Wednesday, August 15, 2007

TEAM: Setting the Record Straight

Original Source

Setting the Record Straight
by rons942 on Wed Aug 15, 2007 9:36 pm

Correcting the Record
By Ron Simmons

As CEO of Legacy Business Group, LLC for over three years, I have had the unique perspective of observing and participating in the inner workings of both the "Field" (IBOs) and the "Company" (Quixtar/Amway). This is in addition to my 12 plus years as a business building IBO. Over the last year I have also been closely involved in the transition of Legacy affiliated IBOs into the Team training system. Finally, I have been the primary "liaison" between the Company and Team (including Legacy) regarding issues of Business Support Materials ("tools") and other Quixtar rule related issues. The role that I have played has therefore given me a special perspective of being a part of the challenges Orrin and Quixtar have faced with creatively building a growing business. Finally, I was present in many of the meetings that led up to the recent termination of Orrin and Chris as well as the coinciding resignations/terminations of Randy Haugen, Don Wilson, Tim Marks, Billy Florence and other Team affiliated leaders.

I have been in receipt of the various releases from Quixtar concerning Orrin and Chris, I attended the meeting on Thursday, August 9, 2007 between Quixtar and Team, and I was an active observer in the separation. The written releases from Quixtar and the IBOAI can best be described as incomplete with multiple inaccuracies and at worst as propaganda with specific intent to create unwarranted fear within the hearts and minds of families like yours and mine.

I write this communication to set the record straight.

As the CEO of Legacy since early 2004 I have been involved in multiple discussions with Don Wilson and Randy Haugen regarding the changes that needed to be made in order to make our business the best opportunity available. Their positions as members of the IBOAI Board gave them unique perspectives in the challenges and opportunities that have faced our business for years. Our discussions focused on two areas - Company issues and Field issues. In the Field we needed to improve our training and educational system so that it was easy to access, reasonably priced, transparent and specifically focused to help the new IBO as well as the seasoned veteran. We did this by implementing a compensation system that was transparent and fair to all eligible participants; by developing a web based ordering and communication system easily accessed by the affiliated IBOs and by developing tools with particular purpose, for particular people. On the Company side we held many, many discussions with the Company regarding what was needed from the Company to move the business forward. Our consistent message was that we needed; quality, everyday products that were competitively priced and a successful strategy to combat the negative image of Quixtar and Amway on the Internet. While it appeared that Company personnel were listening (at least in the meetings I attended) there has been no measurable movement in the product lineup or pricing. Nor has there been a successful strategy by the Company to combat the negative on the Internet. Even with the changes that we made as a "Field" organization our success in growing Legacy affiliated IBOs businesses in 2004 - 2006 was minimal at best - primarily because of the negative connotation associated with the Amway/Quixtar name on the Internet and in the minds of the public and the virtually insurmountable obstacle of product pricing on virtually every core line products.

When Legacy aligned with Team in late 2006 the Legacy affiliated IBOs found what Randy and Don had known for a while. Team had developed a business building system that, even with the constraints of the negative Quixtar/Amway brand and the unreasonable product pricing, an IBO, affiliated with Team, could in fact make progress. During the time period of 2004 - 2006 while Legacy and almost all other Anglo organizations were having minimal or no growth, Team was in fact having double digit percentage growth year in and year out. In fact they were so much the "poster child" for the Company that just a couple of years ago Orrin and Laurie Woodward were asked to be keynote speakers at the Company sponsored and produced event, Quixtar Live! The business building system they had developed was very similar to what Randy and Don had during the exponential growth years they experienced in the late 80's and early 90's - but with the added benefit of systems thinking provided by former engineers Orrin and Chris and the proper positioning of the various business components to give an IBO the best chance for success. We all know this as Team Approach.

When Jim Payne joined the Quixtar management team in mid 2005 he visited the Legacy office in Salt Lake City and met with Don Wilson, Randy Haugen, John Sims and myself. This meeting was for Jim to introduce himself and for all of us to get to know each other better. During this meeting, Randy described to Jim how we thought the business could be built under the current environment. Because Randy had known Orrin and had communicated with him briefly about business building methods he described to Jim what we now know as Team Approach whereby you might register a person down in depth but you coach/mentor him. Jim stated that this method was acceptable and appropriate. In addition, in July 2007 (just a few weeks) ago I again sat down with Jim (as well as Gary VanderVen and others at Quixtar) and explained to them Team Approach and how we build depth. It was confirmed by Jim and others that our approach was appropriate. Of course we understand that while Team Approach calls for the sponsor to be introduced to their new downline prior to registration it is possible for a few of the tens of thousands of IBOs affiliated with Team to make a mistake in this area. Having said that, Jim also told me in July of 2007 that even if an IBO did not know their sponsor prior to registration it is NOT ILLEGAL, but that some other organizations within Quixtar were complaining. Any communication to the contrary by the Company to you is patently false.

In early 2007 Randy Haugen and I met with the company rules and regulation department as well as Jim Payne and reached an agreement whereby I would work with the Company to address any concerns they had with the tools and other training system related issues with Team and other organizations utilizing the Team training system (such as Legacy and now others). Orrin and Chris wholeheartedly approved this arrangement. I began working with Gary VanderVen and Christine Tuttle in this area and we developed and worked out a game plan that was both acceptable to the Company and Team. During this time I received numerous communications from the Company approving of our tools and methods which described Team Approach. We even went the extra mile (no other organization has done this) by developing and online survey for new Team affiliated IBOs to complete to help make sure we were meeting our goals of understanding their new business and the various components. Any time there has been an issue brought to my attention by the Company we have addressed it AND we have addressed it to their satisfaction. Therefore to say (as the Company has) that Team's business building methods were inappropriate or questionable are not true.

We have felt really good about where we have been going regarding any concerns the Company has had regarding Team Approach and in fact I have enjoyed the working relationship I have developed with Gary VanderVen and Christine Tuttle in this area. I have also had a very good relationship with many other employees of the company including Jim Payne and Alticor’s chief legal counsel, Michael Mohr. This is all the more reason why some statements made in the meeting on Thursday and the subsequent communications from the Company have been so disappointing. I can only draw the conclusion that these employees are either totally misunderstanding the facts or are being directed in their actions by the owners of Alticor. Either way it is sad, very sad.

The entire business changed this past June as the owners of the Company decided to change the Quixtar name back to Amway, without seeking advice and counsel from the IBOAI Board on which Don, Randy, Orrin, Chris, Chuck Goetschel and Billy Florence sat as members along with other IBO leaders. Even though they said it would be a change in 18 -24 months, it was released it to the press and then the Company prepared a new brochure that must be given to all new IBOs beginning September 1, 2007 stating we are essentially now in Amway. In addition, although pressed by the above Board members, there has been no movement on improved product pricing on current products or new products introduced that are competitively priced. Other proposed rule changes by the Company were obviously targeted to reduce the opportunity to build large organizations and to aggressively reduce the "Independent" portion of the term Independent Business Owner. All of this led the leadership of Team and other affiliated organizations such as Legacy to conclude that the new Amway business is not something that they felt can be built. Perhaps Chris Brady said it best when he stated recently: "I owe these people the business I told them they could achieve when I brought them in and that is not possible with the new organizational changes."

All that Randy, Orrin and Chris asked for in the meeting this past Thursday was to not be forced on the new Amway train and to be allowed to leave amicably and give other IBOs affiliated with Team to have the option to do so if they choose. Freedom, that is all that we wanted and all that we asked for. Randy eloquently told the Company that we respect the right of the owners of Quixtar to make the changes going forward they deem appropriate and that we appreciate the relationship that they have had over the years but he could not, in good faith tell a new IBO that he could build a large and successful business based on the new model. Therefore Randy, Orrin and Chris asked for their release along with the right for YOU to have the same choice. As you know by now the Company replied in draconian, tyrannical fashion towards some of their most successful and veteran field leaders. This forced Orrin, Chris, Randy and others to ask the Federal court system to require Quixtar to release them and give you the same option. They are not asking for money, or for the requirement for you or anyone else to leave - just the option for everyone to really participate in free enterprise. Long ago this country outlawed personal indentured servitude and the same thing should apply to IBOs and their business.

One final thought, the Company immediately started a "communication" campaign that placed ultimatums on some IBOs (they actually called some IBOs and gave those 24 hours to decide if they were in our out!), disparaged Orrin, Chris, Randy and other Team affiliated leaders and falsely implied legal and regulatory issues in relation to Team. If the new Amway business is so exciting and such a great opportunity as they keep saying then why are they trying to force people to stay involved by using these, undesirable and unprofessional tactics? Maybe it will be great, maybe not. All that Orrin and others have asked is to let people make that choice and don't force us on to a business train that is not what we originally signed up for. This certainly seems like free enterprise to me…………..

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