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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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    accountability

    The Gift That Keeps On Giving

    What do you give the person who seems to have everything? You give something that costs you little.

    What do you give the person who seems to have nothing? You give something that costs you much.

    That’s what Warren Buffett, Bill and Melinda Gates, and 65 other billionaires have decided to do. They’ve pledged to give half of their net worth to philanthropy.In June 2010, Buffet and Gates started the Giving Pledge where they challenge billionaires across the world to sign a pledge committing to give half of their money to charity during their lifetime. For Buffett, this focus on giving started when he was in his 20s studying wealthy industrialists such as John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, and J. P. Morgan, and their prolific giving to science, arts and culture. (See Wall Street Journal article for more info.) Now that Buffett has long been established as a billionaire, he is doing the same. He and others are using their wealth to make a difference in every area of life across the world.They are leveraging the fruit of their talents to impact the world.They’ve realized that after a certain point, wealth and riches mean nothing if you can’t use it to help others who may be less fortunate.

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    Buffett and Gates’ initiative is admirable because they’ve made it a priority to lead others in giving. Specifically, they established themselves as ACEs, and you can do the same.

    Accountability – They challenged other billionaires to be accountable to each other on how they use their wealth. You can identify others who, like you, have an abundance of resources. This shouldn’t be hard, because like attracts like. The people who are your closest friends, with whom you have the most in common, probably have similar resources. Challenge them, hold them accountable to use those resources to make a difference in the lives of others who are less fortunate.

    Change – They believe that their wealth can create change for the good. What unfortunate situations seem to pierce your heart the most?  Is it poverty, sickness, children who lack the benefit of music, art or sports in their educational system? These issues weigh on your spirit for a reason; so that you can do something to make a difference in that arena, using your resources to bring about change.

    Expectation – They created an expectation that their giving makes a difference in the future of others. You too can expect that your gift will change the lives and environment of others. You can create your own self-fulfilling prophecy that you expect good results from your investment.

    Since very few of us are billionaires, does that mean that we can’t have an impact in the world?  Does that mean that we can’t use our comparably limited assets to help others?  We each have an abundance of resources in the form of our time, our talent or our treasures which we can give freely to others.

    • Our time represents what we value most.  Take a look at how a man or woman spends their time each day, and you’ll know what’s most important to them.
    • Our talent represents the abilities, skills and knowledge we possess that we can share with others. Freely sharing our talent will reduce expenses and costs to others.
    • Our treasure represents financial resources that we’ve earned or inherited that can fund the good works of others.

    One person’s time, another’s talent, and yet another’s treasures all working together are essential to improve the lives of people on every continent. So don’t wait for the government or someone else to allocate resources to a problem, or to make it a priority. Determine how you can make a difference. Determine how you can lead others to give extraordinary things in extraordinary ways.

    “We have a choice. We can make our kids billionaires and it will ruin them. Or we can realize how blessed we are and try to spread those blessings around. My view has always been that success unshared is failure.”John Paul DeJoria, founder of the Paul Mitchell hair-products empire who grew up homeless. (The Biggest Gift In The World, WSJ Magazine, November 2011, p. 104)

    “But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity; for God loveth a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.”(2 Corinthians 9:6-8) King James Study Bible

    Copyright 2011 Priscilla Archangel

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    The Blame Game

    Would you be willing to accept the blame for the faults, mistakes and wrong decisions of another person?In these days and times, very few of you would probably say “yes”.Political parties blame each other for budget deficits; spouses blame each other for the failures of their marriage; criminal defendants deny responsibility for their actions; adults blame their bad behavior on people who sexually and emotionally abused them in the past; nations blame other nations for internal wars and strife, companies blame their financial shortcomings on stock market failures and shifting consumer preferences. No one wants to accept responsibility, few want to forgive, and all remain locked in a battle of finger pointing.

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    The Blame Game is played by people who can’t or don’t want to admit their role in a negative situation or decision, and who look to others as being at fault.The “players” strive to make themselves look better by distancing themselves from any responsibility or accountability for the problem and therefore the solution.They fear the consequences of being involved in anything perceived as negative. This saps energy and focus from the process of dealing with present issues and taking constructive steps to improve the situation.

    One Man Who Took Responsibility

    There was a man however, who decided to take responsibility for the faults of an entire nation; people he didn’t even know, who lived and died before he was born, who he had no knowledge or contact with.He took responsibility for acknowledging their faults, wrong decisions, and disobedience, and took steps to train them in right behaviors, motives and decisions. This was not an easy task.This impacted an entire nation who had lost their way from the instructions God had given them about how to live. As a result, they lost their freedom, their resources, their homes, their families, and their safety.They were captives in their own land and in other lands where many of them had been taken.

    This man’s name was Ezra, and he expressed personal shame, humiliation and guilt for the sins of the people.He spoke of everything God had done for them in the past, how He had blessed them, the instructions He had given them; and how the people responded by forsaking God’s guidance.He named the sins, and the repercussions of those sins.He even called out the men who had married women who didn’t believe in God and their attention and love was therefore turned away from Him. Ezra left no stone unturned in his mission to confess the faults of the people, repent from their actions, ask forgiveness, and to model changed behavior.He engaged the people in these activities off repentance as he brought them together and gave them instructions from God. Ezra was able to do this because he had prepared his heart to seek God’s law, to obey it and teach it to others (Ez. 7:10).

    Who’s Going to Take Responsibility Now?

    What if someone stood up today and took responsibility for the nation’s current economic crisis? What if they confessed all the financial mis-management of the past (overextended in debt, over mortgaged, financial markets in disarray, investment mistakes, etc.) and provided a solution that would bring us back into obedience to how God says we should manage our nation’s economy. What if they provided not a Democratic or Republican solution, but God’s solution.

    What if someone stood up today and took responsibility for the nation’s current moral crisis? What if they confessed all the lies, deceitful behavior, stealing, killing and covetousness, and took a stand to bring us back into obedience with God’s Ten Commandments.

    Sounds like a humongous task, but it’s a responsibility for Faith Centered Leaders.it’s a responsibility for men and women who believe that the Bible provides wisdom for every situation that we face, and who appropriate that wisdom to address the problems that confront us.Such men and women who accept personal responsibility for the nation’s problems and choose to lead based on their faith will face challenges, but can be assured of their reward in His kingdom as they fulfill the will of Christ.

    Jesus could have rightfully blamed man for sin on the earth.But He set the ultimate example as He died on the cross for our sins, mistakes and willful bad behavior.He substituted Himself and took the punishment for our sins so that we in turn might have eternal life.He took the blame and set the standard for us.

    Blaming others says “it’s all about me”.Taking responsibility to lead others in the way of Christ says “it’s all about Him.”

    Copyright 2011 Priscilla Archangel

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    In The Spotlight

    Robert Gates retired as U. S. Defense Secretary at the end of June.He served in the position for four and a half years, initially appointed by President George W. Bush, then asked to continue to serve by President Barack Obama.He held this role during a period of continuing wars and turmoil in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and other Middle East countries.

    The Wall Street Journal (click here to read) reports that when he assumed the role, Gates said he had never read a management book, but he developed an effective management style over time based on showing respect to the generals who reported to him, and holding them accountable for their performance.He wasn’t afraid to tackle issues head on. For example, when Army leaders criticized the media for their reports of substandard treatment of wounded soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, he fired the Army secretary. When the Air Force failed to properly oversee the U.S. nuclear arsenal, he forced the resignation of the Air Force secretary and chief of staff.He reportedly encouraged discussion and input from his team but wasn’t afraid to make decisions at the end of the meetings and expect everyone to follow them.Gates also learned the importance of symbols and symbolic gestures through his early days studying the Kremlin as an analyst with the CIA.This perspective of understanding organizations shaped his management approach in his later years when he assumed a leadership role.

    Gates wise behavior as the military leader of a powerful nation in the midst of overwhelming challenges and under two political parties reminds me of David, a military leader who served under King Saul of Israel.

    Too Much Drama

    Such was David’s life when he skyrocketed to popularity after killing Goliath, a giant who had taunted the Israelites for the past 40 days. With this bold act of leadership and bravery, David quickly went from shepherd over his father’s flock, to soldier. He achieved sudden recognition with the king and the people, and everyone was talking about him. The media of that day, women celebrating in the streets, sang his praises.

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    Saul then brought David onto his staff and placed him in charge of the army. David became a statesman going wherever Saul sent him, faithfully doing his bidding.All the people, along with Saul’s leadership team highly respected David, and thought he was a better leader than Saul himself.It was obvious to them that David had the favor of God, while Saul had lost it.Even Saul’s son Jonathan became David’s best friend, willing to give up his right to succeed his father on the throne because he knew that God’s will was that David become king.

    David was also a skillful musician, and in the past his music soothed and relaxed Saul when he became tense and agitated. But eventually Saul’s jealousy of David’s increasing fame grew to the point that he plotted to take David’s life.Saul unsuccessfully attempted to kill him by throwing his spear at him. Then he invited David to become his son-in-law in exchange for fighting the enemy army, but David and his men were strong and valiant, winning the battle.

    David was between the proverbial rock and a hard place. In spite of his high position and favor with the people, the king hated him and continually tried to kill him. But throughout all of this drama, David behaved wisely in all his ways.He was wiser than all of Saul’s staff members.

    …He presided over the business of the country and the army.

    …He was obedient and respectful to Saul, even though he knew that Saul wanted to take his life.

    …He didn’t try to undermine his leader, or take unfair advantage of his position.

    …He led with integrity.

    What About You?

    Imagine yourself suddenly catapulted to recognition among your peers because you performed an act of bravery, exhibited exemplary leadership, or your unique gifts and talents were discovered by those who valued them.Such fame doesn’t come without its problems and challenges, and your ability to sustain your role will be impacted by how you handle these pressures.

    ….The spotlight of leadership makes you a target for personal and professional attacks.

    ….The spotlight of leadership exposes your underlying motivations.

    ….The spotlight of leadership tests your accountability to the God who positioned you there.

    ….The spotlight of leadership checks your responsibility to the people whom you serve.

    It seems that every day, the news media reports on some leader who failed the scrutiny of the spotlight: a leader who failed to act with integrity, credibility, accountability, and appropriate responsibility. What about you? No matter its size or scope, are you prepared to behave wisely in your leadership role?Are you prepared to lead in a way that pleases God instead of trying to please men? What will the spotlight uncover about you?

    Copyright Priscilla Archangel 2011

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