Life Leadership Scam and the Leadership Train

Is Life Leadership a Scam?

Have you ever seen the movie Revenge of the Nerds? It’s an oldie but a goodie. Actually, I can’t really say that, as I haven’t seen it since I was a wee teen.  However, the premise, that the nerds outsmart their good-looking, athletic, popular, jock counterparts has really come to fruition in our times.

For instance, have you ever realized that those geeky bespectacled kids you used to push around at the bus stop are the ones responsible for terms like “iOS8″ and  “PDF” being part of our normal vernacular? Or that we are all now living under the tyranny of baud rates and hyper text markup language? It’s as if they all got together and decided to get revenge on those of us who are too impatient and too, well, un-geeky to care about ones and zeros.  WE JUST WANT OUR STUPID PHONES TO WORK!!!!

Ah hem.  Anyway, there seems to be no end to what the nerds will come up with next.  Take the latest round of web address suffixes.  As if getting used to .com and .net and .org and .gov and .edu wasn’t enough, some hyper-smart geek got the notion that if those “web properties” (there they go again!) were so valuable, why not create like, I don’t know, 1700 more!  And just like that, we’ve got a whole bunch of new cyber real estate to pay for.  Suffixes such as .hello, .tattoo, and .plumbing may even make a little bit of sense.  But one is left wondering just how far this will go?  How many new suffixes could possibly be introduced over time? The answer? A limitless amount!

Some of the more troublesome ones, however, are the curious ones such as .scam and .sucks. Wow. Really? Are there that many people and entities out there being paraded through the mud?  With just a few key strokes and a handy-dandy search engine, one can quickly confirm that yes, Martha, nearly everything is being called a scam online these days.  From the 9-11 attacks to Mother Teresa, and everything in between (and let’s face it, there’s a lot betwixt those two terms), it seems some mole in an hole somewhere is getting his nerdish satisfaction from hurling the term “scam” or “sucks” at it.  So much so, in fact, that one of the many minions in the nerdosphere has seen fit to create a whole suffix just for such purposes.

What a wonderful modern world in which we live!

So, when one asks if Life Leadership is a scam, I guess it should be no surprise!  If they’re questioning Mother Teresa . . . .

Is Network Marketing a Scam?

And, further, if anything and everything gets hit with the scam label, why not an entire profession that’s been around for 150 years? Sure!

So what are the answers to these intellectual questions of infinite profundity?  Glad you asked.  NY Times best selling author and Guinness World Record Holder Orrin Woodward has just released a new book that addresses both of these questions in a most interesting way.  Written as a novella with interesting characters and real life questions about the profession in general and Life Leadership in specific, the book is so much fun that I read it in one sitting! (Others are reporting the same). I believe that the questions as to the validity of the networking industry and Life Leadership‘s key position within it are answered eloquently and thoroughly. Of course, I am also biased, as I’ve enjoyed my time in the industry now for over two decades, and can’t imagine life without the opportunity to Have Fun, Make Money, and Make a Difference (all three in one place).

Is Orrin Woodward a ScaM?

Oh man, will the tough questions never stop?

Sidestepping the obvious rebuttal that a person (reference Mother Teresa above) cannot actually be defined as a “scam,” one has to wonder what drives such slander? Is there possibly such a thing in the nerd world as digital assassins? Could there possibly be those who benefit from tearing down a competitor online from the cowardly comfort of anonymity? Could it be that there are actually paid positions to do so? Let’s face it, if the nerds are capable of capitalizing on a .scam suffix, one is left to conclude that anything could be possible!

But I digress.

What I really want to do is introduce you to Orrin Woodward‘s excellent new book, which I technically already did, but forgot to give you the cool photo of its cover, or the interesting video trailer in which Orrin introduces it.

Enjoy!

(And you nerds? Well, just to let you know, I loaded all this media onto this blog post all by myself! So there.)

Sincerely,

Chris Brady

The-Leadership-Train-Cover

Financial Fitness from Life Leadership

Are You Ready to Get Financially Fit?

Sincerely,

Chris Brady

Who Are They To Judge

Chris Brady:

Matt does a great job here summarizing my favorite points in the book. I LOVE the After Action Review! Read on!

Originally posted on Matt Mielke:

I just finished reading a short book from the LIFE Leadership development system titled “Get Er Done – The Green Beret Guide To Productivity” by Michael Martel, a former Green Beret (as I would expect).get er done book

It is a short, easy-to-read book with a lot of good wisdom. One section in particular is titled “Who Are They To Judge.” I was pleasantly surprised to discover it was not a typical chapter on critics and how to deal with them, as I had originally assumed.

Have you ever attempted to do something and have been questioned by someone, probably negatively, why you would do that? Prior to your friend’s query, you probably spent time in thought and prayer, studied the potential reward and consequences, acquired special insight and information and, with all positive intentions, decided to move forward and then, WHAM!  You get hit with seemingly unwarranted criticism, rejection and negativity.

In sports…

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Orrin Woodward Forbes – Facts

Forbes Magazine Article – Orrin Woodward

“All the papers that matter live off their advertisements, and the advertisers exercise an indirect censorship over news.” ― George Orwell, Why I Write

Forbes Magazine has been a respected source for business news for decades. As a widely respected publication, it has produced consistently excellent articles on business, investing, and leadership, and I have been a reader since my college years. However, even the best sometimes get it wrong. For instance, the 2008 article featuring Orrin Woodward and Network Marketing is an inexplicable outlier from the publication’s usual journalistic standards. There is so much wrong with the piece I almost didn’t know where to begin. If you’ve ever had the opportunity of being on the inside of a news story, and felt the befuddlement of comparing your experience to what was actually reported, you’ll know how I feel. The following is my briefest attempt to clean up the startling inconsistencies and omissions.

Orrin Woodward Forbes Facts

  • At the time of the article, Orrin Woodward was in a major legal dispute with Amway/Quixtar. Somehow, this important fact was not mentioned.
  • At the same time, Amway was funding a major advertising campaign in Forbes (no links online, but see 2008 Forbes Magazine for Amway ads).
  • Some of Amway’s principals were supporters of Steve Forbes and his political aspirations. (Click here)
  • Forbes figures have been in public support of Amway (Rich Karlsgaad, Forbes Editor in Chief, appears in an Amway promotional video three different times (Click here))
  • Newer, small companies such as Orrin’s at the time (approximately $42 million in gross annual revenue) typically do not merit attention from Forbes, which generally reports on the world’s largest and most influential firms.
  • At roughly the same time as this article appeared, Newsweek wrote a similarly negative piece on MonaVie founder and President, Dallin Larsen, even though Larsen was a year away from winning the Ernst & Young Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year award (Click here). Orrin Woodward had just partnered with MonaVie, and Amway/Quixtar had promptly launched litigation against MonaVie.
  • Amway also had a major advertising campaign in Newsweek(Click here)
  • Neither of these publications ever featured Orrin or Dallin before the legal dispute, nor have there been any after its settlement.
  • Although the Forbes journalist admitted she had never heard of John Maxwell (#1 world renowned leadership expert (Click here)), Pastor Bill Hybels (the pastor of the largest church in her city (Click here)), and had no experience with Network Marketing (Click here), she wrote an article on leadership practices, Christian teachings, and Network Marketing.
  • Of all the people the journalist interviewed for the article (Orrin gave her complete access to everyone in his organization), the only person she quoted from her many interviews (other than Orrin himself and one guy standing in line to attend a meeting), was the negative husband of a woman in Orrin’s team that had never attended a single event, nor participated in any way. In contrast, not one of the many positive people interviewed were even mentioned.
  • When Orrin invited the journalist to his company’s international convention, offering her full back-stage access to everything and everyone, she politely declined because she had purchased tickets to attend a Willie Nelson concert instead.
  • The journalist referred to Network Marketing as “pyramid selling schemes,” proceeded to give a very incorrect description of how they supposedly function, and then wrote, “sounds like a chain letter, doesn’t it?”, even though networking companies operate legally in all 50 states every business day.  AND Forbes itself has done many positive (or at least professionally balanced) articles on the industry, as recently as last month (Click here).
  • The journalist stated that as a result of Orrin Woodward’s split with Amway, his “tools” business sales “plummeted.” This wasn’t the case. She had been given the actual sales data showing that sales increased after Orrin’s departure from Amway/Quixtar.
  • The journalist also stated that Orrin’s exit from Amway/Quixtar “left Woodward with motivational tools but no product to motivate people to sell.”  This is also false. Orrin’s leadership material was on the NY Times bestseller list (another fact not mentioned in the article (Click here) ). Companies were buying it to train their employees, professional athletes were reading it and talking about it in major publications (Click here), and churches were listing it in their annual suggested reading lists (Click here).  Orrin’s informational products did not need to be associated with any networking company’s products in order to be valued in the marketplace. In fact, this is exactly what a Michigan judge concluded when he ruled to allow Orrin’s company to continue to function even though it had severed  its association with Amway/Quixtar.

Orrin Woodward Since the Forbes Article

  • Since departing from Amway/Quixtar, and after a brief time of partnering with MonaVie, Orrin Woodward and several of his partners launched a company called Life Leadership to provide personal and leadership development materials to individuals and organizations.
  • Life Leadership products have consistently won industry awards for design and quality (Click here, and here, and here).
  • Life Leadership has attracted customers in widely varying industries and applications that don’t have anything to do with Network Marketing (Click here).
  • Orrin Woodward’s works continue to win awards and recognition (Click here, and here and here and here).
  • In 2011, Orrin Woodward was awarded the Kettering University Entrepreneurial Achievement Award
  • In 2014, Orrin Woodward was named to the Inc. Magazine Top 50 Leadership and Management Experts list (Click here).
  • Also in 2014, Orrin Woodward set an official Guinness World Record with the most book signings of his latest best selling new book, And Justice for All: The Quest for Concord. (Click here)

Keys to Happiness: A Life Leadership Commentary


Sincerely,
Chris Brady

Success in Networking: Finding the Right People

 

Sincerely,

Chris Brady

3 Lessons for Developing a World Class Organization

Life Leadership

Orrin Woodward Sets New Guinness Record

Life Leadership and Orrin Woodward

I don’t know if you’re like me, but as a kid growing up I was mesmerized with The Guinness Book of World Records. The whole concept of setting a “World Record” was fascinating, and so were those women with the really long nails or that guy who was eleven foot tall. I remember laughing at all the obscure records and categories, and wondered who would be crazy enough to do most of those things.

GuinnessThen a friend of mine (who shall, for the time being, remain anonymous. Let’s just call him some guy (spelled Sum Gui)) suggested that for a promotional idea for the release of Orrin Woodward‘s new book, And Justice for All: The Quest for Concord, that he (Orrin, not Sum Gui) should break the record for the number of books signed in one sitting. As soon as he made the recommendation, all my childhood memories of looking through friends’ Guinness books came flooding back to me. My initial reaction was, “Is that stuff real?” But then, having lived a few years here and there, I realized that, of course, it was real, and quickly deduced that there must be a real company somewhere that kept track of these things and made sure they were “official.”

Realizing that Sum Gui had come up with a really good idea, we quickly found out that the previous record was held by a guy (different guy from Sum Gui) named Sammy Lee from China, who signed 4,649 books in January of 2013. We also learned that, yes, in fact, Guinness had a process for all this, and you could get the services of their “adjudicator” to bless the proceedings and declare them official (assuming that you did, in fact, set a new record).

All it would take was thousands of people, a book to sign, and a signer willing to subject himself to the grueling marathon of signing book after book for hours on end.

Orrin Woodward would be perfect!

All we’d have to do is make sure he felt sufficiently challenged, and then, as everyone who knows him knows, there would be no way he would quit until victorious. So we promptly told him about our idea, that it would be a fun way to launch his new book, and that we were quite sure he could never do it (this works in basketball, too, if you ever happen to play against him. Just trash talk him a bit and you’re toast). So voila! We had ourselves an “Official Guinness Record Attempt!”

And would you believe it? Orrin broke the record without taking even one of his allotted five minute breaks, and he did it in less than half the time of the previous record holder! But that wasn’t the end. Orrin continued on until he had not only broken the record, but shattered it! The final official count was 6,786 books!

Congratulations Orrin Woodward, Obstacles Press, and Life Leadership! What a great, fun victory! And thanks to everyone who participated and now has a coffee table book like no other!

Now, if I could only think of some kind of record to break . . . maybe I’ll start growing my nails . . . .

Sincerely,

Chris Brady

Italypic

Personal Management – The Business of Your Life

Your Life is Your Business

John Wooden, record-setting coach of the UCLA basketball team and one of the most successful coaches in any sport, wrote, “Activity – to produce real results – must be organized and executed meticulously. Otherwise, it’s no different from children running around the playground at recess. Time, used correctly, is among your most potent assets. For many leaders, however, it seems otherwise. The months, weeks, and minutes are ill defined and almost intangible in their minds, evaporating without leaving a trace of achievement behind. In the mind of those leaders whose organizations get things done, time is tangible, a commodity as touchable as gold. The success of my leadership was directly linked to using time wisely. Respect time, and it will respect you.”

This is personal management of the highest magnitude. Note that any consideration of personal management necessarily involves a focus on what you are doing with your time. But it also involves other aspects, such as how you think, the management of your attitude, and your overall hunger to accomplish your purpose.

There are a few practical things to seek out in order to maintain the highest level of personal management, and thereby keep yourself fully locked into productive life habits:

  1. Informational Reinforcement – to stay sharp and continue learning and growing, one needs to be plugged into a source of information pertaining to the craft at hand. Read all you can about your pursuit. Listen to audio recordings as well. Peruse trade magazines and familiarize yourself with any and all websites of authority pertaining to your field. Find out if there are events or symposiums, concerts or competitions that you can attend and use as educational experiences. Gathering and digesting all the information you can get your hands on for your particular area of chosen mastery will keep you fresh and be a shortcut forward in your development.
  1. Relational Reinforcement – There is an old joke that goes like this: “Two idiots and one genius go into a room together. After a period of time, out come three idiots.” Beyond being funny, it clearly demonstrates the power of association with others. Choose your associations wisely (as the wrong ones can be incredibly wrong). Make sure you are hanging around with people who are experts in the endeavor you are pursuing. Find yourself a Mr. Miyagi and wash the heck out of his car, sand his floors until they shine, and paint his fence like Tom Sawyer’s friends. The reinforcement you get from mentors and experts in your field will quiet the voices of dissent around you who don’t understand what you’re doing or why.
  1. Self-Talk – in one of the odder techniques available, many of the top masters in their fields long ago had to learn to stop listening to themselves and instead begin talking to themselves. This is because our minds are quickly capable of “going negative” on us, and, believe it or not, our own words to ourselves are very powerful. For this reason, practice the art of positive self-talk. This can be done through affirmation statements and memorized phrases of encouragement (Bible verses are also good for this) to keep yourself focused and provide a quick re-centering when your wheels begin to wobble.

Sincerely,

Chris Brady

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Originality: What Do You Have?

In 1923 a member of the board of directors for Lloyd’s Bank in London asked a literary expert at a party: “You may know of one of our employees who is, I understand, a poet. Mr. Eliot.”

To which the reply was given: “Indeed I do. He is a very remarkable poet.”

“I am glad to hear it. He is also most proficient in banking. Indeed, I don’t mind telling you that, if he goes on in his present way, he will one day be a senior bank manager!”

Thankfully for fans of literature the world over, T.S. Eliot didn’t settle merely for what he could become, but instead pressed forward to what he should become.

We have discussed the elements of meaning and scandal as they relate to leaving a legacy. These two opposite poles should be ever present in our minds as we live out our lives. We should strive to matter as much as we possibly can, and guard ourselves against the inevitable temptations that would come along and cheapen our accomplishments. But leaving a legacy is much more complex and multi-faceted than all of that. There are other elements that must be part of the mix. Primary among these is originality. There are many things we can do, but probably only one that we were born to do.

Your Personal Brand

It happened to you and it’s uniquely yours. No one else has your story. No one else has your particular mixture of experience and ability. Not only did God make you unique in all your parts, but also the life he lets you live is just as uniquely yours. Nobody else experiences the world in exactly the same way as you. These concepts are important to understand, because they form the basis of your personal brand.

What is a personal brand?

A personal brand is whatever you do or bring to the world that is entirely and uniquely yours. Perhaps surprisingly, the more you stick to what is uniquely yours and the more authentic you are in what you do, the more interesting it is to others and the more marketable it is.

Allow me to give an example.

My wife Terri Brady is a very interesting person with a compelling personal brand. Beyond all the foundational things that attracted me to her back in our college days (her love of the Lord, her values and her upbringing, her beauty, her courage, her playfulness, her native intelligence, her musical gifts, and above all, her undeniable wisdom in choosing me!), she has lived an incredibly interesting and inspiring life. Her list of brand experiences include prolonged infertility, surviving a life threatening brain tumor, engineering degree and work experience, home schooling four children, a consistent record of physical fitness, mastery of multiple musical instruments, dedication to serving in the name of Christ, leading and mentoring many other women, high level entrepreneurship and business ownership, fabulous public speaking to audiences around the world, a very popular blog, not to mention being married to a rascal like me!

In addition to these unique experiences, many of which were beyond her control, the way in which she carried herself through them is even more impressive. The trials came without complaint, and the victories came without conceit. If you wrap all these things together you’ve got one incredible woman with a lot to share. All of these pieces together comprise Terri’s personal brand. They make her interesting. They give weight to what she teaches. They give power to what she says.

Now, what would happen if Terri tried to teach people about scuba diving? Or produce a product focused on fashion? It wouldn’t work. It’s simply not her. It doesn’t fit her brand, and people would sense it subconsciously, rejecting it as false or insincere.

The purpose of this example (beyond a shameless ploy to get points with my wife) is to demonstrate that who we are at the core, in the most authentic version of ourselves, is what we should focus on bringing to the world. When you do precisely that, you will be the most fulfilled. It’s when you are doing exactly what you were built to do with the specific gifts God gave you that you feel the most alive. Any time you stray away from this reality you feel less yourself, less alive, less real. Further, though, it is when you strike this authentic chord that the world takes notice. People only want the best you have to offer, nothing less.

The Margaritaville Concept

Jimmy Buffett is an overwhelmingly successful musician and entertainer. He has attracted a following of fanatical fans who dress up in crazy costumes and follow him around on concert tours. He has sold millions and millions of dollars worth of music and books. He has a string of successful restaurants and a clothing line. He even has a channel on satellite radio! Over the course of more than four decades,

Jimmy Buffett has assembled a massive entertainment empire. And really, when it gets right down to it, he did it all with just one song.

If you listen to Buffett’s early music, you will notice that it doesn’t really match his brand. Most of the songs are serious, the topics are ordinary, and it’s obvious that in those early days he hadn’t really struck the chord of his true authentic gift, of his personal brand that would someday delight millions. Brent Webster, a musician friend from Buffett’s very early days, said about how badly Buffett wanted to break into the music scene: “The impression was, he was trying too hard. His exuberance preceded him.”

Twenty-six record companies rejected Buffett. Capitol Records executive Joe Allison said of Buffett in those days, “He pitched some stuff to me, but it wasn’t anything I could ever use. His stuff is so off the wall it’s hard to think of somebody else doing it. He didn’t write like everybody else, he was really different.”

As soon as Buffett released the song Margaritaville (originally to be titled Wastin’ Away Again in Margaritaville, but changed by Buffett at the last minute), he had found his authentic swing – an escapism genre that whisked people away from their cold, boring lives and put them in the warm tropical sun. According to Steve Eng, “Jimmy’s deepening commitment to Caribbean imagery was at once separating him from mere country-rock and from new-hippie folkpop. By the mid-Seventies, Jimmy was setting, not following, a musical trend.” The song Margaritaville would win the 1977 BMI pop award, the 1978 country award, and the “Three Million Air Award” for that number of radio plays that year. All of this was pretty impressive, but it was only the beginning. The most important part was that Buffett had not only struck upon his true, original gift, but he quickly recognized it. Ever since, with each and every album, song, book, restaurant, and clothing line, Buffett has exploited this very original personal brand.

The image we get here is of an ambitious young musician working hard to make it, searching for his particular and unique personal brand, and then gradually combining all the elements of his life interests into his music. Eng wrote, “Jimmy claims that the Florida Keys theme of his albums wasn’t planned, it just evolved naturally.” It may have evolved, but once it did, and he discovered this original niche, he built upon it relentlessly.

Imagine going to a Jimmy Buffett concert. You take in the enthusiastic crowd; you sing along with some of the songs, you feel relaxed and happy as you too escape to the islands for a few fun figurative moments. But what would happen if Buffett finished up his concert and failed to play the song Margaritaville? You would not only feel disappointed, you’d feel cheated. Buffett has to perform that song at every concert because it is the classic embodiment of his personal brand, and Buffett, being the consummate entertainer and crowd pleaser, knows this better than anyone.

This principle applies everywhere. How disappointed would people be if Stephen King came out with a marriage book? Or if Dave Barry released a serious novel? Or if Michael Jordan left basketball to play, I don’t know, let’s say baseball? These people, and every successful person in every walk of life, have succeeded by finding their true authentic gift and then giving it over and over again with gusto.

Which brings us back to you.

What is (or could be) your unique brand?

What are your particular foundational gifts?

What are your unique experiences?

How have you grown as a result, and what can you give out of it?

What innate talents has God given you that are yours?

What makes you feel the most alive?

What makes you feel the most fulfilled?

What things do you do that seem to bring the most accolades from people?

What could be your Margaritaville?

The key is to know yourself, to know what you have. You may not be able to answer these questions just yet, and as was true for the entertainers we have considered in this chapter, it might take years for you to discover. But I guarantee that if you answer these questions and package all of this together, you will be at least heading in the right direction. Knowing that you should be looking to discover this idea about yourself is a great starting point.

Whether this means you will write books, blog, create music, speak on stages, preach, start a company, paint, organize something, play sports, become a surgeon, lead a charity, invent a new technology, or whatever, if you line things up to be a product of who you are and what you uniquely can contribute, you will succeed. You may not be a musician, but you’ve got your own, original figurative song to sing. You may not do what you do in the public eye, but you still have a personal brand to be discovered and built upon. I truly believe that everyone has his own Margaritaville waiting to be discovered. By this, I mean that you will find meaning and fulfillment in contributing something that only you can contribute.

Don’t live anyone else’s life for even a minute. Live yours. It’s unique. Find your Margaritaville and then sing it with all you’ve got until you can’t sing anymore. Glenn Kelman, CEO of Redfin, said, “. . . what this spun-out, overhyped world is absolutely famished for is a little genuine personality.”

I promise, there will be fans cheering for your authentic output. There will always be a market for your original best.

Sincerely,

Chris Brady

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