What’s a Whistleblower?
Wikipedia defines a whistleblower as:
A whistleblower (whistle-blower or whistle blower) is a person who tells the public or someone in authority about alleged dishonest or illegal activities (misconduct) occurring in a government department, a public or private organization, or a company. The alleged misconduct may be classified in many ways; for example, a violation of a law, rule, regulation and/or a direct threat to public interest such as fraud, health/safety violations, and corruption. Whistleblowers may make their allegations internally (for example, to other people within the accused organization) or externally (to regulators, law enforcement agencies, to the media or to groups concerned with the issues).
Many have suggested an appropriate title for the last five years is Whistleblowers to Reformers. Not necessarily the easiest of assignments. Indeed, the website FAIR: Protecting Whistleblowers Who Protect the Public Interest describes the ongoing harassment whistleblowers routinely confront:
When whistleblowers find themselves in conflict with their bosses, they may be subjected to many different forms of reprisal. Occasionally they may be fired abruptly without explanation, but in countries that have labour laws this is rare: the employer is likely to use more subtle methods, making it difficult to fight back or even to prove that reprisals have taken place.
Thus forms of harassment, like bullying and mobbing, have become ‘weapons of choice’ for vindictive managers seeking to attack an employee. These methods are devastating to the individual targeted while at the same time providing ‘plausible deniability’ for the instigators, who can always claim in court that they didn’t know what was going on… it had nothing to do with them…
In fact bullying and mobbing are easily orchestrated by management, because once someone has been picked out as the target, other employees become fearful of supporting them or even being associated with them. A vicious group dynamic quickly takes hold in which the victim is shunned, isolated from colleagues and subjected to constant criticism, ridicule, belittlement and humiliation.
Almost no-one, however strong mentally, can stand up to this treatment indefinitely. Over time such harassment predictably leads to permanent injury, as initial reactions –such as stress, anxiety, and fatigue – progress into panic attacks, flashbacks, nightmares, deep depression and even thoughts of suicide.
This is the ideal outcome for the attackers, because the victim can easily be labelled as being defective in some way, thus lacking in credibility and responsible for their own plight.
People being targeted in this way need to recognize quickly what is going on, stop blaming themselves, learn about countermeasures, and figure out what they can do to end their ordeal.
Interestingly, practically all meaningful companies have whistleblower/reformer histories, birthed to right a wrong, serve some great purpose, and hopefully help its stakeholders (shareholders, principles, employees, and customers) prosper. In other words, to reform industries by creating companies that better serve the customer’s interest. This is usually born of a situation in which those who start the company fight for something they believe in (such as Billy Durant offering cars for different needs, Bill Gates offering software that turned toys into tools, and Steve Jobs making technology usable and cool, along with Sam Walton of Wal-Mart, Ray Kroc of McDonalds and Herb Kelleher of Southwest, to name just a few examples).
In the case of the LIFE business, we felt that a significant opportunity existed in the space between four major trends (1. Home-based businesses, 2. Community building, 3. Life coaching, and 4. Personal development), out of which participants could not only offer an extremely important service to customers (personal growth, self betterment, and living the life they’d always wanted) but could also operate a profitable, personally owned business while doing so.
The Opportunity Between the Trends
In our opinion, there were things about each of these four industries that needed improving, and therein lay our opportunity. Our goal was to establish a business in the space between these four trends, making a new combination that took the best of each trend while casting away the not-so-good portions. Here is a brief explanation of what we thought we could improve in each:
1. Home-based businesses: the dominant force for this over the years had been “networking” or multi-level-marketing (MLM). But the pay plans had not usually been lucrative enough to make participants in the field much money, and the cost of operation could creep to high levels by overpriced products and poor value training systems, producing few long-term results. (The Team fixed the training systems part back in 1999.)
2. Community building: is really more of a sociological phenomenon than an industry or trend. Still, the mania of connecting socially through electronic means of communication (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) indicates the deep human need for real relationships. Someone needed to come along and provide a “high-touch” to go along with the “high-tech.”
3. Life coaching: the very concept of obtaining a coach to point out one’s strengths and offer constructive inputs for improvement is sound. However, much of the infantile life coaching industry (if it can yet be called that) is filled with people who are giving advice but have no results in life themselves from which to give it.
4. Personal Development: This has sometimes been called leadership development, self-help, or a rash of other terms, but the overall approach is to share life enhancing principles and techniques to people who are committed to betterment and achievement. There are some great individuals and companies who have provided excellent content for years, but much of what is out there is extremely overpriced, and unfortunately, some is just plain worthless.
Enter the Antagonists
Opposed to our revolutionizing the industry is, of course, anyone who wants things to stay as they are in any of the above four trends. This includes entrenched competitors and those who work for them or prosper by their position, who are, as is only natural, threatened by what we are attempting to achieve. It also includes those who are charging too much money for what they do, those who are not providing enough real value to customers, and those who have themselves in a “sweet spot” of profitability that is really not fair (i.e. they are keeping a disproportionate amount of the profits and not sharing equitably with the field). What results is the most natural situation in which two different sides are battling it out in the marketplace for proof that their way of doing things is best. As is so wonderful in the capitalistic system; the customer gets to decide.
What LIFE Offers to Customers
In this spirit, here is what we at LIFE are offering the customer:
1. World-class products that have proven worth in the marketplace. In other words, our information, principles, and techniques really do help people improve their lives. For instance, the Mental Fitness Challenge is sweeping the country.
2. A 30 day money back guarantee for any LIFE product if the customer is not completely satisfied.
3. High value, low cost pricing that pretty much undercuts anybody of any validity we know of in the marketplace.
4. Award winning content creators from the fields of leadership, financial management, relationship building, team building, and corporate turn-arounds (contributors include NY Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Money Magazine best selling authors, US patent holders, decorated public speakers, internationally recognized leadership consultants, etc.)
What LIFE Offers to Members
And here is what LIFE offers those who join and become “members,” thereby making themselves eligible for compensation for moving LIFE products to customers and building groups of others who do the same:
1. An extremely aggressive compensation plan that pays approximately 70% of total points back out to the members in the field. We know of no other pay plan that even comes close.
2. Glamorous paid trips to exotic locations for early achievements in the pay plan. People can qualify for one or both of these trips within the first year or two of participation. We also know of no other opportunity providing this type of incentive.
3. World-class Team community training to LIFE members, helping LIFE to revolutionize the four above-mentioned industries. Specifically, Team provides two CDs/week and two websites – an Electronic Business Center and Personal Home Page for $15 per month. Furthermore, Team provides live and webinar training at Opens and Seminars for anyone on the LIFE Open and Seminar subscriptions at no additional costs. The total training price, in other words, for Team opens, seminars, CDs and websites is only $65 dollars per month!
4. LIFE provides some of the lowest cost, most effective personal development training available.
5. An electronic office that tracks all the member’s business activities, automatic deposit of earned bonuses on a monthly basis, and One Time Cash Awards for new levels of achievement.
If you agree with these principles and objective, then perhaps LIFE is for you!
The Reaction of the Antagonists
In the meantime, those who want to protect the status quo, for whatever motivation, behave by throwing stones, misappropriating the truth, mounting smear campaigns, and nearly anything else you can think of in the book of unfair play. Don’t worry, however, because we are not bothered by it. We understand competition, preach it everywhere we go, and know that name calling, bashing, spreading false negatives, and the like are nothing more than what’s expected in war (as the marketplace certainly is). We would wish it to be gentlemanly and accurate, but know that in this world that would never be the case. No reformer is free from criticism. Shockingly, even Mother Teresa was violently criticized throughout her life!
Ignoring those who protect the past, we are committed to create the future of community building. Vision is tomorrow’s reality expressed as an idea today; accordingly, LIFE expresses our vision for the future. Indeed, true reformers, rather than endless criticism of the old, choose instead to create the new – hence LIFE. Time is on the side of the creators because, “People of integrity expect to be believed and when they’re not, they let time prove them right.”