Friday, July 31, 2009

There are no little things!

Recently, we've been reading Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell. He's also the best-selling author of Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking and The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference. One of the chapters in Outliers made a real impression on us. It analyzed the black box recordings of planes that have crashed. Although it's certainly not a very pleasant subject, some very important lessons can be applied to prevent the failure of any organization.

Gladwell mentions that contrary to what we see in movies and TV shows, a plane isn't usually brought down by any one big thing going wrong such as equipment malfunction or catastrophe, but rather, a series of at least seven small errors in combination. And, in many cases, the breakdown of communication between the flight crew and the captain is a primary cause of failures that could have otherwise been overcome.

As we were talking to some of the executives at the 4Life home office about this, President of Eurasia Emma Oganova commented that this same scenario can play out with our physical health. It isn't usually one big thing that brings us down, but rather, the cumulative effect of a lot of little choices. She said, "There really are no little things!"

We think this is also true of the interaction and communication of distributor team members. Take time to make sure you understand what others are trying to tell you. And, make certain they understand your feelings, intentions, and expectations. In one transcript of a plane that crashed, the pilot's communication with the air traffice controllers was very formal and polite until the very end, but he failed to communicate the urgency of his situation in a way that allowed air traffic controllers to respond appropriately. Let's make sure we say what we mean and mean what we say—in a way that all of our team members understand. This book gave us a lot to think about. We highly recommend it!

Gladwell, Malcolm. Outliers: The Story of Success. New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2008.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Trip to Nkosi's Haven

After a very long flight to Johannesburg, South Africa, I finally had a chance to visit Nkosi's Haven! Bianca was not able to join me but I did enjoy taking two of my children there. 4Life became a supporter of Nkosi's Haven several years ago through the work of two of our distributors, Bernice Mannon and Bonnie Hornsby. The Haven is the brain child of Gail Johnson and her adopted son Nkosi Johnson, who had the vision and fortitude to build these outstanding facilities for HIV-positive orphans and some HIV-positive mothers. Although Nkosi himself died several years ago after a long battle with AIDS, his legacy lives on through Gail and the Haven.

It was a marvelous experience to visit the three different locations that Gail has built over the last decade. The first is a property with two homes, one for older teenage boys and the other for teenage girls. Each of the children has their own responsibilities for the upkeep of their home. In fact, two girls were cooking a breakfast of fried eggs when I walked in. All of the children were respectful and busy doing different tasks. We also met several volunteers who spend their days teaching the children important life skills, such as computer proficiency.

The second location is called the "Village" and lies a few miles outside the city center. This is the newest of the facilities and is in the midst of new building construction that was financed by Qantas Airways and other donors. In their small hospital, we saw a few ill mothers and a very tiny baby who was doing well. Dr. Susan Black, an American physician, is the volunteer medical director and a big believer in 4Life Transfer Factor®. The third facility is situated on 12 acres about 20 miles outside the city and is called Nkosi's Haven 4Life Farm, which 4Life purchased for the orphanage several years ago.

At Nkosi's Haven, Gail houses nearly 200 children and some mothers. The children were happy and excited to meet us. All in all, it was a wonderful visit. Foundation 4Life® continues to support Nkosi's Haven with donations and 4Life products. We love to provide help where we can as part of our Together, Building People® philosophy.

David Lisonbee and Gail Johnson at the entrance of Nkosi's Haven 4Life Farm

Nkosi's Haven children cutting and styling hair

Friday, July 17, 2009

Make dreams come true with 4Life

For us, one of the most rewarding things about 4Life is witnessing so many of you working to make your dreams come true. As similar as those dreams may be in general—financial security, good health, and time freedom—they are often very diverse in the details. Most 4Life distributors are familiar with Rob Robertson, Jr. MD, a former emergency room physician and a member of our Health Sciences Advisory Board. He was one of 4Life's very first distributors and the first recipient of the Credendo Vides Chairman's Award.

Dr. Robertson has just made one of his dreams come true—the completion of The Wonder Team, a book that tells the story of the Centre College Praying Colonels and their rise to the top of the football world in 1917–1924. Dr. Robertson really communicates his love of history as he tells this great story. As you read this book, you can also discern Dr. Robertson's admiration for stories that reflect the human spirit of courage and determination. It is a story that will inspire anyone, whether a football fan or not.

This September, a documentary based on this story will air on a public television channel in Kentucky. Way to go, Dr. Robertson! It's great to see all of the wonderful things that 4Life distributors accomplish with the time, freedom, and resources that they have. We love to hear about the many different dreams that each of you have achieved. Keep on dreaming, and keep on making those dreams come true. That's what 4Life is all about!

Friday, July 10, 2009

A doctor's prescription for success!

We recently had the chance to visit with Dr. Duane Townsend, a world-renowned physician and one of the founding members of our Health Sciences Advisory Board, who just returned from a five-day, five-product, five-city 4Life meeting tour in Japan and Korea. Dr. Townsend and his wife Joan are committed and successful 4Life distributors.

As we spoke with Dr. Townsend, it was wonderful to witness his infectious enthusiasm. This recent meeting tour even included on-stage costumes and theatrics. It is such a blessing to have a physician of his caliber so excited about the great benefits of 4Life products. He believes that even though there are other "juice products" out there, none of them can compare to 4Life Transfer Factor® RioVida® Tri-Factor® Formula, in terms of both antioxidant support and immune-boosting power.

During the meeting tour, Dr. Townsend not only shared his passion for the products, but also the best ways to share 4Life products and the financial opportunity with others. He challenged everyone at one particular meeting to talk with two people about 4Life when they went back to their hotel. But, he told them that he had already spoken with his interpreter and the hotel bellman!

Dr. Townsend also shared the idea that no one will ever sign up with a stranger. He said that we must make friends with people first. It may take a day, a week, or a month, but genuine friendships can produce genuine results. He has enjoyed making friends all over the world as he shares 4Life with others. This is the kind of passion and energy that fuels great success. We appreciate so much the credibility, expertise, passion, and fun that "Dr. T." brings to the 4Life family.

Dr. Townsend presents new 4Life products on his Japan and Korea meeting tour.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Bring out the best in others

Recently, we have been reading excerpts from one of our favorite books, How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. Even though the title itself makes it sound like friends are prizes that you win in a contest, the content of the book is full of great substance and wisdom on how to build people and strengthen relationships.

The author poses this question: "Why did [American steel tycoon] Andrew Carnegie pay a million dollars a year, (back when a million dollars was worth even a lot more than it is today), or more than three thousand dollars a day to Charles Schwab? Why? Because he was a genius? No. Because he knew more about steel manufacturing than other people? Nonsense." As president of Carnegie Steel Company, Schwab said that he was paid this salary because of his ability to deal with people. Schwab considered his ability to inspire enthusiasm to be the greatest asset he possessed. He suggested that by appreciation and encouragement, we help develop the best in others.

Dale Carnegie quotes Schwab as saying that nothing can kill the ambitions of a person more than getting criticism from their superiors. Schwab believed that no good ever comes from criticism; instead, he found ways to give people an incentive to improve and do better.

So often we do the opposite when dealing with people in our lives. It is easy to find fault with the people we live with and associate with at work. Too often, the good things they do go unacknowledged. Schwab said that in his wide association with all kinds of people all over the world, he had yet to find the person, however great or accomplished, who did not do better work and put forth greater effort under a spirit of approval rather than criticism.

These words were a good reminder to us to focus on the positive behavior of those around us and try to bring about positive change. After all, we are in the people business, aren't we? Whether as distributors, leaders, parents, or CEOs, we are all involved in the great work of Together, Building People®.

Carnegie, Dale. How to Win Friends and Influence People. 1936, 22-23.