Part 6 – Orrin Woodward and the team leaders stand tall in the throws of war.
“At my command, unleash hell” – Russell Crowe as General Maximus Decimus Meridius in the movie ‘Gladiator‘
Quixtar’s Smack-Down and the Team stands strong
Quixtar’s next move was in response to the wave of resignations. Imagine Quixtar’s ownership saying, “Somehow, Orrin or Chris must have told all of those people what to do! Then their top leaders must have conveyed the message. Lets identify the top 10-20 biggest leaders and attack them too. We will sue them, drag both husbands and wives into court and interrogate them for hours in front of cameras and high-powered lawyers. Lets drain them all financially; bankrupt them if you have to. Lets take their computers and phones and scan for any communication with Orrin, Chris or their teams. Lets spend millions to find the answer to the question: who destroyed our “property” by telling all of “our” people quit. Bury them, regardless of the financial cost!” For the next few months, this was the Team’s ‘Valley Forge’ moment – and without their two top Commanders. A potential breaking point was imminent. How long will decisions of principle carry them? Even thought the spotlight was on Orrin and Chris, there were many other leaders who sacrificed greatly to protect others from attack during this time. These are all unsung heroes. They were brothers in a foxhole getting mortars dropped all around them. And certainly there were some financial casualties. That being said, nobody sacrificed more than Orrin Woodward.
Nobody succeeds alone. Everyone needs a helping hand from time to time.
When George Washington walked through Valley Forge the winter of 1777 to begin the Continental Army’s 6-month encampment, I imaging that, privately, his confidence was extremely tested. What a breath of fresh air it must have been to greet Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben, onetime staff member of Frederick the Great (King of Prussia), carrying an endorsement from Benjamin Franklin. One could argue a divine providence in the timing of events. With von Steuben’s help, the Continental Army made it through the winter with revived spirit and enhanced fighting skill to successfully engage the British Army at the Battle of Monmouth in New Jersey!
There were a few rays of hope during the Team’s 6-month ‘Valley Forge”. The first came with a Circuit Court ruling that upheld the constitutional right of assembly, allowing the Team to gather for meetings and seminars. The second ray of hope (and this would prove later to be the seed idea to the Life Leadership business) is that the Team could market a generic version of their audio CDs and books for general personal and professional development purposes. All references to Quixtar must be (happily) removed. Members that attained a certain volume of materials could still be paid a bonus from Team, based upon volume discounting. This gave birth to the idea that the personal and professional development found within the content produced by Team leaders could turn into a stand-alone marketable product.
What happened next was, in my opinion, one of the most generous moves in business history that I have ever heard about. In addition, almost nobody knew about this amazing sacrifice (until now). Orrin Woodward, Chris Brady and Tim Marks (and their spouses) were already under legal and financial attack by a billion-dollar company; they were getting stabbed in the back every other month by people they thought were friends, they were targeted by countless critics blaming them for everything going wrong, they were all getting interrogated in courtrooms after being forced to regularly read mountains of legal briefs, and if that wasn’t enough, they were forced to endure weeks at a time without seeing family and loved ones … did they reach their breaking point? No, instead, they did something truly amazing. In the middle of all of this turmoil, they agreed to surrender 100% of their Team bonuses for the purpose of subsidizing the incomes of the Team leaders that were camped with them in this valley. What an amazing move! What is even more amazing is this continued for 18 months while all three shouldered all of the aforementioned workload, attacks and immense stress. History, many times, recalls great deeds of men long after they did them. The great deeds of the original leaders of the Team must not go un-noticed any longer. No wonder they command so much social capital!
Next, a fortuitous chain of events! Stay tuned for Part 7!
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:
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!
Today on STRS (Set The Record Straight), I want to shed some light on a dispute that goes back 6 years now between Raquel Peters and Eric Blomdahl (and since then dragging George Guzzardo, Dan Hawkins and Orrin Woodward into the mud).
When I discovered that this argument was still going on and is now being battled out in court, I was stunned! Another misunderstanding that spiraled into bitterness and hurt ego that could have been easily resolved.
Before I STRS, let me summarize and get you up to speed: There is a lawsuit in Oneida Wisconsin court where Eric Blomdahl is suing Raquel Peters to get her to stop her damaging social media ‘hissy-fit’ about how her up-line did her wrong and stole part of her group back in 2008. Raquel Peters is suing Eric Blomdahl, Dan Hawkins, George Guzzardo, Orrin Woodward and Life Leadership for lost bonuses. You with me so far?
This is a really simple one to clear up, but we have to go back to the fall of 2007 to how the whole thing started:
- *Summer 2007, Quixtar mandates radical changes that will hurt distributors.
- *Orrin stands up for all distributors (not just his own organization) at a board meeting.
- *Quixtar threatens Orrin.
- *Orrin resigns from Quixtar.
- *May other top distributors (not just in Orrin’s network) resign.
- *People get a mass ultimatum letter from Quixtar with a deadline to pledge allegiance to them (in other words, choose your side).
- *Quixtar gets a judge to issue a gag order for Orrin.
- *People resign from Quixtar en mass.
- *Quixtar sues Orrin claiming that he violated a gag order and coerced people into leaving.
- *Everyone is banned from joining another business for 6 months (non-compete clause) from the date of resignation.
- *Quixtar extends gag-order to other top leaders. Orrin’s gag order is extended even longer than this 6 month period.
- *After 6 months, people find out that some of their leaders are joining MonaVie – which, at the time, very few people had a clue how MonaVie compensation plan works or how to properly structure it.
- *Leaders had no communication with Orrin or many of the top leaders from the past, so leaders that were past their 6 month window had to figure out how to properly register people for themselves, hoping that they could iron everything out over time.
- *NOTE: This was a time where I saw people exercise 3 choices: 1. Quietly quit by refusing to register in MonaVie; 2. Register, but then loudly quit by complaining, criticizing and condemning; 3. Register, then complain but work to get any and all issues worked out.
- *Thankfully, MonaVie allowed plenty of time after this for people to re-arrange their group and correct any errors based upon the consent of all parties. If there was any issue or disagreement whatsoever, THERE WAS PLENTY OF TIME TO FIX ANY AND ALL PROBLEMS.
- *Now, after all of this mess was sorted out, training materials and seminars were created to learn how to build a MonaVie team.
- *This is where “Team” comes in. It used to be that when you had a certain volume of training materials in your group (CDs, books and seminar tickets), you received a certain amount compensation.
- *Some people decided that they didn’t want to build MonaVie anymore. (OK, people are free to do whatever they want).
- *So some people either quit or left to join another business, but still wanted to get paid based on group volume that they left behind and quit on. (Yes, I was dumbfounded too!)
- *Some people even said bad things online and social media, but still wanted to get paid on group volume that they were trying to destroy via gossip and slander. (Can you imagine bad-mouthing your last job and still expecting them to send you a paycheck? HA!)
- *After the legal entanglements with Quixtar, Orrin and his core group of leaders were advised to create something new in the networking industry: A “board of directors” very similar to how a law office or large corporation works. This became the new way that compensation would be paid when it comes to profits on training materials. Smart idea! Companies have been successfully doing this for years!
- *There was a meeting to roll this out. Everybody knew about this. Everybody that ever qualified to receive compensation through Team was invited. There was even a provision to get those that could not make it up to speed. A new “Director” agreement had to be signed to receive compensation. A big part of this agreement was that you would behave with character and integrity and that you would not disparage your fellow “Directors”.
Stay tuned for the next article, where we will address the issues one paragraph at a time!