Angry Birds 2: Flightless Birds Fly High in Leadership

Some people say cartoons are for children. But contrary to popular opinion, some cartoons are replete with useful lessons for life application. That is not to say that our lives should be guided by lessons from cartoons. Nonetheless, I believe that if you will listen to or watch something, you should learn something at the end of the day that will inspire you and spur you on to good works.
Ever heard of Angry Birds? Yes. That game in which enraged birds are engaged in an epic battle with pigs. Well, there is an animated movie based on the theme of the game.
I don’t really recall the plot of the first one I watched but Angry Birds 2 is very interesting, funny, and thought-provoking. If you haven’t watched it, I wouldn’t like to spoil it for you but let me give you a simple 10,000-foot view.
An incensed, sinister-turned eagle that has her own ice island has vowed to take over two other islands- Bird Island and Piggy Island using iceballs filled with lava! 😱 Her plan is intercepted by the technologically-advanced Piggy Island and they make a truce with Bird Island to stop her and preserve the inhabitants of their islands. Red, the egotistical bird, who has been acclaimed hero for saving Bird Island, is not in favour of the idea of a truce with Piggy Island but eventually the truce falls into place and a team is put together to save both Bird Island and Piggy Island. So that’s how the story goes till they save both islands and even the sinister eagle herself.
Here are some valuable cues to take from these flightless birds:
# Teamwork makes the dream work
The Head of State of Piggy Island assembled a team with complementary gifts that came together to achieve the goal of dismantling the weapon aimed at levelling the two islands. The work may be huge but with right team, it will be done.
# Insecurity can be disastrous
As I pointed out earlier, Red was an egotistical character in the movie. Since holding the title ‘hero’, he did not want to let go off it. He was scared someone else would take his place and protested that a truce was not necessary for Bird Island, even though it was clearly needed.
# No matter the opposition, do your best.
Silver, a very brainy bird, invented a contraption that proved very useful during their mission. However, back in her classroom, she was making a presentation about it…and the birds seated were yawning and sleeping- no one seemed interested. Everybody was doing their own thing, but Silver didn’t give up!
# Don’t underestimate the little children
These cute hatchlings gave me a good laugh! 😂 You should see how they ended up in space in their quest to protect their sibling eggs. They did all they could to protect the eggs but eventually the eggs landed on the body of a coiled snake that was sleeping peacefully. How were they going to save their siblings from this predator? Well, they did! And to top it off, they made and wore a hat and a belt of the snake’s skin, having given it a good beating! Better to be a hatchling awake than a sleeping snake!
# Don’t hesitate to make a U-turn
The sinister eagle was Mighty Eagle’s fiancée that he stood up on their engagement day. 😥
As they progressed to go and destroy the weapon, Mighty Eagle retreated, because he was scared. However, he had a change of heart later and went back to help the team to complete the mission. Same goes with when the hatchlings took away the eggs from that sleeping snake. Do you know they rather took away the snake’s eggs, after all the beating they gave the snake? Well, eventually they returned the snake’s eggs and took back their newly hatched siblings! That’s the way to go!
# Let down your ego
Red’s ego got him into a lot of trouble. In a submarine en route to the ice island, they were examining some really sophisticated tech that could help them complete the mission with ease…but then again Red’s ego was in the way. Point is, things don’t always have to be the way you want them to be, especially when a better alternative is available.
# It’s okay to not have a plan; someone else may
One character on the team that really fascinated me was Silver- a very smart bird (no pun intended). She was mathematically astute and was clearly the one to lead the team…well, from behind.
So, the team is on Eagle Mountain, preparing to go and capture the ice island. Red blurts out a three-step ‘unthoughtthrough plan’ (for want of a word) and grins with satisfaction. But as Silver listens, she scribbles in her notepad “There is no plan”. Nevertheless, she points out what the plan should be. In your team, some unassuming folks could be holding the plan that you struggle to articulate but conceal with loquaciousness and verbosity (😅 verbose, innit?)

Hobbs & Shaw: A Leadership Parable in its own Right

I’m not one to immediately go in for a movie upon its release or primiere but I seem to have done some of that this year alone. First, it was with Spiderman: Far from Home and now Hobbs and Shaw. If you have ever watched any of the Fast and Furious movies and are a fan of Sci-Fi and “action”, Hobbs and Shaw is your movie! My objective is not to hype the movie in this post but to simply extract some precious gems from the reel of this epic flick!

I like to call this movie a leadership parable in its own right! Just so you get a background to the movie, let me give you a brief summary. The movie opens up with MI6 agents trooping into a facility to secure a lethal bioweapon. Shaw’s sister, who is one of the MI6 operatives, obtains the weapon after slaying the guards on site. Just as she is about to leave with her team, these guys in black storm the place and begin to slaughter the MI6 people. Then appears this AI-powered cyborg who had a bullet to his head and two to his chest prior to his “resurrection.” Shaw’s sister notices she has to run for her life so she does, with urgency. Knowing she can’t get the weapon to safety without being killed, she injects herself with it and off she goes!

That was when these sworn enemies, Hobbs and Shaw, are chosen by two separate agents in two different countries to WORK TOGETHER on the case! How in the world would that work?! Well, if you are to watch the movie, you will know. Point is, if you have not watched the movie, I wouldn’t want to spoil it any further for you! So here goes 7 treasures distilled from Hobbs and Shaw:

1. Strategy is key in winning the war.

A couple of months ago, I got sucked into the essence of a verse of Scripture in Ecclesiastes 9:18. It says, “Wisdom is better than weapons of war:…” How true! Hobbs went back to his family in Samoa in a bid to mobilize help to defeat the demented cyborg being controlled by Eteon. Upon arrival, he checked on his weapons stash only to find out his mum had disposed them off. How were they going to defeat an army of men possessing the most-technologically advanced weaponry in history? I mean, literally, their guns are activated by a chip, meaning you cannot shoot with it if you do not have the chip!

But Hobbs, with only the tools of a mechanic and a team of mechanics, managed to overpower this AI-powered army! How? By a well-calculated strategy. I was highly fascinated by the scene in which they made a long chain of their cars in their bid to get the helicopter not to fly away!

What I learnt was that with the little you have you can still win the war! That mountain in front of you can be levelled if you plan and strategize properly. Your business can succeed despite your few resources. Think. Read. Explore. Research. Base your decisions on objective data. Use the little you have to obtain your goal!

2. The bond of unity is so important

Remember those guys who decided to build a tower that would reach the heavens? God said of them that nothing they had imagined to do would be withheld from them. Why? Because they were one. Unity is so critical to the success of any enterprise. Those Samoan mechanics spoke one language. Their minds were synced!

Seeing the same thing as your leaders, saying the same thing as your leaders and doing the same thing will always bring forth good success!

As Jesus said, “…I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.” (John 8:28)

3. The leadership of a mother

Hobbs’ mother rallied those Samoan mechanics to turn those AI-powered soldiers to smithereens! Her stentorian voice commanded them to go forth in boldness! In every organisation, have at least one strong woman to lead at least one team. The results are astounding! Ask Bishop Dag!

4. The love of a mother

After 25 years of abandonment, your son returns home, not to render an apology but “to save the world.” What would you do?

Never once did I see her even criticise Hobbs for his neglect of the family. She received him lovingly and on top of that, she shut his brother up when he declined to help him.

Make room for the inadequacies of your subordinates, OK?

5. Teamwork makes the dream work.

I told you that Hobbs and Shaw were sworn enemies. By the time that they were in battle with that psycho cyborg, they had put aside their differences. Why? Because they had to defeat the common enemy: the main threat. How often we bicker and fight amongst ourselves while our common enemy laughs uncontrollably at our folly!

When Hobbs and Shaw worked together in defeating that AI-powered cyborg, they managed to disrupt his AI capabilities that were calculating their moves and enabling him to evade their every move.

Put away your petty differences and work as a team in the organisation and the dream will work.

6. Communication and reporting are essential.

Something worth learning I saw the cyborg doing was he gave an update on his progress. He hinted his plan but then Eteon told him plans had changed.

I love what that Roman Centurion told Jesus when he asked Him to heal his servant (see Luke 7:8). He said to Jesus, “I am a man under authority…” He realised that the only reason for his authority was that he was under authority. What makes your authority legit is the fact that you are submitted to legitimate authority.

Reporting and communication with superiors are key because that’s how you know whether you’re on course with the mission. Objectives may change.

That’s why prayer is so essential. Don’t rely on that which you received a decade ago to determine what to do now- there may be a little tweak in your current objective pertaining to that assignment you have. Pray! Fellowship with the Holy Ghost!

7. He who resurrects you masters you

That AI-powered cyborg thought he was immortal until Eteon pulled the plug!

Whomever you submit yourself to to receive from controls your future.

If you trust Jesus to give you eternal life, you are eternally His. That means you are no longer yours. You are not your own master anymore. He is now your Lord!

On the other hand, all the devil has to offer you is temporal and fleeting! It will all pass away!

Make Jesus the Lord of your life and receive eternal life and your resurrection will be a genuine one!

You wouldn’t have to die twice!

Why I open this app first thing in the morning

If I am to touch my phone when I wake up in the morning, my first point of call is my Tecarta Bible app. We live in an age of infobesity. That is to say that so much information is available to us even on our devices before we get on to the Internet. The information available to us in this 21st is incredibly overwhelming. And there is the temptation to watch every ad, tap every popup or download every app that seems appealing (because most of them do).
But in this age of corruption all around us, we need to filter the information that comes to us through Philippians 4:8. It says, “…whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” As a policy, I turn off my data or Wi-Fi before going to bed and do not switch it on immediately I wake up. Why? Because if it is to be on throughout the night into the morning, more information would come to me to get my attention. But here’s the case where God has said to me, “My son, attend to my words…” (Proverbs 4:20). In other words, give your attention to My words. He wants me to give Him my attention.
You see, it’s important to get your priorities right. Who would you like to receive a message from first thing in the morning? Would it be BBC, CNN, Fox News or WhatsApp? I’d say none of them!

I choose to hear first from God when I wake up in the morning by getting into His Word.

So, this is why I open my Tecarta Bible app first thing in the morning. As a result, I am able to focus on Jesus as I study and meditate on the Word. He is the first person I engage in the morning through prayer and the Word. The Word says, “…set your mind on things above not on things on the earth…” (Colossians 3:2).

If you can get to your Bible first thing in the morning before opening any messaging app or news update, it will condition your day to be much more productive and Christ-centered! Do it!