A few months back I wrote a newsletter which I then turned into a podcast episode called 5 Reasons Negative Church Culture Exists.

These reasons apply to all church members, but they particularly apply to church leaders.

In fact, I could easily label these reasons as, The 5 Reasons Your Leadership Isn’t Working.

All 5 reasons are worthy of considering but if there was one reason church leadership fails above all the rest, it would be when a leader has a LACK OF SELF-AWARENESS.

Obviously, God gave us a brain and he connected two eyeballs to that brain through which to see the world.

The tricky thing is, when we only see the world from our perspective we begin to stop seeing the world as it really is.

Or if we only observe our personal leadership from our perspective, we stop understanding what type of leader we really are.

And if we fail to see the leader we really are, we can never fix the problems we never see.

As I get the opportunity to observe leadership in so many settings and hear from so many people around the world who experience leadership influence in our faith tradition, this principle of self-awareness has become more and more paramount.

Self-awareness should become an obsession for leaders.

We often fall into the trap of thinking, “I’m a set-apart leader (possibly with priesthood keys), so I receive inspiration from Heaven, and then communicate that revelation to those I lead regardless of what it is or how it will impact them when they hear it.”

It goes without saying, inspiration is at the center of how we function as leaders in the church; however, it isn’t about what inspiration we receive as much as it is about what questions we are asking that leads to inspiration.

In order for the leader with authority to ask the right questions that lead to inspiration, it is critical that they seek out other perspectives in the ward in order to gain the insight to begin asking the right questions.

You might be thinking…

Oh, don’t worry, I already do that in ward council. I make sure I ask for everyone’s opinion.

That’s a good start, but what if you took it to an obsessive level?

After every Sunday, who are you reaching out to (outside of the ward council) in order to understand how beneficial that 2-hour experience was on that day?

After every ward activity, what steps are you taking to understand how people responded to it?

What about that message you shared in ward conference about that topic that has been weighing on your mind?

Did those in the audience understand what you were saying?

Did they misinterpret what you were getting at?

How do you know?

I’m afraid too many leaders go to bed at night thinking, “Everything went great today,” when in reality, they really don’t know.

And if they don’t know, how can they discover the problems that will lead to developing the right questions to send towards Heaven?

How have you or other leaders effectively maintained self-awareness?


Kurt Francom
Executive Director
Leading Saints

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