The Internet Age is a peculiar one in which the small can make themselves appear big. In a world now ablaze with information, we are bombarded by companies and individuals who present themselves as being something more than their actual substance. We also witness the obscure, bizarre, disgruntled, unprincipled, and undisciplined having access to a voice louder than merit would bestow.
This is why it is tremendously refreshing to see that sometimes the exact opposite is true. Occasionally some individual or organization dedicated to excellence and toiling upward far from the hot light of personal glory sometimes receives recognition that is due, and perhaps even over due. This occurs most justly when it has not been sought either directly or indirectly.
Yesterday I received an innocuous email seemingly no different from the other 100 that come in on a daily basis. I opened it with no more anticipation than one opens a phone bill. But as I read through its contents I was warmed by its announcement that my friend and business partner Orrin Woodward had received the prestigious IAB Top Small Business Award Top Leadership Website for 2011. IAB is the International Association of Businesses, a worldwide membership of business owners more than 1 million members strong. For this year’s award, Orrin Woodward was up against the likes of leadership giants such as Jim Collins, John Maxwell, Stephen Covey, Ken Blanchard, Tony Robbins, and Jack Welch, among others. It is an incredible honor just to be among such icons of the industry, but to finish first is absolutely impressive.
Those of us who have worked beside Orrin Woodward these many years and witnessed what he has done in the world of leadership development understand that this award is well deserved. It is indeed exciting to see that others are taking notice of work that is done largely without fanfare or acclaim. As long-time Chairman of the Policy Council of the Team, a leadership development service provider, and (this past year) as one of the principle founders of the LIFE business, dedicated to bringing life-changing leadership training to everyone, Orrin Woodward has “stood tall in the pocket,” working tirelessly for excellence, setting a solid vision for the future, and standing firm upon conviction. In a world where success and timeless principles are under attack from envy and entitlement thinking, Orrin Woodward has remained resolute that a better life can be lived by anyone seeking to take personal responsibility and align their lives with fundamental principles. It is sometimes an unpopular stand to take. People don’t always like to be told the truth. The rules of success are hard and merciless. People often choose to blame the messenger instead of facing the mirror. But Orrin Woodward is not a student of convenience, nor a cohort of mediocrity, but rather a revolutionary for personal developmental excellence and a “no excuse” lifestyle of greatness. Whereas in many cases these would be mere high-sounding words, in the case of Orrin Woodward they are well deserved.
Congratulations Orrin, to you and your entire organization. You have earned it, and yet, it is only the beginning!