Tagged: Bill Lewis

Orrin Woodward shares truth, becomes lightning rod to critics – Part 2

The Truth about Orrin Woodward and Life Leadership

There exist countless facts, testimonials and life-changing stories concerning the positive impact that Orrin and Laurie Woodward have made over the last 15 years to conclude anything other than the fact that they are time-tested leaders of leaders. However, because they have worked very hard to live for truth and justice, they are criticized. Because they work hard to develop people and develop a business system that educates people, they are criticized.

Could you imagine what the world will look like when Orrin Woodward actually accomplishes his first stated goal with Life Leadership: 1 million people reading good books; 1 million people turning off the media and listening to positive messaging; 1 million people striving to improve body, mind and soul? I believe that the world would be a better place. I am excited that there is finally somebody with an eschatology of victory focused on making the world that our children have to grow up in a better place. Orrin’s biggest challenge is that he has yet to create a training system good enough to fix ‘stupid’.

Read what other people are saying about Orrin Woodward:

Bill Lewis wrote:

The shocking part about Orrin Woodward, the man, is that he is not only driven to succeed, but he also desires to do so in the right way, based on principles. Indeed, if something is not based on principles, then Orrin refuses to function in that environment.  He is more driven to improve himself daily because he understands the principle of The Law of the Lid:  An organization grows to the level of its leader; therefore, Orrin continually attacks his own thinking in an effort to learn and grow.  With all of that said, he is human and, therefore, has made mistakes.  But his willingness to admit those mistakes and to do what he can to fix them is extremely impressive. In a world where people perpetually blame others, Orrin, instead, accepts responsibility and focuses on improving. It’s hard to not like someone like that.  His humility and his faith also separate him from the crowd.  In most organizations, the person that created it makes himself the supreme being of that company.  Orrin, on the other hand, usually takes a back seat in order to let others lead and receive the glory.  His goal is to surround himself with the best leaders, which takes a person who understands where he comes from and possesses a humble spirit that enables him to realize that one person doesn’t have all the answers.  On a personal level, Orrin has developed a successful marriage with his wife Laurie and raised four wonderful kids.

 

Dan Hawkins wrote:

I am so proud to be in business with Orrin Woodward for his courage to stand on principle.  While many people talk the talk Orrin Woodward walks the walk. The “Amway Drones” accuse Orrin of being only concerned about money; however, as far back as 2005, he volunteered to take a pay cut to fix the business model. What leader that is only concerned about money would do that? Clearly Orrin is more concerned with helping new people win then padding his own pocketbook.

When Orrin chose to confront the powers-that-be, and try to fix the problems, he did so knowing it would jeopardize his respected position at the company. Instead of making millions while other struggled, Orrin risked bankruptcy and spent tens of millions of dollars in order to stand on his convictions. Orrin did not enter this conflict with the intention of starting a new company, or gaining more wealth; rather, he did it because principles he holds dear were at stake; freedom and justice.

I was with him one weekend during probably the hardest part of this fight when he said to me, “If Laurie and I have to sell everything and move back into a trailer, that is what we will do to make this right.”

Does that sound like a money-hungry greedy person, or a person who is willing to sell everything except his principles?

 

Tim Marks wrote:

Orrin Woodward’ accomplishments include:

There have been thousands of books published by the leaders in other networks, but how many have made the NY Time best-seller list?  Less than can be counted on one hand!

Orrin Woodward is a Leader

In one of the silliest blog postings I’ve ever read about Orrin, someone in public relations from a multi-billion dollar company (Amway Global) actually had the gall to call Orrin a “MIS-Leader”, despite the fact that over 40,000 people followed him out of Amway’s former sister corporation Quixtar. Have you ever heard of a billion dollar plus company singling out an individual to throw tomatoes at before? I certainly haven’t. In my mind, above anything else, this confirms Orrin must be a top leader because one of his billion dollar competitors fears him enough to write an entire blog post in a futile attempt to defame his leadership and character. Perhaps this is the real motivation for the Amway drones continued attempts to knock Orrin – they must be feeling pretty embarrassed, having misjudged the character and resolve of Orrin Woodward.  Each time he receives another leadership award or accolade these guys are probably reaching for the towel to wipe the egg off of their faces. Orrin, the so called “MIS-leader” just won one of the most prestigious leadership awards in the country in direct competition with Jack Welch, Tony Robbins, and Jim Collins to name just a few of his peers. Ouch… that one had to hurt.

 

As Orrin Woodward and Life Leadership continue to grow, they will continue to be a lightning rod for critics. It is simply because they are trying to help people. Period. As a new person doing his or her research, you have to realize this simple truth and then jump on board. There is a lot of work to do and a lot of hurting people to help.  Lets get to it!

#SetTheRecordStraight

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Warning – The truth about Orrin Woodward may shock you!

If you are doing your research on Orrin Woodward and his business model, Life Leadership, you have landed on the right page. This article will explore Orrin Woodward, his character, his vision and the history of his business dealings the best way I know how – from multiple, first-hand testimonials. Like the old saying goes, “you can tell a lot about a person by the company that he keeps”. Therefore, I will only include quotes and commentary from people who have known Orrin Woodward for at least 14 years or longer. So let’s read what we can from the “company that Orrin keeps”:

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Bill Lewis

Bill Lewis has known Orrin for almost 15 years. His article concerning Orrin’s character and integrity is one of the best out there. I also appreciate his perspective because he is extremely logical and easy to understand where he is coming from. Check out this excerpt (you can link to the full article here):

Character

An important beginning step is to define character because some people definitely have a skewed view of what that means. Character has two parts: 1) the avoidance of doing something wrong (If a person is doing something that is wrong, then by default, he can’t be doing what is right), and 2) taking action to do what is right. Orrin has been in business for nearly twenty years, and his businesses are based on developing relationships with people. He tells people exactly what is going to happen when they decide to join his businesses. Logically, if he wasn’t telling the truth, wouldn’t the tens of thousands of people who are following him figure that out and stop following him? The fact of the matter is those people continue to follow him because his actions line up with his words. There are some that have chosen not to associate anymore, and that is to be expected when building a volunteer business. However, if Orrin was a liar, wouldn’t the masses and certainly those closest to him figure that out and stop associating? Some might be thinking right now, “But that’s because the people closest to him get a special deal.” That is a great lead into the business side of all this.

The Man

The shocking part about Orrin Woodward, the man, is that he is not only driven to succeed, but he also desires to do so in the right way, based on principles. Indeed, if something is not based on principles, then Orrin refuses to function in that environment. He is more driven to improve himself daily because he understands the principle of The Law of the Lid: An organization grows to the level of its leader; therefore, Orrin continually attacks his own thinking in an effort to learn and grow. With all of that said, he is human and, therefore, has made mistakes. But his willingness to admit those mistakes and to do what he can to fix them is extremely impressive. In a world where people perpetually blame others, Orrin, instead, accepts responsibility and focuses on improving. It’s hard to not like someone like that. His humility and his faith also separate him from the crowd. In most organizations, the person that created it makes himself the supreme being of that company. Orrin, on the other hand, usually takes a back seat in order to let others lead and receive the glory. His goal is to surround himself with the best leaders, which takes a person who understands where he comes from and possesses a humble spirit that enables him to realize that one person doesn’t have all the answers. On a personal level, Orrin has developed a successful marriage with his wife Laurie and raised four wonderful kids.

Tim Marks

Tim Marks has worked almost exclusively with Orrin Woodard for almost 15 years now. I appreciate Tim because he is a no-nonsense seeker of absolute truth. From what I can tell, the longer he works with Orrin, the more his respect for Orrin grows. Check out this excerpt from an article written a few years ago (you can link to the full article here):

Thanks to the leadership wisdom and personal mentoring from the Woodward’s, Amy and I have been job-optional, living a dream lifestyle since 2002. So, in the spirit of balancing silly nonsense with the facts, let’s do a quick refresher on just a few of Orrin’s impressive list of accomplishments.

Orrin Woodward’ accomplishments include:

Orrin Woodward is the co-author of the New York Times, BusinessWeek, and USA Today best-selling book, Launching a Leadership Revolution

He is an honored alumni of the esteemed Kettering University for his incredible entrepreneurial achievements

He was ranked #6 in 2011 on the Top-30 Leadership Guru list, alongside other world-class authors and thought leaders such as Stephen Covey and John Maxwell

He was ranked #20 on the Inc. Magazine Top 50 Leadership and Management Experts, alongside John Maxwell, Stephen Covey and Ken Blanchard!

There have been thousands of books published by the leaders in other networks, but how many have made the NY Time best-seller list? Less than can be counted on one hand!

So, the tomato-throwers can’t knock the fact Orrin is a best-selling author, and they can’t knock the fact he is ranked as a top leadership guru in several different lists.

 Holger Spiewak

Holger Spiewak has also known Orrin Woodward for almost 15 years. Like Bill Lewis, he is highly logical and writes with an almost scientific perspective. From what I can tell about Holger, if there were a problem, he would be one of the first to be a whistleblower. Check out this excerpt (you can link to the full article here):

14 years ago I met Orrin Woodward and Chris Brady through my friend Bill Lewis.  Ever since I met them their example has inspired me to do what is RIGHT.  Now, I am not claiming that Orrin and Chris are perfect, however, in my 46 years in this world I have met thousands of people from all walks of life and Orrin and Chris’ character and integrity has been second to none.  Being around these gentlemen in many situation, both in public and in private, their willingness to do what is right, even if it costs them, has been AMAZING, for lack of a better word.  On November 11, 2011, Orrin and Chris (together with Rob Hallstrand, Bill Lewis, Tim Marks, George Guzzardo, Claude Hamilton, and Dan Hawkins) founded and launched the LIFE Leadership company.  This happened after almost 2 decades of Orrin and Chris working on developing the BEST business concept the world has ever seen.  The continuous improvement is still ongoing.  Orrin is a genius and I truly believe that he is going to be the next Sam Walton.  Chris Brady recently announced that, after Orrin approached him with this idea, he would step back from his responsibilities of working in the field of LIFE Leadership to find and develop leaders of compensated communities, and become the CEO of LIFE Leadership.  Wow, here is a man true to his calling and I believe when the history books are written, Chris will be the Steve Jobs of LIFE Leadership.  Call me crazy but we will talk again in 50 years.

 

These are just a few examples. I know that there are thousands more people who have known Orrin Woodward for many years; and they would happily line up to give testimony to the difference that the Woodward’s have made in their life – personally and professionally. They are the real deal. This is why the article came with a warning – because it is shocking to find a real leader worth following in this day and age. So I am excited that you are doing your due diligence. The next step is to go meet some of the leaders at a live seminar near you. You won’t be disappointed!

#SetTheRecordStraight

Life Leadership: It’s history with Quixtar and MonaVie

Part 1 – The Heroes of Life Leadership

I love hearing true stories of modern day heroes! At the national level, each of our countries are full of brave men and women in our armed services that have showcased honor, bravery and sacrifice. Again, right in our own communities, there exist countless stories of heroes – from law enforcement to firefighters to nurses and teachers – all performing brave acts and making the world around them better. When it comes to the world of business, there are also heroes out there making real sacrifices in order to help make the world around them a better place.

When I read about the story of this group of business partners that make up Life Leadership, I not only see another modern day hero, but a large group of heroes. After the fury of a great battle passes, the strong gather to tell the stories to the next generation of leaders. Life Leadership has an amazing story so far – full of drama, heartbreak and victory – and this is their story. The journey that these men and women have survived so far has forged an amazing team of core leaders that deserve credit for their bravery, their character and their sacrifice. If you are new to Life Leadership or are doing your research (like any good skeptic should) on these folks, you are in for a treat! They are the ‘real deal’!

The heroes of this story are not only the ones named in the headlines, but also thousands un-named. If you spend any length of time around the seminars and conventions of Life Leadership, you can hear many un-written heroic acts of this brave group of men and women.

That being said, Orrin & Laurie Woodward (and their family) certainly deserve the highest honors in this story, due to their enormous sacrifices when it mattered most to their teammates (financially stunning, emotionally taxing, spiritually testing, and having to endure more back-stabbing from so called “friends” than I care to write about).

If you are looking to join a company and group of leaders who have proven themselves worthy of following, look no further. They know how to dream big. They know how to work hard. They know how to put people first. They know how to learn from history. They know that they must constantly grow personally and professionally. They never run from a fight, when it is noble and right. They seek God’s will and direction for every decision they make. They have a goal to make a difference in over 1 million lives worldwide.

So here is the synopsis so far from Orrin Woodward himself. I will interject my own highlights from time to time. Enjoy the article!

What was the 2007-2010 legal dispute between some of the LIFE leaders, Quixtar and Mona Vie about?

I get asked this question periodically even though the dispute ended in 2010. Still, I believe the highlights from the issue can help a person understand the principles LIFE Leadership is founded upon. Before discussing the details, however, I think it’s important to share that I have no hard feelings for anyone who worked with Quixtar or currently works with Amway. As a matter of fact, I still have friends that work within the company. I believe life is too short to carry grudges and what is past is past. Further, I have heard from several sources that Amway has softened its litigation policy against leaders who want to leave the company. For this, I am thankful. Finally, I learned a ton during my time with Quixtar and have many memorable experiences. In consequence, I have taken the good, flushed the bad, and move ahead with no animosity.

Before LIFE Leadership was launched, Laurie and I, along with some of the other top leaders, worked with a company called Quixtar to build our community (business asset). Quixtar was a North American Internet based multi-level business started by the owners of Amway, but set up as a separate company from it’s parent. This was an important feature to me because I had joined Amway in 1993 when I learned they were developing an Interactive Distribution model to combine high-tech and high-touch. Regretfully, however, by 1998, I realized this was more hype than substance and had not come to fruition. Since I had no interest in building a traditional Amway business, we planned on starting a new venture.

Nevertheless, after hearing Ken McDonald (Quixtar’s first managing-director) share his vision for a new online model, we changed our minds. Since it was a separate from Amway (but backed by the founders funds) and would leverage the fast-growing Internet, we were intrigued. As a result, in 1999, we chose not renew our Amway distributorship and joined Quixtar instead as an IBO (Independent Business Owner).

The online model fit our young and hungry team perfectly. In fact, from 1999 through 2007, Laurie and I led the fastest growing organization within the whole company. We grew from several hundred to over ten thousand people attending events and our sales increased from a couple hundred thousand dollars to over one hundred million dollars! In addition, many other teams sought our training and started growing resulting in nearly another hundred million dollars in volume. Our training organization, in other words, was responsible for nearly $200 million of Quixtar’s total sales.

HIGHLIGHT:  IN 8 YEARS, THEIR APPROACH TO BUILDING COMMUNITIES CREATED A TWO-HUNDRED-MILLION-DOLLAR PER YEAR ASSET!!

Unfortunately, the rest of Quixtar was not doing well, mainly because the older, more mature organizations seemed unable to adjust to building an online business. I saw the loss of confidence and numbers firsthand because I was asked to speak (hundreds of times) to Quixtar groups across North America. Dismally, instead of growing into the 100 billion dollar company predicted by Ken McDonald and other top leaders, Quixtar leveled off around a billion dollars even with our team’s meteoric growth. In fact, many of the top leaders lost half their numbers or more as they struggled to marry high-touch communities with the high-tech online environment. Nonetheless, I didn’t realize the precarious nature of the Quixtar business until Ken McDonald abruptly announced his retirement in 2005 despite flying to see me just weeks earlier to discuss future strategies. To say I was disappointed would be an understatement (Ken and I worked well together), but I also respected Quixtar’s right to choose its leadership team.

Curiously, however, Quixtar’s new managing-director was also an Amway vice-president. Although I thought this was strange, I was assured on numerous occasions that the two were still separate corporations and the change in management was merely to help Quixtar increase its sales. As a result, the 2007 announcement that Quixtar was closing its doors and that all its Independent Business Owners (IBOs) would be transitioned into Amway shocked me. This was unacceptable for several reasons. For one thing, I was not in Amway (having purposefully not renewed when Quixtar launched), nor did I want to be in Amway. For another, I had told tens of thousands of people that they were independent business owners affiliated with Quixtar just as the IBO moniker implied. True, Quixtar was owned by the founders of Amway, but they were allegedly separate companies with separate field organizations. Indeed, I must have repeated this message of separate companies a thousand times because that is what Ken McDonald and the rest of the Quixtar’s management team had told all of us. In sum, I had been misled, and thus had inadvertently misled others.

For me, the whole conflict was a moral issue. On one hand, I knew Quixtar (like any company) had the power to break its commitments to its customers, but it didn’t have the power to avoid the subsequent fallout. On the other hand, how could I represent a company to others that I believed had misrepresented itself to me? Indeed, leadership is character in motion and without trust, it’s impossible for any leader to get in motion. Nevertheless, quitting my independent business was not as simple as it sounded since Amway had stated its intention to litigate against any leader attempting to leave the Amway/Quixtar (indeed, hundreds were sued before and after me). Not surprisingly, the legal risk intimidated many other leaders into submission, but it only emboldened our leadership team. For if we stayed with Amway because we feared litigation, then we would be imprisoned into Amway’s Legal Matrix and not truly independent anyway. How, in a word, could we ever recommend others to join us as independent business owners when we knew in our hearts that this was no longer true?

HIGHLIGHT: ORRIN AND HIS BAND OF MIGHTY MEN HAD THE CHARACTER AND COURAGE TO FACE THE PROBLEMS HEAD ON AND DO THE RIGHT THING REGARDLESS OF THE COST. IT IS ALSO IMPORTANT TO NOTE THAT ORRIN HAD TO HAVE BEEN VERY FISCALLY CONSERVATIVE FOR YEARS, SO THAT WHEN THE “RAINS CAME”, HE COULD HELP HIS TEAM WEATHER THE STORMS.

Although the easiest thing to do would have been to rejoin Amway, announce my retirement, and slowly watch my groups dissolve, this was morally unconscionable. I also doubted Amway’s antiquated business model could work in the internet savvy North American market regardless of how many millions Amway spent on television advertisements (Amway no longer discloses North American sales volume but it is rumored to have dropped precipitously). How could Laurie and I in good conscience give up our purpose and principles for profit while our community suffered? And yet, I also knew that I would be sued by Amway (a multi-billion dollar international company) if I didn’t agree to their plan. Financially, this was a lose-lose scenario. Neither option, in other words, was without massive risk and challenges, but leaders are paid to make decisions and it was time to make a decision.

Thankfully, I had great leaders like Chris Brady, Tim Marks, Claude Hamilton, George Guzzardo and Bill Lewis (interestingly, I barely knew my good friend and LIFE co-Founder Dan Hawkins at the time), who all believed we should choose character over convenience. Accordingly, I called a meeting to announce my immediate resignation and intention to sit out Quixtar’s six month non-compete period. My plan was to form a new company and build our businesses entirely separate from either Quixtar or Amway. Disastrously, however, instead of accepting my resignation, Amway announced it was “firing” me (how a company can fire an independent business owner is still inexplicable to me). They proceeded to call each of the leaders in our community to demand they choose either Quixtar (soon to be Amway) or staying with me. Of course, the field leaders had no idea what Quixtar was talking about since I had not announced to anyone (except a handful of my top leaders) any plans to start another business.

HIGHLIGHT:  JUST LIKE THE BIBLICAL ACCOUNT OF DAVID AND HIS MIGHTY MEN, SO TO DID ORRIN HAVE A GROUP OF MIGHTY MEN SURROUNDING HIM THAT NOT ONLY PROVIDED SUPPORT, BUT A GREAT REASON FOR ALL TO PERSEVERE – TO FIGHT FOR EACH OTHER.

Amway’s management team had no idea the hornet nests they had knocked over. People in our organization were already upset at the name change and now Amway/Quixtar compounded its errors through firing myself and Chris, manufacturing press releases, and issuing business ultimatums. Not surprisingly, Quixtar paid for its hubris. In our organization alone, over 50,000 IBOs resigned rather than switch to Amway. Of course, Amway (true to their promise) initiated multi-million dollar court and arbitration proceedings against me and others. The financial stakes were high since we had already lost our business incomes and now risked bankruptcy. Evidently, the plan appeared to be to sue people into submission.

Consequently, starting our own company was out of the question. It would be foolhardy to attempt when a multi-billion dollar company was seeking to squash us. I didn’t feel that falling on my own sword and hurting the many people who followed me out of Quixtar was the proper plan. Rather, I needed a plan for survival until Amway realized we would not surrender our principles no matter what the consequences. Accordingly, I sought a join another company so I could earn money to help support our growing legal mess (tens of millions of dollars). Of course, I ensured, upfront, that once the legal battles were over, we would be free to start our own business if we still desired to.

Fortunately, I found Dallin Larsen, the 2009 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year and founder of Mona Vie. Mona Vie, in 2008, was one of the fastest growing companies in the network marketing. While he benefited from bringing in our large organization (millions of dollars per month in volume), he also had taken a huge risk. In truth, I do not see how we would have survived without working with Mona Vie. As expected, Amway subsequently sued Mona Vie (I commend their persistence) and countless more millions were spent battling the behemoth. Fortunately, Dallin Larsen did not flinch and followed through on everything he committed to despite several years of legal harassment.

Finally, in 2010, a global settlement was reached. After much pain and pressure (the battle had left no one unscathed) the war was over. I believe Amway finally realized the IBOs who resigned were not coming back and we had enough funding to continue the legal battles indefinitely. As a result, the biggest leadership challenge we had ever faced was finally over. Our community was FREE! This was our team’s finest moment. I have never been prouder of any group of leaders for they had survived nearly three years (2007 through 2010) without surrendering. Some even choosing to declare bankruptcy rather than give in to Amway’s legal demands.

In closing, many times during the war I had told the leaders that those who stayed would be champions. It is inspiring to see how many achievers stayed with us to finish the million person mission. These men and women are the one’s who dreamed, the one’s who dared, and the one’s who sacrificed to make LIFE Leadership a reality. Although I have read thousands of books on businesses, I have never found a more inspiring example of a group of common people willing to face uncommon giants. Perhaps the best description of the LIFE Leadership pioneers is the plaque at the Overpass Museum in Carney, Nebraska, “The cowards never started. The weak died on the way. Only the strong survived.” If a person is ready to face his personal Goliath, I know of no stronger community to help him do so than LIFE Leadership.

In summary, the heroes in this story are too many to name.  But I assure you they are at every monthly Life seminar across North America (and soon to be around the world) shaking hands, encouraging people and working hard to make a difference.  So before you pass judgement on Life Leadership, go and meet them.  And be prepared to be amazed…

Understanding the Raquel Peters vs. Blomdahl / Woodward lawsuit

Part 3: A funny video to help summarize the arguments in the Peters vs. Woodward et al. case

If you are new to this blog or doing further research on this case, you can find my previous blog details on the lawsuits involving Mark & Raquel Peters vs. Eric Blomdahl, Orrin Woodward, and other LIFE business leaders here:

 Setting the Record Straight – Part 1

Setting the Record Straight – Part 2

Over time, the details of the conflict and disagreement between these two parties may get blurred. During the upcoming litigation, well-trained lawyers will do their best to argue each side. So to keep things simple, I would like to share a video that I came across today. It is SO FUNNY in the way that it parallels some of the victim attitudes that you will read about if you do any fact-finding at all. It is also a sad example of how people can hold onto this victim attitude to ruin their own happiness – and at the same time blaming someone else for their poor circumstances. Enjoy!

#SetTheRecordStraight