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Showing posts from July, 2016

Chapter 5 - Principle #4: Lead With Your Strengths

There are a plethora of books published on how to be a great leader.  Most of them are the musings of famous or successful people.  While I think it is important to read about the success of others to help you better define your leadership pattern, it can also lead you into a trap.  Often the leadership principles in these books are portrayed as the 3,5,7, or 10 things you need to do to be an effective leader.  However, that leader was effective because the (pick a number) leadership principles that they wrote about in their book are their leadership strengths.  Unfortunately, it is rare to find a book about leadership that is well-researched and documented that spells out exactly what will make you an effective leader.  Your leadership pattern is as individual as you are.  
Over the past several years a number of companies have embraced StrengthsFinder as an approach to evaluating employees. StrengthsFinder is a test and an the accompanying instructions that help an individual ident…

The Light You Seek

Recently I was having a conversation with a good friend.  He was going through a bit of a faith crisis and was considering asking the bishop to release him from his calling.  As we were talking I had a rare, but poignant flash of inspiration.  I told him that the light you are seeking is at the other end of the tunnel, not the end you just came from.  As we discussed the challenges he is facing we both came to realize that the way out of this frustration is not found in turning back, but by pressing forward.

Elder Vern Stanfill spoke about a similar topic in the October 2015 General Conference (Choose the Light)  He talked about bicycling with some friends into a long dark tunnel.  At first they could see the light from where they came into the tunnel, but eventually they were enveloped in darkness.  Those with insufficient lights had to rely on those who had more powerful lights.  Eventually they saw the pinpoint of light from the exit of the tunnel.  The anxiety of the darkness melt…

Chapter 4 - Leadership Principle #3: Lead Fairly and Kindly

Lead Fairly and Kindly

Most leadership books list several styles of leadership.  They have different names, but some of the main categories are the leaders that coerce and drive their people to “Do what I say”.  Another style may be the “Come with me” approach.  There are those leaders that take a “People come first” style.  Others my lead in a more democratic fashion.  Or they may view themselves as a coach.  The hypothesis is generally that an effective leader can readily switch between styles when needed.  
While this may be necessary, this principle of leadership applies to all of them.

The leader has a responsibility to maintain and sometimes set the standards for the organization or the team.  Inevitably someone breaks the rules and the leader is left with the responsibility to “Deal with it”.   A leader that is both fair and kind has to strike that balance between the justice and mercy part of leadership.  A leader sometimes has to make judgments about people, events, ideas, d…

Chapter 3 - Leadership Principle #2: Lead with Integrity

Chapter 3 - Leadership Principle #2: Lead with Integrity
     This next principle is called "Lead with Integrity".  To be an effective leader you must have person integrity.  If my 20 years as serving as an Air Force Officer taught me one thing, it is this, personal integrity is the key to leadership.  Perhaps this deep anchor of personal integrity comes from the Air Force Core Values - Integrity First, Service before Self, Excellence in all we do.  Effective leadership always means first having integrity.

     My favorite scripture on integrity is the statement about Hyrum Smith in the 125th section of the Doctrine and Covenants.   15 And again, verily I say unto you, blessed is my servant Hyrum Smith; for I, the Lord, love him because of the integrity of his heart, and because he loveth that which is right before me, saith the Lord. D&C 124:15      Think of how wonderful it would be if the Lord could say that about each of us.
Referencing the definition of integrity y…

Chapter 2 - Leadership Principle #1: Aligning our with with our Heavenly Father

Chapter 2 - Leadership Principle #1: Aligning our with with our Heavenly Father

The first step in leading like the Savior is understanding how he wants us to lead.  How do we do that?  How do we align our will with his.  Consider the definition of “Prayer” in the Bible Dictionary.

Prayer: As soon as we learn the true relationship in which we stand toward God (namely, God is our Father, and we are His children), then at once prayer becomes natural and instinctive on our part (Matt. 7:7–11). Many of the so-called difficulties about prayer arise from forgetting this relationship. Prayer is the act by which the will of the Father and the will of the child are brought into correspondence with each other. The object of prayer is not to change the will of God but to secure for ourselves and for others blessings that God is already willing to grant but that are made conditional on our asking for them. Blessings require some work or effort on our part before we can obtain them. Prayer is a for…