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:
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.
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?
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!
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!
Read not to contradict and confute; nor to believe and take for granted; nor to find talk and discourse; but to weigh and consider.
When we read things online — particularly personal stories and testimonials, we usually operate with the assumption that they’re true. We want to believe people. And when they tell their stories, they usually make sense…at first glance.
If you want to get at the truth, you have to read past first glance. People may be telling their truth, as they experienced it and remember it. That’s often not the whole story.
Whenever you read criticism, you have to apply critical thinking. While most people have an idea what that term means, let’s define it more specifically:
Everyone thinks; it is our nature to do so. But much of our thinking, left to itself, is biased, distorted, partial, uninformed or down-right prejudiced. Yet the quality of our life and that of what we produce, make, or build depends precisely on the quality of our thought. Shoddy thinking is costly, both in money and in quality of life. Excellence in thought, however, must be systematically cultivated.
Critical thinking is that mode of thinking – about any subject, content, or problem – in which the thinker improves the quality of his or her thinking by skillfully taking charge of the structures inherent in thinking and
imposing intellectual standards upon them.
A well cultivated critical thinker:
- raises vital questions and problems, formulating them clearly and precisely;
- gathers and assesses relevant information, using abstract ideas to interpret it effectively comes to well-reasoned conclusions and solutions, testing them against relevant criteria and standards;
- thinks openmindedly within alternative systems of thought, recognizing and assessing, as need be, their assumptions, implications, and practical consequences; and
- communicates effectively with others in figuring out solutions to complex problems.
Critical thinking is, in short, self-directed, self-disciplined, self-monitored, and self-corrective thinking. It presupposes assent to rigorous standards of excellence and mindful command of their use. It entails effective communication and problem solving abilities and a commitment to overcome our native egocentrism and sociocentrism.
(Taken from Richard Paul and Linda Elder, The Miniature Guide to Critical Thinking Concepts and Tools, Foundation for Critical Thinking Press, 2008)
So when you read criticism or personal anecdotes online, you can’t just allow yourself to be drawn into their story. This isn’t a movie — the willing suspension of disbelief does not apply.
Here are a few tips for applying critical thinking when reading criticism:
- What’s their agenda? Are they simply speaking their truth, or are they just venting their anger? Or trying to stir up controversy to generate traffic for their web site? Or reinforce a larger agenda with any example they possibly can? Or maybe it’s even a hidden commercial interest. Follow the money.
- Are they using propaganda techniques? Are they simply stating the facts, or are they trying to denounce, demonize, marginalize and neutralize the opposing views? Read a few threads on Ripoff Report and see how nearly everyone who takes the side of the company rather than the consumer is denounced as a shill.
- Do they have first-hand experience? Or are they just relaying stories they’ve heard from others? Or worse, just hopping on the bandwagon? An issue can look much larger than it actually is because of this amplification effect.
- Are they owning their part in what happened? Most people don’t really want to take responsibility for their own actions and decisions — I mean really don’t want to. Look at the general pattern of their speech — are they playing the victim? People with an external locus of control tend to be less successful, more stressed, less healthy, and more prone to clinical depression than those with an internal locus of control. I’d say it’s hard to tell this about a person in one forum post, but very often, these people tell their whole life story, as if to somehow validate what happened to them.
- What didn’t they say? There’s a reason that in court we ask people to tell “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.” The most common form of dishonesty is the sin of omission. What facts are they leaving out that could completely change the meaning of what happened?
- Silence is not guilt. One of the most common tactics of critics is to invite (dare) them to come respond to their questions and accusations…in that forum, of course. That’s a fool’s errand. For one thing, it’s a hostile environment, in which most participants have already made up their mind. For another, it adds fuel to the fire for the search engines — just not a smart move for the company.
If you want the truth, you need to hear both (or all, as the case may be) sides of the story, apply some critical thinking to separate the facts from the fiction, and then decide for yourself.
Let’s look at some examples of these in action:
- Hidden agenda — Top 30 Global Leadership Gurus — Haters gonna hate, ’cause that’s what they do. But when someone goes so far out of their way, first of all to spread their hate, and secondly, to cover their own tracks, you have to wonder… In an update on Scott Allen’s analysis (and great example of critical thinking) of the Top 30 Global Leadership Gurus issue, it has come out that the new owner of that site may not even be a real person. When they were unresponsive to reasonable attempts to communicate, Orrin and Chris hired a private investigator to track them down, only to find that all the contact information in the domain registration was fake. Read the analysis on why the whole issue stank to begin with, and then ask yourself, who has the time, energy and money on their hands to justify buying a website, under a fake identity, just to discredit Orrin and Chris?
- Propaganda tactics — Freedom of Mind — This popular anti-cult site accuses TEAM/LIFE of “behavior control”. Here’s an example: “Members are strongly encouraged to hang around with ‘The right association’- those people who have the results that you want in life, namely the TEAM.” Seriously? It’s a proven fact that your success is significantly impacted by the people you hang around with. When it’s on Lifehacker, it’s “truth”, but when it comes from LIFE, it’s “behavior control”? This is a prime example of propaganda tactics — re-positioning the truth as something insidious when it comes from the source you’re attacking. Demonization. Marginalization.
- Hearsay — TeamScam — There’s an open discussion thread on the critic site TeamScam that has 193 comments on it, the vast majority of them negative. How many of those people have any real first-hand experience inside TEAM or LIFE? It looks like about 17. And of those 17, 8 had a positive experience, 3 neutral or balanced, and 6 a negative one. The overall impression is very deceiving, because not only are there several critics with no first-hand experience, they also write longer and more frequent comments.
Those are just a few examples. I’ll be going into some of these in considerably more depth in future posts, including answering all of Amthrax’s 50+ Questions for TEAM/LIFE.
Stay tuned, and keep your thinking cap on.