leadership in the church

18 Feb

1. President Samuelson warned of the dangers of waiting to serve until you are less busy. Describe how you will make yourself available to serve, even in the midst of a ever-increasing schedule and responsibilities.
This semester has been the perfect practice for this. Between 3 jobs, 13 credits of demanding classes, my ward calling, BYUSA, and other commitments, I feel like I have been given the opportunity to define where in my life I prioritize service. I can still look for the minor opportunities, because those just as important, if not more important, than the more obvious ones, like volunteering at an event or being active in BYUSA. I can drive someone to the store. I can make a schedule for someone. I can walk with someone to class and just listen if they need to talk. There are opportunities EVERYWHERE! It reminds me of the analogy of the jar filled with rocks. It will look full even if it just has rocks in it, but then you can also add sand. Then it will look very full. And then you can still add water. Work, school, church, and BYUSA are my rocks, but the little moments of selflessness, inspired by the quiet whisperings of the Spirit, are the sand. They are found within the rocks as well, but I would bet money that there are a lot more grains of sand in that jar than there are rocks.
I don’t know what the water is yet…but it’s important too.

2. In sharing his experience in speaking at a funeral, President Samuelson encouraged those in attendance to have the courage to say what needs to be said, when it needs to be said. Describe a time when you have had to stand alone in your role as a leader. Please include how you will respond to future opportunities to stand alone as a leader.
Last night, there was an honor code issue in our apartment, and I was the only one who was really aware of it. I had to ask my roommate about it and we had a very short, very awkward conversation. It ended with a simple request to follow the honor code better. The entire situation was actually extremely uncomfortable, because her boyfriend happened to walk in while I was talking to her. Eesh. However, after he left, she came into my room and thanked me for encouraging her to be better about it, because she had known she was slipping lately. I offered her a cinnamon bear and all was well.
That was a first-hand experience that taught me that it only takes one person to stand up. People are willing to follow, but not unless someone is willing to be the leader. I think that is what a lot of my training this year has gone towards – I have become significantly more confident in my abilities as a leader.
At Adventure Experience, in the letter my dad wrote me, he talked about taking advantage of opportunities. He then said, “That’s what leaders do, and you have always been a leader.” I didn’t really understand that, because I had never really felt like a leader before. I am coming to understand, however, that leadership is a much broader concept than I ever imagined. Taking risks in order to do what is right is a principle of leadership that takes a whole lot of courage, but it has never failed me yet.

3. President Samuelson shared an important lesson he learned about making assignments in his role as an Elders Quorum President. Please identify what you believe made the difference in the outcome he described going from having to complete the assignment himself to having others take accountability. How will you apply this concept to leadership roles you have in the future?
Accountability was a completely new thing to me this year, and I’ve had to learn it the hard way. I have definitely come to understand that people are invested as you give them opportunities to be. If I do everything for my ACs, there is no reason for them to be here. But if I show that I trust them, support them, and love them, they are much more invested in their work. I think I did that better with certain ACs, and not as well with others. I wish I had taken more time to express my love for them and to give them opportunities to shine instead of assuming that nothing would get done unless I did it myself. In return, I have learned how to be invested in the success of others – I find joy in seeing other people reach their goals and accomplish great things! In the future, I look forward to rejoicing in triumphs instead of waiting for failures. It’s just a better way to live.

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