Kurt Francom, Executive Director of Leading Saints, flies solo for this episode as he talks about some invisible habits some leaders have that self-sabotage their leadership and diminish those around them.




4:40 Invitation to become more reflective and ask yourself if you are possibly doing some of these things without realizing it


1. Creating a culture of unquestioned obedience to what the leader directs (6:00)


  • This happens with the best intentions
  • 6:30 Common example: Primary President doesn’t hear about changes in the Primary until it is announced in Sacrament Meeting because the Bishop is not giving them autonomy over their auxiliary
  • 9:00 From Dan Pink’s book, “Drive”, three things every individual looks for: autonomy, mastery (becoming proficient at what they do), purpose (my opinions matter; I’m making a difference)


What to do about it:


  • 10:50 Bishops should turn callings over to the auxiliaries, and then the bishopric can facilitate and encourage auxiliary leaders
  • 13:20 Ask the Ward Council/counselors: How are decisions being made? Is this a problem?
  • 13:40 One-to-one monthly interviews with your auxiliary leaders and counselors


2. A leader’s lack of motivation to acquire accurate self-awareness by seeking-out alternative perspectives and general leadership training (16:15)


  • 17:00 Self-awareness about your approachability as a leader
  • Subconsciously sabotaging difficult conversations
  • 18:15 Story of Seminary/Institute teacher who always had the answer to questions
  • 19:10 It’s not about having the right answer, but about having the conversation


What to do about it:


  • 20:00 Ask, “How approachable am I?” and create a safe circumstance for others to come to you
  • 20:40 Seek leadership training from every source possible
    • 21:50 Elder Bednar’s leadership skills came from decades of experience as a professor and author, not simply because he is an apostle
  • 23:30 Pick up a book
  • 23:40 Seek out other resources such as conferences, websites, therapists, Leading Saints, etc.


3. Providing no venue to experience real connection (27:30)


  • 28:00 Kurt’s experience at Wild at Heart Boot Camp: Men talking and connecting in ways that they don’t normally experience in elders quorum
  • 30:35 “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation” (Thoreau)
  • 31:55 Never let a quorum meeting become another Sunday School class; create more connection


What to do about it:


  • 32:45 Create vulnerability
    • Sit in a circle
    • 33:35 Stimulate the group with questions
    • 34:40 Brene Brown’s books about vulnerability and shame
    • 35:55 The leader needs to lead out with vulnerability
      • 37:20 Vulnerability leads to trust


4. Church/family imbalance: An excessive emphasis on the importance of family responsibility that causes individuals/families to disengage with the Church (and vice versa) (38:10)


  • 39:45 Quote from “The Divine Center,” by Steven R. Covey
  • 41:25 Culture shifting to putting the family first and losing the balance with church service


What to do about it:


  • 42:40 Talk about this dynamic as a bishopric and as a ward
  • 43:10 Infuse your ward, Relief Society, or quorum with more purpose/vision


5. Creating unintentional shame (44:00)


  • 44:40 Shame is the greatest counterfeit that the adversary uses instead of guilt
  • 45:45 Shame comes with the best intentions but creates a dynamic of unattainable perfectionism
    • 46:30 Quote from Brené Brown, from her book “Dare to Lead”


What to do about it:


  • 47:20 Shame comes when the focus is on the behavior
  • 48:00 Jane Clayson: Turn up the doctrine of grace


6. Too many targets and no vision (48:40)


  • Every leader has a different inspired focus, so we end up trying to do it all
  • 52:50 Doing it all leads to overwhelm
  • 53:05 You have to give your people one target


What to do about it:


  • 54:00 Have a clear objective and goal and unify around it
  • Create a vision statement and give people a purpose
  • Ask the difficult questions: How can we make these into one target


7. Excessive gestures of niceness, love, or spirituality meant to influence a person to choose a specific life path (55:10)


  • 55:35 Nice Guy Syndrome: Dr. Robert Glover interview, “When the Bishop is Too Nice”, aka codependency
  • 57:00 Avoid conflict and can’t say no
  • 59:00 Don’t want to cause anyone to get upset, but also never create a bold vision and it diminishes influence
  • 1:00:30 Story from author Rodger Duncan in “Leadership for Saints”


What to do about it:


  • 1:04:55 Ask permission to hold people to a higher standard in their responsibilities




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