Look Mama!

Welcome everyone,

This is my first ever post as a “leadership blogger”. I’d be remiss if I didn’t immediately give thanks to Orrin Woodward and the leadership system that he, along with the policy council of the team, have created.

This stuff is all new to me, so please go easy on me. I ain’t got no English degree n sometimes I don’t speaks so goodly… But I don’t want to attempt to be too ‘high brow’ either. I’m reminded of the story where a mother took little Johnny to the rodeo, where he’d repeatedly holler “hey mama, look at that cowboy with them thar bow legs!” The mother eventually got so embarrassed and frustrated, that she told little Johnny “You holler like that one more time, and I’m sending you off to grammar school!” Needless to say, he did, and she did. The following year they returned to the rodeo, and almost immediately little Johnny hollered out “Harken dear mother, observe yonder, what manner of men that walketh in parenthesis!”

There was a time – not so long ago, that anyone who knew me would not put John Graff and leader in the same sentence. So how else do you explain how a no people skills engineer (I still have miles to go), and as assisted living home owner/operator, rising up to modest levels of leadership in a ‘people business’!?!  What I’m learning is that there are fundamental principles of success. The discernment of what those truly are, can be a very slippery slope…. To quote current #1 leadership guru, John Maxwell: “The amount of information available in the world has doubled in the last  five years, and it keeps doubling.” 

As  we all dive headlong into the information age, whether we want to or not, one would wonder… How do I get to truth? As well as asking; What’s the motive behind the source of any info?  One of the many reasons my wife, Penny and I, love the team system, is that it provides us correct knowledge from people with proven ‘fruit-on-the-tree.’ For example; regarding finances, I so appreciate what my mentor and co-founder of the LIFE business, Dan Hawkins says, “Beware who you take your advice from, they just might be broke!” 

With the advent of the LIFE (living intentionally for excellence) business, my wife and I are determined to make it our life’s work (pun intended) to go out into a frustrated and confused world and offer up real solutions to anyone desiring improvements in their – Finances, Faith, Family, Following, Friends, Fitness, or Freedom and have a ton of Fun in the process! These, dear friends, are the 8 F’s! So thanks again to Orrin and the Team/LIFE/Leadership system, for providing real solutions to very real problems.

God bless, “little Johnny”



21 comments on “Look Mama!

  1. Larry Wieberdink says:

    You’re off to a great start John!!!! Its a supeer synopsis of what LIFE is all about.

    I love the cowboy joke.

    Congratulations to you and Penny on the new Blog site,

    Larry Wieberdink
    Stealth Red Eagles

  2. Kayla Krumm says:

    John, I have been waiting for this post ever since you said you would be having a blog, I thought it was going to be good because of the writer, but it is GREAT! You will under promise and over deliver. I am so blessed to be part of this Leadership company TEAM with LIFE on its way. Thank you for everything you have done for our family and many others. Kayla

  3. Steve Buckau says:

    Congratulations on your first blog John. I just wanted to say thank you for yours and Penny’s leadership and also friendship. You have been and are a blessing in my life and many others.

    Take care,

    Steve Buckau

  4. Thanks John for getting your story out to so many through your leadership blog. We teach our kids daily about the brave men and women who go out night after night to help people. Thank you for being one of those people.

  5. jolinn_thill says:

    What a wonderful first blog, Uncle John. You and Aunt Penny make me so proud to be a part of your team, and more importantly your family. Thanks for being amazing role models for so many people. You truly are making a differences. I love you both!

  6. Bob and Suzette Hughes says:

    Great job, John, Your unique humor that we all love comes through in your writing. Thank you for giving us such a great example to follow. Fired Up!

  7. What a great story John, it’s been such a blessing for me to watch examples like you and Penny grow and be one of the most sought after couples to hear from at speaking engagements. This blog will just be one more addition/avenue where you can make a difference in LIFE.


  8. Matt Mielke says:

    Very nice John! I see your writing prose (wow that’s a big word i don’t even know how to spell) is going to be very captivating. I would venture to say that you have a career in blogging and writing behind the mask of life coach and community builder. Nice job and i look forward to more posts in the future.

    Matt Mielke

  9. Kim and Jim Jones says:

    Awesome Job John! Your mentorship is proving to be our best asset and now your leading us to the next level of success in LIFE. We appreciate you both more than you know. Thank you for being you,… you’re the best. Blog on….

  10. Gloria Fruit says:

    You and Penny are great leaders and your first blog show that. I am proud to be on your team and following all of the great leaders of Team Sealth and all the co-founders of TEAM. I’ve been part of TEAM for almost 3 years and it’s been a wealth of growth and learning because of leaders like you. I am ‘hitching’ my wagon to your coat tales and am looking forward to the fantastic ride we are about to embark on. Keep up the excellent blogs!

  11. Gary Severson says:

    John, great stuff! I’ve watched you from afar for a few short years now and I’ve never been more convicted that you’re a shining example of a guy who doesn’t have to think twice about stepping up to the front line’s when called. A big reason this TEAM community has impacted me so much, in such a positive way, is due to the fact that I can watch and learn from the leader’s example’s, specifically, yours. It’s nothing short of an honor to be part of this journey towards excellence with you! God bless ~ Gary Severson …. Proverbs 29:23

  12. Angie Johnson says:

    Amazing Job John you and penny are amazing and are leading alot of families and individuals to a chance at a better life.

  13. Kevin Hamm says:

    Hey Jon, great writing actually. Thank you for being a great example. I look forward to many years of association great leaders like you and Penny. LIFE sure is exciting.

    Kevin Hamm

  14. johngraff01 says:

    Thanks Lori for your kind words. You did know us when… Penny has always been pretty sharp. Me, well – I’m working on it. But please note that it goes both ways: You and Mark are NOT the same people we got to know years ago. The growth Penny and I have observed in you has been especially enjoyable as well, since ‘we knew you when…”

  15. Kristi Travis says:

    You’re are so awesome! We are so blessed to be on this journey with such amazing friends and incredible Leaders. You and Penny are such amazing people! I wish/pray there were more J&P’s out there because you offer so much to so many with the people you are and the Leadership you exemplify! Your 1st BLOG was amazing and definitely shows how awesome and true you really are! You guys are “the real deal” on and off stage and we are soooo very blessed to be a part of Team Phoenix!

    • johngraff01 says:

      D & K,
      One of our favorite things about this leadership biz, is the wonderful people whom we never would otherwise have known! You and Darrek have been such blessings in our lives as well. We love your company and are so impressed by your hunger and servant leadership.
      Love, J & P

  16. Lily says:

    Great job John!!! I look forward to many more!! Your writing style is very comforting and welcoming! See you tonight at the open 🙂

  17. george guzzardo says:

    John, I am proud of you! You continue to influence us with more of your leadership talents. God Bless, George

    • johngraff01 says:

      Wow! THE George Guzzardo took time to read what I was thinking about!!! That’s scary! Thank you for taking the time and the encouraging words. For sure, one of the reasons Penny and I run hard virtually every day, is for the respect of the likes of Jill and yourself, as well as the rest of the policy council.
      Love, John and Pen

  18. Kelli Sager says:

    Great article John ! We are so happy to see you on your own blog . We have admired you both from affar in your leadership & LIFE in general . Can’t wait to see what’s in that brain of yours in future articles !

  19. jackiefreyj says:

    Hello Johnny!
    Thanks for the great post……keep them coming. I enjoy reading all of the posts from the TEAM. You are all a great bunch of FEARLESS LEADERS in the hunt to change lives one person at a time.
    God bless you all!

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