“Mental Fitness Challenge!” Say what?

Hey everybody. Its here! Phase II of the-life-business.com. Orrin Woodward and the founders of LIFE are chomping at the bit to roll out the details at the spring national leadership convention! As good as the business of LIFE is, it’s about to add a bunch of turbo-boosters (pun intended) as the TEAM is about to go “viral”!

One of the key ingredients to cause that is the MFC or “Mental Fitness Challenge“. This will be a systematic self-assessment tool to help us all better understand where our strengths and weaknesses lie (for those brave souls who truly want to strive for the life they’ve always wanted). What the founders realize is that if we could raise our leadership ability even a little bit, the ramifications from that increase would surprise even the meekest of us. Why? Simply because leadership is the highest paid profession. Who wouldn’t be interested in being more effective with leading people, knowing that there will be people in your life ’til the day you die. Couple that thought with a quote that Orrin often says: “Your raise become effective as soon as you do.”

The wonderfully crazy part about this business opportunity is that it monetarily rewards us to get educated in those areas we choose to get better in! That is unheard of in any industry. Its the antithesis of college; I get paid while receiving an education! How cool is that.

The other part that cracks me up is that so many people pay good money (whether its gym memberships, sports, dietary related, cosmetic related as well as all types of apparel), all in the name of better physical fitness/appearance – and don’t get me wrong, that’s very important. But let’s be honest, how many of us make a daily effort to improve from the neck-up?

I’ve heard that the founders have put more time and energy and effort into this particular piece of our business than anywhere else. I don’t know of any group of men and women who are more respectful of the time they have than the Policy Council. If they have invested their time that heavily into this, safe to say it will be very worthwhile for us to do the same. So come on! Join me in taking the Mental Fitness Challenge on the backside of this weekend. Who knows; you might lead yourself straight to the life you’ve always wanted!

God bless, John Graff


Would you trust you?

I got the opportunity to talk about leadership to a group of executives and professionals in the real estate world this morning. I’ll be the first to admit I don’t know a lot about the field, but I have learned through thought leaders like Orrin Woodward and his contemporaries, that leadership applies to virtually everything involving people!

I decided to base my talk around a profound formula found in Stephen Covey Jr.’s book: The Speed of Trust. It’s a simple formula that states: as trust goes up, speed goes up and cost goes down. Conversely: as trust goes down, speed goes down and cost goes up.

I challenge you, think of any process you do or any contractual agreement you’ve been a part of. Think of the ‘players’ involved and the level of trust you felt towards them. If it was a fast, clean, cost effective process; than it virtually goes without saying that trust level was high. Another example would be those whom you have repeat business. Just how did that get established?

So knowing that someone’s level of trust in you directly affects time and money (your’s and theirs’), wouldn’t it make a lot of cents (pun intended) to increase our level of trust in all our relationships?

That’s where pure unadulterated servant leadership comes in! That’s where we all get to look in the mirror and ask; How’s my character? How effective am I at performing the tasks required of me? How good am I at building and sustaining relationships?

Most people tend to think they are well above average in the three catagories of the Tri-lateral Leadership Ledger of: character/task/relationship, which leads to Woodward’s law that states: 90% of the people think they are in the 10%. Do you see how that’s mathematically impossible. This means there’s a whole lot of folks who are self-deceived (me included)! So the best way to avoid that deception is to stay humble and always be learning and growing to become a better you, in order to better serve people and provide value in their life. You do that and just watch how people’s speed of trust in you increases!

God bless, John Graff

What are the “4-C’s”?

For those of us following Orrin Woodward and the-life-business founders, we understand Michael Dell’s concept of the “3-C’s”: Content , commerce and community. But Penny and I found it very intriguing that our pastor had wrapped his sermon around “4-C’s”.

The title of his message was called ‘Leaving a Legacy that will Last‘.  He posed each “C” within the form of a question. Then he elaborated on each question and added biblical references. For the record, it was an excellent sermon (as Pastor Brian’s always are). They are always Christ/Gospel centered, and we can’t help leaving Sunday’s service without pondering the wisdom within his Message!

That notwithstanding; here are the questions he posed and the order in which he posed them. See if you don’t feel as I do. That what we do regarding the TEAM/LIFE business, doesn’t directly corollate with his message.

1. What will be the CENTER of  life?

2 What will be the CHARACTER of my life?

3. What will be the CONTRIBUTION of my life?

4. What will be the COMMUNITY of my life?

Isn’t it cool that as we build community through the 8 F’s, we ask similar questions of ourselves and our team mates, so that we stay principle based and keep an eye on the things that truly matter in peoples lives. From my personal perspective, it appears that what the life business offers: information to improve peoples lives in  8 areas of a persons life (Faith, Family, Finance, Fitness, Following, Freedom, Friends and Fun), makes for a wonderful contribution to whatever community you are part of. For Penny and I personally, we feel that to strengthen our character, we seek to put Christ at the center of our lives. That’s why we go to church every Sunday: to strengthen our relationship with Him, and in turn, better serve our fellow man.

Please don’t misunderstand my intent. We are not attempting to take away from the church, that’s absurd. That’s simply not God’s will, nor am I personally qualified to preach the Word as Pastor does….

What I am attempting to point out is simply this; that we are standing on more common ground than we realize. If my faith gets strengthened even more so, by implementing the information in the faith piece of our business (in addition to) Sunday morning’s message… how is that a bad thing?

If someone says to me; What is it that you guys do? My answer is simply this: What Penny and I do for a living, is build communities of people through which great information flows, in order to give them the life they’ve always wanted, to improve their lives in whatever areas they want to focus.

May I end with a quote from the end of our Sunday sermon: “We were created for community.

God bless, John Graff

What does March madness mean to you?

After reading LIFE/TEAM leader, Steve Leurquin‘s leadership blog, I got to thinking about the various ‘seasons’ in a given calendar year.    If you are a sports fanatic, then you’re well aware that basketball season (particularly the college scene), is reaching critical mass as the NCAA tournament is underway. The NIT invitational tournament not withstanding….

There will be those watching the games for all the drama… there will also be those in the ‘pool’ at work, betting on who’s gonna go the farthest… there will even be a few who travel to watch some of the games in person. There’s nothing inherently wrong with doing those things. However; it begs the question: What are you personally getting out of it? Maybe rooting for the school of which you are an alumni. Maybe to make some money in the pool. Maybe purely entertainment value, or maybe just something to do….

I’m reminded of an old classic Orrin Woodward CD entitled “You’re the Project”, where he is speaking where the University of Michigan Spartans play basketball. He references how there are only 10 men on the playing surface – actually in the game. Yet thousands watching. If you include all media outlets, it’s millions watching!

My analogy is simple. Please don’t live vicariously through someone else to make you feel alive. Live your own life on your terms. Play the game you have been given. Come out of the stands and live your life on your terms in order to make a positive difference in your life and the lives of others.

I am on a team within ‘the TEAM’, playing a game of personal development called LIFE! The game isn’t easy (if it was, everybody would be doing it), it’s just worth it.  I’m so proud of all my teammates who came out of the stands to play their game. Because they are, I know they will have no regrets regarding how they invested their time into themselves and their fellow-man.  These teammates are doers, not watchers, and one day someone will look at the fruit in their life and possibly come to the conclusion: They just got lucky and became an overnight success.

To those teammates, I encourage you to continue to “March 4th.” towards a better life in order to make sense of the madness. To others who are living their God-given purpose, but enjoy the ‘dream, struggle, victory’ of the tournament – enjoy, but please keep it in perspective. Lastly, for those who feel they are living on the sidelines watching life go by: please, for your sake, get in the game and stop the madness!

God bless, John Graff

How’s your attitude?

It never ceases to amaze me… the quality of the Team training system and what Orrin Woodward and the Policy counsel of the LIFE business has put together!

If you are one of those who enjoy the life materials and would like to benefit economically from it, then the team training system is what you want to get your hands on! As much as I love the life materials, there is just something special about the team materials… I can’t quite put my finger on why they are so good – they just are!

A couple cases in point, are 2 CDs that came down recently: “No regrets” by the Brady’s and “The attitude of a winner” by Kirk Birtles. Chris and Terri have a way of teaching that’s second to none and their ability to silence the din of life and get down to the real priorities in ones’ life is priceless! I challenge anyone to think deeply about the regrets that the very old and/or terminally ill reference on that CD, and tell me that your behavior wasn’t “adjusted” at least a little.

Kirk on the other hand, did one of the (if not the) best talks on attitude, how to talk to yourself, the ant, the elephant, cognitive dissonance and the civil war between the two – unlike anything I’ve heard before. He laid it out in a way I hadn’t quite heard before that helped Penny and I: BIG TIME! If you are struggling with your own thinking, you owe it to yourself to get that CD! I promise you his perspectives will help.

Here’s the funny thing about our system: based on where you are at in ‘life’, someone else might say “yeah, those CDs were great, but did you hear such and such?!?” If you care to make my point, let me know what CDs help you and why. The team training system has it all. The rest is up to us!

God bless, John Graff

From Wooden to Woodward to you.

May I strongly encourage you to read Orrin Woodward‘s latest blog, Leaders are LIFE-time learners; but please watch the attached video as well. We’ve heard the saying “All leaders are readers, but not all readers are leaders.” As Orrin says ‘for leaders, reading is a non-negotiable’. So let me ask just 2 simple questions:

1. Are you in the habit of reading? and

2. What are you reading?

I was struck watching that video as he described reading a book by legendary coach John Wooden, that one could glean the highlights of his (then) 91 years of successful living, and get it all in a one time purchase of a 16 dollar book! Talk about bang for the buck.

But then it hit me. We have the highlights of one of the top leadership (if not THE top ) minds in the world recently write a book, namely “Resolved: 13 resolutions for life“,  that captures and packages his thoughts on how to think like he does, which in turn, could lead us toward the results he has. Yet some of us won’t take the time to read it, OR, we will read something of no lasting significance. Alas, as always, it’s our choice. Choose wisely.

God Bless, John Graff

Have Guzzardos helped you?

The Life leaders like Orrin Woodward, Dan Hawkins and Steve Leurquin (to name a few), have highlighted a wonderful couple in their latest blogs by the name of George and Jill Guzzardo! Many of you who read this may already be directly or indirectly working with them. Feel free to ‘click’ on Orrin’s site to get the full story of how they became the leaders they are. What a trip it must have been for Orrin and Laurie to have a front row seat to their leadership-growth journey.

My question to you is: How have they helped you in your leadership journey. Please reference any personal stories, or maybe a talk or CD containing info you could use.

For me personally, I will always remember hosting them at a Major leadership convention. I asked Jill how Penny and I are to reverse some of the roles we play, in order to help our growth as well as help our team (or some strange esoteric line of questioning of the sort…). Jill immediately grabbed my head with both hands, tried to close my eyes and kept saying shhhh, shhhh, quiet…. sshhhh! As if to say  “stop it”! What she was trying to teach me is that we are to play to our strengths while at the samc time, cover eachother’s weaknesses, until we can shore up those weaknesses in our own timeframe.

Always open to hear another funny/profound George and Jill story!

God bless, John Graff