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John Maxwell Team

John Maxwell Team Certified Member

Priscilla Archangel is a John Maxwell Team Certified Coach, Teacher and Speaker.

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    The Spark That Ignited a Firestorm


    Caine was a nine year old boy trying to keep himself busy during summer vacation. He spent his days with his father who owned a used auto parts store. The store had a lot of empty boxes in the back room, so Caine had an idea.  He began creating arcade games out of the empty boxes and setting them up in the front of the store. Not just one game, but many games, intricate games. There was just one problem.  Because most of his father’s customers purchased via the internet, there wasn’t much walk-in traffic, and no one was interested in playing his games. Until one day, Nirvan Mullick walked into the store looking for a part for his car.  He was Caine’s first customer, and he thought Caine was really bright. So Nirvan had an idea to bring a lot of customers to Caine’s arcade. He created a flashmob event that brought hundreds of people to that small store. And Nirvan’s small gesture was a spark that ignited a firestorm and changed Caine’s young life, and along with the lives of many other children and adults.

    Caine's Arcade

    It turned into a Global Cardboard Challenge with over 270 Events in 41 countries, celebrating creativity and community around the world, while raising funds for various causes. Watch the videos to find out what happened and how a seemingly chance meeting sparked a firestorm.

    Then think about these leadership lessons from a nine year old boy. In fact, are you a better leader than a nine year old?

    • You’re never too young to develop and use your gift.
    •  Follow your passion.  Find your magic moment, your spark. That’s where your leadership will shine.
    • The best gifts serve others. How are you serving others with your gift?
    • Success in leadership doesn’t happen solely based on your own actions. You must walk with others in your leadership journey.
    • Don’t sell yourself short. Even when it doesn’t look like much, things can change quickly.
    • If you build it will they really come? Maybe not, but maybe so. But even if they don’t, there’s a lesson in the process alone.
    • Never discourage creativity, even when it doesn’t look like reality. Instead provide encouragement in constructive ways.
    • Always be ready for your big break. You never know what opportunity is right around the corner.
    • One simple idea may be more powerful than you could ever imagine.



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    What’s In Your Hand?

    Moses was an elderly man, used to working alone with his animals. He spent much of his time in the desert with the hot sun beating down on his head. One day passed like the next.  He thought that this was how his life would end. His life didn’t seem to have a compelling purpose. Was he content, or had he just given up?

    Then God spoke to him. God was concerned with the same issue that concerned Moses.  God wanted to deliver His people from their Egyptian oppressors, and He wanted Moses to be a part of that plan. God wanted to use a nobody like him, to be a somebody to others. Moses couldn’t even imagine doing any of the things that God mentioned. The only skill he had used for the past 40 years was leading a flock of animals here and there, making sure they were safe and had food and water, learning the terrain of the desert, and using his rod to guide them and keep them together. Surely God was mistaken. He wasn’t capable of doing such a great thing.  He was just a common shepherd.

    So he dared to argue with God. Who am I that you want me to do this? Who are you? They don’t even know you God? I don’t know how to speak eloquently? Can’t you find someone else more qualified? But God had another plan in mind. “What’s in your hand?” said the Lord. “A rod” he said. God said “Cast it on the ground.”  When he did, it became a serpent. Then God told him to pick it up by it’s tail. When he did that, it became a rod again. God told him to use that rod that was in his hand to perform signs in front of the Egyptians. These signs would be proof that his message was from God and not man.

    Man holding a rod looking far awayGod’s Rod

    A rod: a gnarly piece of wood. For years he had leaned on it, herded sheep with it, used it to protect and discipline them. It was one of the few things he carried with him, a required tool of the trade. And suddenly to God it was the key to his calling. It wasn’t anything that others would think of as powerful. But now it was the “rod of God”, and it was instrumental as God used him to deliver his people out of Egypt, and usher them to the gateway of their promised land. The previous 40 years that he spent in the desert had been his training ground as he learned to lean on God’s wisdom and not his own.


    Recently, I had a conversation with a friend who was interested in changing careers. His current and future careers were as different as night and day. We talked for some time about various strategies that would help him to break into his new field of interest. Then he began talking about the needs of his colleagues in the field in which he currently worked.  After asking him several questions it became evident that there was an opportunity to apply some of his interests and skillsets in his future career area, to meet needs in his current career area. Like Moses’ rod, the key to his future was right in his hand.

    Your Rod

    So what is your “rod”?  What do you already have in your hand that is your key to your calling? Maybe you think you lack the skills, abilities or opportunity to accomplish the dreams that keep flowing through the back of your mind. Maybe you lack the education, information and connections to even figure out how to begin. But the God who has placed the calling within you knows.  The lifetime of experiences that seem unrelated to your future calling may instead be your preparation for it. He’s just teaching you not to place your faith in your own abilities, because He has a different way of making things happen.  He has a miraculous means of setting you in places you didn’t realize you could attain. He’ll use the tools that you have in your hand, the skills and experience that he has placed within you to accomplish His will, and to fulfill your calling.

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    Olympic Gold

    Now that the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London have drawn to a close, I am still in awe at the skill and accomplishments of many of the athletes. They make difficult routines look easy as they flip and twist their bodies through the air, sail around the track or through the water. I’ve not only watched them compete, but I’ve grown closer to them through the stories and vignettes in the media about their personal lives, and often their struggles. For most, their practice and preparation consumes many hours each day. Their muscular build comes at the expense of disciplining their bodies in the gym, and their palates in the kitchen. Some come from families that are financially depleted, having put all their resources toward a son or daughter’s quest for the gold.  They train their minds to think like the champions that they strive to be; knowing that the mental competition is just as important as the physical one.


    There are several athletes that stand out for their achievements…..

    Gabby Douglass, USA gold medal gymnast who two years ago at the age of 14 begged her mother to be able to move from Virginia to Iowa to train with an Olympic coach. Her mother and other siblings struggled financially to support Gabby’s passion.

    Michael Phelps, USA gold medal swimmer who with 22 gold medals has now won more than many countries.

    Usain Bolt, Jamaican gold medal sprinter dubbed the fastest man on earth.

    Claressa Shields, USA gold medal boxer at age 17, who survived the roughest neighborhoods of economically depressed Flint, MI, a father in jail for 7 years of her young life, and was bounced from home to home.

    Missy Franklin, USA gold medal swimmer who continues to refuse prize money and endorsement so that she can maintain her amateur status when she starts college in the fall of 2013.

    Danell Leyva, USA bronze medal gymnast whose mother and step-father defected from Cuba, where they were members of the Cuban gymnastics, team to Miami.

    Felix Sanchez, Dominican gold medal runner who claimed his medal in honor of his grandmother who died just before he raced in the 2008 Olympics.

    Oscar Pistorius, a South African also known as the blade runner because he is the first double amputee to compete in the Olympics running on carbon-fiber blades.

     At the same time, all the athletes who even qualified to go to the Olympics are exemplary in their endeavors. They represent the best in their sport, and I can only imagine the immense feeling of accomplishment for even qualifying to participate.

    Your Olympic Sport

    But they aren’t the only individuals competing to excel in their chosen sport.  Each of us has the opportunity to train for our own Olympic competition. We each have a challenge before us that is perfectly suited to our basic capability, yet is bigger than we can imagine, and if conquered would have an impact on many others. We’ll know our Olympic sport by the dream or desire that is deeply embedded in us. We must quiet all the chattering voices, the temporal and materialistic pulls, the temptation to do what everyone else is doing, just because everyone else is doing it.

    Like the contenders in the London Olympic games, we need several key competencies…..

    A Vision of what it looks like when you attain your goal.

    A Plan of what you need to do to get there.

    Focus to overcome the daily distractions that would try to steal our dream

    Willingness to Sacrifice what you want to do, and what others are doing, for what you know that you need to do.

    Perseverance to push past feeling comfortable, and become accustomed to feeling uncomfortable with what lies ahead.

    Fearlessness to dare to believe that you have the capability to succeed.

    None of this is easy. But as Booker T. Washington said, “Nothing ever comes to one, that is worth having, except as a result of hard work.” So now that I’ve been inspired by Olympians from around the world, I’m going to go back to my daily routine, step by step, and work toward my gold medal.

    What about you?

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    The Facebook Way

    Much is being written about Facebook these days, as the company moves toward it’s long awaited IPO. Earlier this year, co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg held a global all-employee meeting. Everyone thought he was going to announce the IPO, but instead (according to an article in the March 19th issue of Fortune) he used that time to talk about the company’s mission and priorities. He recognized that the eight year old startup company with phenomenal growth and value was about to undergo a transformation that could potentially ruin the culture that had made it so successful. He admonished employees to maintain their focus on the characteristics that fostered the “hacker way”, building through continuous improvement; the mottos on the wall like “Done is better than perfect”; the orientation to constantly improving customer interface that brought over 800 million people in the world to open up a Facebook account. He recognized that the IPO would subject the company to more outside scrutiny and investor demands; and that more importantly, many of the employees themselves as newly minted millionaires might lose their edge. They might lose the driving desire to create something new and innovative.They might decide to pass on the quarterly all night hacking sessions where employees work on something other than their day-to-day job; trying out ideas and thinking up new products.


    Mission or Money

    While those of us on the outside may think of Facebook as existing to make a profit, Zuckerberg has a broader more impactful vision. In his words, they don’t build services to make money, they make money to build better services.That ethos will be tested now among  their 3,000+ employees. His goal has been to open up more connections across the globe. He uses the internet and technology to help people establish relationships, share information, and make their voices heard more quickly and personally than ever before possible. Continue reading

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    Starbucks Gets It

    Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks was featured in the December issue of Fortune as the 2011 Businessperson of the Year. Schultz joined what was then called Starbucks Coffee, Tea and Spices in 1982 as its marketing leader when there were only four stores in the Seattle area. He developed a vision to model the stores after the many small espresso bars he saw across Italy, essentially selling not just coffee but the experience and environment. While skeptics laughed at him, he was easily able to sell coffee at a price greater than his competition, and create a new coffee (and tea) culture in the U.S.

    IStock Photo

    But to me, more significant than the success of his business are his business values.  Starbucks provides health care and equity grants to all employees who work more than 20 hours each week, and rebuffs investors who try to persuade him to reduce such coverage. To him, it’s just doing the “right thing for it’s own sake”.  He’s concerned about his entire supply chain, and through Starbucks Foundation he has given to people in third world countries to better their standard of living. He believes “there needs to be a balance between commerce and social responsibility…The companies that are authentic about it will wind up as the companies that make more money.” Continue reading

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