he has created something that we can all make it in, master and matter. It is my prayer that anyone reading this today see’s their destiny in something that will matter and spends their lifetime fulfilling that destiny.