Part 5 – Orrin Woodward, Chris Brady, Social Capital and the Test of True Friendships
“We few, we happy few, we Band of Brothers. For he today that sheds his blood with me, shall be my brother..” – William Shakespeare from King Henry V
True leadership only shines in difficult times. There are many points in history where only a strong leader who is unwavering in their principles will be followed. To a non-leader, this type of leader is, at best an anomaly and at worsts a pariah. George Washington was chosen to lead the Revolutionary War and the Presidency not because of how tall he was, how wealthy he was nor where he went to school. He was chosen to lead because he was a man of iron principle, integrity and honor. This type of person attracts and builds something called social capital.
When the Quixtar letters were sent out, I can only imagine that the owners and legal staff concluded that they had financial capital to use as leverage to force members to capitulate to their demands. I imagine that Quixtar staff and legal council suggesting “nobody would dare give up their income and their entire business that they worked so hard for, just to follow Orrin and Chris into the unknown!” The rule in the Quixtar Member Contract was that you could not join another networking company for 6 months – so who would be crazy enough to give up their income and potentially start from scratch after 6 months? This is were Quixtar brass missed it – they were all about to witness the true power of social capital. Orrin Woodward and Chris Brady followed the judges TRO completely (phones and computers were seized for discovery by the lawyers, and proved in court there were no traces of down-line communication whatsoever). Not even the lawyers could understand why, in the days and weeks that followed, an avalanche of resignation letters were submitted to Quixtar. What began as a few member resignations led to dozens, which led to hundreds, which led to many thousands of resignations sent in to Quixtar. It was estimated that, within 60 days, Quixtar had managed to scare away almost $200 million in annual market share and an incalculable amount of potential growth revenue in years to come (full article reference here).
It was argued over and over, “They had to have communicated somehow!” Nope. The fact remains that Orrin and Chris did no such thing. To the mass of Team members who were in the dark, two facts were all that were needed. Fact #1: ‘Orrin and Chris were no longer a part of the Quixtar business.’ Fact #2: ‘Orrin and Chris were (and still are today) men of iron principle and integrity who have served a group of men and women for over a decade. As a result, they have earned a tremendous amount of social capital.’ This is all that was needed for the first wave of Team members to logically conclude that, “if Orrin and Chris are no longer in Quixtar, then I don’t want to be either.” This first wave of resignations to Quixtar was not a blind leap by mindless drones. This was social capital in its finest form. Through deductive reasoning, members could discern the facts concerning the status of Orrin and Chris at that time: (1) they are no longer with Quixtar, (2) they have always had a vision serve a million person team, (3) they have a track record of good character, integrity and service to others, (4) they have always adapted in adversity. Therefore a leader could conclude that there must be another ‘mountain top’ on the other side of this impending ‘valley’. The first wave of resignations led to an exponentially bigger second wave following the same explanation of social capital at other levels within the Team organization. Wave after wave of resignation letters crashed the membership department at Quixtar. Just like a scene out of the stock trading floor in Wall Street when there is panic in the trading markets, I imaging Quixtar staff frantically yelling and scrambling for answers to why, oh why, in a matter of 3 months, did they lose tens of thousands of distributors and a $200 million per year portion of their North American business… The answer is clear looking backwards: Social capital trumped financial capital.
The phenomenon of social capital can only be understood by studying those rare events in history: the Biblical account of David and his Mighty Men, the Greek history of Achilles and his Myrmidons, the original signers of the Declaration of Independence, and the WWII paratroopers of Easy Company portrayed in the movie series Band of Brothers (to name a few examples). It is something that is built and earned over time by adhering to the laws of leadership. Period. In addition, those who don’t have social capital have a very difficult time understanding those who do. Case and point: Quixtar’s next move.
The battle is about to begin – stay tuned for Part 6!
Chris Brady is Founder, CEO and Creative Director of the Life Leadership business. Although Chris takes his duties and responsibilities very serious, he does not take himself too serious. What I mean is that Chris is one of the most likeable and joy-filled guys that you would ever have the privilege of meeting. Chris is seriously fun to listen to, with his quick wit and the ability to turn a funny tale into a fantastic lesson. Along with Orrin Woodward, Chris is an extremely well read individual who teaches people to dig into books as if they contained priceless buried treasure inside. Most importantly, Chris has a passion to lead people to his savior, Jesus Christ, and to empower other people to become a force for good in this fallen world.
The Vision of Chris Brady and Orrin Woodward
With Chris’s impressive professional credentials (see below), solid personal character and his drive towards excellence in all areas of life, I am appalled that anybody could write anything derogatory online. Both Chris Brady and Orrin Woodward have dedicated their lives to the building of something magnificent that will provide some of the greatest opportunities that the masses will ever be exposed to. They are fighting to keep the American Dream alive and well – and not just in America, but all over the world. They are creating a company that can equip the masses to excel in their personal and professional lives. At the same time, they are creating opportunities for people who want their ladder of success to not be limited by a corporate pay scale by creating a compensation plan that has no ceiling. They are both revolutionizing the home-based industry.
Chris Brady’s message to critics
Here is a short excerpt from Chris as he indirectly addresses critics to Life Leadership in the classy and witty style that he does everything else with:
Enter the Antagonists (Who Would Dare Say LIFE Leadership is a Scam)
Opposed to our revolutionizing the industry is, of course, anyone who wants things to stay as they are in any of the above four trends. As the saying goes, “When you set out to change the world, you’d better beware of those who already run it!” This includes entrenched competitors and those who work for them or prosper by their position, who are, as is only natural, threatened by what we are attempting to achieve. What results is the most natural situation in which two different sides are battling it out in the marketplace for proof that their way of doing things is best. As is so wonderful in the capitalistic system (as Orrin Woodward has written about on numerous occasions) the customer gets to decide. We respect our competitors of all stripes and sizes and look forward to the challenge they provide on the playing field of free enterprise!
To Chris Brady and Orrin Woodward: Thanks for all you do!
To the Antagonists, big and small: If you have a better way to make the world a better place, then go do it. Otherwise, shut up!
Short summary of Chris Brady’s professional credentials:
Chris Brady is founder, CEO, and Creative Director of LIFE Leadership. He also serves as the Executive Publisher of Obstaclés Press and is a New York Times bestselling author, speaker, humorist, and businessman. Chris has sold over a million copies of his books in 6 different languages.
Just recently, Chris was named the #2 Humorist to Follow on Twitter.
He also made the Likeable Local’s Top 150 Great Marketers to Follow in 2015.
Chris was named one of the The Modern Servant Leader’s Top Leadership Experts to Follow in 2015.
Also in 2015 he made the list for The Top 20 Most Followed Leadership Gurus on Twitter!
In May of 2014, Chris was ranked number 39 on Inc. magazine’s Top 50 Leadership and Management Experts .
Chris is also listed among the Top 100 Authors to Follow on Twitter (@RascalTweets).
In 2010, he received the Kettering/GMI Alumni Association Entrepreneurial Achievement Award.
His blog has been chosen by Online Masters Degree Programs for a Masters Award in Leadership, selected as a Top Management Resource for 2012, and listed in the Top 150 Management and Leadership Blogs.
Launching a Leadership Revolution (coauthored with Orrin Woodward)
Rascal (Gold Medal winner in the 2013 Living Now Evergreen Book Awards)
EDGE (co-authored with Orrin Woodward)
Leadership and Liberty (co-authored with Orrin Woodward)
Leadership: Tidbits and Treasures (co-authored with Orrin Woodward)
LIFE (co-authored with Orrin Woodward)
Continuted from Part 1…
Here are a few more excuses you may run into as you begin your journey:
“That is just another MLM, where you have to recruit other people.”
First of all, this is not just another MLM. What an uneducated and acute thing to say! Life Leadership cannot be put in that box (or stereotype). This is next generation community building that is only getting better! Second, every business on planet earth recruits people to buy their product, market their product and improve their product. When somebody says this to you in a derogatory tone, this is a type of vanity – wanting to look good to everybody. To gain acceptance from everybody and, in many cases, look cooler than everybody else. Life Leadership will teach you that the most attractive person is the man or woman that is genuinely interested in other people and has a way to help them live the life they have always wanted to live.
“You have to be a salesman to make it in something like that.”
This is not true. Yes, there are some basic skills to learn about getting people started into your community. You do have to develop confidence and posture. All of these things can be learned. People skills are called “skills” because you can learn them. The real secret to becoming successful in Life Leadership is that you have to cultivate the 3-H’s from Orrin Woodward and Chris Brady’s book, Launching a Leadership Revolution. You have to be Hungry, Hone-able and Honorable. On top of this, you have to genuinely care about people.
“You can’t afford that! They want you to spend $200 per month so the top guy can make his millions.”
Give me a break! The cynic who says this definitely knows nothing about Life Leadership. First of all, customer sales are a requirement of the business side of Life Leadership. An important part of getting you started properly is to help you acquire some customers. Not only does this help you make money faster, but also it helps you satisfy the recommended personal volume requirement to be a PBO (Professional Business Owner). Secondly, show me another business that requires zero investment? Life Leadership is extremely flexible and sensitive to the needs of a person struggling financially. In fact, the first thing you should do is follow the steps outlined in the Financial Fitness Program to cut un-necessary expenses and develop a concise plan to get out of debt. So the “you can’t afford that” comment is ridiculous! Most people can’t afford not to! I would go as far as saying that the Financial Matrix is sucking more money in interest than the average person could invest if they bought every product that Life Leadership offers! This is absolutely a win-win deal for the new member.
“You are too busy to do something like this.”
This is another favorite from your friend, Captain Obvious. Of course you are busy! What, do you think people that succeed in Life Leadership start out with no job, no family, and no other commitments? Give me a break. You will never become “not so busy” that you eventually have time to build communities in Life Leadership! Why not ask the question, “why are you so busy?” or “is your busy-ness producing the results you really desire?” A deeper question to ponder is “What is the best you can expect if you maintain your level of busy-ness for the next 5 years?” If the answer is somewhere in the ballpark of “Your boss’s position, then you have to ask yourself if you would be happy with the lifestyle that he or she lives? Or are they just busier at a little higher level? Seriously? Time to check the fruit on the tree and compare it honestly to what you really want your future to look like. If you like the lifestyle of the person 5 years further into your career, then keep on trucking (you can be a customer of Life Leadership and I am sure it will accelerate that process for you). If not, it is time to look at your busy calendar and squeeze some time in to learn and build communities with Life Leadership.
“I have too much on my plate. When I do something, I want to give 100%.”
This comment makes no sense at all. It is a fancy excuse to say “I’m a chicken” while trying to impress you with their “badge of busy-ness”. Don’t take my comments the wrong way, everybody has the right to say “no”, but this comment sounds really funny to those of us who have thought the matter through. Think about it from a time management perspective, does this person give 100% of their time to their job? No. Does this person give 100% of their time to their family? No. Does this person really give 100% to any worthwhile activity in any given day? No. They split up their time with the things that are most important. What I hope this person does practice is to give 100% concentration and focus to each task in their day. With this in mind, the question that begs to be asked from this person’s life is “are the tasks that you do daily producing the lifestyle you want for you and your family?” If the answer is “yes”, keep doing what you are doing and stop making lame excuses for not getting involved with the business side of Life Leadership. Just say thank you for the information and become a customer. If the answer is “no”, then lets find a way to put more things in your daily schedule that do get you closer to the life you have always wanted to life!
There are a few more excuses and objections, but I will save them for a comedy edition titled: “The funniest things that people have said in the process of turning down a great opportunity”.
OK, so you are new to Life Leadership, or at the very least, checking it out. You have certainly come to the right place! It is time to pick apart what some of the critics are going to say to you, and help you gain the right perspective.
Let me begin by telling you that your belief and knowledge will be tested any time you attempt to do something great. Maybe not today, but eventually somebody will offer their negative comments or opinion about Life Leadership and try to mess with your head. This will be difficult because these comments can come from a close family member or friend who genuinely cares about you but, quite frankly, does not have a clue what they are talking about. I call this type of person “Acluistic” meaning “one having no clue”. Some will even sound really smart and sound like they know what they are talking about, but unless they have been involved with Life Leadership for the last 3 months, they are “Acluistic” or “they have no clue”. So your task is to do your own homework and make your own decisions based upon facts. Don’t just blindly accept the ignorant analysis of the “Acluist”.
So lets walk through some of the things that your “well-meaning” family member or friend may say to you:
“Oh, that thing sounds like a pyramid.”
Of course they are going to say this because that’s what everybody says to try to make themselves sound smart and discerning! There is a very good chance that the place that your friend works is more of a “pyramid” structure than a Life Leadership organization. The difference is that in all jobs, the top positions/titles always gets the most money. This is how the “credentialist” system works; in Life Leadership, the new guy can earn a spot at the top based upon performance, not position. This is how a “creator” system or a performance/results system works.
“I would be careful if I were you.“
The folks that will say this to you are saying this out of ignorance. What they really should be saying is “I have no facts or experience on building a leadership team or compensated community, so I would go to one of their Leadership conferences to investigate further if I were you.” Unfortunately, pride and ego prevent people from saying this. Instead, they prefer to ‘feel’ smart so instead they advise you to live in their comfort zone to be safe. That being said, there are real scams out there, but Life Leadership is not one. (If it were a scam, it would have been shut down already).
“I knew somebody that did something like that ended up losing friends and alienating people.”
This is a serious comment that I want to make very clear: The only way somebody loses friends it is because they offended them and did not work to resolve the issue. Period! The other dimension to this comment would be this: Most likely you had some good friends in Elementary and Middle School. Then you went to High School- there you probably made good friends with new people. Did you stop being friends with your Elementary school friends? No, not at all. Shared experiences in a new school forces you to develop new “good” friends. After High School, many people go to College and make some more “good” friends. So did you stop being friends with your High School friends? Of course not! You just did not see them as often, but you are still friends. You start a career and make a few friends at your new job. Did you stop being friends with your College buddies? No. Same thing, you are still friends, but you may not see them as often. So what will happen when you build a Life Leadership business? The same thing! You will certainly make some new friends! Does this mean you will lose any of the other friendships you have gained? No. Remember, the only way to lose friends is to hurt or offend them and make no effort to apologize and mend the friendship. My favorite thing about Life Leadership is that you never have to graduate from it and move on! You get to keep gaining friends for the rest of your life. This is fantastic!
“Of course they want you to go to a meeting! They want to get your hopes up so they can sell you their products!”
Way to go, Captain Obvious! Of course you are expected to go to a meeting – the meeting is the most important part of the “product”. There is nothing bad about getting your hopes up and there is nothing bad about marketing a product! So Captain Obvious doesn’t think you should attend a meeting, huh? Ask the moron who makes a comment like this if he would buy a house without walking thru, or buy a car without first taking it on a test drive. The Life Leadership community of people is the heart of the business. Yes, of course there is a sales/marketing plan, but you go to the meeting to meet and get to know the people and the culture in your area. Furthermore, we want to get your hopes up because the possibilities are real. The compensation is real. The system that helps people escape the Financial Matrix is real! Does Captain Obvious really expect you to keep your hopes and expectations low? Wow, nice friend…
Stay tuned for part 2!
I recently came across an article written by Dave Marriott, pastor of Lakewood Baptist Church titled, “The Threat of Team and the Life Business: A Warning to Fellow-Shepherds”. As honorable as I think his intentions were, he completely missed the mark. I appreciate what he is doing as a Pastor and a brother in Christ, however his poor lack of judgment only gives ammunition to the enemy that loves to see the Church divided.
After reading this article, I could not help but think of that funny grade-school exercise where person “A” whispers something to person “B”, then person “B” whispers it to person “C” and so on.. When it finally gets to person “Z”, the original message gets distorted so much, that in many cases it is un-recognizable. I think this is what happened to Pastor Marriott in writing this article. He claims that, ”throughout the course of countless talks and adequate research” he has identified perceived dangers (which are just negative opinion from critics). Then, without going to the source for clarification (or Person “A”), he gathers data from what I would call Persons “W,X,Y and Z” and then writes his misguided opinions on the internet for all the world to see. I am very disappointed in Pastor Marriott’s behavior in doing this.
Now I am writing this as a lay Christian, but there is plenty of clear teaching in the scripture to illuminate why Pastor Marriott’s behavior merits correction. Before I attempt to answer his alleged violations, here are three points as to why I am so disappointed and why his article deserves rebuke:
1. Seek facts from the source: the founders of Life Leadership
Matthew 18:15 (ESV) “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother.”
If Pastor Marriott thought that a fellow brother in Christ was off track (or a group of believers), why wouldn’t he seek resolution with Persons “A” directly?? For example, he could have contacted Orrin Woodward (Chairman of the Policy Council), or Dan Hawkins (another Policy Council member that lives less than an hour from his church) or any of the other Life Founders? This behavior is not acceptable, especially from a Pastor.
2. Resolve differences and misunderstandings with the source: the founders of Life Leadership
Proverbs 11:13 “A talebearer reveals secrets, but he who is of a faithful spirit conceals a matter.”
Proverbs 16:28 “A perverse man sows strife, and a whisperer separates the best of friends.”
Proverbs 6:16-19 “These six things the Lord hates, yes, seven are an abomination to him: A proud look, A lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, A heart that devises wicked plans, feet that are swift in running to evil, A false witness who speaks lies, And one who sows discord among the brethren.”
Pastor Marriott chose not to seek facts from the source (NOTE: Third party misguided opinions do not make facts). Next, Pastor Marriott chose not to address his concerns with the source. Finally, Pastor Marriott chose to spread gossip and become a talebearer against fellow believers on the biggest mountaintop he could find – the world wide web. This is a deliberate attempt to sow seeds of discord. There is no argument that justifies this behavior and a Pastor does not have special license to behave this way, especially against other believers.
3. Redeeming the time and working together
Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
I would like to recommend to Pastor Marriott, to stay focused on what he has been called to do: to continue faithfully serving his flock and the spiritually sick – not spend precious hours attacking other Christians. We are on the same team. Life Leadership, when properly promoted, is a mighty force for good in this fallen world. Why is it that the Christian faith is the only faith where it finds false justification to shoot its own people?
Now, lets speak to his alleged “5 Dangers with the Team and the Life Business”:
Alleged Claim: “The Team is not Christ-Centered in its Approach to Life”.
Rebuttal: Life Leadership’s founders are definitely Christ centered. Sorry if the wheel diagram threw you off, Pastor Marriott! The founders of Life Leadership certainly agree that only Christ alone can transform a life. Pastor Marriott takes a simple diagram and draws this conclusion? Really? The truth is that the core of Life Leadership is practicing the Apostle Paul’s example of MARKETPLACE MINISTRY (Acts 17:16-34).
Acts 17:17 (NKJV) “Therefore he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and with the Gentile worshipers, and in the marketplace daily with those who happened to be there.”
The leaders of Life Leadership do not hide out in their churches; they are out in the marketplace regularly. How many other business leaders in positions of influence are engaged in marketplace ministry?? How many should be? How many other companies (outside of Life Leadership and maybe Chick-Fil-A) have a Chairman of the Board regularly share his Christian testimony. How many other businesses host quarterly events where the Gospel is shared to thousands of new people – clearly and without apology?
Just in case you don’t understand marketplace ministry, this is where you meet people where they are at first. You get out of your confortable “Christian circle” and connect with people, finding ways to serve them at their level first.
1Cor 9:22 (NKJV) “…I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.”
Pastor Marriott continues this article by writing about spiritual growth assuming that Life Leadership does not share his viewpoint. On the contrary, the leaders agree with Col. 3:4, John 14:6 and Col.2:8 whole heartedly. Life Leadership is not a church, it is not the Holy Spirit and it is not some empty philosophy. Life Leadership is actually connecting earning influence in the lives of lost sinners by first serving them. This may even include people that the Christian Church at large have failed to reach. Contrary to what Pastor Marriott claims, the leaders of Life Leadership are actually trying to fill the Churches on Sunday. Instead of attacking this group of brave men and women, why not encourage them in their works? Monday through Thursday nights at the church may be great times to tend to the needs of existing believers, but the statistics show that there has never been a greater need for brave Christians to engage in Marketplace Ministry (and their role in the church is just as important as the believers that attend mid week church events):
Allow me to share some startling statistics:
- According to a 2013 article by the Hartford Institute of Religion Research, “more than 40% of Americans say they go to church weekly. Research actually shows that less than 20% are actually in church.”
- According to the same research, “somewhere between 4,000 and 7,000 churches close their doors every year”.
- According to Steve McSwain in the Huffington Post article titled, “Why Nobody Wants to Go to Church Anymore”, “Between the years 2010 and 2012, more than half of all churches in America added not one new member. Each year, nearly 3 million more previous churchgoers enter the ranks of the “religiously unaffiliated””.
Life Leadership’s leaders are engaged in helping to turn the tide and use real leadership and marketplace ministry to ultimately lead people to spiritual truth.
The next attack by Pastor Marriott was because of a guest speaker, Oliver DeMille. Again, Pastor Marriott gets his information from a third-party and twists the facts. Oliver DeMille was NOT invited to this leadership conference to join or lead a prayer meeting. He was invited in to share his political and economic research on the founding fathers of America. He was brought in to share principles about what creates freedom in a country, not his spiritual beliefs.
To summarize Part 1, the core leadership team of Life Leadership are constantly praying for God’s will to be done and they are constantly working hard to be a mighty force for good in this fallen world. I encourage you to go to the next live Life Leadership event and see for yourself.
Stay tuned for Rebuttal, Part 2!
[W]e believe we have made a mistake and would like to apologize to Mr Woodward and Mr Brady for the earlier statements. The note was unsubstantiated and has been removed from the Global Gurus Website and should not be referred to or relied upon by any other person, entity, website, blog or social media outlet of any kind.
A favorite target of the critics of LIFE Leadership has been Orrin Woodward’s and Chris Brady’s inclusion on (and subsequent removal from) the Top 30 Leadership Gurus list.
First, they tried to discredit the source, based entirely on the motive fallacy. Then, when the site changed hands and the new owners prominently removed Orrin and Chris from the list, accusing them of cheating, the critics jumped all over that.
Within days of that, Inc.com published its own list of the Top 50 Leadership and Management Experts, with Orrin at #20 and Chris at #39. Of particular interest is that they also were completely transparent about their methodology, using 8 different factors for the ranking. While there is certainly some subjectivity in the selection of those criteria (as is inevitable in something as subjective as “top leadership expert”), it’s still quantitative, transparent, and not gameable.
Finally, the real validation is in the marketplace. LIFE Leadership recently introduced their Launching a Leadership Revolution Corporate Education System, and within just a couple of months, it’s already in use at a major airline, a national restaurant chain, and four universities.
It may take time, but Truth always wins.
An association fallacy is an inductive informal fallacy of the type hasty generalization or red herring which asserts that qualities of one thing are inherently qualities of another, merely by an irrelevant association. The two types are sometimes referred to as guilt by association and honor by association.
One the favorite tactics of Orrin’s critics is to try to discredit his two New York Times bestsellers. The gist of the accusation is that Orrin and his coauthors tried to manipulate the bestseller lists, in a similar manner to that reported by BusinessWeek, Forbes, and others.
Here’s what Orrin and his coauthors actually did:
- They encouraged members of their organization to buy the book, and incentivized them. In the case of Launching a Leadership Revolution, it was with a contest. With Leadershift, people who ordered through Amazon or Barnes & Noble got points.
That’s just basic Book Marketing 101. Non-fiction authors offer all kinds of incentives all the time for pre-ordering their books: special free webinars or conference calls, bonus e-books, and other exclusive content. How is this any different?
And it’s not a deliberate attempt to “game” the bestseller lists. Affect, sure, but not in any way that could be considered unethical.
In fact, there’s no attempt to conceal the fact that many of the sales were through bulk orders. People were offered 40 points for purchasing 5-9 copies and 100 points for 10 or more copies. On the NYT bestseller list, there’s a dagger (†) next to the title, indicating that some outlets report receiving bulk orders. Total transparency. If you’re really trying to game the list, you don’t do bulk orders.
It’s worth noting that on the same week Leadershift hit the list, 7 of the top 20 books in the category also had the same notation. Bulk purchases aren’t some sneaky under-the-table tactic — they’re a standard part of the book business.
Amthrax quotes Wikipedia out of context, saying that what Orrin and Chris and Oliver did is “considered unethical by publishers”, but actually read the article, and you’ll see the context of the Wikipedia quote is completely different:
In 1995, the authors of a book called The Discipline of Market Leaders colluded to manipulate their book onto the best seller charts. The authors allegedly purchased over 10,000 copies of their own book in small and strategically placed orders at bookstores whose sales are reported to Bookscan.
They bought their own book! If people can’t see how that’s completely different from simply incentivizing people to buy the book, as most non-fiction authors do, I don’t know what else to say.