Archer delivers Book No.2

Gercine Carter,

Added 01 December 2013

01charles

Charles Archer oozes savvy both in business and in dress. Seventeen years ago he and a partner started the non-profit enterprise Evelyn Douglin Centre for Serving People in Need Inc., (EDCSPIN) at a kitchen table in a Brooklyn, New York apartment to provide service for people with developmental and intellectual disabilities. Now age 40, he has managed to grow it to a $25 million service operation for the disabled community, with a staff of over 500. He has further boosted his image as an effective manager with the authorship of two books and a movement that is rapidly gaining attention. Archer is fast gaining recognition as president, CEO and founder of the Everybody Paddles movement. In his first book Everybody Paddles; A guide To Achieving Partnership, Association Collaboration And Togetherness, published in November last year, Archer focused on producing a management tool designed to build company consensus which is the basis of the Everybody Paddles concept. “It is a book about understanding who you are as a leader but also understanding what your success is with everyone else,” Archer told Easy magazine. His inspiration was this quote – “everybody paddles at the same time, in the same direction, towards the same goal” – which he noticed in a printed article  while whitewater rafting. And he said this is “a mantra that really is all about bringing people together; people understanding their individual value but also understanding the collective value of everybody inside a team”.  He was in Barbadios last week for the launch of his second book, Everybody Paddles: A CEO Strategic Guide To Building Company Consensus.   “In 2012, I am turning 39. I am about to have a mid-life crisis. I decided in conversations and in prayer I needed my life to be more than just the acquiring of things and decided to put this forward as my message for the rest of my life, about building consensus.” The message was conveyed in part in the first book. Having already sold almost 2 000 copies, the self-published author considers it to be a “fantastic” achievement and now that his second is off the press, he is looking ahead to a third.     When Archer was called back from a career in law to head the organization he had founded, he realized there were many pluses for him looking ahead. “I believe it was part of God’s plan,” he said.     The board of directors of EDCSPIN was looking to transition to new leadership, and he was excited to be returning to the organization he had left to pursue a legal career. In the process he had graduated from Brooklyn Law School, became an assistant district attorney and eventually a lobbyist interacting with powerful figures and political officials.    It was all this experience that he was bringing back to EDCSPIN. The African American boasts he has been largely shaped by his Barbadian ancestry along with “a mix of cultures”. His father was born here and left when he was nine years old. The elder Archer came back for the first time in 52 years to help his son promote his first book and Charles talks about “the majority” of his upbringing being “on the Caribbean side” and a family that still operates around consensus, with decisions made around the dining table. His books, he explained, are “not only about understanding that you are as a leader but also understanding what your success is with everyone else.” He is currently on a Caribbean tour promoting his second book: “When I think about Barbados and I think about the Caribbean, we do need one Caribbean,” said Archer and he talks about unity in the first chapter of the book. “The reason I chose the Caribbean is because I feel that in the Caribbean. I never feel like there is a continuum in the belt in the Caribbean islands.” He believes there is untapped richness and wealth in the Caribbean yet to be explored. With the contribution of the Caribbean contributors to the second book, Archer aims to give wider breadth to his vision of Everybody Paddles. “We are looking at this particular book being bigger because I think it transcends not just family and community, not just work. I think it represents something that countries can learn from.” “Leadership is nothing without followership, not without a culture of people who believe in not just what you have to say, but what you are doing and what you want to see happen” he said. “I really think about how I can achieve that so other people would realize it can be done and that it requires everybody to work together.” Bringing it closer to home, he added, “Barbados is especially special to me. It is not only a country where my forefathers and family come from, but it really is a place where I build so much peace when I come. Barbados is a part of who I am and what I believe in.”

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