Paging Orrin Woodward – IAB Shut Down by the FTC and Leadership Guru Status Revoked
Two pieces of news to share with you today that follow up on my investigation into several leadership awards that Orrin Woodward and his followers repeat constantly as proof of his purported leadership greatness.
Leadership Guru Title Revoked
The Leadership Gurus website is being relaunched in 2013, and Orrin Woodward and Chris Brady have been disqualified and removed from the gurus list. Here’s the quote from the Global Guru Criteria (screenshot taken from the site at the time of this post’s publication) section:
And, when we added an IP address checker to our system this year, two Guru candidates listed in the top 15, Orrin Woodward and Chris Brady, who have had substantial votes since 2010, were disqualified and removed from the list because more than 98% of their votes came for only three IP addresses, meaning that only three people voted for them over and over again. This accounted for almost 2000 of their votes.
Clearly, the people responsible for the Leadership Gurus site learned that they’ve been hoodwinked by Orrin Woodward, Chris Brady, and their followers. Good for them!
IAB Scam Shut Down
Several months ago, the Independent Association of Business (IAB) was shut down by the Federal Trade Commission. You heard that right. The same organization1 that awarded Orrin Woodward the top leadership award for 2011 was charged by the FTC as having bilked “millions of dollars from thousands of consumers by tricking them into buying what they believed was comprehensive health insurance, when in fact they had paid for something decidedly less.”
Let’s take a look back at some of the waxing-poetic blogs posts by Orrin Woodward and his followers. Thanks to Google, here are various search results for “Orrin Woodward IAB“.
- Orrin Woodward: Top Leader Independent Association of Business
- Orrin Woodward’s blog post on the IAB award
- Chris Brady’s blog post on the IAB award
- Eric Blomdahl’s post
- Tim Marks on Orrin and the IAB Award
- Greg Johnson on Leadership Blog Post
- Banner ad from the IAB on Flickr
- Kettering University (Orrin’s Alma Mata) blog post about the award – the page has been taken down, but here is a screenshot of it when it was up.
TEAM and The LIFE Business members are going to have a fun time trying to scrub their websites of any mention of the IAB. I’d like to highlight a few choice quotes from these blogs (bold emphasis mine):
In hindsight, these quotes from Chris Brady are classic:
In a world now ablaze with information, we are bombarded by companies and individuals who present themselves as being something more than their actual substance. We also witness the obscure, bizarre, disgruntled, unprincipled, and undisciplined having access to a voice louder than merit would bestow.
This is why it is tremendously refreshing to see that sometimes the exact opposite is true. Occasionally some individual or organization dedicated to excellence and toiling upward far from the hot light of personal glory sometimes receives recognition that is due, and perhaps even over due. This occurs most justly when it has not been sought either directly or indirectly.
Yesterday I received an innocuous email seemingly no different from the other 100 that come in on a daily basis. I opened it with no more anticipation than one opens a phone bill. But as I read through its contents I was warmed by its announcement that my friend and business partner Orrin Woodward had received the prestigious IAB Top Small Business Award Top Leadership Website for 2011. IAB is the International Association of Businesses, a worldwide membership of business owners more than 1 million members strong. For this year’s award, Orrin Woodward was up against the likes of leadership giants such as Jim Collins, John Maxwell, Stephen Covey, Ken Blanchard, Tony Robbins, and Jack Welch, among others. It is an incredible honor just to be among such icons of the industry, but to finish first is absolutely impressive.
Sorry, Chris, I for one would not want to be recognized by an organization that got shut down by the FTC for fraudulent business practices.
Although this is an incredible individual accomplishment for Orrin Woodward, it is equally as incredible for everyone associated with LIFE and TEAM. With every level of national recognition and every prestigious award that Orrin Woodward receives, the credibility of everyone associated with Orrin strengthens; while the credibility of the critics diminish.
Eric has it backwards. With every fact revealed on this site, the credibility of everyone associated with Orrin diminishes; while the credibility of the critics’ strengths.
Since the tomato-throwers can’t knock that Orrin actually made the NY Times best-sellers list, they focus their attack instead on his other accolades such as his leadership award with the IAB. Again, the Amway drones can’t deny that Orrin won the IAB award; so, instead, they attempt to knock the IAB itself. I’m amazed anyone would be confused on the IAB’s history or credibility. Here’s a blast of truth: the IAB is such a respected organization that in 2002 it was honored by the Vice President of the United States for 20 years of outstanding service to its massive business membership base.
There’s a reason why the phrase, “Where there’s smoke, there’s fire,” is so popular. I sincerely hope that we don’t hear something along the lines of, “By golly, we were scammed by these IAB scammers. How could we have known?” from those in TEAM/LIFE. Uh, that’s what’s called “doing your homework.”
Here’s what I predict is going to happen over the next few days:
- Orrin Woodward will remove all references to the IAB award from his website. He will definitely remove it from his blog’s bio section (“In 2011 Orrin was awarded the prestigious Independent Association of Business (IAB) Leader of the Year Award.”).
- A directive will come down from the highest levels of TEAM and The LIFE Business to not mention the IAB or the leadership gurus award ever again.
Unfortunately for them, Google remembers everything. To recap:
- Is Orrin Woodward a leadership guru? Not anymore!
- Is the Independent Association of Businesses a prestigious and credible organization? According to the FTC, it was a scam!
- Should we take the Orrin Woodward’s Top Leader from the IAB seriously? No!
Here are some links to additional information regarding the shutdown of the IAB:
- FTC page on the injunction
- FTC official complaint
- IAB Receivership Website
- Original page that listed Orrin Woodward as a top leader – now a blank page
1 The FTC preliminary injunction states that the owners of the IAB operated several companies with similar sounding names. IAB Marketing Associates LP, Independent Association of Businesses, HealthCorp International Inc., JW Marketing Designs LLC, International Marketing Agencies LP, International Marketing Management, LLC, and Wood LLC. These companies were run by James Wood and members of his family.
[Editor’s note: an earlier version of this article attributed a quote to Mr. Steadfast (a.k.a Anti-Amway). The quote was actually from Tim Marks.]