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Wednesday October 22nd 2014

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Leading the Way for Pensacola

‘John Maxwell Live’ Inspires Hope
By Jennie McKeon

It’s a day for leadership, something that any city could use more of.

Monday, Jan. 23, best-selling author John Maxwell and special guest Chris Gardner will offer a full day of leadership training for free at the Pensacola Civic Center.

“Pensacola needs hope, they need a break,” said Paul Martinelli, a John Maxwell-certified coach. “There needs to be a structural change. If a person is doing business the same way they were three years ago, they are going out of business.”

At the event you will learn how to effectively communicate with your team, the leadership skills to navigate this tough economy, effective ways to increase your value on your current position and five leadership strategies every leader should know.

John Maxwell is a coach for 5 million people throughout 153 countries. You may have heard of Chris Gardner since his story inspired the movie “The Pursuit of Happiness,”
starring Will Smith.

Martinelli is a great example of why leadership skills are important. As a high school dropout with a speech impediment he had to believe in himself before he could make people believe in him.

In the ninth grade he began his work with the Guardian Angels, an organization that strives to keep city streets safe without the use of weapons.

“That was the beginning shift of my change,” Martinelli said. “It gave me the chance to be accepted into a group where I wasn’t judged.”

Martinelli traveled with the Guardian Angels’ founder, Curtis Sliwa, organizing Angels throughout the nation.

“It was great because I was thrown into all different kinds of awesome experiences,” he said.

By the time Martinelli was 22—having risen to second-in-command of the Guardian Angels— he felt the need to try another venture. With $200 in his pocket and a used vacuum he started the cleaning company At Your Service, Inc. He became a millionaire before he was 35 and it was all thanks to the belief he had in himself. As for his speech impediment, Martinelli fought his stutter to tell an influential teacher a joke he heard on “Hee Haw.” The determination to make people laugh with him instead of at him made a lasting change.

“It literally changed my image,” he said. “Now, I make a living speaking.”

At 39, he decided that he wanted to share the secrets to his success and became a John Maxwell-certified coach.

“It’s a great opportunity for somebody who wants to make a difference,” Martinelli said. “There’s 1,400 certified coaches. Carol is one of them – my favorite one.”

That would be Carol Carlan, a John Maxwell-certified coach and a founding partner of The John Maxwell Team. Her own consulting company, Carlan Consulting, is a proud sponsor of the event.

Martinelli can’t really pin point just one piece of advice for those seeking better leadership skills. That may be why there’s a whole day dedicated to it. But he could think of a few off the top of his head.

“Value the power of five minutes,” he said. “I organize my day in 15-minute segments.”

When many people daydream about starting a business or owning a home, they often bring themselves back to reality saying, “I can’t.” Martinelli hopes that people will learn to think past their initial negative thoughts.

“It occurred to me one day that people are talking themselves out of things,” he said. “I want them to learn to challenge their first thought.”

Martinelli points to innovators in history who never surrendered to their doubts.

“The Wright brothers didn’t have a pilot’s license, didn’t know how to build a plane,” he said. “They did whatever was necessary—it was non-negotiable.”

Of course, before you segment your day and doubt yourself, you must know what you want out of life.

“God wants specifics,” Martinelli said. “Allow want to become your all-consuming obsession.”

The event isn’t just for business owners and white collar professionals. Anybody could benefit from free leadership lessons.

“This event is for anybody who wants to add value to themselves and other people—to gain more influence and impact,” Martinelli said.

And it’s for those who hope to make lemonade out of the economic downturn.

“I’m not an apologetic capitalist,” Martinelli said. “This event is for those who want to increase their income. We’re not going to tax and save our way out. We want people to come together as a community and connect in ways they never connected.”

Martinelli always kept a positive attitude—from protecting inner-city streets to coaching people all over the world—even if he didn’t know what the end result would be.

“That’s the beautiful thing about achievement,” he said. “I never knew it would be that good, that’s really God’s blessing.”

JOHN MAXWELL LIVE
WHEN: 10 a.m. Monday, Jan. 23
WHERE: Pensacola Civic Center, 201 E. Gregory St.
COST: Free, but reservations required
DETAILS: johnmaxwelllive.com