Monday, February 15, 2016

Our Vision & Mission at Freedom Focused

Sir Winston Churchill
Two-time Prime Minister of Great Britain

Winston Churchill Inspires a Young Man, Who, in-turn, Motivates a Mere Boy

At the tail end of his long life, Winston Churchill gave a speech in England.  In his address, he told his listeners how he had always been motivated by a compelling desire to make a difference in the world.

Sitting in Churchill's audience that day was a young American missionary in his early twenties named Hyrum W. Smith.

Deeply touched by the aging Churchill's words, Smith realized he felt the same burning desire to "make a difference."

Nearly 20 years later, Smith served as one of the key originators of the world famous Franklin Day Planning system.  Ten years after that, Smith's company, FranklinQuest, went public on the New York Stock Exchange.  In 1997, FranklinQuest acquired the Covey Leadership Center to form the world famous training company, FranklinCovey.    

Hyrum W. Smith
Co-Founder of FranklinCovey
While in England, Hyrum Smith met my Dad, who was also in Britain doing missionary work.  Later, after both had returned to the U.S. to attend college, Hyrum introduced my Dad to his little sister.  Romance blossomed, and in 1966, Rex Jensen married Pauline Smith.  Thirteen years later, I was born.

Just a few short years later, in 1983, Uncle Hyrum started the Franklin Institute.  Age age eight, I attended my first Franklin Day Planning seminar -- taught by Hyrum himself.

At ages 12 and 14, I worked as a manual laborer on Hyrum's Southwestern desert ranch.  From this obscure vantage point, I observed my uncle summit a significant pinnacle of success as one of the greatest time management and personal development gurus in the world.

Concurrently, I began to recognize with increased clarity that I possessed the same deep desire that had driven both Sir Winston and Hyrum.  This desire was further enflamed by a relatively unremarkable incident that occurred one day at Hyrum's ranch home in 1992 -- the same year FranklinQuest went public on the NYSE.    

One Sunday afternoon at the ranch, we ranch hands were eating Sunday dinner with the Smith family.  Hyrum was home for the weekend.  At the conclusion of a delicious taco dinner (the Smith's Sunday tradition), Hyrum elevated his powerful orator's voice several decibels to make an announcement everyone could hear, whereby he proclaimed: "All right everybody, I'm offering five dollars to anyone who will do the dishes."

Without blinking or thinking twice about the work involved or whether the amount was worth the time investment, I quickly volunteered before anyone else, to which Hyrum approvingly replied, "Jordan, you are an entrepreneur; you will be a wealthy man someday."  I was only 12 years old, but this experience left a lasting impression on me.  

Dr. Jordan R. Jensen
Founder & CEO of Freedom Focused
I doubt Hyrum remembers this exchange, or that he even thought much about it five seconds after he said it.  Nevertheless, that simple statement has deeply resonated within my being throughout intervening years.  I suppose that in a sense, it became something akin to Hyrum's own "Churchill" moment, where one great man unknowingly passes a torch to a young boy who has plenty of potential and ample "fire in the belly."

Becoming wealthy for wealth's sake is not a primary motivator for me.  Making a difference, however, and leaving a positive legacy emblazoned in what I believe is the noblest career ambition of all (education), has been an incessant -- even an obsessive -- driving force in my life the past two-and-a-half decades.  As such, it was my potential to make a difference, not merely to become wealthy, that really burned in my bosom that day at the Ranch when Hyrum spoke out loud about my possibilities.

Despite this and other powerful life influences along the way, it took me several more years to gain clarity about specifically how I intended to "make a difference" in the world.  But by the year 2003, I had a pretty clear vision of my how.  Ever since that time, I have been on a MISSION to actualize that VISION.

Today's blog post shares the vision and mission of Freedom Focused, both of which are anchored firmly in the principles set forth in the Self-Action Leadership Theory & Model.

I invite anyone who believes in the importance of Leadership, Character, and Life-Skill Education to seriously read this article, and then share it with your personal and professional networks.   

Our Vision at Freedom Focused

What is a vision?  Simply stated, it is a clear picture of what the future looks like.  What does the future look like to us at Freedom Focused?

Let's begin with a story...

The widely read M. Scott Peck, M.D., (of The Road Less Traveled fame) once wrote about his relationship with his Grandfather.  His memories of this relationship consisted mostly of a monthly visit to his grandparent's home in New York that included three double-feature shows at the movie-house.  While going to-and-from these cinematic excursions, Peck's Granddad would often garnish their conversations by sprinkling in some of the wise old proverbs.  For example: "'Don't cross your bridges until you've come to them,'" or, "'Don't put all your eggs in one basket.'" 

In Peck's own words, his Grandfather "was not a particularly smart man, and his speech was seldom more than a series of cliches."  Despite this, it was evident to Peck that his Grandpa loved him by virtue of all the time he was willing to spend with him, and in time, the old fellow's words ended up making a real difference in his life.  As Peck explains:
"It was on the walks with my grandfather, back and forth to the double features, that I was able not only to hear but to digest and absorb his proverbs, and their wisdom has stood me in very good stead over these years."  
As he reflected over the simple wisdom he gleaned from these very basic lessons learned from his grandfather, Peck lamented the loss of the old proverbs in today's educational processes (especially public education).  He further opines:
"I've often thought that it would be saving if we could develop some program of mental health education in our public schools ... [and] I hope someone will start instituting such a program [and] I hope it will be done soon.  For as my grandfather would have said, "'A stitch in time saves nine.'" (italics added) [1]
Years ago, I was in Eastern Canada on a small little plane flying to teach a seminar somewhere in New Brunswick.  It was during my flight that I first read these words.  As I did so, my heart was filled with a deep impression that I was that someone that Peck was talking about, or at very least, I was one of them.  Since then, I have been even more invigorated in my efforts to realize this hope held by Peck--and countless others throughout the last three generations.

The troubled period of time in America that began in the 1960s, and has been labeled historically as the "Postmodern Period," has been marked by dramatic departures from traditional educational approaches that focused as much effort on teaching and modeling principles of leadership, character, and life-skills as they do on 'reading, 'riting, and 'rithmetic (and technological science).

Click HERE to learn more about postmodernists and the postmodern period.

Click HERE to learn more about the AGE of AUTHENTICISM that has begun to eclipse postmodernism in the 21st century.    


The Quality of the Individual Citizen is Supreme

In 1910, shortly after leaving office, President Theodore Roosevelt delivered a famous address at a University in Paris, France (The Sorbonne).  In this speech, Roosevelt proclaimed that, "The quality of the individual citizen is supreme" when it comes to building strong, self-reliant, and collectively prosperous republics.  In this address, Roosevelt taught that:
"Under other forms of government, under the rule of one man or very few men, the quality of the leaders is all-important. ... But with ... us [as Americans] the case is different.  With ... us .. in the long run, success or failure will be conditioned upon the way in which the average man, the average woman, does his or her duty, first in the ordinary, every-day affairs of life, and next in those great occasional cries which call for heroic virtues.  The average citizen must be a good citizen if our republics are to succeed.  The stream will not permanently rise higher than the main source; and the main source of national power and national greatness is found in the average citizenship of the nation.  Therefore it behooves us to do our best to see that the standard of the average citizen is kept high; and the average cannot be kept high unless the standard of the leaders is very much higher."

Roosevelt went on to identify how to develop the kind of "quality citizens" of which he spoke.  His answer?  Education!  Again, in his own words:
"Let those who have, keep, [and] let those who have not, strive to attain, a high standard of cultivation and scholarship (education).  Yet let us remember that these stand second to certain other things.  There is need of a sound body, and even more of a sound mind.  But above mind and above body stands character -- the sum of those qualities which we mean when we speak of a man's force and courage, of his good faith and sense of honor.  ... Education must contain much besides book-learning in order to be really good.  We must ever remember that no keenness and subtleness of intellect, no polish, no cleverness, in any way make up for the lack of the great solid qualities.  Self-restraint, self mastery, common sense, the power of accepting individual responsibility and yet of acting in conjunction with others, courage and resolution -- these are the qualities which mark a masterful people.  Without them no people can control itself, or save itself from being controlled from the outside. ... I pay all homage to intellect and to elaborate and specialized training of the intellect; and yet I know ... that more important still are the commonplace, every-day qualities and virtues."
At Freedom Focused, we share President Roosevelt's vision of a robust educational culture that embraces a concrete commitment to skillfully teaching and effectively modeling the weightier matters of leadership, character, and life-skill education in conjunction with typical core curricula.

As such, our vision of the future is that of a nation where many, if not most schools, explicitly offer -- and even require -- students to take courses in subjects such as: 

* Self-leadership, self-reliance, & self-control
* Emotional intelligence
* Interpersonal relationship management
* Personal financial management
* Mental health
* Character development 
* Leadership
* Life skills
* Positive Mental Attitude
* Persistence and Determination
* Endurance

You know exactly what I am talking about -- all of the things students really need to learn and develop if they are going to be authentically successful over the long run -- in conjunction with core academic competencies that are already taught.  

When I published my first book in 2005 (a personal leadership guide for high school and college students), an esteemed leadership guru named John H. "Jack" Zenger was kind enough to provide the following endorsement quote for my work:
"The old paradigm of separating core academic curriculum from leadership, character, and life-skill education in America's schools is gradually beginning to shift.  The time is coming when classes in leadership will be equally as important as those in mathematics, biology, or English; and from a career standpoint, possibly more important."
At Freedom Focused, our vision of the future is a society where the "shift" spoken of by Dr. Zenger has become a reality, with cultural mores and educational paradigms widely embracing explicit instruction in leadership, character, and life-skill education.

Click HERE to view Dr. Jordan Jensen's groundbreaking speech entitled, A Twenty-First Century Vision of Education in America.  

The Mission Behind the Vision

At Freedom Focused, we comprehend the reality that this vision will be as difficult to realize as it is easy to conceptualize.  As such, where does one begin to tackle a task so monumental and daunting?

I have been asking myself this very question in great earnest since 2003.  In the intervening 12 years, I have spent literally tens of thousands of hours immersed in reading, pondering, studying, researching, collaborating, and writing (including doctoral level work), to develop "A CONCRETE PLAN" that can serve as a fundamental starting point for anyone and everyone interested and willing to engage processes that get us closer to realizing the grand vision of a character and leadership-based educational curriculum and culture.

This plan is outlined in the Self-Action Leadership Theory & Model, both of which serve as universal constructs aimed at providing a firm foundation for any and all character-centric or leadership-based educational initiatives of any kind in any organization.   

What does the SAL Theory & Model offer to YOU?  In short, it means that whether you are a Civil Leader, Business Owner or Manager, Educational Administrator, Teacher, or Coach, Parent, or Individual seeking a curriculum or textbook offering a holistic range of fundamentals, it is now available.

In the words of Dr. Christopher P. Neck, an esteemed Associate Professor of Management at the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University:
"Jensen has accomplished a task that is very difficult for any author to achieve, and that is to produce a single text that is highly relevant to multiple audiences at the same time. Because of the universal applicability of basic self-leadership principles, his message is germane ... to civic leaders, business professionals and workers of all kinds, educators, students, athletes, parents, and children—in short, to everyone. Indeed, I do believe that virtually anyone who reads this book will be able to take something away from it that will improve his or her life in a significant way. As an author myself, I am amazed at Jordan’s achievement in writing one book that carries the potential to reach such a wide variety of people—and that is the beauty of it."
Click HERE to read Dr. Neck's entire Foreword to Self-Action Leadership: The Key to Personal, Professional, & Global Freedom  

The Self-Action Leadership (SAL) Theory

The Self-Action Leadership Theory, or just "SAL Theory," for short, is rooted in an atmospheric and astronomical metaphor that compares an individual to a rocket ship seeking to travel throughout the dangerous and challenging levels of Earth's atmosphere into Outer Space and beyond.  The SAL Theory draws distinct and concrete analogues from the different layers of the atmosphere to the various "Stages" of personal growth we all must face and endure throughout our life's journey if we are to successfully realize our fullest potential both personally and professionally.  

The SAL Theory explains why other people often say and do things to make your journey more difficult, and what you can do to rise above the negative pressure exerted from these "Existential Crabs."  Furthermore, it prepares you mentally for difficulties that inevitably lie ahead of you as you traverse future adversity.  Perhaps most importantly, it awakens your awareness of the full extent of your personal and professional potential, opening up vistas of possibility you never dreamed existed.  

The 9 Levels (Layers) of Earth's Atmosphere.

The 9 Levels (Stages) of the SAL Theory

The Self-Action Leadership (SAL) Model

With the philosophical strength that comes with an understanding of the SAL Theory in tow, you are prepared to begin the incredibly exciting and engaging journey of designing and then constructing your own life and career as a self-action leader.

Rooted explicitly in a construction metaphor, the SAL Model shows you how to be the architect, builder, inspector, trouble-shooter, and fine-tuner of the metaphorical structure that is your own life and career.  

The Four Stages and 21 Sub-Steps in the Construction Process

The 4 Stages and 21 Sub-Steps in Building a Successful Life & Career

The excitement of the possibilities held in the SAL Model are perhaps best captured by the poet, George Washington Doane, who once eloquently penned:

Chisel in hand stood a sculptor boy
With his marble block before him,
And his eyes lit up with a smile of joy,
As an angel-dream passed o’er him.

He carved the dream on that shapeless stone,
With many a sharp incision;
With heaven’s own light the sculpture shone,—
He’d caught that angel-vision.

Children of life are we, as we stand
With our lives uncarved before us,
Waiting the hour when, at God’s command,
Our life-dream shall pass o’er us.

If we carve it then on the yielding stone,
With many a sharp incision,
Its heavenly beauty shall be our own,—
Our lives, that angel-vision. [2]

What are YOU going to do with the "Marble Block" of your own Existence?

My enthusiasm for creating something magnificent out of the "Marble Block" of my own life began in part while attending my Uncle Hyrum's time management seminar at age eight.  It grew steadily from that point on.  It was further bolstered when, as a freshman in college, I drafted a "Personal Leadership Statement" in a leadership course I was taking at Brigham Young University.

Utilizing the Genius of the Founding Fathers to
Realize Personal & Professional Success in YOUR Own Life
Unlike most assignments or projects you do in school and then quickly throw away and forget about, I kept working on my Personal Leadership Statement.

Over time, this statement of personal vision, mission, values, goals, etc., evolved into my "Self-Constitution," and "Self-Declaration of Independence," two vital documents that a self-action leader drafts during one's study of the SAL Model, and which have become key cornerstones of my present confidence and success.

Click HERE to watch Dr. Jensen teach the principle of writing a Self-Declaration of Independence and Self-Constitution.  

The idea that I could become an "architect of [my own] fate" (Longfellow) has always intrigued me deeply.  It has motivated me to write down careful "blueprints" for my life in the form of a Self-Declaration of Independence and Self-Constitution.  More importantly, these documents have served as a concrete impetus for successfully carrying out my plans.  Even though my life's journey remains imperfect, having carefully laid out plans (mission) complete with a clear and compelling goal (vision), has dramatically empowered my capacity to realize both.

The Builders [1]

By: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882)

ALL are architects of Fate,
   Working in these walls of Time;
Some with massive deeds and great,
   Some with ornaments of rhyme.

Nothing useless is, or low;
   Each thing in its place is best;
And what seems but idle show
   Strengthens and supports the rest.

For the structure that we raise,
   Time is with materials filled;
Our to-days and yesterdays
   Are the blocks with which we build.

Truly shape and fashion these;
   Leave no yawning gaps between;
Think not, because no man sees,
   Such things will remain unseen.

In the elder days of Art,
   Builders wrought with greatest care
Each minute and unseen part;
   For the Gods see everywhere.

Let us do our work as well,
   Both the unseen and the seen;
Make the house, where Gods may dwell,
   Beautiful, entire, and clean.

Else our lives are incomplete,
   Standing in these walls of Time,
Broken stairways, where the feet
   Stumble as they seek to climb.

Build to-day, then, strong and sure,
   With a firm and ample base;
And ascending and secure
   Shall to-morrow find its place.

Thus alone can we attain
   To those turrets, where the eye
Sees the world as one vast plain,
   And one boundless reach of sky.

“Cynics do not contribute, skeptics do not create, [and] doubters do not achieve.”

~ Bryan Hinckley

Self-Action Leadership: The Key to Personal, Professional, & Global Freedom

The SAL Theory and Model are both outlined in great detail in my new book, Self-Action Leadership: The Key to Personal, Professional, & Global Freedom.  

Lee Ellis, Founder & President of Leadership Freedom is a former Colonel in the United States Air Force.  Colonel Ellis spent five years as a prisoner of war in the infamous "Hanoi Hilton" during the Vietnam War.  Ellis provides the following endorsement of this comprehensive work on self-leadership:
"In Self Action Leadership, Jordan Jensen has assembled a leadership masterpiece anchored steadfastly in true principles of philosophy and human behavior. In wonderfully written prose, Jordan reminds us of who we are and what it takes to live and lead with honor. Moreover, he challenges us to live up to the high calling of being human beings with a special mission on this Earth. To accomplish our mission, we must do two major things: grow in our sense of personal responsibility, and in turn, care for others and help them to do the same. I grappled with these two areas in a primal way during more than five years as a POW in Vietnam. Now I’m thrilled to see how Jordan has laid out SAL by using the vehicle of story to illuminate his own, unique journey of transcending adversity. In so doing, he has inspired us all to become who we are capable of becoming. Bravo!”
Colonel Lee Ellis (retired)
U.S. Air Force, Vietnam POW Survivor (Hanoi Hilton), author of Leading With Honor: Leadership Lessons from the Hanoi Hilton, and President & Founder of Leadership Freedom LLC and FreedomStar Media

The express PURPOSE of this book is to serve as either a primary or supplementary textbook in any educational setting where leaders and teachers intend to teach any subjects related to leadership, character, and life-skill education.

In other words, all of you who share our vision, but feel frustrated because there don't seem to be any textbooks to serve your desired purposes, can now rest easy.  The textbook has been written!  All that is needed now are leaders and teachers to read it, become trained on it, and then use it to teach their own students/employees/constituents.

What will this book do for you and those you teach?  in the words of Dr. Christopher P. Neck:
"This book will do much more than just teach you about Self-Action Leadership. It will cause you to think deeply about how you are currently living your own life, and how you could better lead yourself to achieve the results you most desire in the long-run. More importantly, Jensen’s compelling story and courageous personal example, combined with his percipient ability to effectively teach the corresponding self-leadership principles, will inspire and motivate you to actually do something about what you will learn. In the process, it might even touch emotions in your heart that will move you to joy and tears. It takes a talented writer to do all of these things, so I know you’ll enjoy reading this book. More importantly, I know you’ll come away a wiser person with an increased motivation to begin taking action to realize your own Self-Action Leadership potential, an opportunity we can all take full advantage of, if only we will."

Click HERE to read what other experts are saying about Jordan Jensen's book, Self-Action Leadership.

If you are a leader or teacher reading this article right now, you may be asking yourself, "How exactly do I use it?"  That is a good question, and  I will answer it in the next section.

How to Use the Self-Action Leadership Textbook

There are three basic steps to using the Self-Action Leadership Textbook for a given audience.  Depending on who you are and what your situation entails, you may choose to take one or more of the following steps, depending on your group or organization's individual needs.


There is great danger in lazily judging a book by its cover, or by a blogpost--even if that blogpost seems really comprehensive (as I hope this one does).

There are over 700 pages in the SAL book.  If you don't actually take the time to read it for yourself, you will know very little about what is actually contained therein.  You will remain "in the dark" with regards to the mountains of golden educational nuggets you could be sharing with your audience and teaching to your employees/students.

We also encourage you to complete the SAL Master Challenge contained inside the book.  The SAL Master Challenge consists of 25 specific assignments that accompany your study of the material.

Experienced teachers and administrators may have already completed personal development homework analogous to the SAL Master Challenge.  If so, you may choose to focus your efforts on immediately challenging your employees or students to undertake the challenge and then supporting them as they work through this work-intensive and time-consuming, but wildly rewarding process.

Click HERE to download the SAL Master Challenge Requirements

Click HERE to download the 25 SAL Master Challenge Assignments/Exercises

STEP TWO: Get professionally trained on the SAL Theory & Model

While you will surely mine many wonderful nuggets of insight from reading and studying the book yourself, you will derive much additional benefit from being professionally trained on the SAL Theory and Model from Dr. Jordan Jensen himself.  Doing so allows you to both learn from and tap into the mind and heart of the educator who painstakingly developed the material himself--over the course of more than a decade of reading, researching, pondering, collaborating, and writing.

Click HERE to view the Self-Action Leadership Training Overview and Consider Seminar Options

STEP THREE: Imbed SAL concepts into your organizational culture through rote learning and continual training over time.    

Once you have read the book and been professionally trained, we strongly encourage you to continue to teach and reiterate the principles contained in the SAL Theory & Model to ALL of your employees and students (IN-HOUSE) in an effort to create an organizational culture over time that both understands and embraces the concepts contained in the SAL Theory & Model -- including the all-important concept of EXISTENTIAL GROWTH (holistic personal growth spanning the spiritual, mental, moral, physical, emotional, and social realms of each of our natures).

One of the most vital "Old Proverbs" to use Dr. Peck's terminology, is: "You get out of something what you put into it."  I have invested 12 years of my life to ensure the veracity and efficacy of the SAL Theory & Model, as well as to guarantee the quality of the corresponding training material.  Likewise, the return that YOU and your students/employees get out of the material will be commensurate to the time and effort you invest therein.

To maximize the value of the material, you must be willing to commit to interweaving the concepts into everything your organization does.  For those so willing, the results will be astronomically astounding.  I know because I have tested it out in the laboratory of my own life, career, and relationships, and the results have exceeded even my very high expectations.  As a result, my personal, professional, and relational lives are all in a highly desirable position -- with the best yet to come.  And the cool thing is that there is nothing inherently special about me or anyone else at Freedom Focused; but everything is special about SAL Principles.  As such, you and your colleagues, employees, and/or students will likewise reap growth and a myriad of other benefits commensurate to your desire and willingness to work hard to learn and apply the same principles.

To buy Jordan's Book, Self-Action Leadership, Click HERE.

To bring a SAL Seminar Training to your organization or school today, call 832-618-5451.   

To learn more about Freedom Focused and our Vision and Mission, visit:

Click HERE to view Dr. Jordan Jensen's Complete 1-hour Self-Action Leadership Seminar for FREE

Click HERE to view Dr. Jordan Jensen's groundbreaking speech entitled, A Twenty-First Century Vision of Education in America.

NoteFreedom Focused is a non-partisan, for-profit, educational corporation.  As such, we do not endorse or embrace political figures.  We do, however, comment from time-to-time on historical or political events that provide pedagogical backdrops to illuminating principles contained in the SAL Theory & Model.

Click HERE to learn more about the SAL Theory & Model.

To receive weekly articles from Freedom Focused & Dr. Jordan R. Jensen, sign up with your e-mail address in the white box on the right side of this page where it says "Follow by E-mail."

Click HERE to buy a copy of Dr. Jordan Jensen's new book, Self-Action Leadership: The Key to Personal, Professional, & Global Freedom.

Click HERE to read more about Dr. Jensen's book, Self-Action Leadership, and to review what experts in the leadership field are saying about this groundbreaking new personal development handbook.

Click HERE to learn more about Dr. Jordan R. Jensen.


[1] Peck, M.S. (1993). Further Along the Road Less Traveled: The Unending Journey Toward Spiritual Growth. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster. Pages 141-144.
[2] Doane, G.W. (1920). Life Sculpture. In R.J. Cook, Ed., One-Hundred and one Famous Poems: With a Prose Supplement. (Google Books version). Chicago, IL: The Cable Company. Page 136.
[3] Longfellow, H.W. The Day is Done, reprinted from The Poetical Works of Longfellow (1912). Henry Frowde, Oxford University    Press. Page 186.


  1. Thanks for sharing Jordan! We are grateful for your leadership and positive influence and look forward to this message reaching more and more people!

    1. You are welcome, Chippa. Thank you for your support!

      -Dr. J.


Taking Pride in Doing the Right Thing

In the short run, a team, organization, or other entity can lie, cheat, and manipulate its way to a competitive advantage.  But in the LONG...