Orrin Woodward & Chris Brady critics not applying critical thinking RE: Top 30 Leadership Gurus (UPDATE 5/23/2014)

“No accurate thinker will judge another person by that which the other person’s enemies say about him.”
— Napoleon Hill

Originally published Jan. 10, 2013

Jump to latest update

Orrin Woodward [bio – blog] is a leadership expert.  He’s co-author, with Chris Brady [bio – blog], of Launching a Leadership Revolution, which was a bestseller on just about every list around: The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Business Week, USA Today and Money.  In addition to authoring over a dozen books, they’re successful entrepreneurs with two 8-figure businesses, LIFE and TEAM, and they’re both Black Diamond distributors in Monavie. Orrin’s also a client and a friend.

But some people don’t like him, or what he does, or what he stands for.

To some extent, that comes with the territory.  Some people simply don’t like network marketing, period. Or the personal development industry. Some people have had bad experiences, for whatever reason.  When you take a stand, when you put yourself out there like he does, you’re going to be a target.

Legitimate criticism is fine. People sharing their personal experiences, even if negative, is fine. Baseless accusations and innuendo aren’t.

For the past few years, Orrin and Chris have been working their way up this list of the “Top 30 Global Leadership Gurus”. If you visit the site now, though, you won’t even see a list of top leadership gurus (it’s under construction). What you will see is this [Ed. – It’s under the “Global Guru Criteria” tab, which, being a javascript link on the page, I can’t link to directly] :

And,  when we added an IP address checker to our system this year, two Guru candidates listed in the top 15, Orrin Woodward and Chris Brady, who have had substantial votes since 2010, were disqualified and removed from the list because more than 98% of their votes came for only three IP addresses, meaning that only three people voted for them over and over again. This accounted for almost 2000 of their votes.

 The casual reader might look at this and be shocked. But I smell a rat, because I know Orrin and Chris, and this just isn’t consistent with what I know about them. Let’s apply a little bit of critical thinking:

  1. They simply have no need to game it.  They have the real influence.  Launching a Leadership Revolution has sold hundreds of thousands of copies. Orrin is the #2 leadership development expert on Twitter, according to WeFollow [Ed. – See all Orrin’s scores here. He and Chris are both ranked for leadership, as well.] (not riggable, because it’s based on actual behavior, not just follower count) [Ed. – See comments for more about WeFollow].  LIFE events routinely have 10,000+ people at them. Their membership is highly motivated and organized. Their social media imprint could gather 2,000 unique IP votes in an hour, let alone a year.
  2. If they had wanted to game it, you wouldn’t know it. Frankly, they don’t have the know-how internally to rig it.  I do, but a) I wouldn’t, and b) even if I did, there wouldn’t be any evidence. (And seriously, who makes a voting site and doesn’t prevent duplication by IP address?)

And I’ve talked to Orrin about it. They simply didn’t do it. They’ve also checked around within their organization, and it looks like they have hundreds of people who can verify voting for them, not 40 (2% of 2,000), as the site implies.

My first challenge to Evgeniy Chetvertakov, the current owner of Leadershipgurus.net, is this: present your evidence.  What time frame are you talking about?  Orrin stopped linking to the site at all when it went down last fall (did it change ownership?). What are the IP addresses? How do you know they’re from someone in Orrin’s organization, and not one of his critics trying to make him look bad? Given some of the tactics we’ve seen, that’s actually more plausible.

My second challenge is really a question: why make these accusations without even contacting Orrin or Chris? What happened to “innocent until proven guilty”? Or even just common courtesy? Why put yourself in the position of making defamatory statements without a proper investigation? And how can you run a leadership site without practicing one of the basic principles of leadership: get both sides of the story.

UPDATE 2/22/13: Following a letter from Orrin’s office to the site owner asking for the evidence, none has been provided. What type of alleged leadership site would make an allegation without providing evidence? Draw your own conclusions.

Let’s stick to the facts. And the fact of the matter is, Orrin’s and Chris’s credentials are indisputable. Ranking on this one site was just an acknowledgment of those accomplishments…not something they needed as validation.  The fact that they referenced it in the past was simply good marketing. And I know their social media footprint — I will personally stake my professional reputation that they can easily generate 2,000 votes or other actions on any independent site in a matter of a couple of days.

Use your brain. Look at the facts. These accusations just don’t add up.

UPDATE 7/15/13: After receiving no response from Mr. Chetvertakov following repeated attempts, Orrin’s office tried to track him down via other means…turned out to be not so easy:

An extensive private investigation has determined that the address given by Chetvertakov upon registration of the Leadership Gurus website is not (and apparently has never been) occupied by Chetvertakov, who has identified himself as a citizen of the United Kingdom.  The address listed on the Leadership Gurus website, which is registered to Chetvertakov, and the Global Gurus’ Facebook page is completely fictitious and does not exist.

That’s from the lawsuit Orrin and Chris ended up having to file to clear up these false accusations, starting with a motion to service Mr. Chetvertakov (if that’s even a real person or real name) by email, because all of the other contact information for him appears to be inaccurate.

We’ll see how the lawsuit runs its course — the truth will come out, but for now, it’s clear that the new owner of the Leadership Gurus site has gone to a lot of effort to conceal their real identity and location.

UPDATE 5/23/14: A double victory for the truth: Leadership Gurus site publishes retraction and apology; Inc. Magazine names Orrin Woodward and Chris Brady to Top 50 Leadership and Management Experts:

I’d use the phrase “In a stunning turn of events…”, except that for those of us who knew the truth all along, it’s no surprise — exactly what we expected would eventually happen.

First, the Global Top 30 Leadership Gurus site printed this retraction and apology:

In January 2013 Leadership Gurus posted a note that we had disqualified Orrin Woodward and Chris Brady because most of their votes were from 3 sources. After one year of reviewing substantial legitimate votes for Mr Woodward and Mr Brady which are enough to keep them in the top 30 list, we now believe that previous votes we based our original statement on, may have been due to other circumstances including but not limited to, a few overzealous fans, multiple people using a central IP address like a university, or foul play from competitors to discredit them. Regardless, we believe we have made a mistake and would like to apologize to Mr Woodward and Mr Brady for the earlier statements. The note was unsubstantiated and has been removed from the Global Gurus Website and should not be referred to or relied upon by any other person, entity, website, blog or social media outlet of any kind.

Self-explanatory. I hope the critics who referred to this will take note and act accordingly.

Secondly, Inc.com has published a list of Top 50 Leadership and Management Experts, which includes Orrin Woodward at #20 and Chris Brady at #39.

Now, being the intellectually honest critical thinker that I am, I’ll just go ahead and point out something I’m sure the critics will take aim at: the list was actually created by leadership author/speaker/blogger Jurgen Appelo, not by Inc. columnist Jeff Haden, and yes, Jurgen Appelo happens to be on the list (at #40). Doesn’t matter (and thinking it does is a logical fallacy) — the entire methodology is spelled out in detail.

The fact of the matter is, there’s no one “right” way to pick the top “X” of anything, especially something as subjective as leadership experts. But what we have here is the next best thing — a methodology that is transparent after-the-fact, but not known about in advance, so couldn’t be deliberately gamed, even if someone wanted to. It’s based on multiple reasonable criteria. And based on those criteria, Orrin Woodward and Chris Brady are among the top management and leadership experts in the world, in good company with people like Clayton Christensen, Brian Tracy, Michael Hyatt, Peter Drucker, and Marcus Buckingham.

Congrats to Orrin and Chris on the well-deserved recognition.


  1. Scott Allen

    Someone asked me privately about the credibility of WeFollow vs. something more familiar, like Klout. First off, Klout has a somewhat tarnished history of being easily gamed. Klout thinks I’m as influential (76) as Chris Brogan (76), and more influential than Mari Smith (72). Enough said.

    WeFollow, on the other hand, started as a side project of Kevin Rose, founder of Digg, and performed extremely well in a Purdue research project that looked at various algorithms for determining expertise reputation based on Twitter behavioral analysis.

    So WeFollow may not be as well known as Klout, but I personally find it far more credible.

    1. patrickclowater

      I personally prefer to follow people that I have actually met and have seen them positively influence and care others. I choose to follow Orrin and Chris! God Bless

    1. Scott Allen

      I’ll readily admit I’m biased, but I’m also fair, and willing to have an open discussion so I’m letting this comment through, and will respond with the truth I know.

      Orrin saw many of these same issues at Amway himself back in 2005, and wrote a letter directly to Doug DeVos about the issues he had with Amway’s business model. Read it for yourself — it’s a matter of record. Amway’s failure to address those issues are the reason he and others left Quixtar in 2007.

      In fact, the very issue of unfair distribution of profits from training materials is exactly why they started TEAM:

      How did the TEAM get its start, and why? And how do those economics work today?

      When Orrin Woodward and Chris Brady began their business careers they unknowingly joined an organization in which profits were weighted towards those who “got there first.” They didn’t like this situation and vowed to fix it. As a result, in 1999 they formed the TEAM, with the goal of developing the fairest, most equitable plan to share 100% of the profits remaining each month. This, in fact, caused many rival organizations to attack them as they made an issue of, made public, and sought to end the unfair distribution of profit from training materials.

      No one, not Orrin Woodward, Chris Brady, nor any of the other Team Policy Council leaders makes any money from ownership of the TEAM. Nor do they receive consideration for any travel related (or otherwise) expenses necessary for their responsibilities therein. All profits (revenue minus expenses) are pooled at the end of each month and disbursed based upon each Director’s performance. In other words, any character-based leader can build an organization bigger than the founders on a per-organization basis and make more money than anyone else.

      So it sounds to me like you’re criticizing them for once being a part of a dysfunctional system, and not recognizing the fact that they built a whole new business — two, in fact — around addressing the very same inequities you’re talking about.

    2. Bob Sanders

      I just finished reading the “stop the Amway tools scam” referenced above. In addition I have traded several e-mails with Tex.
      1- The whole blog is all about Amway. Not Life.
      2- Tex has called me an idiot and when I suggested reading “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnage, he told me to “get your head out of your ass”.

      If Life were the worst scam in history (which it is not), I will continually be grateful to the “Founding Fathers” of Life for the personal growth and personal support of my sponsor and up-line. If you are attracted to Tex and his “buddies” then they may be right about your not being able to make it in LIFE.

    3. Paul Marq


      Defendant, SCOTT E. JOHNSON, a/k/a “TEX” and “TEX2″, and Defendant’s respective officers, managers, trustees, agents, servants, employees, confederates and all other persons in active concert or participation with them, are permanently restrained and enjoined from blaming or associating Amway, or any Amway owner, officer, employee, agent, attorney or IBO with any death, illness, or accident

  2. Claude

    Scott, I have read some of your other articles and enjoyed them all, i am amazed at how early you started your social media journey! Alot of foresight!
    Is there any way to really find out who now owns the site? It went thru an ownership change? Is it the same people who run it now as did before? it just seems fishy to me. I know I personally voted and I know of at least 40 other people who voted for OW. so saying all the votes came from 3 IP addresses I know is not true.
    thanks for this blog post, it helps put things into perspective

    1. Scott Allen

      The WHOIS record on the domain says the owner is Evgeniy Chetvertakov in Birmingham UK. You can pull a complete history of the domain for $50, which I haven’t done myself, but the records only indicate one previous registrar, and a quick Google search turns up that it was through DomainsByProxy, so it seems it was a private registration until this last renewal/transfer.

      One of the critics went through some roundabout logic in 2011 to tie the site to Arthur Carmazzi. Their argument makes sense, but is by no means 100% certain. And given that he lives in Indonesia, who is this guy in Birmingham and how is he related to Arthur Carmazzi?

      As to why I think ownership may have switched last fall?
      1. The registrar changed.
      2. It’s no longer a private registration.
      3. The site went down last fall for an extended period of time.
      4. It’s back up now with a completely new design and language that simply sounds like a relaunch, not just a continuation by the owner-since-the-beginning.

      I’ll readily admit that’s circumstantial, but given that the previous registration was private, it’s about all we have to go on based on the publicly available information.

  3. Raylene MacNamara

    Thanks for taking the time to write this article and share the truth on this matter. it is a shame when people deliberately go out to sabotage another human out of jealousy and anger. The truth always comes out in the end. However, its sad that the people that get hurt in the meantime are usually innocent people looking to improve their lives and if they don’t want to do it the way “they” want them to then they will ruin it for them. You make such valid points.

  4. R Connell

    “They simply have no need to game it. They have the real influence. Launching a Leadership Revolution has sold hundreds of thousands of copies. Orrin is the #2 leadership development expert on Twitter, according to WeFollow [Ed. – See all Orrin’s scores here. He and Chris are both ranked for leadership, as well.] (not riggable, because it’s based on actual behavior, not just follower count) [Ed. – See comments for more about WeFollow]. LIFE events routinely have 10,000+ people at them. Their membership is highly motivated and organized. Their social media imprint could gather 2,000 unique IP votes in an hour, let alone a year.” ENOUGH SAID.

  5. jpk

    Fantastic article Scott it so great to read and be able to see the truth for I have been blessed to see these gentleman in action and get to know their integrity and honer. The Truth shall always prevail!

  6. patrick

    It always amazes me on what extremes people will go to try to discredit other successful individuals. I personally have heard examples of Orrin and Chris help 100’s and 1000’s of people improve their finances and relationships by offering them new information and leading by example. Those statistics are what matters in my mind. Great article Scott.

  7. John Lewis

    Very interesting read, Scott. I appreciate your comments and respect you for seeking the facts. I don’t really understand why a poll website would be setup to allow multiple entries from a single source. What does that accomplish?

    1. Scott Allen

      Unfortunately, John, some people just don’t know any better, or don’t know how to prevent it technically. They may try to solve it with cookies, but it really needs to be done by IP address (and cookies). Still, even that is easily manipulated. You can use free proxies, or a virtual private network, and change IP addresses between votes, as well as clearing cookies. Many sites (actually, including Leadershipgurus.net) are now switching to using social media accounts (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google) as a way to prevent duplication. It still doesn’t prevent duplication — it just makes it more work. If it takes 5-10 minutes to switch your identity, vs. 5-10 seconds, it becomes less worth doing.

      There’s no readily available perfect solution for any kind of online voting at a low cost. Anything that would actually be reliable is going to require some kind of identity validation, and that costs money.

  8. Joseph Keller

    I have personally followed these gentlemen for years now and have voted along with many of my business partners for them year after year. Let the numbers speak for themselves stadium after stadium filled with people that not only believe in them but are proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with them. Thank you for sharing this for the truth shall set them Free!

  9. Julie

    Thank you for writing this article Scott. Those who know these 2 gentlemen will follow them because of the positive influence they have in their lives , not because they are on or not on any list.

  10. Wade Hamblin

    Thanks for the post Scott! I am grateful that you created an environment where people could think for themselves. At first glance, the comment posted on the Leadership Guru site seems startling. However; when you commented on the number of only 2% were unique votes (less than 40) makes me wonder the validity of the data. I know for a fact of at least a dozen different people voting for Orrin or Chris, that leaving only 28 others to vote for them?? That seems ridiculous to the ear!

  11. Adriana Keller

    Excellent article Scott. Thank you for pointing out the truth. What happened to innocent until proven guilty? I have personally voted on this website and have many business associates who also have.
    These men are men of character and like you said Orrin’s and Chris’s credentials are indisputable. Ranking on this one site was just an acknowledgement of those accomplishments…not something they needed as validation.

  12. pat

    Critics are everywhere, because they are not willing to follow anybody who has more success then themselves. It is a reflection of the lack of morals and ethics in today’s society as a whole. Removing God from the schools and our every day lives was never a good idea and now look where we have come. Foolish pride and envy, is a horrible thing. Orrin and Chris stand for truth and many just don’t like to hear it, so they choose to attack these men rather than just walk away. God bless Orrin and Chris.

    1. M Lewis

      So true Pat. I also believe in the character and integrity of Orrin and Chris, I have seen them speak to tens of thousands of people. Something just doesn’t seem right about the comments on the Global Guru website.
      There are two ways to raise yourself, either do good, or try to pull down those who are doing good. Seems like someone is “gaming it” as you say, but it isn’t Orrin and Chris.

  13. Wayne MacNamara

    Hi Scott, thank you for posting this article. When people understand the truth about this matter they will see that something doesn’t seem right. As a student in the leadership industry I have personally voted for Orrin n Chris because of the influence they have had in my life. Orrin Woodward is then real deal and is one of the most passionate men I know on the subject of Leadership.

    Wayne MacNamara

  14. Jlewis

    Wow, thanks Scott for challenging your readers to think.

    Something just doesn’t make sense. I have heard both Orrin Woodward and Chris Brady speak in front of tens of thousands of people. It seems strange to me that they would need to artificially inflate their popularity on any website or in any ranking scenario. Any idea when the top 30 site will be back up? I’ve been following it now for a couple years and I’ve never seen it down for this long.

    Great post Mr Allen

  15. Walter

    Scott, great article. I find it amazing that people would throw accusations about without checking sources, seeking input from all affected parties, and without giving a common courtesy heads up. I know that I believe in Orrin and Chris. – on a personal, and a business level as I’ve seen them in ‘action’ and you can’t fake leadership over time. They are the real deal and I live a better life today due to their leadership and guidance. I’m sure they can line up hundreds and yes, thousands of people that will say the same thing. Line up the nay Sayers and see how many they number (if they’ll come into the public eye), and lets see how many they people they can show that they’ve impacted in a positive manner. I think we all know what the results of that little comparison would be!

    Thank you for shedding some insight.

  16. W.R.H.

    Scott, great article! The most dangerous lie sits right next to the truth! Information that is believable is dangerous, people need to question the information being shared by the owners of the Leadership Guru website. How is it that two years in a row these two men not only ranked and rose in rankings, but we’re also Best Selling authors to not just one respected publisher but five. The merits of Chris and Orrin need not the approval of the owners from this website site as they have proven their Leadership Influence in many more arenas than just the top 30Leadership Guru list.

  17. Scott Staley

    Scott, great article. Funny how people think they’ll look better, or get ahead by criticizing others. Perhaps their time would be better spent by going out and serving others (like Orrin and Chris) versus trying to tear others down. They haven’t raised a statue yet to honor a critic. I, for one, will continue to look to the leadership of Orrin and Chris to let it be as impactful for me in the future, as it has in the past.

    Thanks for sharing.

  18. Marianne Hendriks

    Thank you Scott a superb article. I agree with you that Orrin and Chris simply have no need to game it. They have real influence and are men of integrity. The people who fill stadiums at Life events are proof of that. I personally attend these events and it is just not a 1000 that attend it definitely is 10 000 plus.

    Leaders with integrity receive criticism but they know that people of integrity expect to be believed; and when they’re not, they let time prove them right.

    1. Michele Lewis

      So true Marianne. Orrin and Chris have already proven themselves, as you have laid out in your article Scott. The will continue to do right and prove they are men of integrity.

      A Greek Proverb States “A society grows great when men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.” Orrin and Chris are such men.

      1. Scott Allen

        Thanks for that proverb, Michele. It reminds me of a great quote from my friend Andrius Kulikauskas (quite a leader in his own right):

        “A group is like a shadow of a leader, it is like the space that they brand. The stronger the leader, the more shade they offer, like a tree. My ability to network depends on my ability as a leader to offer a space where people can get things done.”

  19. Alex

    Hey Scott, Thank you so much for shedding light on this matter. I know the infomation you provided here will help many people see the bigger picture what is happening here. Orrin and Chris have proven themselves time and time again. I know over 40 people also that voted for them. Thanks again for explaining this to all of us.


  20. A & L Nickerson

    Great Article Scott, We have known Orrin and Chris personally for the past 4 Years and they are amazing people with huge hearts for helping others. Their Leadership grows everyday. This article clears up alot.

  21. Andrea Seeley

    Great article. I know we have been around Orrin and Chris for many years and have seen how their Leadership was already amazing and has grown since then. We will continue to support and promote them in the future.


  22. R Connell

    I know I have voted for them as well and when I did if I tried to vote twice or for both Orrin Woodward or Chris Brady at the same time it told me I could only do one a day. Call me crazy but I would wait for the next day. So how 3 people got more then 2000 votes on there in a year is beyond me…especially for both of them…there is only 365 days in a year…unless someone was gaming it and knew what to do but the average person I think would have just waited.

    Also, was it written anywhere that that wasn’t allowed? and if so or even if it wasn’t why weren’t they disqualified prior to even making the list. Why did they allow it to pass for MORE then 2 years…

    And why does no one know who owns the site…seems fishy to me…now it seems like its a site that no one would want to be associated with any ways with that type of “LEADERSHIP” running the site…unknown, changing mind after 2+ years of acknowledgement, not even discussing it with Orrin Woodward and Chris Brady first and seeking the truth, publicly displaying it for all to see without truth or facts, lying when I know personally more then 43 people that voted.

    Orrin Woodward and Chris Brady credentials speak so loudly themselves they don’t need some anonymous site telling them how high they are ranked…the proof is in their work and everyday lives and the people that follow them.

  23. Alicia

    Thank you Scott for the article. It amazes me that with all information readily available people still choose to pick sides and virtual fights without gathering all the facts. I guess it is true when you are at the top, everyone wants to knock you down and take your place. Orrin Woodward and Chris Brady have made sacrifices that many people wouldn’t have even considered to be a option. Why did they do it, because it was the right thing to do. A concept lost in our society.

    I will follow these men, because of their integrity not because of their placement on some arbitrary leadership list. Same line is held for every leadership guru on the list. It’s their integrity that holds true before and after any listing.

    Thanks again.

  24. Patrick

    Scott, I commend you for holding the line on the truth and not just stirring the pot. I truly appreciate the information. Orrin and Chris are outstanding gentlemen. They deserve much more accolades then this list could ever provide. Their leadership and integrity holds the bar for all to measure themselves against.

  25. Ben Zeier

    Scott, thank you for writing this article laying out the facts. I too have voted for Orrin Woodward and Chris Brady. These two are a couple the finest men of integrity and character that I have ever had the privilege of meeting.

  26. Rita Norquist

    Thank you Scott for this article. Once again it proves that we are in a information rich culture however few posses the wisdom to discern truth vs distortion. I personally voted and as it has been stated before the site would not me vote more than once per day.

    Thank you for choosing to be a force of good,

  27. Jeff Darling

    Thanks for the article Scott. The first time I heard Orrin speak at an Event (02), I knew there was something different about him. At that time I had access to many “Leaders” in both Corporate America and Community Building, later to realize that I didn’t know true leadership! Several years later I had the opportunity to jump on board and did so, and the past 5+ years of being around Orrin (and Chris) has been “Life Changing” both personally & professionally. I have many friends outside our “LIFE” Biz that follow Orrin’s Blog & Twitter. Everyone has an opinion, but they are never at the mercy of those with the facts. TIME will tell!

  28. Sandra Montenegro

    Thank you Scott for writing this article and bringing the facts to light. It is a shame that people are trying to ruin Orrin and Chris reputation. My husband and I follow Orrin and Chris for their character and integrity. God bless 🙂

  29. Ammon J Nelson

    Thank you for your rational explanation of the facts.  I didn’t need the explanation because I already came to the same conclusion that you lead to, but it’s nice to have someone more articulate than me do the explaining and give additional credibility to the conclusions I had already achieved.

  30. Jim Gerend

    Thank you Scott!  When I saw this side note concerning the voting discrepancies several months ago on “Top 30 Global Leadership Gurus” I found it jaw dropping that such a false accusation was made by the site.  I am involved with the leadership development provided by Orrin & Chris and physically gathering with thousands of people who do the same.  Chris & Orrin and the leaders will continue to change lives as they have mine.  The truth always reveals itself.  God bless.

  31. Rob Robson

    Scott, thanks so much for this insightful article! I have had the opportunity to be personally mentored by both Chris Brady and Orrin Woodward. I, like many others, was willing to walk away from a multiple 6 figure income in another company in order to start over with them as my mentors. The test of leadership isn’t the opinion of websites, it’s the fruit of how many people are following you and producing positive results for doing so. Today, I make more than twice as much money as I ever did in the past, my character has improved, and my relationships are all better than ever and I attribute the bulk of this to the mentorship I have received from Orrin Woodward and Chris Brady. Thanks again for the fantastic article!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *