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Does TEAM/LIFE Loyalty Demand Silence?

February 19, 2013

Author Seth Godin is one of Orrin Woodward’s favorite thinkers. He likens his own TEAM community (and his LIFE multi-level marketing business) to Godin’s concept of the tribe — “any group of people, large or small, who are connected to one another, a leader, and an idea.”

A few days ago, Godin published a short entry on the danger of confusing loyalty with silence:

Some organizations demand total fealty, and often that means never questioning those in authority.

Those organizations are ultimately doomed.

Respectfully challenging the status quo, combined with relentlessly iterating new ideas is the hallmark of the vibrant tribe.

Certainly, Orrin has positioned himself — some would say through the efforts of revisionist history — as someone who has challenged authority. TEAM/LIFE proponents incessantly wax poetic about their leader; to many, they think he has done and can do no wrong. Is this the kind of loyalty that should be promoted and encouraged within TEAM/LIFE? Is there any room within the LIFE Business or the LIFE Training program for questioning the thoughts, decisions and actions by the LIFE leadership? Or, does TEAM/LIFE loyalty demand silence and obedience?

10 Comments leave one →
  1. Rascal Teamster permalink
    February 19, 2013 10:19 am

    Silence is not demanded, but disagreeing with the PC publicly or even privately ends up being embarrassing. The “do you think you are smarter than Orrin?” question gets thrown at you so quickly, it pretty much handles the silencing part. Pretty arrogant to think you have more business smarts than a group of millionaire businessmen.

    I remember right before I got out, Mark Paul asked me if I thought I was smarter than Orrin when I made a negative comment about the business and te leadership. The (insubordinate) answer just flew out of my mouth. I said, “Yup….on this matter I am.” When he laughed at me, I shot back, “if Orrin’s so fricking smart, why didn’t he just get this business right the first time, and what makes you think his next change will get it right?” That pretty much ended our conversation and the Teams hold on my brain. In my head, Orrin went from Diety to common man.

    I mean seriously there teamsters, we’ve seen soooo much change in the Team, Lana had to joke about it from change. She referred to Orrin’s PDCA (Plan Do Check Adjust) process as Please Don’t Change Anymore. Did anyone else ever wonder why this pool of geniuses, who have the right answer for everything, could never fix the business, even tho they said the latest change would fix it?

  2. February 19, 2013 2:03 pm

    A cursory answer : because it’s not a business, but a scam.

  3. Ronald Schumont permalink
    February 19, 2013 3:39 pm

    Well,I for one do believe they “fixed” the business. Unfortunately it only benefited the ones at the top. All the newbies will drink the koolaid. Make mine grape please.
    I don’t think I am smarter than Orrin and Co. but I do have a conscience.
    I was definitely “Martinised” listening to a minimum of ten cd’s a day. It was so liberating when I finally had my nights free to spend with my family. I missed so much of their lives.
    Did you catch the pun?

  4. Chris permalink
    February 21, 2013 1:44 am

    Right on Ronald..the obsession with listening to mostly the same cds is total lunacy in my opinion. I hated it when they recommended that you should listen to 10 cds a day. I say if you listen to that many cds you’ ve lost your critical thinking skills. How else would u think for yourself. I also strongly disliked when O rrin said the reason to listen to the cds is to ” shut you up”!From my standard as a Christian to me, to be that fixated on listening to cds and team it would be considered idolatry. Anything that takes place of God is idolatry. It s ok to listen to a cd, but to be that obsessed with listening and spending time on team and it takes place of other important things that’s when life team becomes a problem. The catch though to team is that they real you in a little at a time, the alluring part is there’s a rainbow at the end, maybe for some but not for many. I guess people will have to decide how much am I going to give up for success, is it worth it? My hope is people weigh in on how much time and money they spend on team and even so ” what can a man profit. if he forfeits his soul.” For me in my opinion it’s a lose- lose situation.

  5. freedomhaha permalink
    February 21, 2013 5:21 am

    Chris- Of course it is a lose-lose. Either you are part of the 99.999% that eventually loses money, or you are the PC and you make your money by stealing it from others through deceptive business practices.

  6. February 21, 2013 7:08 am

    You mean like lie, manipulate, be a phoney and consistent

  7. Chris permalink
    February 21, 2013 12:27 pm

    I haven’t been high enough in the business to see all those things. The real problem for me is saying how ” Christian” the leaders of team are and then advising people to devote your time and energy to the cds, meetings and the business. I believe if u say you are a ” Christian” especially as a leader you are held to a higher standard. You now have the.responsibility of pointing people to Christ. I feel the leaders of team are contradicting theirselves when they claim to put God.firsthand, yet it seems obvious to me team life is what they live for.

  8. MemoryLame permalink
    February 21, 2013 12:57 pm

    Chris, amen! It really bothered my conscience too. I kept trying to justify it by telling myself that it was helping me act better, but in the end that was simply more right than it should have been. I was ACTING. In the end I realized that the only thing that really transforms hearts and minds is the Truth of Jesus Christ living in me – no book, cd, or association could be better than that. To think otherwise is ironically pretty Pharisee-like.

    Thanks for posting.

  9. noteam permalink
    February 21, 2013 8:39 pm

    Chris – I agree. I remember a DVD of Claude Hamilton actually saying. “Let’s suppose you promised your kid that you’d go to their hockey game and then you find out there is a seminar on that night. What you should do is go to your kid and say hey I know you want to go to Disneyland so why don’t we do this…why don’t we film your game and then you and I can watch it on video the next day….”

    Are you serious?!?!?! The whole excitment for the kid is to actually have his dad in the stands cheering him on during the actual game while all his friends and their dads are there. Not watching it on video the next day.

    Also, what are you teaching your kids when you break a promise and commitment to them?

  10. Melanie Morgan permalink
    March 5, 2013 5:29 pm


    I agree. But what I don’t agree with is suing people, personally I have a moral issue with it.

    It does seem there is a pattern with Orrin Woodward Team/ PC and others, obviously wouldn’t agree with me. But there is no question they resort to this is cases to handle conflict. Anyone can see some of the many lawsuits they have intitiated and I couldn’t find the one with Scott Larsen so that must be forced to remain silent, I have often wondered what would it was in that lawsuit that it has to remain hidden.

    The Quixtar lawsuit it seems at least the arbitration is also not able to access. I could be wrong but it seems that their main goal is to Silence,Scrub, and Gag.

    I believe this is what they think is acceptable or perhaps it is the way “business is done” or the thought process of “everyone does it” so therefore, it is acceptable and okay for us to do it too. God knows the courts are filled with frivolous unresolved issues.

    I don’t remember hearing from Pastor Dickie when he taught on “conflict resolution”
    that this is a way everyone should sue to resolve issues.

    Because of the way I feel about suing, I did look it up in the bible to see if this was a way to resolve issues, here is some verses and none of them seem encourage it:

    And in reading Roman 2:1-29 is a very strong message about this.

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