Jon McNaughtan grew up in Heber City, Utah, and completed a PhD in higher education with a focus on organizational behavior at the University of Michigan, a masters degree in educational policy from Stanford University, and a bachelors degree in communication from Southern Utah University. Over the last 10 years he has utilized his educational background and professional experience as a leadership consultant with aspiring corporate and educational leaders to identify and cultivate positive practices designed to expand the capacity organizations and individuals.

Jon is an associate professor and the associate department chair of Educational Psychology, Leadership, and Counseling at Texas Tech University. His research focuses on leadership from multiple perspectives, first on the role and experience senior leaders and teams have—with an emphasis on how they engage and empower employees—and then how employees develop a sense of empowerment, satisfaction, and purpose in their work. His goal is to enhance the practice of leadership and create spaces where people can be their best.

Jon and his wife Liz live in Lubbock, Texas, with their four children. He has served in many callings including ward mission leader, high counselor, scout leader, Primary teacher, Young Men leader, and is currently the elders quorum president of their ward.

Jon McNaughtan


03:00 Introduction and background of Jon McNaughton.

05:30 How do we create a culture where people can be their best? We all need feedback and engagement. The problem is that most people don’t give feedback and are afraid to give feedback.

08:15 We are afraid to give our bishop or stake president feedback yet we have no problem giving our kids’ Primary teacher feedback.

09:15 Part of giving feedback is being vulnerable and asking hard questions.

09:45 How can I provide feedback without complaining or criticizing? Jon shares two scriptural examples.

14:30 When we give feedback we make it too personal. Be reflective in your feedback and don’t take it personal.

15:30 Come with a question instead of an answer.

16:00 Be direct and ask your leader if they would like feedback.

17:00 When we give feedback we need to know why we are giving it. Think about your why.

  • Are our leaders the ones that need to change or is it us?
  • Is what that leader doing harming others?

20:00 Figuring out your why and the motivation behind giving feedback to your leader.

  • Write down what the feedback is and what the goals would be if that person were to take it.
  • Are the goals about you or about that other person?
  • What is the end goal and what would change through giving feedback?

22:30 Things to remember when you want to give feedback.

  • What works really well for us doesn’t always work well for others.
  • There is not just one way to do things in the church.
  • Remember that the Lord will consecrate the work that people do.

27:00 Sometimes complaining or criticizing leads to change.

28:50 Feedback provides self awareness.

29:30 Advice for giving and receiving feedback.

  • What am I doing to receive feedback beyond just having an open door policy?
  • Feedback is built on trust and building relationships with people.
  • Have plenty of one on one conversions and interviews.

34:15 We need to create a culture of feedback. Feedback can really create a better experience.

35:20 How do I balance obedience with feedback?

36:15 1 Nephi 3:27. It was the Lord that sent Nephi and his brothers into Jerusalem to get the plates but the brothers were angry with Nephi and Sam and beat them. Nephi did not send them.

37:00 Jon shares the story in Ether 2 on giving feedback to the Lord.

38:10 The Lord expects us to give feedback to Him and to our leaders. We are supposed to cry unto Him.

44:30 What do I do when my feedback isn’t heard? What can leaders do to make sure that the people in their congregation are heard? Are you following up with people?

47:40 Jon shares a personal experience on receiving feedback and making changes.

49:25 Feedback is a gift!

  • As a leader, what am I doing with feedback?
  • What are we doing to make sure that people feel comfortable giving feedback?

52:00 Building a relationship with someone is crucial before giving them feedback.


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Scriptures referenced in this podcast: Numbers 16, 1 Nephi 3:27, Ether 2

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