TEAM/LIFE Summer Conference 2013
Summer Conference for LIFE and TEAM (also known as LIFE Training) will be held this week from June 20 to June 23, 2013. Members will be descending upon the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio to hear from the eight Policy Council members: Chris & Terri Brady, George & Jill Guzzardo, Claude & Lana Hamilton, Dan & Lisa Hawkins, Bill & Jackie Lewis, Wayne & Raylene MacNamara, Tim & Amy Marks, and Orrin & Laurie Woodward. The guest speaker will be Oliver DeMille.
There are four things that I would like to talk about, three of which will no doubt be discussed at Summer Conference. They will try to sweep the fourth under the rug.
On June 1, LIFE released its first Income Disclosure Statement (IDS). A extensively researched and detailed analysis of the IDS can be found on this website, and it’s not looking good for the LIFE Business. From the analysis:
Student 6000s and above get 78% of the total payout. Out of that group, Leaders and above take 53% of the total payout. Leaders and above make up 99% of the average monthly income per person in LIFE. Yet, Student 6000s and above make up just 3% of the total number of members in all of LIFE. Leaders and above make up a minuscule 0.35%!
Here is that same information in graphical form. Pay close attention to the ratio of members per rank versus payout per rank:
At Summer Conference, LIFE leaders will try to spin the numbers with a positive slant. As hard as it may be for LIFE members, they should not take what is said at face value. Members should take the time to really understand the figures in the IDS. If they are bad at math, they should find someone (preferably outside the business) who is more mathematically inclined and can walk them through the numbers.
Read the rest of the analysis post for all the details on the LIFE IDS.
Takeaway Question for TEAM/LIFE Members: Do I really understand the IDS and my chances for success in LIFE?
The guest speaker for the Leadership Convention will be, Oliver DeMille, Orrin’s co-author on Leadershift. DeMille has recently been the subject of several comments here on this blog. In marketing for the book and on the jacket cover, DeMille is listed as a founder of a college and a “two-time recipient of the Gold Honor Medal from the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge.” A reader contacted the organization and learned that no such medal exists. Brent Hansen corresponded with DeMille himself who “looked into it” and revealed two things:
- The medal is actually called the George Washington Honor Medal.
- DeMille was awarded the medal(s) some twenty plus years ago for papers he subumitted as an Air Force ROTC student in college.
Historically, the George Washington Honor Medal has been awarded in conjunction with the Boy Scouts of America (as far back as 1952) and is also issued independently across the nation in broad categories such as Youth Essay/Speech, Schools Entry, Community Entry, Public Communications, Military Essay, etc. To be considered for the award1, all one has to do is submit a 500-1000 word essay on the assigned topic. The theme for 2013 is “What the American Flag Means to Me and Why?”
Gold Honor Medal sounds to me like a combination of two legitimate, prestigious, and rare awards: the Congressional Gold Medal (highest-civilian award) of Medal of Honor (highest military award). I hope that all websites (and subsequent book editions) mentioning the DeMille’s “Gold Honor Medal” are updated to reflect the true name of the award — the George Washington Honor Medal — from the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge.
Lessons in Accountability and Integrity
It is the opinion of this board that the public should be safeguarded from the kind of mismanagement, deception and irresponsibility that the school previously suffered under DeMille and Brooks. We condemn their actions in the strongest terms and without reservation. The board stands with all who prize accountability and transparency in higher education, especially leaders who steadfastly honor the sacred trust of others and refuse to take shortcuts when pursuing their goals.
The whole article is worth the time to read, as it lays out in painstaking detail the transgressions by DeMille that ultimately led to his departure. Among these was the awarding of entire Ph.D degrees for no coursework, actions that required revocation by the Board.
Takeaway Question for TEAM/LIFE Members: How important is it to know the history and background of the people I’m listening to, mentoring from, and working with in the LIFE business?
Leadershift, co-authored by Woodward and DeMille, did make New York Times Best Seller list for two weeks. This time period coincided with the first two weeks of the book’s release. The first week’s appearance was primarily due to the large number of pre-orders taken in the months leading up to the book release. On the second week, Orrin Woodward went on a book signing tour to key TEAM/LIFE strongholds across the country. Both had the † dagger symbol next to the entry, which indicates bulk order purchases2.
Orrin and others recently finished a second book signing tour, and it remains to be seen if Leadershift will make the list for a third time. It does not appear on the most recent NY Times Best Seller list (June 16, 2013) for the Advice, How-To & Miscellaneous category.
On Amazon and other book review sites, Leadershift has been getting glowing five-star reviews. Longtime readers of this blog will know that this organization has a history of Google-bombing with comments, blog posts, and social media mentions. After one filters out those comments from obvious TEAM/LIFE members, one can read the reviews from people who came across the book randomly (or as a result of seeing it on one of the best seller lists). Two choice excerpts:
I can’t understand how all the reviews for this book are glowing 5 star reviews, unless they are friends of the authors or true believers in the proposals outlined in this simplistic narrative.
I really don’t want to discourage you from reading this book, if like me you treasure the abysmally bad as humorous and as rare as the truly great.
This book is written by two business success hacks. They refer to people like Steven Covey and other pulp business gurus like they are Nobel prize winners. The number of 5 laws of success, 10 laws of leadership, 14 laws of vision, 27 laws of team-build is amazing. It is a compendium of empty business book nonsense. There is absolutely no analysis just pablum of slogans and stilted conversations and meetings between the team. We are working for FREEDOM. Though we don’t really talk about what FREEDOM means.
Takeaway Question for TEAM/LIFE Members: Is the success of Leadershift the result of organic growth in the marketplace or the result of bulk-order purchases by members within TEAM/LIFE itself? Are there significant numbers of people outside of TEAM/LIFE who are reading this book?
Bankruptcy of TEAM Quad Turbo 100
Last month, TEAM Quad Turbo 100’s Bill and Jann Newton filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. They had been the primary speakers at several Open and Monthly Seminars — promoting the LIFE business as a means for financial success — just weeks prior to filing.
The Newton’s son and daughter-in-law, Cody and Tara Newton, are Round Table members in TEAM. RT and above members have an exclusive meeting on Thursday, June 20th. I hope for two things that evening. First, I hope the other RT members express some sympathy at the financial plight of Bill and Jann. Declaring bankruptcy does not sound like fun event. Second, and more importantly, RT members should ask tough questions to their upline regarding profitability potential and accountability in the business. How can someone going through financial difficulty be allow to speak at Open Seminars and Monthly Opens? How long have the high-level leaders, such as Tim Marks and Orrin Woodward, known about the Newton’s problems?
Takeaway Question for TEAM/LIFE Members: Are there other examples of high-ranking TEAM/LIFE leaders who are experiencing financial difficulties as a result of building this business that we don’t know about?
If Leadershift calls for Americans to “finally stand up and lead,” LIFE Members should heed the that advice and do the same for their leaders. Orrin Woodward and company don’t get a free pass because they are the founders of LIFE, and LIFE Members shouldn’t give them one.
Readers – what do you expect to hear at the Summer Leadership Convention? What do you want to see come out of the event?
1 Some of the essays have restrictions. The Military Essay requires the applicant to be in “the Armed Forces on active or reserve duty and members of the National Guard, ROTC and JROTC components.” Another is open only to youths. See the Freedoms Foundation website for more details.
2 I wonder how many copies of Leadershift the average LIFE member owns. Will they be encouraged to buy another copy when the paperback edition arrives in a few months?