Orrin Woodward LIFE Leadership Team

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

George and Jill Guzzardo – LIFE Founders

Posted by Orrin Woodward on February 10, 2012

George and Jill Guzzardo are  LIFE Founders and leaders of leaders. When I first met George, he was living as far away from civilization as humanly possible. Indeed, George and Jill moved from the hustle and bustle of Chicago to the backwoods of the Michigan Upper Peninsula, just outside Ironwood. The Guzzardo’s goal was to get away from people and enjoy time together working in the health field and enjoying nature. Man, however, may make his plans, but it’s God who directs his steps. In other words, destiny intervened.

Ed, Jill’s older brother, happened to be my engineering mentor and best friend. Ed and I worked together on multiple engineering projects. When I started listening to CD’s on community building, I realized the potential and shared this with Ed. Ed agreed, driving 10 hours in the same state (that’s how far into the backwoods the Guzzardo’s lived!) to share the idea with George and Jill.

Jill was interested immediately, George however, was another story. 🙂 He ignored Ed,  watching the hockey game as Ed shared the concept with Jill. I remember Ed sharing his thoughts, saying, “Jill is excited, but George is going to take some work.” This is a common response. Inside of everyone is a dream pilot light. Sadly, though, most people’s dreams have been rained on so much, they believe it’s safer to bury their dreams than risk further disappointment.

Thankfully, George loved Jill enough to check it out. After reading his first book, he became a man obsessed with the idea of getting free. True, the odds were stacked against him in so many ways, having isolated himself in the backwoods where there were hundreds of trees for every person. Moreover, George and Jill were already extremely busy between jobs, hobbies, and raising their son. But, when a person wants something bad enough, the obstacles must give way.

The Guzzardo’s are champions today, not because everything was easy for them. On the contrary, if I were to define the Guzzardo’s with just one of my resolutions, I would offer Adversity Quotient because everything was a struggle for them. With that said,  nothing keeps this couple down! Several times, in the early days (before team approach), they would start groups and lose them. On top of this, Jill’s brother, and my best-friend, died suddenly of a pulmonary embolism, blocking oxygen into his lungs. This was a tragic loss of a great man. Most people would have become bitter, instead, George and Jill, became better.

Laurie and I had front row seats watching the transition of this couple into the leaders they are today. When the Guzzardo’s made mistakes, they read more, listened more, and applied the principles to grow. Many will listen to CDs, less will read consistently, but only the few will apply the principles learned. The Guzzardo’s were part of the few. I watched George go from barely reading to reading mighty tomes on history, theology, and government. This is on top of his personal development reading and listening! In fact, the rest of the PC refers to George as the professor for his amazing ability to read and comprehend the classics.

As the Guzzardo’s began to grow personally, they also grew professionally. Despite driving several hours or more to share the opportunity, the Guzzardo’s teams grew. Their teams spread quickly into Wisconsin, eventually across the USA and Canada. Today, the Guzzardo have thousands of people attending events across North America and George and Jill reside in a beautiful house in Tuscon, Arizona. They are living their dreams – the same dreams shared many times to Laurie and I as they were growing on their way to victory.

Reflecting back, one of my proudest George Guzzardo memories was during our costly litigation with our former supplier. I watched the Guzzardo’s propose surrendering their dream property, rather than surrender their involvement with TEAM. This is nothing short of modern-day heroism. In today’s pragmatic world, where nearly everyone does everything for their own perceived advantage, I watched the Guzzardo’s voluntarily sacrifice for the good of the community. This story, thankfully has a happy ending! As it turned out, with the TEAM’s settlement of all disputes, the Guzzardo’s were able to retain their dream property in the mountains overlooking the Tuscon valley.

Laurie and I are proud to have George and Jill Guzzardo as life-long friends and LIFE Founders! Their commitment to growth, change, and leadership is nothing short of inspiring. By setting the example for their team, the Guzzardo’s have attended many job-optional parties across North America. There are many blessings from our business, but in my opinion, by far the greatest rewards are the relationships formed with true leaders like George and Jill Guzzardo.

Thank you George and Jill for having the courage to become better when others became bitter. Thank you for setting the pace and cutting a trail for others to follow. Here is to a blessed future together. Sincerely, Orrin Woodward

31 Responses to “George and Jill Guzzardo – LIFE Founders”

  1. Ken Dunn said

    I have listened to many many of George’s CDs and look forward to the day I can shake his hand and thank him. He knows not how far his message has reached.

  2. rjfisher1 said

    George and Jill have served our teams and helped us in many areas. One thing that I appreciate so much is George’s ability to reframe things so that they make sense to people. I saw this totally turn a person’s belief last night in a matter of an hour or so. When he laid out the plan for building small, leadership growth groups with a handful of people setting goals, measuring growth and having discussion about what they learned it became so simple for everyone to see that they could be a part of this, and even become a leader. It was amazing! Thanks so much to both of you and your families – as you say: leading isn’t easy, but it IS worth it!

  3. The Guzzardos are true inspirations for us all. They are walking examples of what character, integrity, and commitment to a greater purpose can achieve. Yes, they are living their dream. And, just as importantly, they are helping others believe they can do the same thing. Thank you George and Jill for leading the way and inspiring us to follow.

  4. George is such an inspirational man! It was such an honor to see him in Kenosha last night. You hear the stories of him watching the hockey game and not paying attention to the business opportunity to then being the servant to all and giving up the good for the great … such an honor pleasure and a true blessing to read listen and apply what he has learned and taught. Very few men will make the commitment wake up orrin at the early hours nock on his door and say … “All in!” George has done that and proved he is a man of his word… I can think of very few people i would rather be following. 🙂

  5. Pat Edwards said

    Thanks for the story on George and Jill! They played the role of heroic leaders in our teams when times got tough, always positive and encouraging about the future to come. To see George go from fired up George, vein popping to the professor, is a true reflection of the power of reading and mentoring with other great leadership minds. Thanks George for always being there and keeping us together as TEAM. Very proud to be part of the Guzzardo organization. SWAT team, full force!

  6. Raymond said

    George and Jill were the speakers at my first seminar, and I will never forget the impact of their heartfelt story, and shining example. Congrats to them on all of their accomplishments!

  7. Bill Lewis said

    Even though we are on different teams, I would call George one of my best friends. He always has a kind word and a giving spirit and I know if I ever needed help George would be there for me. Me and George have been side by side as we grew our teams and I believe I owe a portion of our success because I had a cross line running mate. George and Jill are a great couple and I am very proud to be associated with them and their team mates. They will truly make a difference in thousand’s of people lives and are part of the rock foundation that will make LIFE a success.

  8. LIFE is lucky to have George & Jill as leaders! I have learned a lot from listening to their cds & look forward to learning even more in the years to come! Thank you Guzzardos.

  9. Elaine Mallios said

    That is a great story. What an inspiring couple. We are truly grateful for what they and you did. Isn’t it funny, no matter what our great plans are, how they may change for what the master strategy may be. We are moving on. Thanks for all you do.

  10. Tim McNeil said

    The Guzzardos are a huge inspiration to me (and not only because they are the only couple in the PC anywhere near my age – although that helps). I love the fire that George has for America, and his desire to educate us in the manner any way we used to be taught when our country was young. Again, I thank God for people like the Woodwards, Guzzardos, Bradys, Bloomdahls and the entire Team/LIFE organization.

    Thanks,
    Tim McNeil
    Team Action

  11. Tim Dwyer said

    Orrin, many thanks for sharing George and Jill Guzzardo’s story with us. I always enjoy how the Butterfly’s & Deer’s can also teach us a lesson to grow our TEAM with the right principles having Jill as their interpreter. May God Bless George and Jill for they so willing help others through The TEAM LIFE system.

    Tim Dwyer
    Centurions Down Under

  12. Maribel Damphousse said

    What a fitting tribute to George and Jill! The first word that comes to me with thiis couple is faithfullness … to the Team, to the cause, to their relationships, in fact to the 8 Fs. I am amazed at the growth and maturity of George and Jill as they showed us the results of being hungry students through the years. Their success shows through their passionate talks, their lifestyle, their leadership. We are proud to be associated with them and follow their footsteps of growth. Thank you George and Jill for your love, patience and inspiration to Team Central.

  13. Kevin Hamm said

    Orrin,

    Thanks for telling George and Jill’s story. I look forward to following in his footsteps. I got started at about the same age as he did and I have dreams of being a scholar in my freedom years. He certainly has provided that example. What an inspiration. Thank you George for that and, of course, thank you Jill for your great applications from nature. May God bless your future richly.

    Kevin Hamm

  14. Mike and Emily Hebbe said

    How do you explain how special George and Jill are to our team?? They breathed hope in to each and everyone of us through thick and thin!!! Jill’s amazing way to come up with a life lesson from almost anything that we all relate so well to! And George’s unique way of always staying “fired up” in every situation. But what most speaks so loudly about this couple is their passion to help others. Thanks George and Jill.

  15. Orrin, you summed it up perfectly!! George is an amazing guy and we are blessed to have him on the Policy Council. He has his heart, his character and his mission in life all lined up to do the Lords work.
    C

  16. Juleen Ray said

    George was the speaker at the first Open meeting my husband ever attended for Team. I was hopeful but skeptical so I did not attend that first meeting. David connected with George and the rest is history. I did attend the next meeting because I needed to meet this amazing man who touched my husbands heart so quickly. Though we are not on his team, George remembers us and always asks about our family and encourages us when in WA or OR doing a meeting. We are ever so grateful to the Guzzardo’s for their leadership and passion.

  17. Reblogged this on Dan Hawkins Leadership and Life.

  18. George and Jill have impacted us in a way few people ever will! How do you say thank you to a couple who have helped you gain your freedom! Thank you George and Jill for everything you have done and continue to do!

  19. Food For the Brokenhearted said

    What an amazing tribute to such an amazing couple!! 🙂

  20. Bobbi Jo King said

    They are an example well worth following in the world we live in today. With role models like George and Jill Guzzardo, I feel I can dream again and have hope for our country. I thank God for the founders of LIFE and their commitment to helping others. I actually have people impatiently asking me when the next Guzzardo cd’s are due to come out!

  21. George and Jill are hero’s in my life! They have done more for me than most of my entire family. I love everything about them and what they stand for! George and Jill are leaving such a legacy and I am truly blessed to be able to work with them. Thank you George and Jill for all that you do!

    Kristen

  22. John Kroon said

    The journey, as usual, is the great teacher. I’ve never heard this part of the Guzzardo story but it is not at all surprizing. We are blessed to have such servants. I love “the proffessor’s” way of teaching.
    John Kroon, LIFE student

  23. John Graff said

    Thanks Orrin,
    As 1 of those thousands of leaders in the Guzzardo organization, I thank them (as well as Laurie and yourself), for the perseverence to find the next leader…. That pursuit has in turn lead to some of my new best life-long friends!
    Let the legacy continue.

  24. Kathy Barnes said

    What incredible leaders we have on the Team. Love their Cd’s. Very informational. So glad to have this in my life.

  25. Greg Streuly said

    I was “Mr. Negative” before hearing George and Jill speak at the July 2010 seminar. George’s talk is what started the embers that would become the fire of my dream and what I see as my reason for being. Thank you George for your message that day! Without it I may never have made one of the best decisions of my life.

  26. The Militellos said

    Orrin and Laurie,
    George and Jill Guzzardo are a special couple to us. They have always gone out of their way to encourage us from the first time meeting them, and what makes this so special is we’re not even in their group. True servant hearts. So proud to be in the battle with people like this!
    The Militellos

  27. SCOTT AND ANGIE FAGAN said

    It’s so awesome to hear great words about the PC. It gives you a better insight on where they started and where they are today. We can all have our stories and no that we can have the results we want if you just stick to the road that leads to sucess!!! Thanks for leading the way

  28. Elaine Lacey said

    Thanks Orrin for sharing George and Jill’s success story with us. A perfect example of Dream, Struggle, Victory. I had the awesome opportunity to introduce the Guzzardo’s at a team seminar and I will never forget making eye contact with George, WOW, talk about the “eye of the tiger”! Yet, even with such intense focus, I can remember feeling the warmth of his heart. George and Jill are such awesome servant leaders. The PC couples are all examples of the servant leadership that you and Laurie have freely given. Thanks again for all you and the PC do!

  29. I am forever grateful to George and Jill. Thanks for that wonderful tribute to them. They have inspired us to become the people we were meant to be.

  30. Gary Severson said

    George & Jill have probably impacted the direction of my family more than anyone. George’s ability to study and teach more of the deeper-lying questions about society and a father’s critical role has been nothing short of life changing for me. Thanks to the example of this couple, the most important “F” (FAITH), is #1 in my life! We love you and appreciate everything you do, George and Jill! (Oh, and just for the record, they’ve also given me a much deeper appreciation for the Southwest!) :~)

  31. Titi said

    George and Jill inspire me every time I hear their story! They are such overcomers and they remind me that I must overcome my fears and excuses and get this done! Thank you and God bless for sharing!
    Titi & Katie

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