Tagged: Tim Marks

The facts about Orrin Woodward, Team and MonaVie – Once and for all – Part 6

Part 6 – Orrin Woodward and the team leaders stand tall in the throws of war.

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“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.

Uncommon Sacrifices

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!

#SetTheRecordStraight

Life Leadership a Cult? Part 2

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”:

  1. Who do they identify their source of Authority?
  2. What do they believe about the trinity?
  3. What do they believe about Salvation?
  4. They oppose critical thinking and discourage people from thinking for themselves.
  5. They dishonor the family unit.
  6. They isolate members and penalize them for leaving the group.
  7. They seek loyalty to a leader above loyalty to Jesus.
  8. They cross biblical boundaries of behavior.
  9. They encourage separation from church.
  10. They emphasize special revelations that contradict Scripture.
  11. They group lavishes the leader with un-earned luxury.
  12. 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:

  1. Orrin and Chris both believe the complete Bible (The 66 books of the Old & New Testament) as the ultimate source of absolute truth.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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).
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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”.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11.  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.
  12. 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!

#SetTheRecordStraight

PS. Check out what Life Leadership is doing with the All Grace Outreach (AGO) program:

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

The Truth about Orrin Woodward and Life Leadership

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

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

Read what other people are saying about Orrin Woodward:

Bill Lewis wrote:

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

 

Dan Hawkins wrote:

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

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

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

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

 

Tim Marks wrote:

Orrin Woodward’ accomplishments include:

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

Orrin Woodward is a Leader

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

 

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

#SetTheRecordStraight

Warning – The truth about Orrin Woodward may shock you!

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

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Bill Lewis

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

Character

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

The Man

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

Tim Marks

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

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

Orrin Woodward’ accomplishments include:

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

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

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

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

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

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

 Holger Spiewak

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

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

 

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

#SetTheRecordStraight

Life Leadership review

Life Leadership business: Will it work?

Doing your research on the Life Leadership business? You came to the right place!

The purpose of this blog is to set the record straight, so that you can make a quality decision about becoming a member of Life Leadership. You see, when a person is new to this concept and to the entrepreneurial field, there are only two questions: 1. Will this work? 2. Will this work for me?

 1. Will this work?

The first thing you have to determine is your definition of “working”. This is different for every person. The definitions range from financial gain, learning how to get out of debt, improving leadership skills, enhancing interpersonal skills, marketplace ministry and many more.

The next step is to attend multiple live events so that you can see the growth for yourself. It is OK to be a little skeptical (skeptical is right in between gullible and cynical). Make sure you talk to people that are succeeding and feel free to ask a lot of questions. As the old saying goes, “if you want to become a doctor, don’t talk to the guy who quit or flunked out”.

Let’s be very clear on what the leaders of Life Leadership offer: AN OPPORTUNITY AND A LEVEL PLAYING FIELD. Period. Like the game of golf, it will be simple yet challenging. To really succeed, this will require you to improve yourself continuously. This is where the critics of Life Leadership always miss the point. The critic is wrong in two ways: 1. They started out assuming that success will be guaranteed. 2. They falsely assumed that they would really not have to improve and become better. They assumed that they are already proficient enough to deserve success. Then when things don’t work out in their timing they can either get better or bitter. When they take the bitter path, they must blame somebody else (they are the victim and there is no way it could have been their fault!)

This is where I would like to, in general, address the few negative websites to toughen you up. Here are a few bullet points to help you discern solid facts from twisted opinion.

  • The people that lead Life Leadership are not perfect, but they strive to get better every year. Anybody that criticizes Life Leadership or any of its leaders or members should preface all of their articles with the following: “I hold all other people to a higher standard than I hold myself, therefore the people that started Life Leadership should have made every business endeavor (past and present) perfect for me, the center of the universe. They should have been able to guarantee success and make this business model perfect from the start! They should have predicted every challenge and formulated a perfect solution before they even launched. They should also have known that I was a whiner and future quitter who would blame everybody but myself for my lack of success if the business model was not perfect.   What a rip-off! What a scam! You are all liars because my past experience in the business did not live up to my expectations!! Waaaaahhhh!”
  • Notice that almost all of the complaints are backdated to a previous business model and typically attack a person, not the Life Leadership business! I have even read some recent complaints that date back to 2001 – that is 14 years ago! Even “recent” complaints are about events that happened around 2008-2009 – That is still 6 years ago!
  • Negative comments are extremely sparse and concentrated to a few cases. With the tens of thousands of customers and members involved in Life Leadership, it is logical to assume that if there were a problem, the criticism would be widespread!
  • The majority of complaints are because of a gap between expectation and results. For each negative story that attempts to pass blame to Orrin Woodward or somebody in business with him, there are countless success stories (see Life Leadership forums) that showcase a person with similar circumstances that had a positive outcome.
  • There are a lot of critics that are actually paid to do so. Negative PR campaigns have been around for ages and the internet has made this process easier than ever. Do not be fooled. The critic will not get in their car and drive to your house to help you with an alternative solution – there are leaders in Life Leadership who will.
  • Before you believe any of the critics, make sure you read the entire condensed history (linked here) of where Orrin Woodward, Chris Brady and the rest of the leaders have come from. Then ask yourself why are they still together today after almost 20 years of adventures? Against this backdrop, all criticisms and attacks become exposed as petty and ridiculous.

 

  1. Will this work for me?

Once you get the “will this work” sorted out, the “will this work for me” is a more personal question. The answer to this question depends on a more personal introspection:

  • Are you hungry for success?
  • Are you “hone-able” or teachable?
  • Are you honorable and can you work on your character and strive to get better every day?

If the answers are ‘yes’, then get back with the person that introduced you to Life Leadership and get started. I would also recommend the book, “The Leadership Train” by Orrin Woodward. This is the best book to help illuminate your path into the business side of Life Leadership.

Enjoy the journey!

The Threat of Team and the Life Business: A Rebuttal, Part 2

Here is part 2 (If you have not read Part 1, you can follow the link here).

  1. Alleged claim: “The Team Tends to “Peddle” the Gospel.”

Rebuttal: This assessment from Pastor Marriott is also very disappointing to read. If Pastor Marriott would seek facts instead of biased opinions from a misunderstood third party, he would have never come to this conclusion.

First of all, this is a business, and there is nothing wrong with showcasing profit potential to meet people’s needs in the marketplace. The fact that Life Leadership’s materials contain Biblical references just makes common sense, because the source of absolute truth is the Bible! Where else would they get it??   Pastor Marriott should be proud that Life Leadership is not ashamed of the Gospel! In fact, this is vital to marketplace ministry (and where many outreach programs fall short) – if you help a person make a few hundred dollars to relieve some financial strain, you may just earn their trust and an opportunity to share your faith to open ears. Or, in the process of serving lost souls, you have a chance to be a living example of how a Christian should behave (where without the business relationship, the door would be closed).

For additional perspective, I highly recommend reading a few articles from Raymond Abernathy.  Raymond is an itinerant Pastor in the St. Louis, MO area who is in high demand, speaking to churches and congregations all over the greater St. Louis area.  Raymond has done a great deal of scriptural research and has written a few fantastic articles on this issue.  Follow the links below:

How Does the Christian balance faith and works in the Life Business

Are Christians free to profit in business or from the work of the ministry?

 

 Preach the Gospel, and if necessary, use words.  -Francis of Assisi

Pastor Marriott writes, “if the goal is wealth and not people, the goal is wrong”. Where he got the Life Leadership business wrong is that the goal IS to develop people! The wealth produced is a measuring stick of how many people you have served and how many problems you have solved. This is a very common misunderstanding among Pastors – they tend to have a shallow understanding of economics and how money is really made in a free-market economy.

  1. Alleged claim: “The Team Tends to Detract from the Local Church”.

Rebuttal: This one is very sad and borderline laughable! Pastor Marriott implies that church members must choose between being faithful to their church or to the Life business? Um… there is no reason whatsoever that a Christian can’t do both – be highly active in the Life Leadership business AND highly active in one’s local church. Just because Tuesday at 8PM may conflict with some church events does not constitute a breach of faithfulness. Furthermore, Life Leadership hosts 3 weekend conferences per year – and at these conferences the Gospel message is shared on Sunday morning. This is hardly a detraction from local church!

This topic is a very slippery slope for all Pastors. The danger is called “churchianity”, which is when a church places a larger emphasis on the habits of church life or the institutional traditions of the church than on a person’s walk and relationship with Jesus Christ (John 6:39).

In some cases, there is also a double standard going on here. For example, if a person was required to travel, work overtime or even take a second shift position for work – the Pastor doesn’t post an article online saying, “Danger: XYZ company puts employees in a position where they must choose between faithfulness to the local church or faithfulness to the XYZ organization”! Or a small business owner is not criticized for being in business every Tuesday evening and one Saturday evening a month! This claim is ridiculous.

The last item in the in this claim mentions that Life Leadership members are encouraged to counsel with the person who signed them up rather than a pastor or elder. This blanket statement is false. The leaders of Life Leadership simply teach Matthew 7:16-17 for all areas of life: ‘Check the fruit on the tree’. In most cases, a person’s pastor or church elder is certainly the best source of biblical counsel. However, when it comes to detailed questions about business ownership or personal finances, many Pastors and elders simply do not have the “fruit on the tree”. Therefore, when it comes to getting answers on how to become successful in business, it is good advice to seek advice from successful people in your industry. Life Leadership is not and never will be a replacement for the type of guidance you should receive from the Bible (including a Pastor or elder who can help you navigate the scriptures).

 

  1. Alleged claim: “Team Tends to Place Unbiblical Expectations upon Christian Families”.

Rebuttal: This allegation, once again, is derived from opinion and not fact. This is a very shallow assessment and could not be further from the truth. If Pastor Marriott had interviewed any of the leaders in Life Leadership who have attained the levels of success that give the choice to leave a day job, he would have a different opinion.

If you meet any of the “financially independent” leaders, you will find that they do not sit around the house and do nothing. They have a heightened sense of Luke 12:48 “…For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more”. Top leaders have replaced jobs that they found unfulfilling and replace those jobs with the joys of service through business ownership. The top leaders that are free from jobs are encouraged to read more, serve more and focus on finding more ways to be a blessing to others. Pastor Marriott’s claims are based upon gross misunderstandings and twisted facts.

That being said, the meetings I have been to simply promote “live the life you have always wanted”. This is vastly different for all people. Many people love their jobs and Life Leadership has always taught that you should be excellent at that job. Then if the job income is not enough to sustain you, then use Life Leadership as a way to close the gap. This does not even address the fact that most Americans, including Christians, are trapped in the Debt Matrix scam and can see no way out. This violates multiple scripture (Luke 14:28, Proverbs 22:7 and Romans 13:8) which very few churches address today. For example, the top selling product that Life Leadership promotes is the Financial Fitness Pack. This pack talks about how to be a better steward of your money by systematically getting out of debt, and then how to store up wealth for times of tribulation (a rainy day).   This is the focus of Life Leadership, not getting rich and becoming a sluggard at home as Pastor Marriott has falsely concluded.

Finally, It is OK to dream for more success. After all, isn’t that why God saw fit to tell us about heaven? In the striving for something greater than we have, we force ourselves to get out of our “comfort zone” and improve both personally and professionally. I think Jesus was very clear about this when speaking to his disciples about the Parable of the Talents in Matthew 25:14-30.

 

  1. Alleged claim: “Team Inadvertently functions through the lens of retribution theology”.

Rebuttal: Again, this claim makes it obvious that Pastor Marriott has done no extensive research on the Team/Life Leadership organization. The leadership knows there are no guarantees of physical reward for obedience – this is reinforced an all training CDs and business support material. Life Leaders consistently acknowledge that every person’s journey is different.

Of course God uses suffering to bring about conformity to the image of His Son. I am sure that the leaders of Life agree with Pastor Marriott 100% on this one. The purpose of Life Leadership is not to address God’s trials, only to address consequences of bad decision making. Let me explain the difference (in case you are confused on this one): For example, lets look at somebody that chooses to run up massive credit card debt and then for many years after, endures tremendous emotional strife: this is not the hand of God putting this person through a Job-like trial, this is a consequence for not applying financial truths. Another example would be when a husband or wife consistently treat each other poorly, yelling, arguing and ignoring each other. Eventually, they seek counseling for a bad marriage. This is not some mysterious trial or a test from God, this also is a consequence for years of poor behavior and not applying simple relational truths. These consequences are what Life Leadership is seeking to teach people about, not some attempt to circumvent God’s trials!

In Conclusion, this article by Pastor Marriott is full of rumor, hearsay and founded in data from negative third party experiences. If you are doing research and considering joining the Life Leadership business, you will find that your experience will not be anything like Pastor Marriott describes in his blog. Instead, you will have a tremendous amount of flexibility and support. You will have access to world class leadership information. You will experience a grace filled organization (as opposed to a law filled organization). You will learn fantastic truth principles that will help you live the live you always wanted. You will be challenged but also welcomed no matter what your past is and what your goals are. You will find that the founding group of leaders are all Christian, God fearing men and women that truly want to make a difference by creating a level playing field for success. Unfortunately, because individuals have a lot of freedom, they make mistakes and sometimes do not represent the model Life Leadership example; then you get to read about this poor example from folks like Pastor Marriott. I am sure he means well, but he simply did not seek the facts from the source. That is why I had to write this letter. Life Leadership is a truly incredible organization that is a force for good in this fallen world. I encourage you to go to the next live event and see for yourself.

God Bless

#SetTheRecordStraight

Life Leadership: It’s history with Quixtar and MonaVie

Part 1 – The Heroes of Life Leadership

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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