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!
Part 4 – Orrin Woodward and the Team battle a giant.
“William, where are ya going?” “I’m going to pick a fight!” “Well, we didn’t get dressed up for nothing!” -from the movie Braveheart
Stunned from the recent news in June, Orrin Woodward and Chris Brady were still hopeful that the ownership group of Quixtar and Amway would come to their senses. As the buzz grew and the worry thickened, another ‘Boston Tea Party’ seemed imminent. On August 9, 2007, Orrin Woodward, Chris Brady and their legal staff made their last stand at diplomacy. David and Goliath, recreated 3,000 years later, only this showdown takes place in a boardroom in Ada, Michigan. As they stood outside the boardroom, I am sure you could have heard a pin drop. Imagine, theatrically, time slowing down and an intoxicating fog of worry and anticipation filling the corridor. Not a word is said, but thoughts scurry across the front of everyone’s mind “will this approach work?” and a thousand “what if” scenarios preplay through everybody’s mind. Then, imagine a reassuring glance that says, “we said we would do the right thing, no matter what the cost”. “Yup, lets roll”.
They all knew there were only 3 potential outcomes that could happen today (as the wild west shootout music plays in the background of their minds). Outcome #1: There is still time, they could just tuck tail and run. Seriously, both Orrin and Chris had enough money to just wash their hands of this whole mess and walk away from this fight. There is no argument that this option would have simply allowed Amway’s changes to erode their business in the months to come. This option also came with a guaranteed to also destroy the hopes, dreams and livelihoods of the tens of thousands of current Team members. This is what a coward would have done – walk away, or worse, cut a deal. Outcome #2: Maybe the potential resignation of two of Quixtar’s best and brightest leaders would sway the imperial rivalry to change course. Just like in March of 1766, Orrin and Chris must have felt like Ben Franklin in front of the English Parliament, hoping to convince the British Crown that their actions may cause a breach of trust and a possible revolution. Maybe Quixtar would see that Orrin and Chris were using all of the leverage they could muster to come to an amicable solution for all. Unfortunately, just like King George III, the Imperial ownership at Amway was not going to budge, not even for their top marketers. Outcome #3: Orrin and Chris would be forced to sacrifice everything, give their resignation, secede from the union and begin their battle for independence. As history has shown with previous groups who stood up for injustice, this move would surely be followed with threats of litigation and financial ruin for themselves and all of the top leaders who would dare to stand with them. (A minor point of fact: Quixtar staff claims they terminated Orrin and Chris that day; however the fact remains that the notice of resignation letters were handed to Quixtar’s legal staff prior to their announcement of termination. Quixtar later refused to acknowledge this small fact.) This would, just like September of 1768, lead to England sending warships to Boston Harbor to prevent uprising and revolution.
The conference room door opened and the time that seemed so slow just moments ago suddenly lunged everybody forward into a tempest. The corporate titans were not about to be intimidated and, as ego’s ballooned, diplomacy was tossed out the window. The meeting concluded with Orrin Woodward and Chris Brady tendering their resignations. The reply from Quixtar came in the form of a threat and a warning: this is where I imagine a scene from the movie ‘300’ (the famous battle between 300 Spartans and the Persian army in 480 BC) was recreated in the corporate boardroom as Xerxes messenger placed his foot upon the large mahogany conference table across from Orrin and Chris, and threw a string of skulls at Orrin’s feet saying, “Nobody has ever defied us and survived! Look at past rebels – Brig Hart, Ken Stewart, Don Storms, Bo Short, Gerry Betterman, Andy Andrews. None of them survived our wrath of litigation and went on to built another marketing business. Ever!!”
The very next day, as bold as sending warships into a peaceful Boston harbor, Quixtar sends tens of thousands of threatening correspondence, or “ultimatum letters”, to each and every member of Orrin Woodward’s Team organization. These letters demanded the members stop attending all Team events and stop using Team materials to build their network. These letters (and later court documents) showed that Quixtar considered members and their connections to other friends and family members to be private company property. The letters further demanded a written response of allegiance to the current Quixtar (and future Amway) system. If you did not reply within the 2-week deadline, they would automatically terminate the member’s business. Can you imagine being a new person receiving an ultimatum letter like this? Quixtar/Amway certainly does not have to worry about outside forces damaging the company when it seems to be the only company on planet earth that “eats its young”.
The ‘shot heard round the (networking) world’:
Flashback to 1768 – Imagine 2 young fishermen trolling the banks outside of Boston Harbor. Just another day at work, when suddenly, they are caught off guard by the sounds of two large vessels piercing nearby waves. The tall mastheads, ringing warning bells and a well organized crew hustling to ready their ship for port must have been both awe inspiring and frightening to the humble fishermen. As the British Royal Navy began to move their massive ships of war into Boston Harbor, the entire town stopped to wonder why so many ships have arrived? “We couldn’t be under attack by our own sovereign, could we?”
It’s been a couple of days since the meeting between Orrin, Chris and Quixtar brass. The majority of people in the Team organization did not even know that it was even happening. Many of the top leaders were concerned about how the upcoming changes would affect their business, but it has been many days since any communications from Orrin, Chris or any of the top leaders from Team. Complete radio silence (we know now that were immediately served with a court-ordered temporary restraining order (TRO) which forbade them from communicating with their entire Team organization). In fact, the only communication to the Team organization came from Quixtar, in the form of this threatening ultimatum letter. This left everybody wondering and asking “what do we do now?” Call Orrin (no answer). Call Chris (no answer). Call the Team office (no answer). What to do? Fear creeps into the mind. What has happened to the leaders? What will happen to the rest of us? The drama increased with each passing day…
Imagine the average member, sitting at their kitchen table on a sunny Saturday morning. A few months prior, they registered with Quixtar and were excited by the results of build a network with a great group of friends in a teamwork approach taught at their local Team meeting. Now, in one hand, they hold an ultimatum letter from Quixtar. In the other hand, a computer mouse that is scrolling through a fresh blog article from a Quixtar affiliate that reads “Just Go, Team”. This article includes allegations that Quixtar has just terminated its two fastest growing leaders and is happy to see the Team go. Hmmm… It isn’t difficult to imagine, at this very moment, that this member does not have a good feeling about sending a letter swearing allegiance to a company that behaves like this. Whether a member was new or making thousands of dollars in monthly bonuses, the gravity of this point in history weighed heavy on all members.
Stay tuned for Part 5!
Part 3 – Orrin Woodward joins Quixtar board, attempts to ‘clean house’
2005 – 2007
Orrin Woodward was elected to sit on Quixtar’s Independent Business Owner’s (IBO) board of directors. The following year, Chris Brady was elected to serve on the same board. The purpose of the IBO board was to create and maintain synergy between the field marketers and the Quixtar ownership group. These years were filled with tremendous excitement and hope for a bright future. This excitement was based upon the idea that they could have their ideas heard and together forge an amazing future for Quixtar and Team. I imagine that this excitement rivaled the early 1770’s when Thomas Jefferson and George Washington owned a vineyard and an olive tree plantation in partnership with a British royal, The Earl of Dunmore. As exciting as this must have been to Jefferson and Washington, this partnership was not to last, as bigger problems disrupted their capitalistic synergy. In the later 1770’s, many of the selfish actions by the Earl of Dunmore were quickly turning himself into America’s first villian. Shortly after this, Thomas Jefferson (who was an avid reader of history) penned the “Summary View of the Rights of British America”, which highlighted the idea that if the British King does not act in the best interest of the colonialists, that his jurisdiction shall become null and void (whether he liked it or not).
Fast forward back to 2005, with the failing health of the two original founders (Rich Devos and Jay VanAndel), controlling interest was passed down to the next generation of Devos and VanAndel family members … eventually, a new executive staff was in place and the synergy that was enjoyed for decades was suddenly found wanton. It seemed as if the concept that Thomas Jefferson wrote about in 1774 (A Summary View of the Rights of British America) was starting to be abused once more by a corporate group that did not study or understand true leadership.
Stemming from his career as an Engineer and extensive training in the field of continuous improvement, Orrin Woodward could not sit idle and let problems fester. Both Orrin and Chris agreed that somebody had to stand in the gap and try to help fix the problems that were starting to hurt business growth in the field. It is said that ‘courage’ is not the absence of fear, but action in spite of fear. Wanting to drive continuous improvement for all, Orrin acted courageously and decided to risk the status quo and call out the ‘elephant in the room’. He gracefully drafted an ‘Olive Branch’ letter to one of the new billionaire owners, Doug Devos, pointing out some ways to improve Quixtar for everybody, ownership included. (You can read the full letter at Dan Hawkins blog). The two main points that were highlighted were retail price of Quixtar products in the marketplace and the means by which the company subtly began to take extra profits for themselves. It is curious how human nature and history tend to repeat from time to time in the form of greed and ego. There was a hidden form of taxation without representation happening at the corporate level, and nobody had the guts to go straight to the top to call out the elephant in the room – Nobody, that is, until Orrin Woodward arrived with the support of his loyal friend, Chris Brady. Prior to this, both Orrin and Chris often spoke in terms of principles, just like the founders of our nation, encouraging leaders to “do the right thing because it’s the right thing to do, regardless of the cost”. Another historical fact to clear up is this: Just like pre-1770 colonial Americans had no intention of seceding from the British, neither Orrin Woodward nor Chris Brady had and intention of seceding from Quixtar. Ultimately, their hand was forced by an injustice…
After a few half-hearted “peace treaties”, corporate ego dictated the next moves by the second-generation ownership of the Devos and VanAndel families. Without warning or asking approval from the IBO board, Quixtar ownership drops 2 bombs. Bomb #1: They are going to reduce commissions on two products without reducing the cost of these products (the two products that The Team sold the most of). It is almost like taking a page out of history, like Imperial Britian imposing a tax mechanism like the Stamp Act or Townshend Act, then daring the people to defy the crown with ships of war sitting in the Boston harbor… Bomb #2: They are eliminating the parent company, Alticor, and merging the Quixtar Company back into the previously separate corporate entity, Amway. Period. No discussion. No deliberation with the field. It seemed like the attitude from the top was ‘we can do it just because. And if you don’t like it, too bad’.
To this day, nobody in the field really knows why these moves were made. Was it a conscious attempt to destroy their North American business? Sure, there were a few well-spun press releases, but none of it makes any sense considering the tremendous growth of the Team organization all of these years. Was the (second-generation) ownership really that oblivious to the negative marketing effects of the Amway name in North America? Either way, it was ‘their way or the highway’.
Stay tuned for Part 4, this is getting tense!
Part 2 – Orrin Woodward and the Early Years (back in the day!)
The Story of Life Leadership
(The Story of the most unlikely of friends, building the most unlikely of businesses, starting from the most unlikely of small towns…)
Just as the American story of freedom is filled with hope, sacrifice, providence, thin threads, great deeds, heroes and villains – so is the story of Life Leadership. The formation of America and the formation of Life Leadership are both real-life David and Goliath tales that are equally astonishing and almost unbelievable. Generally speaking, both stories begin with the growth and expansion of a smaller group of people filled with hopes and dreams of a bright future. Next is the part where a larger governing group begins to take advantage of that smaller group. What follows in each story is that the smaller group gets pushed around long enough, then, the smaller group decides to fight back. Eventually, other neighboring parties become impressed with how ‘scrappy’ the underdog is, and they are inspired to join the fight and root for the smaller group’s victory (especially if there is a mutual benefit). In both cases, the outside help could not have come at a better time. Many people would argue that in both cases, if the smaller group did not receive help, the battles would have been lost to the larger group. Now, let us replace generalities with details:
Now that we have reviewed your American History of Independence in Part 1, let me tell you the tale of Orrin Woodward, Chris Brady and a group of men and women that, back in 1999, simply called themselves ‘The Team’. Just like colonial America prior to 1776, the men and women of The Team had no idea that they would be thrust into a similar battle for entrepreneurial independence (ultimately leading to the formation of the Life Leadership Business). For creative flair, feel free to pause your reading and queue up the soundtrack from the movie, Braveheart, before reading further. The historical timeline follows as such:
- 1993 – Orrin Woodward joins Amway in hopes to get his baseball card collection back. Orrin ends up going to a few meetings, pulling money from his employee 401k fund, and gets started leveraging his initial investment to build a network.
- 1995 – Chris Brady joins Orrin Woodward’s group as a low-cost, flexible alternative to starting a conventional franchise (in order to escape the corporate ‘rat race’). Chris was, at the time, conducting extensive research in the advantages and disadvantages of all types of enterprises, concluding that Orrin’s plan may just work.
- September 1999 – The owner’s of Amway form a shell company called Alticor. This was immediately followed by the formation of a new e-commerce company called Quixtar, separate from Amway, with Alticor owning both divisions separately. Members of Amway are giving the option to leave Amway (and it’s branding) and join the new e-commerce company, Quixtar. (As you can imagine, this helped tremendously with Orrin & Chris’s marketing efforts).
- 2000 – Following a series of losses in a ‘friendly’ marketing competition, Orrin Woodward and Chris Brady begin to understand the power of ‘social capital’. This led them to create their own training company to help develop leaders within their organization. This was an effort to clear up the confusion of ‘best practices training’ in the industry and increase growth using a strategy later dubbed ‘Team Approach’. Training centered on the fact that new products and new technology were not the key to success in a marketing business; instead, true leadership at the individual level was (and still remains) the key to success in business.
- 2000-2007 – Unprecedented growth occurred within the Team organization! Many people were very happy and successful in this ‘new world’ of prosperity. The Quixtar executive staff was impressed and the Team enjoyed a period of incredible wealth creation for the entire organization. Furthermore, Orrin Woodward’s organization was repeatedly recognized as the fastest growing organization in all of Quixtar, representing nearly $200 million in total group sales at its peak. Read the following excerpt from Orrin’s article:
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.
The plot begins to thicken; stay tuned for Part 3!
Let’s dive into the facts that show how Life Leadership is not a “cult”, but a fantastic “culture” that is making a difference in people’s lives around the world. Here is the link to part 1 of this article –>
Ways to identify a real “cult”:
- Who do they identify their source of Authority?
- What do they believe about the trinity?
- What do they believe about Salvation?
- They oppose critical thinking and discourage people from thinking for themselves.
- They dishonor the family unit.
- They isolate members and penalize them for leaving the group.
- They seek loyalty to a leader above loyalty to Jesus.
- They cross biblical boundaries of behavior.
- They encourage separation from church.
- They emphasize special revelations that contradict Scripture.
- They group lavishes the leader with un-earned luxury.
- They seek to alter personality and, in some cases, create a new name for certain members.
How does Life Leadership stack up to this list?
First of all, Life Leadership is a business that sells a product. A business inherently cannot be scrutinized and compared to a “cult”-like church or organization. Secondly, the Life Leadership does not, and will never harbor prejudice based upon another member’s faith or belief system. Life Leadership will never profess or publish any particular religious views or doctrine, because Life Leadership is a business. Success in the marketplace (along with State and Federal law) is the only measuring stick we can use. However, because what we are analyzing are the motives and intentions of this community of people, it is imperative to study its pinnacle of leadership. Orrin Woodward is a founding member of Life Leadership and is currently serving as Chairman of the top leadership group within Life Leadership called “the Policy Council”. Chris Brady is also a founding member and currently serves as CEO and creative director of Life Leadership. Here is how these two gentlemen stack up to the aforementioned list, keeping in mind that they have never forced their beliefs onto other people:
- Orrin and Chris both believe the complete Bible (The 66 books of the Old & New Testament) as the ultimate source of absolute truth.
- Orrin and Chris both believe in only one living and true God, and in the Godhead there are three persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, equal in every divine perfection and executing distinct but harmonious offices in the great work of redemption.
- Orrin and Chris both believe that, in order to be saved, sinners must be born again; that the new birth is a new creation in Christ Jesus; that it is instantaneous and not a process.
- Orrin, Chris and the entire Policy Council believe in a self-directed education. They want you to read and think for yourself. There are certain recommendations to build the business model, but no rules. The only rules are ones that are sales and marketing rules enforced by the FTC and federal government.
- Every piece of media sold by Life Leadership is meant to encourage people to think and analyze their own lives (not the lives of others).
- Members and customers are encouraged to be free to work inside of win-win relationships. There are no penalties for leaving. The goal is for everybody to have a positive experience regardless of his or her tenure. In reference to business goals, living debt free is elevated as one of the highest goals for every customer and member.
- Loyalty is earned through service. Orrin Woodward and the rest of the PC work tirelessly to serve their teams. They are never ashamed to give honor where honor is due.
- Character, integrity and strong moral fiber are the goals to personal growth in the Life Leadership business. The Bible is the rock that Orrin and Chris stand upon. However, I will tell you that Orrin and Chris are, just like all Christians, sinners saved by grace. Every member in Life Leadership is being molded and going through a personal growth process. To pick them apart and try to find fault, you would first have to “take the log out of your own eye”.
- Again, the Life Leadership begins every meeting with a word of prayer. There is a non-denominational Sunday worship service at all National Conventions. Every man and woman has free will to seek their creator their own way. The leadership team encourages and challenges members to seek answers to the deeper questions about your life. They don’t tell you what to believe, but instead, as Tim Marks always says, “know why you believe what you believe”. Whatever your faith is, make sure it is a studied faith.
- Orrin and Chris certainly do not stand on stage and share revelation that contradicts the Bible. Again, Life Leadership is a business group, not a religious group.
- There is no special treatment or lavishing of luxuries with any of the PC. They teach by example by either being completely debt-free (including no mortgage) or striving to be. The PC earns his or her bonuses and commissions with the same compensation plan everybody else has. The Financial Fitness Program is at the center of everything that is taught with respect to money.
- As somebody earns success in Life Leadership, they do not become a new person. They are the same person, just a little wiser and a more humble. Wise, because they had to read to learn how to solve problems in people’s lives. Humble, because success in Life Leadership depends on taking your eyes off of yourself and helping another human being towards success.
When you get to know Orrin Woodward, Chris Brady and the rest of the PC leaders, you will see that they are always mindful of where their blessings come from. They understand the truth of Matthew 23:12 and Luke 14:11 –
“And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
Life Leadership is NOT a cult
The longer you are around this organization and it’s leaders, you will see that these folks are living right! Keep in mind that I said to get around the leaders (I realize that every once in a while a newer member may make mistakes and sometimes misrepresent the business model). Nobody in the organization is perfect, but they are striving to get better every day. Life Leadership is a fantastic opportunity for people to grow personally and professionally – beginning with understanding the Financial Matrix and how to escape its grasp on your life. Life Leadership is helping customers and members both learn how to experience freedom more abundantly – in the areas of financial freedom, political freedom and spiritual freedom. So do your due diligence; if you have not attended a Life Leadership seminar (especially a major convention) you really wont know what you are missing. Enjoy the journey!
PS. Check out what Life Leadership is doing with the All Grace Outreach (AGO) program:
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!
Earlier in this blog, I published two articles as a rebuttal to an article written back in 2013 by Pastor Dave Marriott of Lakewood Baptist Church. His article about the Life Leadership business and it’s leaders was nothing more than a weak attempt to take one-sided opinions from negative critics and add credibility to their vomit. Jumping on the band-wagon does not turn opinion into truth! Pastor Marriott’s article did nothing more than turn a young, naïve Pastor into a talebearer and sower of the seeds of discord.
Life Leadership’s All Grace Outreach (AGO) program
The reason for this follow up article it that a new video has just been produced that makes Pastor Marriott’s article look even more pathetic. Life Leadership is taking big steps to expand its influence as a marketplace ministry and become a greater force for the cause of Christ. Chris Swanson has been recently welcomed as the new spokesman for the All Grace Outreach (AGO) program – which is at the heart and soul of the Life Leadership mission. Chris has been a devoted and passionate public servant for many years with an impeccable track record. He was promoted to under-sheriff of the Flint, MI police department in 2011. Chris has a passion to make a difference across the world and lead people to truth.
Churches all over the country are losing influence. Biblical truths are being dismissed and ignored all over the world. The fall of Rome will repeat itself in America if we don’t change something! Life Leadership does not have all of the answers, but it is doing more than almost every other organization I know of today. Enjoy the video and support the AGO ministry.
P.S. If you are reading this and you are Pastor Marriott (or a member of Lakewood Baptist Church), please consider removing this old article – it’s making you look bad..
Back in 1954, Abraham Maslow wrote a book titled, “Motivation and Personality”. In this book, he defined what is referred to as a ‘hierarchy of human needs“. Included are innate, universal needs for things like air, water and food; further up the pyramid, the needs change to shelter, health and safety. This hierarchy diagram goes all the way to self-transcendence. In my opinion, this hierarchy requires an amendment to include another universal human need: This is universal need to always ask the question: “Is this a pyramid scheme?” whenever a person is exposed to a home based business idea, like Life Leadership. I know, this seems crazy! But based on how often it happens, it clearly belongs as a bullet point in Maslow’s explanation of human beings…
Pyramid Schemes clearly explained:
Thankfully, a new video has surfaced to put this topic to bed, once and for all! Assuming that you are new to the industry or you are doing research on Life Leadership, I have consolidated the four best links to give you the facts about pyramid businesses and why Life Leadership is not only a solid business model, but it is positioned to be the most profitable model in the industry for years to come: Check out these links:
1. “Life Leadership: Business Scam?” video
This is hands down the best explanation on what a pyramid scheme is. Very professional, factual and thorough! It also gives you a fantastic comparison to other billion dollar industries that is quite impressive.
LIFE Leadership Business
Here is a fantastic video that answers several of the common questions asked about compensated communities. Network Marketing has been around for many years, but many still do not understand how and why people and companies are attracted to this business model.
LIFE Leadership has created the best paying compensated community in the profession and has helped thousands of people eliminate tens of thousands of dollars debt previously poured into the Financial Matrix hole. What is your plan to escape the Financial Matrix?
2. Article titled “Lies, Lies, Lies, and the Life Leadership Scam
The author of this article, Holger Spiewak, holds multiple advanced college degrees and is extremely analytical when it comes to researching and sharing facts. I hope you enjoy this article.
While we are on this subject of “pyramid”, how can LIFE Founder Tim Marks who is UNDERNEATH his sponsor, LIFE Founder Bill Lewis, in the structure of the LIFE Community, make significantly more money for 14 years in a row than Bill?? Guess who made more money when I was an engineer, me or my boss? Corporate America IS a pyramid. “LIFE is a pyramid”, just another popular lie.
3. Life Leadership Forums conversation titled “Life Leadership Pyramid Scheme? Seriously?”
This begins with a fantastic article by Orrin Woodward (based upon over 15 years of experience and success); followed up by real members who have done their research prior to joining Life Leadership. This may be my favorite link to share because of the variety of comments from people with first hand experience. Enjoy!
4. Article titled, “Is Life Leadership a Pyramid Scam?”
This article contains facts from the Federal Trade Commission that are important to know. Combined with the previous three links, this article should round out your perspective on the viability of the Life Leadership business.
My hope is that you will find these resources insightful and informative as you begin your journey towards living the life you have always wanted.