Last week I wrote about 3 reasons why the Church should not provide official leadership training.

I did highlight the fact that lay leaders still need to experience some type of leadership training.

However, I’d prefer to frame it differently.

I think the word “training” is too restrictive.

It makes it seem like there is a right way and a wrong way to lead, and a training is meant to teach you the “only right way” of leading.

I once had the opportunity to meet with a group of managers who work closely with the Church related to leadership resources.

They were sharing with me why it is so difficult to provide training for Church leaders when the Church is so diverse and international.

I completely agreed with them, and they were curious about what I thought about leadership development in the Church.

I explained to them that it isn’t that Church leaders need an official leadership training program as much as they need a container to process and consider leadership principles and research.

For example, most leaders know they should be delegating more, but many have never seen effective delegation modeled for them, read a book on the subject, or been given the opportunity to effectively process the principle of delegation.

I shared with this group of managers that if I had it my way (which could be dangerous), I would love to get a simple leadership resource manual from the Church modeled after the self-reliance manuals.

Then when a new bishop, bishopric counselor, or Relief Society president is called, a member of the stake presidency (or stake council) would sit down with this new leader (maybe a group of them), over a series of weeks, and go through each principle in the leadership manual.

They would discuss principles such as delegation, meeting management, mentoring someone through repentance, etc.

Like the self-reliance groups, nobody in the room would be considered “the expert,” but it would create a container for people to digest these principles, seek revelation, and then start to try out some applications of these principles.

Related to this approach, this is why I think an organization like Leading Saints is so important.

I know: I recognize my bias. 😊

Many have asked me if I wish the Church would acquire Leading Saints and continue to create resources for lay leaders like we do.

My answer is always NO!

Leading Saints is a strong resource because of our independence from the Church (and lack of authority).

We can talk about and explore different leadership principles more freely.

In this newsletter, I share many different opinions (some of them controversial), and because I am an independent voice, these opinions can be dismissed or more easily resisted.

I hope the majority of opinions I and others share via Leading Saints are helpful and you can then add to them according to your own life experience and revelation.

This push-and-pull exploration is an important concept in personal leadership development.

I never have an issue with people agreeing or disagreeing with me as long as I feel like they have actually digested the concepts.

In summary, we don’t need leadership training as much as we need containers in which to process leadership research and principles.

What do you think?

Sincerely,

Kurt Francom
Executive Director
Leading Saints

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