The main mission of LeadingLDS is to be a platform to share ideas of leadership, in an effort to help individuals more effectively build the Kingdom of God in their respective jurisdiction.
I had the chance to speak with Andy Chatham who, according to his blog, is a husband, father, wealth manager, Eagle Scout, and bishop in the San Jose California area. He has been serving for over 4 years.
Wouldn’t it be remarkable if the church put out a booklet like Preach My Gospel, but specifically focused on bishops or elder’s quorum presidents? Andy Chatham sure thinks so. Thankfully, there are bishops like Bishop Chatham that have had experiences we can learn from–no matter what our calling is.
Here are Andy’s 5 points of leadership:
1. A Great Executive Secretary Will Keep You Sane
As I have mentioned before, the executive secretary is the true first counselor. Bishop Chatham relies greatly on his executive secretary. His executive secretary organizes his calendar, conducts leadership meetings, and keeps the bishop up-to-date with all interviews.
2. Understand Your Responsibility–Then Delegate
Bishop Chatham references an area training he had with Elder Jeffrey R. Holland. Elder Holland stressed that bishops were not called to be administrators. The importance of understanding the many tasks you preside over is great, but the importance of delegating those effectively is pivotal.
Each bishop has counselors, clerks, secretaries, and a ward council full of auxiliary leaders ready to pitch in. There are countless ways to use these individuals. Remember that you, as a bishop, are a minister and your time is best spent with individuals that need to know you love and care for them personally.
3. Leverage Technology & Online Tools
Many online tools and technologies are the biggest secret to keeping life simple as an LDS leader. Google calendar, Google Voice, and Google Drive (Docs) are the core tools to automate the calling.
4. Find Mentors
Have you ever started a new job and been afraid to ask where the bathroom is? Every new responsibility has a learning curve. Being a new bishop seems to trump such concerns. Overnight you become an individual who members look to for marital advice, mental health counseling, or a financial analyst. It helps to find mentors to use as sounding boards. Bishop Chatham turned to his stake president, previous bishop, and other previous leaders to see what he could learn from them. It’s made quite the difference.
5. Live Your Life So You Can Be Guided
Receiving priesthood keys that give you the right to receive revelation for hundreds of ward members is daunting. It becomes paramount to live your life to a new level of worthiness in order to more easily identify the revelation coming through you. Bishop Chatham finds listening to a daily conference talk to be the source of many answers to questions he is facing. A quick 8-10 minute conference talk in the morning can bring new ideas for new problems you must solve.