Biblical Friendship of David and Jonathan

Friendship is born at that moment when one man says to another: “What! You too? I thought that no one but myself . . .”
- CS Lewis
The Bible is full of friendships.  We can learn a lot about ourselves and our own relationships by looking at those in the Bible.
In this article, and my next one, I’ll be looking at some of the most famous biblical friendships ever. As you’re reading the Bible this week, why not look out for some of the friendships and relationships described there. What things in those relationships are similar to your life? What can we learn about God from them?

David and Jonathan – They Should Have Been Enemies

One of the most famous friendships of the Bible has to be that of David and Jonathan. When they met, David had been chosen by God to be the future king of the Israelites, but Jonathan’s father (Saul) who was the king at the time, wanted to kill David.

However, Jonathan took a real liking to David.  He made a promise to him, he loved him, he gave him presents and provided for him. He warned David about plots against him by his father, he spoke out for him to his father and he used his influence to keep him safe.
Friendship Requires Self-Sacrifice
It’s not surprising that Jonathan was the main player in the relationship at first, because as the son of the king, he was the one with the power in this relationship.
But it is a power that he used for the good of his friend – and at a cost to himself. Every time he kept David safe or promoted his interests, he was destroying his own chances of inheriting his father’s throne. Jonathan’s friendship with David was at the cost of his own career and reputation!
Friendship Requires Loyalty
Jonathan was a friend with some pretty impressive qualities. His loyalty to David, and courage in the face of political pressure, and an angry, murderous father was unquestioned. He had the humility to say openly that he would never be king. He followed up his commitments, he was generous and he did it all ‘before the Lord’. He showed genuine affection, loyalty and openness. He was the friend everyone would love to have!
But David was not just a passive ‘taker’ in all of this either. As time went on their friendship grew so that by the end it was definitely a two-way relationship between equals.  When the pair had to part, the story says that David ‘wept the most.’ At Jonathan’s death, David showed immense grief.
Friendship Requires Real Commitment
One of the particularly beautiful aspects of this friendship was the way David and Jonathan promised to do good to each others family and descendents. They knew that as technical rivals to the same throne, it was more than likely that their families and heirs could grow to hate each other and try to eliminate their opponents. They took steps to stop the cycle of rivalry and hate – and as time went on, it worked!
Jonathan and David’s friendship has a lot to teach us about power, self-sacrifice and loyalty.
How do you treat your friends?
Most of us today are unlikely to be in a situation where we become best friends with our greatest rivals, but we may stand to lose status, money or power because of a friendship. Are we willing to put our friends first?  I hope so.
God Bless,

Are You Left, Right, or In the Middle?

Over years of a self-directed education, having read many books on a variety of topics including history and politics, I always try to step back and look at the facts as they are and not as I want them to be.   With that in mind, I’d like to share a video from Edward Griffin, an excellent researcher and historian.  I don’t agree with him on everything, but he offers some thought-provoking insights on our political parties.
In this clip, Griffin shares a bone-chilling question that was asked by a university history professor who actually mentored William Clinton while he was a student (a question that is the opposite of what I personally stand for.)  The question asked was:
“How do you let people think they are directing their own political destiny, while at the same time we, the elite, are [actually] the ones  directing their political destiny, without them [the people] knowing it?”
The answer, once you hear it, will cast a light on the political charade we see in our government today.  Remember: we can’t make our world better until we understand it.
The video below casts light on things many of us have wondered or felt from time to time, and answers some questions about why we are stuck as a country and not following any one party’s “agenda” but really following an agenda we are not even aware of.  Thankfully, through LIFE Leadership, we have excellent books like Orrin Woodward’s And Justice For All that help us all continue a self-directed political education.  Enjoy the video!
God bless,

Financial Fitness for kids!

Hey gang!  Very excited to see this press release from PR Web, regarding our upcoming Financial Fitness for Kids products.


It’s exciting to be a part of a business that provides world-class information to people of all ages.  LIFE Leadership, led by New York Times bestselling author and Inc Magazine leadership expert Orrin Woodward, continues to produce information that will truly change the world.

God Bless, Tim

Here is the link and the article in its entirety:


Coming Soon: ‘Financial Fitness for Teens’ Book, New Addition to the Edge Products from LIFE Leadership Designed to Empower Youth to Build a Successful FutureLIFE Leadership, an organization dedicated to providing entrepreneurs, business professionals, teachers, parents, ministers, and others with the tools to live fulfilling lives and build successful careers and businesses, will soon be releasing a new book, ‘Financial Fitness for Teens,’ as part of its Edge products designed to support youth in developing self-confidence and learning the principles of personal growth and success. The ‘Edge’ book by LIFE Leadership cofounders and ‘New York Times’ bestselling authors Chris Brady and Orrin Woodward, published in November of 2013, was the first book released as part of the Edge program.


In a world that rarely takes the time to stop and explain how to succeed, Edge puts into words the formula for life-long success!


(PRWEB) August 07, 2014


While LIFE Leadership normally focuses on adults with its numerous programs and materials that teach self-development skills and support personal and professional growth, the organization’s founders say they realize that young people can also benefit significantly from teaching and motivation to achieve their goals. “There is no age limit on success or the thinking behind it,” says LIFE Leadership cofounder and Edge creator Chris Brady.


Wanting to offer youth within the targeted age range of twelve through eighteen the opportunity to get a head start in life by learning from the experience and wisdom of those who have already “been there and done that,” the company released a program called Edge in 2012. Brady says, “As adults, how many of us have had the thought: ‘If only I’d known THEN what I know NOW…’ The Edge Series is designed to transfer that knowledge to the next generation NOW!”

The company says the Edge Series is a hard-core, no-frills series of audio messages that teach leadership and success principles, promote self-confidence, and encourage drive and motivation. They created the monthly series to give youth timely advice and information on common obstacles they may face as well as true stories of success from famous and fascinating people, including but not limited to entrepreneurs, leadership experts, sports figures, and other youth who have already begun applying the principles taught and achieving certain levels of success for themselves. A subscription to the series costs $10.00 per month.

As an accompaniment to the monthly audio series, LIFE Leadership will be releasing its second book for the youth Edge program, ‘Financial Fitness for Teens,’ in September. The goal of the book is to teach young people all about the basics of personal finance and make it easy and enjoyable to put the lessons to use in everyday life. Topics covered include the different ways to make money, saving, budgeting, investing, and more.

The first book in the Edge program, entitled simply ‘Edge,’ was written by ‘New York Times’ bestselling authors Chris Brady and Orrin Woodward and released in November of 2013. The authors say it offers insight, inspiration, and practical advice for young people in all areas of life based on their personal experience and the lessons they have learned throughout their many years of being engineers, entrepreneurs, husbands, fathers, friends, and Christians. The book also features two popular cartoon characters created by author Chris Brady: Obstaclés, the fiendish antagonist who personifies the obstacles to success that everyone faces, and Rascal, the brave, determined hero figure who strives for excellence and persistently overcomes Obstaclés at every turn. The authors also encourage readers to challenge themselves to “Find Obstaclés” hiding throughout the pages of the book (much like playing “Where’s Waldo?” created by British illustrator Martin Handford) as an entertaining way to solidify the lessons taught in their minds and receive encouragement to face any annoying, real-life obstacles to success.

The company anticipates releasing more books for teens in the coming months. The owners say that the Edge booksand the monthly Edge Series, in conjunction together, aim to provide life-changing information to help young people develop a keen eye and the good sense to easily spot and overcome obstacles to success. The ongoing monthly audio series is designed to help subscribers break the principles and lessons taught in the books into small chunks and dig deep into the thought-provoking information and ideas so they can easily assimilate and implement the material and create permanent habits that lead to success.


Entrepreneurs Marc and Kristine Militello, customers and fans of the Edge products, say the Edge Series has helped their kids build “a foundation they can follow for the rest of their lives.” As an example of how the materials have impacted their children’s lives, Kristine said, “Our daughter joined a new softball team this winter—mid season. The coach told us, ‘Our entire team changed when your daughter joined. We needed a leader, and that is what she is.’” Marc says, “In a world that rarely takes the time to stop and explain how to succeed, Edge puts into words the formula for life-long success!”


The LIFE Leadership founders and creators of Edge say they realize that “LIFE Leadership is nearly alone in providing character-based leadership development for youth,” so they designed their unique Edge program to give youth the chance to start learning valuable life lessons ahead of the pack because they know “it’s never too early to get an Edge.” The message they would like to get out there to youth today is: “No one else can be who you are or do what you do. All your dreams deserve your best efforts, so get Edge and get a head start on accomplishing them!”


About the Edge Series and Books:

LIFE Leadership offers the Edge products, including a monthly audio subscription program and books by ‘New York Times’ bestselling authors Chris Brady and Orrin Woodward as well as other models of leadership in action, to today’s youth to help them make a difference in their lives at the earliest possible point. Brady and Woodward hope to use the life-changing and thought-provoking information in these books and audios to help young people get an Edge on life and start working toward their dreams now.





Young CEO Credits LIFE Leadership!

Hey gang!  Just saw this on PR Web and wanted to share.  A wonderful endorsement to the power of the LIFE Leadership information!  Here is the article in its entirety.

God Bless, Tim


Travis Allen, Founder of iSchool Initiative, to Speak at Walt Disney World® Conference on June 25, 2014

Travis Allen is the president and CEO of iSchool Initiative. He is speaking on June 25, 2014, about the evolution of technology in the classroom at the Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence 2014 Educator Leadership Institute held at Walt Disney World® Resort, FL, as part of the Disney Youth Education Series.

(PRWEB) July 23, 2014

Recently, Readers Legacy PR spoke with Travis Allen, the young CEO of iSchool Initiative, about the success his company has experienced, the inspiration from LIFE Leadership that made him who he is today, and his upcoming speech at a Walt Disney World® educators conference. Allen was a high school student five years ago; today, he is the president and CEO of his own company. His meteoric rise to success, however, is not an accident. He attributes his vision for creating his company in part to the inspiration he received from the informational and motivational materials offered by LIFE Leadership.

Allen frequently used technology to take notes, read books, and perform other tasks when he was in high school. However, his school had a zero-tolerance policy for cell phone use, and he was reprimanded for the usage. Troubled by this problem, Allen soon created a YouTube video about one-to-one mobile learning and how it could transform the educational industry. The video soon went viral, and the educational world began to pay attention to Travis’s message that technology and education can, in fact, be combined effectively to engender authentic student engagement and increased learning.

Through this experience, the idea for iSchool Initiative was born. The foundation for this successful company was built over the next few years, ignited and fueled by LIFE Leadership’s products, speeches, and events. Following LIFE Leadership’s example, Travis started iSchool with a team that gave motivational speeches to build awareness of how technology could be successfully paired with education. These teachings became widespread and sought-after, and the Digital Learning Revolution (DLR) mobile classroom on wheels was born. Today, Allen’s company also offers professional development, consulting, and a mobile toolkit. Nearly 90 percent of the work is with teachers in grades K through 12. To date, the company has recruited several large clients, including a $1.4 million account, from schools that wish to purchase large numbers of iPads for their classrooms.

Travis Allen credits the insight and encouragement he received from a LIFE Leadership convention he attended in Ohio with helping to move his company forward. Says Allen, “LIFE leadership has been the fuel to our vehicle, and it’s what kept us going, motivated and inspired to change the world. It’s us in the trenches; we’re the ones doing the work. But it’s so vital that we have that support and constant fuel to keep us excited and energized to change the world.”

One of the products that Allen says benefited him greatly is the ‘Mental Fitness Challenge (MFC)’ created by LIFE Leadership cofounders Orrin Woodward and Chris Brady to help participants grow and improve in thirteen key areas of life set forth in Woodward’s acclaimed book ‘RESOLVED: 13 Resolutions for LIFE.’ Through this all-encompassing three-month subscription, clients receive access to an interactive website, a self-assessment test, ninety days worth of worksheets, audios, videos, and books written by Woodward and Brady, and so much more. Among the bestselling books included is a copy of Brady’s and Woodward’s ‘Launching a Leadership Revolution,’ which is one of Travis’s favorites. He equates the foundational principles put in place for iSchool with the teaching found in this informative guide to increasing leadership effectiveness.

Now, Travis is taking his teachings from LIFE Leadership and his continually growing business prowess and sharing his wisdom at a Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence educator conference held at Walt Disney World Resort, FL, June 23 – 25, 2014, as part of the Disney Youth Education Series. Thanks to LIFE Leadership, Travis Allen and iSchool continue to help teachers understand the technological culture and buy in to the idea that education can effectively incorporate the latest devices. He and his company aim to revolutionize the American education system and promote a culture of lifelong learning.

About Travis Allen and iSchool:
At only seventeen years old, Travis Allen had a dream that schools would change their approach to integrating technology in the classroom. Today, iSchool helps teachers, administrators, and students understand how technological advances can be incorporated into everyday teaching and revolutionize learning. His employees are all subscribed to Rascal Radio, a personal and professional development product of LIFE Leadership, and he continually puts the ideas he learns from LIFE Leadership to work in his company.

About LIFE Leadership:
LIFE Leadership develops and inspires current and future leaders. With the belief that applying the right information consistently over time can produce lasting change and increased influence, the company provides life-changing informational materials to business professionals, administrators, community service leaders, pastors, teachers, parents, and more to help them increase their leadership effectiveness, passionately pursue their purpose, and live the lives they’ve always wanted.

US Graduate Students Disillusioned with Job Prospects

Hey gang!  A friend passed on this article from the New York Daily News and I wanted to share it with you.  It’s shocking to consider how few students graduate and find a job (40% of graduates of unemployed), let alone a job that meets their salary expectations (1/3 make less than $25,000 their first year) let alone in the field that they actually studied for (just over half of students.)

And yet, despite these abysmal results, people still believe that burying themselves in debt to get a college education is the BEST path to success!  My mentor Orrin Woodward, INC. Magazine Top 50 Leadership Expert and New York Times Bestselling co-author of LeaderShift, writes (along with his co-author Oliver DeMille) about how many people are “credentialists” – that their status comes from the credentials they have from their education.  Well, frankly I think we should be more impressed with ourselves for getting results (having a successful career or owning a successful business) over merely studying to get results.

Here is the article in it’s entirety.  This is just futher proof that the opportunity offered through LIFE Leadership is truly a person’s best shot at living the life they’ve always wanted!

God Bless, Tim


Today’s students graduate from college with heavy debts, and many aren’t reaping the benefits of that education — a poll shows recent grads often find jobs that don’t require a college degree. More than 40% are unemployed, and 16% are in part-time positions, a poll released on Tuesday showed.


The online survey of 1,050 workers who finished school in the past two years and 1,010 who will receive their degree in 2013 also found that many graduates, some heavily in debt because of the cost of their education, say they are in jobs that do not require a college degree.


Thirty-four percent said they had student loans of $30,000 or less, while 17 percent owed between $30,000 to $50,000.


“For our nation’s youngest workers, as well as for the workforce at large, there is a real need for employers to reexamine how they hire, train and develop their employees,” said Katherine Lavelle, of the global management consulting firm Accenture, which conducted the survey.


Nearly half, 42 percent, of recent graduates expect they will need an advanced degree to further their career and almost a quarter are already planning to take graduate courses.


More than half of graduates said it was difficult finding a job, but 39 percent were employed by the time they left college. Sixty eight percent said they are working full time, while 16 percent are in part-time positions.


The top industries that graduates wanted to work in were education, media and entertainment and healthcare.


Just over half, 53 percent, of graduates found full-time jobs in their field of study.

In addition to being underemployed many graduates thought they would have done better in the job market if they had studied a different major, and more than half also intended to go back to school within the next five years.


The survey uncovered a gap between what students expect to earn in their first job and their actual salary. Only 15 percent of this year’s graduates think they will earn less than $25,000 but a third of recent graduates said they make that amount or less.

Is The United States On The Same Path As Rome?

Edward Gibbon ( 1737-1794) wrote on this topic a couple hundred years ago in his book, The Five Marks of the Roman Decaying CultureIn it he breaks down the fall of Ancient Rome to five basic areas that are concerning (or should be) to us today as we look at our country and current status.  These five basic areas of decline were:


(1). Concern with displaying affluence instead of building wealth.   How does that compare to America today?  Let me just say, “car payment.”

(2). Obsession with sex and perversions of sex.  Sad to say that many advertising companies use sex to sell a product that has nothing to do with sex, from soft drinks to automobiles.

(3). Art becomes freakish and sensationalistic instead of creative and original.  I have been to Europe a few times and see a massive difference between “art” and well what we have today.  Keep in mind that Gibbon lived in 1700s so “freakishness” was different then.   He would likely had a heart attack seeing a crucifix in a jar of urine being called art, even though he wasn’t Christian.

(4). Widening disparity between very rich and very poor.  This is getting worse each decade and it doesn’t matter which president is in office. My mentor, New York Times bestselling author and  Inc. Magazine Top 50 Leadership Expert Orrin Woodward wrote a great blogpost on this topic called the middle class squeeze.

(5). Increased demand to live off the state.  There are 11 states right now that have more people living off welfare than working.  Welfare pays more than $15 per hour in 13 states.

Gibbon argued that since Christianity created a belief that a better life existed after death, it fostered an indifference to the present among Roman citizens, thus sapping their desire to sacrifice for the Empire.  He also believed that Christianity’s comparative pacifism tended to hamper the traditional Roman martial spirit. Finally, like other Enlightenment thinkers, Gibbon held in contempt the Middle Ages as a priest-ridden, superstitious dark age.  It was not until his own age of reason and rational thought, it was believed, that human history could resume its progress.
It is laughable that Gibbon would write this!  Obviously he was not familiar with scripture ( he was not Christian) because if he did read the scriptures he would find that God not only instructs but demands that Christians work hard here on earth, but would also be forbidden to worship Rome.

I was obviously not there during Roman times (though my kids think I’m old enough) so I can’t say if the “Christians” were pacifists and stopped working and started waiting for the after life, but if they did, that type of attitude is not based on scripture.  I’m aware of about 70 verses in the old and new testament on working and work ethic; never does God tell us to “not work” except on one day a week.  So if Gibbon wanted to argue Christians contributed to the fall of Rome the fact that they only worship one God (God of the Bible) should have been the direction he went.
However, if Christianity was part of the problem, one has a hard time explaining how the United States of America became larger than Rome and more wealthy being based largely on Judeo-Christian principles and work ethic.
I don’t think Gibbon gets it all wrong; as a matter of fact, he gets more right than wrong. One major point that many historians either disagree on or won’t talk about is the ever expanding military and how Romes army was busy out “expanding the Empire.” Today we call it “spreading Democracy” even though we are a Republic (or used to be.)

The fall of Rome started somewhere around AD 190. The Roman Empire was attacked by tribes such as the Goths and the Vandals (I guess they also suffered from holes in border security?!)  Civil wars in parts of Rome also weakened the rule of Rome and respect for Roman law declined as a result.

Tribes such as the Goths wanted to move south to obtain better farmland. At about AD 190, Rome also experienced a succession of emperors that were not capable of leading the Empire (sounds familiar.)  As Dr Ben Carsen says,  “If we commit ourselves to reading, thus increasing our knowledge, only God limits how far we can go in this world.”  Unfortunately today most of our politicians are trained with one-track “conveyor belt education” type thinking and don’t read anything that doesn’t support their idea of truth there with missing it all together.

I believe LIFE Leadership teaches principles based on the ultimate truths that can turn this great nation around and get us back on track to leave a legacy not a liability to our kids.

Check out this video and you decide.
God Bless, Tim

To The Republic For Which It Stands

In some schools today, our kids are not even aware of what the pledge is or why we should know it.  As a Christian, (and not affiliated with any political party) ultimately I pledge my allegiance to God.  However, I think it’s indisputable that God has blessed this nation and given the men who founded it some simple ideals to stay true to that which made the United States great.

“I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

In the Pledge of Allegiance we all pledge allegiance to our Republic, not to a democracy. “Republic” is the proper description of our government, not “democracy.” I hear both Republican and Democrats say things like, “We need to spread democracy around the world.”  Why does it matter if we spread “democracy”? Or does it matter?

I am grateful that LIFE Leadership continues to produce world-class products, such as Orrin Woodward’s new book And Justice For All, to share information that helps us understand the true nature of liberty.

Watch this short video that explains the difference between a democracy and a republic and why it matters.

Facts on the Fourth of July

July 4th is a remarkable day for Americans and for the cause of freedom.  It is a day of great celebration for the birth of our nation, filled with parades, fireworks, speeches, and of course, readings of a great document.  As many Americans will tell you, the members of Congress famously signed the Declaration of Independence on this date in history.

Or did they?

In fact, they did not!  Many of the widely accepted “facts” surrounding the birth of our nation are errors that have been handed down from one generation to the next.  I thought it might be fun to share some of the interesting tidbits of history with you today.

In truth, historians now agree the Declaration was actually signed on August 2nd, 1776, not July 4th.

Leading up to the signing, on June 7th, 1776, Virginia delegate Richard Henry Lee introduced a motion calling for their independence from Britain.   Many American’s wanted to break away from British rule at the time.  It was suggested that Congress break for several weeks to draft a formal declaration, and a five-man team was appointed.  It fell upon Thomas Jefferson to draft the document.  Congress reconvened on July 1st, and motion was passed on July 2nd to break away from British rule.  The delegates voted almost unanimously to declare independence.  However, the actual Declaration of Independence was still being written!  Thomas Jefferson was hard at work on the document, revising it through July 3rd with edits and corrections being submitted by John Adams and Benjamin Franklin.  Even as late as the next morning of July 4th, Congress was deleting and revising large sections of the text.  Finally, on July 4th, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was complete and adopted by Congress.

So American’s celebrated Independence on July 4th, correct?  Nope!  In fact, it wasn’t until July 8th that Philadelphia organized the first celebration, complete with cannon fire and a parade.  George Washington got the news on July 9th and only then began celebrating with his troops, camped outside of New York, at that point.  Celebrations began as late into the summer as August 10th when the state of Georgia got the news (no Twitter announcements back then.)  In 1777, with the war raging, Philadelphia held the first (of what would become an) annual celebration of independence on July 4th.  Other states took notice and followed suit.  In 1781, Massachusetts made July 4th an official state holiday, and in 1870 Congress made July 4th an official Federal holiday for all Americans to celebrate.

Of interesting note: three American presidents have passed away on July 4th.  Both Thomas Jefferson and John Adams passed away within hours of one another on July 4th, 1826, the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence.  Additionally, James Munroe, the fifth president, passed away on July 4th, 1831.  And just to further commemorate the significance of the day, the 30th president of the United States, Calvin Coolidge was born on none other than July 4th, 1872.

Enjoy your Fourth of July!

It Would Only Happen in Poland, Not Here… RIGHT?!

Back in the early 1990′s I went to Warsaw, the capital city of    Poland (spelled Warszawa in Polish and pronounced VARS SHAVA)to design and open a manufacturing plant for the company I was working for here in the US.  The mother company here in the US went under a few years later but the plant we opened in Poland is still open today.  I can only assume the doors are still open because  some bankruptcy laws that we have  that don’t apply there, but I think the real reason is because the entrepreneur who was running the plant was and is hungry to keep it going at all costs.

You see when I went over there, communism was just recently on its way out and, for the first time in years, the people of Poland started to have hope that they could actually work and succeed.  Their success would be based on their efforts and the amount of time and money they invested in a business ( and really in the case of a former communist country, a job also.)  They were hopeful that this new success would allow them to put some money away in the bank or a retirement fund just like we do in the United States. I would guess that about half of the workers I talked to (via translator) seemed excited, while the other half just had a defeated look in their eyes that I will never forget, expressing the feeling of “there is no hope,  so why even try”?

It’s sad to say that the Polish people, who didn’t want to get their hopes up, may have been right all along because some of them did save and believed that could retire at some point just like we Americans do!


photoWell, in 2013 the plan started to change and the Polish government decided to “move some things around” to keep the doors open and once again the fine people of Poland, including those in Warzawa, are worried about the security of their retirement that they worked so hard for.

Please read the article below from Reuters and draw your own conclusions on weather or not a country with 17 trillion in debt may ” have to ” do the same?

Most Americans would say, “Oh, don’t worry – it could never happen here!”  Well, if we don’t want it to happen here, we can each do our part to take action and educate our countries, starting with using books like the upcoming book And Justice for All by LIFE Co-Founder Orrin Woodward.

God Bless,



WARSAW, Sept 4 (Reuters) – Poland said on Wednesday it will transfer to the state many of the assets held by private pension funds, slashing public debt but putting in doubt the future of the multi-billion-euro funds, many of them foreign-owned.

The changes went deeper than many in the market expected and could fuel investor concerns that the government is ditching some business-friendly policies to try to improve its flagging popularity with voters.

The Polish pension funds’ organisation said the changes may be unconstitutional because the government is taking private assets away from them without offering any compensation.

Announcing the long-awaited overhaul of state-guaranteed pensions, Prime Minister Donald Tusk said private funds within the state-guaranteed system would have their bond holdings transferred to a state pension vehicle, but keep their equity holdings.

He said that what remained in citizens’ pension pots in the private funds will be gradually transferred into the state vehicle over the last 10 years before savers hit retirement age.

The reform is “a decimation of the …(private pension fund) system to open up fiscal space for an easier life now for the government,” said Peter Attard Montalto of Nomura. “The government has an odd definition of private property given it claims this is not nationalisation.”

Tusk said people joining the pension system in the future would not be obliged to pay into the private part of the system. Depending on the finer points, this could mean still fewer assets in the private funds.

“The (current) system has turned out to be built in part on rising public debt and turned out to be a very costly system,” Tusk told a news conference.

“We believe that, apart from the positive consequence of this decision for public debt, pensions will also be safer.”



By shifting some assets from the private funds into ZUS, the government can book those assets on the state balance sheet to offset public debt, giving it more scope to borrow and spend.

Finance Minister Jacek Rostowski said the changes will reduce public debt by about eight percent of gross domestic product (GDP).

This in turn, he said, would allow the lowering of two thresholds that deter the government from allowing debt to raise over 50 percent, and then 55 percent, of GDP. Public debt last year stood at 52.7 percent of GDP, according to the government’s own calculations.

The private funds hold assets worth about one fifth of Polish economic output and are among the biggest investors on the Warsaw bourse. Players in the pension market include international firms such as ING, Aviva, Axa , Generali and Allianz.

Bonds make up roughly half the private funds’ portfolios, with the rest company stocks.

Soon after Tusk unveiled his plans, the benchmark index on the Warsaw stock exchange was down 2.6 percent on the day.

“This is worse than many on the markets had feared,” a manager at one of the leading pension funds, who asked not to be identified, told Reuters.

“The devil is in the detail and we don’t yet know a lot about the mechanism of these changes, what benchmarks will be use to evaluate our performance… (It) looks like pension funds will lose a lot of flexibility in what they can invest.”

Polish officials have tried to reassure investors, saying the overhaul avoids the more radical options of taking both bond and equity assets away from the private funds outright.

They say the old system effectively made Polish public debt appear higher than it really is.



Poland has a hybrid pension system at the moment; mandatory contributions are made into both the state pension vehicle, known as ZUS, and the private funds, which are collectively known by the Polish acronym OFE.

The funds would effectively be left with only the equities portions of their assets, even this would be depleted, and there will be uncertainty about the number of new savers joining.

“This may lead to the private pension systems shutting down,” said Rafal Benecki of ING Bank Slaski.

Policy in Poland is still much more prudent than in many of its European peers. However, the reform could erode Poland’s reputation under Tusk for steady financial stewardship.

In the past few months, the opinion poll rating of Tusk’s Civic Platform party has, for the first time in years, slipped below that of the main opposition, the conservative Law and Justice Party.

Though the next election is not until 2015, some analysts believe electoral concerns are already influencing economic policy and pushing the government to find scope for spending.


Orrin Woodward going for a Guinness World Record!

Hey gang!

Our Summer Leadership Convention is fast approaching.  Not only will we have huge numbers with all teams attending from across North America, from the north east to the south west, but this event is special because it marks the launch of Orrin Woodward’s latest book, And Justice For All, available through LIFE Leadership.

However, not only is Orrin launching his new book – he is going to attempt to set a GUINNESS WORLD RECORD for the most books signed in a single setting!  Officials for Guinness World Records™ will be on hand to watch the proceedings and track the results.  Orrin will attempt to sign at least 5,000 books (or even 6,000 if his hand holds out!)  We are going to make history!

Orrin And Justice For All






The current record holder for most books signed in a single sitting is an author named Sammy Lee.  On January 19, 2013, in Shenyang, Liaoning, China, Sammy Lee signed 4,649 copies of his book, Autopilot Leadership Mode, in 11 hr 48 min 58 sec.  I am totally confident that Orrin Woodward can and will shatter that record!

Gang, let’s do everything we can to support Orrin as he becomes a Guinness World Record Holder!

Guiness World Record

SHOCKING Video: Petition to Increase Inflation 100%?!

Hey gang, I’ve included a video below that shocked me.   I was stunned as I watched how average Americans just signed this phony petition that proposes we INCREASE inflation and print more money to deliberately DE-VALUE our dollar!!

It’s so sad that the average person on the street doesn’t have basic financial wisdom.  We need to get the Financial Fitness Pack from LIFE Leadership in the hands of every American and fast!!!

God bless,


A Memorial Day Message

Hey gang!  Hope everyone has been enjoying this wonderful Memorial Day with family and friends.  I wanted to share a quick reminder of what today is really about.  While we are barbequing or enjoying a leisurely day off of work, let’s remember and salute the brave men and women in uniform who have served our country, risking their lives and sometimes giving their lives, so that we can enjoy our freedom.

However you celebrate this day, please remember how we have achieved our freedom and the people who helped make it possible.  And for those who fell in battle, let’s also remember to pray for the loved ones they left behind.  Here is a video to commemorate the day that I thought you’d enjoy.

God bless, Tim


Leadership thoughts and perspective