Annette Nay, PhD

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A Leader Should...
Annette Nay, Ph.D.
Copyright 1999

A leader should:

  1. Lead with a clean and overpowering sense of vision. Do so by being mentally, emotionally, and spiritually prepared by carefully and prayerfully considering the material and formulating the vision.
  2. Encourage free expression of each council member.
  3. Respect free agency.
    • Agency has risks, challenges, responsibility and endows power to those who use it wisely.
    • Each buys into the idea when the decision is a part of each member.
  4. Give clear concise instruction, then allow the council to decide the details.
  5. Work step by step with the council.
    • Consider the breath and the pace.
    • Allow plenty of opportunity for reporting, council, and follow-up instruction with each step.
  6. Realize that heavenly manifestations of plans or vision is not limited to the present.
    • Their implementation my not happen all at once.
    • Example: The growing of leaders by providing responsibilities to those in a certain area for the growth of leadership in a new ward planned by the Lord for years from now.
  7. Realize that a program is built from the ground up.
    • Example: If an excellent Laurel's program is wanted, put the best person in as Beehive Advisor. Over time there will be and excellent Young Women's Program.
  8. Effective leaders delegate.
    • Delegate responsibility to promote growth of capable people.
    • Always ask for follow-up reports to see the work is done correctly.
    • Delegation establishes a template for performance.
    • Do only those jobs that must be done by the President, then delegate all others.
    • Delegation brings blessings to those who serve and keeps the President from wearing out.
  9. Listen carefully, follow instructions, return and report, and most importantly do it! Have your people do the same.
  10. Teach by precept and example.
    • Example: Christ commanded them to pray, then showed them how to do it by praying to the Father, himself.
  11. Know that the servant is not greater than his lord; neither visa-versa. See John 13:4-9 & 12-17.
  12. Serve with love.
    • If we don't truly love each other we can't possibly convey the full power of the gospel of love, no matter what we do.
    • Whenever a spirit of love and cooperation exists among the members, it permeates every meeting. The opposite is also true.
  13. Spend most of your time discussing ways to reactivate members not in administration.
    • Realize and fill the spiritual and temporal needs.
    • Make fellowshipping assignments.
    • Pair people with common interests.
    • Members show love and consideration to those they serve.
    • Make a difference in other's lives.
  14. Work from a published agenda. This should be given out at lease 24 hours in advance of the meeting.
  15. Use this sequence for council meetings:
    • Express love, concern, and appreciation for the council members.
    • Have an opening prayer.
    • Address each item on the agenda.
    • Make short preparatory comments as needed.
    • Present the item or ask for discussion on the item.
    • Members speak when moved on by the spirit.
    • Members strive to feel the will of the lord about each item.
    • Members may have to change their own feelings and thoughts to be in harmony with the spirit and the council.
    • When a sense of unity is forming the President asks for a recommendation.
    • Recommendations should summarize the feelings of the whole council.
    • President states, "We have a recommendation is there any further discussion?"
    • The recommendation may be modified at this time.
    • The recommendation is then presented in a form of a motion.
    • The motion is seconded.
    • The council votes on the motion.
    • Thus the motion has been made in harmony, unity, and faith with the combined judgment of each member and in harmony with the Spirit.
  16. Teach correct principles and they govern themselves (Journal of Discourses 10:54-58).
  17. When unanimity doesn't exist and the situation necessitates a quick decision, the leader may call down an answer from God, because of the keys and mantle of authority given for that position. Then he/she may use these statements to explain the decision.
    • This is the decision we/I feel comfortable with
    • We/I have listened to your recommendations.
    • We/I have done our/my best to implement your suggestions.
    • We/I have reached a decision based on the Spirit.
    • Either we/I are working through God or we are fallen leaders./I am a fallen leader.
    • Your choice is to sustain us/me and this decision or ask for our/my release.
    • Now, ask for a sustaining vote.
  18. Really listen to your counselors thoughts and feelings.
    • Ask penetrating, meaningful questions to make sure their perspective or feelings are understood and to let them know that you have heard.
  19. Let your council members you value their input and that you expect them to express themselves.
  20. Always let the council express their ideas on the subject at hand before giving yours.
  21. Never forget, as the leader, you are ultimately responsible for all decisions and the actions carried out because of them.
    • Call good people to serve with you.
    • Listen to their counsel.
    • Consider their input.
    • Listen to the Spirit, who is the most important person in the council to listen to.
  22. Make the central focus of each plan/ activity be for:
    • Bringing souls to Christ
    • Proclaiming the gospel
    • Perfecting the Saints
    • Redeeming the Dead.
  23. Work will be more focused and fruitful when examined through the lens of saving souls.
  24. A church council constitutes two or more people gathered in Christ's name. This can be a room full of people or a President and one or more of her presidency.

Reference: Ballard, M. Russell (1997). Counseling with Our Councils. Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book Company.


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