Orrin Woodward LIFE Leadership Team

Winner of the 2011 Independent Association of Business Top Leader Award; Orrin Woodward shares his leadership secrets.

Claude & Lana Hamilton – LIFE Founders

Posted by Orrin Woodward on December 13, 2011

Today’s featured Life Founders are Claude and Lana Hamilton. The Hamilton’s home is one of the largest in their Canadian province, which isn’t shocking to me since they have one of the largest dreams in the province also. Neither Claude nor Lana come from wealth, so how did this young couple achieve so much with so little? Simply put, they joined a leadership community, learned principles that allowed them to rise to their potential, and acted upon it.

Both of them started in the Canadian military. Lana in the Navy and Claude in the Great White North’s equivalent to the Navy Seal program. With little money, no connections, and no plans, the Hamilton’s joined networking where they promptly struggled for years. In fact, the miracle of their first five years in business is that they didn’t quit. With little outward success to show for years of relentless effort, only huge dreamers like the Hamilton’s would have continued to hold out hope. This hope, however, was the key to their future success and was not held onto in vane.

After missing numerous leadership conventions, since they were convened on the other side of Canada and the Hamilton’s had no money, Claude did the unthinkable. With Lana serving at sea, Claude, hungry to learn the proper leadership mindset, hitchhiked across Canada, attending his first-ever conference. This may sound crazy to some, but the Hamilton’s lifestyle today is also crazy. Great achievements come with great sacrifice, period! Indeed, the higher the mountain, the harder the climb. Claude and Lana vowed to climb to the top.

I met Claude when his organization joined forces with TEAM in 2006. He had already accomplished great successes in community building before I met him. In fact, his huge dreams, drive, and determination were evident to me immediately. Later, I would also witness first-hand his character, courage, and convictions. As Claude is a voracious student, we quickly teamed up and his business began to surge ahead even further.

In late 2007, when legal disputes arose with our former supplier, Claude and Lana displayed their true valor. With many choosing to hide out, fearful of drawing attention to themselves and falling into litigation, the Hamilton’s charged to the front, leading their teams to fast growth. Even when the TEAM income and numbers dropped precipitously in 2008, the Hamilton’s never wavered on their core belief in the community’s right to freedom.

In early 2009, the Hamilton’s defining moment arrived. The Hamilton’s were offered peace and an end to all litigation. However, they quickly refused the offer. Why do you ask? Because as part of the settlement offer, Claude and Lana would have to separate permanently from TEAM, choosing peace over their principles. This Faustian bargain was not even considered by the principle-centered couple. They knew that the best opportunity for their team to win involved staying with TEAM, even if it meant increased personal hardships and severed friendships. In other words, they kept themselves in harms way in order to ensure the best opportunity for their community. This type of sacrificial leadership is extremely rare today, making Claude and Lana Hamilton modern-day heroes and admired by all who know their story.

Thankfully, in late 2010, all legal disputes were settled and the TEAM finally was free to pursue its destiny. The Hamilton’s are Founders of LIFE because they are leaders of character who have proven their mettle on the front lines, not hiding out in the foxholes. Anyone can talk about character, but living it when it counts is what matters. Claude and Lana live their principles daily.

On another note, on top of leading one of the fastest growing teams with the TEAM, Claude also volunteered to be the PC leader over the TEAM events department. In this role, he has greatly improved the quality and profitability of the opens, seminars, and major functions. I cannot imagine the TEAM’s turnaround without the endless hours sacrificially invested by Claude for the benefit of us all.

Laurie and I want to personally thank our good friends and LIFE Founders Claude and Lana Hamilton. It’s because you are who you are that makes LIFE what it is and what it’s going to be. Sincerely, Orrin Woodward

22 Responses to “Claude & Lana Hamilton – LIFE Founders”

  1. Matt Foote said

    Thanks for these uplifting stories of the LIFE Founders. I look forward to the next one.

  2. I love the story Orrin. I have personally met Claude and have heard his inspiring messages many times, and agree with your analysis. He and his wife are truly heroes. Leaders of leaders.

  3. Stacey said

    We are very proud to be members of Kaizen and follow such amazing people! We are truly blessed to have Claude and Lana leading the charge!

  4. Sue Lohr said

    Thank you for telling their story of dream, struggle, victory. We see the PC on the periphery and don’t know the whole story, but we felt their pain the night they went Diamond. Lana and Claude are an inspiration to all of us and we are so blessed they stuck it out.

  5. Claude and Lana walked the talk. They took the hard way and life got easier. Most people take the easy way and then wonder why life gets harder. Kudos to Claude and Lana Hamilton!

  6. It has been an amazing sight to see two people as Claude and Lana so stong in their conviction of character and the direction they lead their team even when it means great short term sacrafic on their part. Today, we can now say we are honoured to part of Kaizen with true leaders that make desicions on faith not on fear.

    Wade & Rhonda Hamblin,
    Kaizen Unified

  7. Thanks for the post! I always love to hear Claude & Lana teach – they are some of the best!

  8. tony longlois said

    Great article, we are so thankful for the difference Claude and Lana have made in our lives.

  9. Peter Artibello said

    Orrin,
    An awesome portrait of Dream-Struggle-Victory, but its only a small picture of the courage and character Claude and Lana possess today. Tara and I partnered with the Hamilton’s in the Fall of 2008, smack-dab in the middle of one of the most tumultuous times in their lives, not to mentioned a most difficult time for our family too.

    We were attracted to Claude and Lana not because of their wealth and success, but because of their heart, enthusiasm, compassion and leadership. We are so deeply blessed to call them friends and personal mentors. At 42, I am ashamed to say that I’ve had only two real mentors in my life, both of whom were extremely positive for my professional and personal growth. But neither has given me the uplifting, passionate, loving guidance we have received from Claude and Lana in the past three years. I’ve become a better father because of Claude, and he doesn’t even have children of his own yet (that will change for the Hamilton’s come January 2012).

    The Hamilton’s have inspired Tara and I to dream again, to expand our minds and learn about life and all it has blessed our family with. Tara and I are still married thanks to the mentoring and support of Claude and Lana.

    Claude said from stage once, “My goal in life, I want to raise boys and lead them to become Men”. I am one of those boys who is slowly becoming the man I always wanted to be. Thank you Claude for providing the imagine of what a real Man is today.
    You are a blessing in the lives of many and I know you’ll be a wonderful father.

    God Bless you my friend,
    Peter

    • Kevin Hamm said

      Great post Orrin,

      I am loving these stories as they bring clarity to history while edifying all of the PC leaders. Thanks as well to you Peter for your heart felt thanks, I am sure that Claude lives to make fruit in peoples lives as you have shown. Entering Team in the fall of 2007, I too, have seen much of the story Orrin is telling and I can’t say enough how thankful I am to this organization and the persistence that was taught in my life at the time I most needed it. Thanks again.

      Kevin Hamm

  10. Rob Crichlow said

    Claude and Lana have had a tremendous positive impact on our family. By their example of integrity and courage we have been able stay the course during times of uncertainty. Now we are focused on our future and have never been more excited. With the leadership of Orrin Woodward, Claude Hamilton, and the rest of the PC we are on to helping a million people become great leaders. Thanks Orrin.

  11. Jen Ulrich said

    Orrin,

    I am loving this series so far! We can hear their stories from their own perspectives, but how awesome to have it from someone who’s seen them grow into what they are today! Inspiring, uplifting, encouraging… wow. Thank you!

  12. Titi said

    What a wonderful to the testimony of Claude and Lana!
    Wow! We thank God for their resillience

  13. Maribel Damphousse said

    Awesome post on Claude and Lana, Orrin! Thank you for giving us a peek into the heart and character of this couple who walks the talk. “Anyone can talk about character, but living it when it counts is what matters”. This line describes well who Claude and Lana are and, together with the other PC members, it secures the foundation of LIFE TEAM for the quality of leadership that is being raised in the community. I thank God for the gift of LIFE TEAM, its leaders who are showing the way and the journey we are all making towards excellence! God bless!

  14. Johan Friesen said

    Hi Orrin, thanks for this awesome victorious story, you need to contact Director Gabriele Muccino and make a movie, and not only of the Hamilton’s but of all the other PC members that have a Dream-Struggle-Victory story… Thanks for sharing, God bless!

  15. Charles-Edouard McIntyre said

    Claude and Lana are the best example of delayed gratification that I know! Most people only see the material rewards they enjoy today and vastly underestimate the sacrifices and character driven decisions they made along the way to achieve the success they have. As a friend and business partner of Claude and Lana, we’ve seen first hand the positive impact they can have in peoples lives, including our own. They are an inspiration and and example to follow for anyone who aspires to leadership!

  16. Catherine said

    Claude and Lana Hamilton are certainly two of the most inspiring leaders in my life. What they’ve done and what they’re going to do will have a lasting impact for generations to come.

  17. The Militellos said

    Nothing short of WOW! The Hamilton’s story could be written up in your Resolved book right along side all the other leaders in that book. We are blessed beyond measure to be in the company of leadership giants and modern day heros like the LIFE founders such as the Hamiltons! Thanks Claud and Lana for what you have done and continue to do!

  18. I can not tell you how impactful the Hamilton’s have been in our lives. From the first CD’s I listened too, I knew Claude and Lana were special. I use Claude as my courage meter and strive to model parts of my life after him. Thank you Claude and Lana for your example. God Bless

    Matt Mielke
    Red Eagles

  19. The Hamilton’s are an incredible example of leadership in action, they live by the principles they teach. I am honored to be on the Policy Council with Claude and Lana. Every time I am around Claude I am more impressed with who he is and where he is going.

  20. Hershall Sweet said

    I have admired Claude and Lana since my first Team Seminar. She speaks from the heart and has a way of touching an audience with her stories. He jumps around dynamically and still makes his points. He’s lots of fun from stage and he has great stories with his leaders and family. It’s also refreshing that he has such few pretensions and even slips up about his slip ups during his talks and recordings. We all know he will stop at nothing to get where he wants to go. Nothing at all! He’s the most transparent of the Team Policy Council.

  21. Orrin,

    It is now wonder why some succeed.
    Claude & Lana are great examples of leadership in action.
    Proud to have them as team-mates.

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