Ashley Smith is serving her second term as mayor of Cañon City, Colorado, after serving on the city council four years prior. Ashley serves on the Region 15 Opioid Governance Committee, Cañon City Schools Compass Advisory Committee, Cañon City Urban Renewal Authority, Community Solutions for Homelessness, and Fremont’s Exceptional Women Board. She is a member of her local Lion’s and Rotary clubs, has a black belt in women’s self defense, and is a graduate of Brigham Young University. Her current church calling allows her to hang out with her favorite constituents of all time, the 9-11-year-old Primary children. She and her husband, Dr. David Smith, have six children and two grandchildren and enjoy skiing and hiking the Colorado mountains together.


01:45 Kurt introduces Ashley and the topics of the episode.

03:00 The stake president and Ashley agreed that her calling was to serve in the community and that was just as important as having a calling inside the Church.

07:00 Ashley speaks to being a woman in politics and her experience.

10:30 Ashley felt called by God to serve her community. She ran for city council and then mayor.

13:40 Ashley shares her family’s back story and being raised to be a strong woman. She felt ready and willing to be a leader and get her voice heard.

15:55 Advice to women that feel like their voice isn’t being heard.

18:00 As a leader you have to have a thick skin. Ashley’s tips to have a thick skin.

  • Understand that the issue isn’t personal, it’s more about the topic or issue.
  • Keep the bigger picture in mind. It’s not about you or the other person but about the bigger issue.
  • When you feel attacked, be civil and listen anyway.

20:45 You will always be disliked by some. What do you do with the people that don’t like you?

  • Focus on what you like about them.
  • Remember that sometimes they are right and you are wrong.
  • Take time to listen to their perspective. They need to feel heard.

24:40 Shifting from city council to being mayor. Learning to be a figurehead.

28:50 How do you gain buy-in? As a leader in the church you wouldn’t use this with doctrine but with some aspects of administration.

33:30 Making assumptions is when we tell ourselves that something is true without having any evidence that it is. Make sure that you investigate what is really going on.

39:30 Is there a role in your community that you could step into? Serving the community is a way to take care of God’s people.

41:10 Ashley shares her testimony and what she has learned from being a leader.


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The Leading Saints Podcast is one of the top independent Latter-day Saints podcasts as part of nonprofit Leading Saints’ mission to help Latter-day Saints be better prepared to lead. Learn more and listen to any of the past episodes for free at

Past guests include Emily Belle Freeman, David Butler, Hank Smith, John Bytheway, Liz Wiseman, Stephen M. R. Covey, Julie Beck, Brad Wilcox, Jody Moore, Tony Overbay, John H. Groberg, Elaine Dalton, Tad R. Callister, Lynn G. Robbins, J. Devn Cornish, Dennis B. Neuenschwander, Anthony Sweat, John Hilton III, Barbara Morgan Gardner, Blair Hodges, Whitney Johnson, Ryan Gottfredson, Greg McKeown, DeAnna Murphy, Michael Goodman, Richard Ostler, Ganel-Lyn Condie, and many more in over 500 episodes.

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