When I felt it was important to start Leading Saints one thing that entered into my mind was, what do I do when I am not serving in a leadership calling? Will there be things to address? First off, I don’t want to make this blog about me and my calling, but rather to give a venue for the master leaders to step up to the plate and shower us with knowledge that will improve us as Latter-Day Saint Leaders. And second, I should be ashamed to think that leadership will end with my church calling.
I am current serving as the High Priest Group Leader in my ward. It’s a calling I love and have learned a lot from. This idea that leadership is contained within the calling rather than the calling contained within the leader is something to think about. It’s a thought that comes so naturally in this church. Aren’t the “leaders” of the church the guys in the suits that sit on the stand?
When I attended business school I found it somewhat funny when all classes were taught from the perspective that every student would someday become a Chief Executive Officer (CEO). And many in the classes seemed to have that as their goal. I may have been mistaken in this observation but it seemed that each case that we studied or opinion that was shared referenced a CEO and the decisions that this CEO made in order to turn a company around or vice versa. When I finally graduated, I started to think that the only way I would ever have impact on a company is by becoming the CEO. How discouraging! From this consistent focus on the top executive of a company lead to my assumption that everyone in the class wanted to lead a company from the top. Did they think this is the only way to become a leader?
At times we see a version of this mindset in the church. Some may feel the only change that can happen must come from a set-apart-leader. Not only set-apart-leaders but leaders that have the title bishop or president. Many, if asked, would willingly accept a call for such a position. Even if the call hasn’t come, doesn’t mean that your roll isn’t in leadership. What many don’t realize is the average person turns down LEADERSHIP daily. This is because leadership doesn’t start with being CEO or bishop. It starts when someone makes the decision to create change for the better. They choose to set the example. They choose to stand and say, “OVER HERE, FOLLOW ME!”
Here’s the behavior:
Take the time to give substance to your calling. No matter the call it should be on your mind daily rather than as you enter the chapel doors on Sunday. For bishops, it isn’t hard to constantly think of your calling because it is always demanding your attention. Most callings don’t demand attention, you have to demand progress.