Decisive: A Book Review

Decisive- A Book Review

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Summary

This book digs into the science and psychology of good and bad decision making. I chose this one for our challenge, this year, because leaders are always making decisions. We also help the youth we lead with their decisions too. The Heath brothers use the acronym WRAP to remember the different steps we can take to help us arrive at a good decision.
Widen your options
Reality-test your assumptions
Attain distance before deciding
Prepare to be wrong
Each of these steps is a chapter, with different techniques you can use for that step, plus several case studies to help you see what it looks like in real life.

Overall rating out of 5 stars

I give this one 4 stars. It may just be because I’m re-reading this, but it felt like it had more case studies than I needed or wanted to read.

Leadership Skill Lessons (5 out of 5 Stars)

As I mentioned earlier, leaders make a lot of decisions and some of them are tough. I really liked many of the strategies suggested in this book.
Find someone who’s solved your problem. Learning from someone who has been where you are can really help you put things in perspective.
Consider the opposite. With this one, you purposely seek out people who disagree with you and learn from their perspective.
Ooch. This is a funny word that means to implement only part of your decision or to make a small test run to try it out.
10/10/10 How will you feel about taking this action ten minutes after? 10 months after? 10 years after?

LDS Youth Leader Lessons

There are a couple takeaways from this that I have found very helpful when it comes to working with youth.
  1. Teenagers tend to make either/or decisions, which is as narrow as it gets when it comes to options. One thing that we can do for them is ask them to imagine one of those options is no longer available. Then, what would they do? This helps them to broaden their options.
  2. They shared a study that demonstrated that people are more likely to make a decision when they have enough options. Here’s what happened in their own words:

“One day, the store set up a sampling table with different kinds of jam, and customers loved it; another day, the store set up a table with 24 different kinds of jam, and it was even more popular than the first. The surprise came at the cash register. Customers who’d chosen among 6 jams where more likely to actually buy a jar of jam than customers who’d chosen among 24! It was fun to sample 24 flavors, it seems, but painful to pick among them. The choice was paralyzing.”

This is why when we plan activities, I always suggest 3-4 ideas when they get stuck. One idea is too narrow and they will simply make an either/or decision. A larger number can be too much to process and paralyze them. 

Now it’s your turn. Did you read Decisive? What stood out to you?

 

Bonus Post: 4 Ways to Use the #Hallelujah Easter Advent from Sugar Bee Crafts

 

 

I’m having so much fun with all of my Easter posts. I was only planning on sharing four of the printable kits from Sugardoodle, but I wanted to give you a little more.

Today’s kit comes from Mandy Beyeler of Sugar Bee Crafts. She put together an fun Easter advent that helps keep families focused on the Savior.

Easter Advent (1)

Here are four ways you can use this kit:

  1. Use it with your family as an Easter advent.
  2. Use it as a “library” of ideas to plan an Easter activity for youth.
  3. Put two or three together as kits and deliver them to some families as a service project.
  4. Use it in opening exercises for Mutual as an Easter countdown. You could start 4 weeks before and combine two activities at a time. You may have to adapt them a little to make them fit the time available.

Get the kit! 

 

What other ideas do you have for how you could use this kit? 

Want more Easter-related posts? Check out the #MyForeverFamily page!

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2 Ideas for Easter-Related Youth Activities

If you’re visiting from Sugardoodle, thanks for clicking through! I’d like to thank you for coming by, by offering my resource library to you! It includes helps for young women leaders, like a scheduling template for planning camp and youth conference. Please fill out the form below to get it!

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I have a couple more printables to share with you. Both of them could be modified to be used as a youth activity.

2 Ideas for Easter-Related Youth Activities

French Toast Easter Bake and Scripture Scavenger Hunt

All good things involve food, in my opinion. And who doesn’t like French toast? This first idea and printable come from Collette Bomsta at My Computer is My Canvas.

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This recipe comes with a twist! It’s also a scavenger hunt!

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I see two ways you can use this as a youth activity.

  1. Do the scripture scavenger hunt and make the recipe. Then freeze it and bake it for another night for a breakfast for dinner activity.
  2. Do the scripture scavenger hunt, make the recipe and then deliver it to a family for a service project.

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I would suggest pairing this with the next printable kit to make it even more special.

Easter Decoration Kit

This kit was designed by Bettijo Hirschi of Paging Supermom.

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This kit includes enough decorations for 12 table settings and a banner that says, “He lives”.

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My favorite part are the napkin rings. Each one has a scripture on it that tells the Easter story. You can read them while you are around the table and have a discussion about Easter, the Resurrection and what it means to you!

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Here’s how I would use this with the French Toast Bake:

  1. Use it to decorate for the”breakfast for dinner” activity I suggested above. Read the scriptures on the napkin rings and talk about what they mean to you.
  2. Do the scavenger hunt, make the French toast bake, cut out and prepare the decorations and deliver them with the bake to a family for service. This could take up to 2 activities by the time you cut everything out, do the scavenger hunt and make the French toast bake.

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How would you use these kits, combined or separately?

Want more Easter-related posts? Check out the #MyForeverFamily page!

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How to Teach Others to Do Family History and Love It

I love family history, which is why this year’s Easter campaign is so exciting to me. I love that they are encouraging people to get online and share stories and pictures of their deceased loved ones. This year, I’ve been working with some other LDS Bloggers to create resources to make your Easter celebration more meaningful and help you with your family history. You can follow along by searching for #MyForeverFamily on social media or keep checking on my #MyForeverFamily page.

How to Teach Others to Do Family History and Love It

This year, I attended RootsTech and took a class on how to teach others to do family history. I took a class about how to teach others to do their family history. I’ve helped other people learn to do their family history before and this class gave me a few new ideas on how to do this. I’d like to share with you the outline from my notes from this class.

  1. Prepare spiritually. Pray to be led to people who want to work on their family history and to be guided in your research. Pray to find those who are waiting to have their temple work done. This makes a huge difference in my own research when I offer a prayer before I get on Family Search. When I pray, I almost always find an ancestor who needs their work done. Also, pray when you meet with someone to help them with their family history.
  2. Discover their family history goals. Do they just want to learn how to used Family Search? Is there someone on their mind that they’d like to know more about?
  3. Get access to their tree. 
    • You can do this by getting their username and the last 5 digits of their membership number or their first and last name, birthdate and the last 5 numbers of their membership number. Make sure you explain to them what you are doing and get their permission.
    • Sign in to Family Search and go to your family tree. Look for the Help Others link in the top right corner and click it.

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  • Enter in the information in the form that pops up. You have two choices. The helper number is the last 5 digits of the person your helping.

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  1. Look for places where there is work available. Remember that you’re looking for something that will work well for a beginner. Places where you can connect records are ideal.
  2. Write down the pathway to the individual or family that you found step-by-step, so you can guide them to it. Have a couple other pathways for them to work on after you meet as homework.
  3. Look for records they can view and connect to individuals. Seeing the handwriting of an ancestor will help the person you’re working with to connect with their ancestor. Also, any record that provides details about what their ancestor’s life was like will also help them to connect.
  4. Look for an ancestor who has something in common with them. 
  5. Be open to using other family history websites in your research. They’re records vary from site to site. Check out my list of family history websites to try if you’re not sure where else to look.
  6. Listen to any promptings from the Holy Ghost. Heavenly Father knows where to find the people you are looking for!
  7. Prepare a step-by-step lesson plan using the information. Have a couple of back-up plans. This works best when they find work to do and feel successful!
  8. Celebrate their successes as you work together. 
  9. Keep it simple.
  10. Be available to help them after you meet with them to answer their questions and help them when they get stuck. 
  11. Point people to the temple. Is there someone who can do the work for these names? If not, maybe they should be left for someone else to reserve.

This post is part of a series of posts in the #MyForeverFamily campaign, a team effort of 15 bloggers to help you celebrate a more meaningful Easter. For more posts like this, click here. We will be adding links to this page until Easter, so check back often. 

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2 Ideas for Easter Gifts for Your Young Women

If you’re visiting from Sugardoodle, thanks for clicking through! I’d like to thank you for coming by, by offering my resource library to you! It includes helps for young women leaders, like a scheduling template for planning camp and youth conference. Please fill out the form below to get it!

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It’s a great Easter season at LDS Youth Leadership. In addition to the, #MyForeverFamily campaign, I am also participating in Sugardoodle’s #Hallelujah initiative. That means cool Easter freebies for you!

2 Gifts You Can Give Your Young Women for Easter

They’ve supplied LDS bloggers with 6 different “tool kits” to help us to promote Easter and the Church’s Easter campaign. I thought two of them were perfect for gifts to give to young women (or friends, family, neighbors and those you visit teach). I also loved the stories these two bloggers gave behind the Easter crafts they designed. I will share a little from each one.

Heidi Swapp

Heidi has created a set of 5 nested envelopes that walks you through the events of Easter. These envelopes are simple and beautiful at the same time.

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Here’s her explanation for why she made this project in her own words:

“I think it’s really my wish that everyone knows that they have a Savior. That our perfect older brother died for us.”

 

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Get the printable file here.

Instructions for how to put it together are here.

Melissa Esplin

This simple craft is a small candy box designed to look like an Easter egg.

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She included several symbols of Christ in her design including:

  • The plus sign is for the cross.
  • The scallops represent fish scales for fishers among men.
  • Palm fronds for victory over death.
  • Laurel leaves for royalty.
  • Three stripes represent the Godhead.

Get the printable here.

I hope you enjoy these and it makes your Easter a little more meaningful!

Want more Easter-related posts? Check out the #MyForeverFamily page!

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Whose Pictures I’m Sharing for the #Hallelujah Campaign

I mentioned a little bit in this post about my grandfather who passed away close to Easter and how much it meant to me to celebrate the resurrection the same time that I was mourning my grandfather’s death.

One of the things that we get to do as part of the #Hallelujah Easter campaign is to share pictures of deceased loved ones on social media. I love this idea! I have two deceased ancestors I want to share a little about in this post: my maternal grandfather and my paternal grandfather.

Lorne Nelson

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Lorne is my maternal grandfather. He was the only grandfather I knew growing up as a kid. He had a favorite chair that he sat in and I would sit on the arm of that chair and we would talk about everything. He loved to joke and tease and was known for taking his jokes too far. He loved cars and was often working on one of his projects. He was always cheerful. I remember him telling me to “be of good cheer, my dear” at a tough time in my life. He had a big garden and passed his love of gardening on to me. This Easter marks 10 years since he passed on. I still miss him terribly. I still catch myself remembering silly things he used to say and then realizing that he’s not here to say them any more. He always had time for me and made me feel special.  He had a gift for making us feel like we each had a special, unique relationship to him.

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He was a pioneer in the Church in his own right. He helped build the church building where he lived and was a branch president. He loved the gospel and taught me to love it as well. Here’s a picture of me with some of my family in front of it. It was so fun to see a piece of his personal history!

I look forward to seeing him again. I’m so grateful that through Jesus Christ’s atonement that eternal families are possible the comfort that brings.

Henry Roth

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Henry Roth is my paternal grandfather. He died in 1952 before I was born. He worked as a bartender. He was born missing one hand. In spite of that, he was a very good baseball player. He is special to me because he is the grandfather I have never known. The first time I saw a picture of him was about 3 years ago. I can’t tell you how much it meant to me to finally see what he looks like!

Since I never had the opportunity to know him in this life. Having eternal families means that one day I will.

Now, I have a challenge for you. Choose a picture of your deceased loved one, take a picture of yourself holding it and share it on social media. Use the hashtags #Hallelujah and #MyForeverFamily. I will be watching on Facebook for the hashtag #MyForeverFamily and will share your posts on my Facebook page.

Whose picture are you going to share for the #Hallelujah campaign? 

This post is part of a series of posts in the #MyForeverFamily campaign, a team effort of 15 bloggers to help you celebrate a more meaningful Easter. For more posts like this, click here. We will be adding links to this page until Easter, so check back often. 

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My 3 Favorite Quotes from Come, Follow Me, March 2016

This month’s Come, Follow Me theme is my personal favorite! The atonement means so much to me. It’s taken on a new meaning, as I’ve been studying the lessons to prepare to teach. Three weeks ago, I had knee surgery. I was expecting it to be a fairly small deal. We were fixing one, maybe two things and I was told I would be able to walk right after my surgery. I woke up from surgery, facing a completely new set of circumstances.

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The surgeon came in to update me on how the surgery went. He held up three pages of pictures of the inside of my knee and said, “Well, I found about five things to fix in your knee.” He proceeded to walk me through the pictures and explain everything he had done. Bottom line, one of the procedures would take 6 months to heal and I would be going home on crutches with instructions to bear 50% of my weight on my bad leg. It was way worse than I had expected and planned for.

I’ve found a great deal of personal peace and comfort studying about the atonement, especially how it can bring us peace during our trials. The quote from Sister Marriott stands out to me the most. “Yielded and still” has become a mantra for my recovery, as my pace has slowed both literally and figuratively. Slowing down is not easy for me. I don’t know yet what the Lord is trying to tell me, but I know there’s much to be learned from this experience. I know that I’ve been showered with tender mercies, like being in almost no pain. I’ve been healing and recovering quickly. My physical therapists say I’m ahead of schedule in my recovery. I’ve been blessed with friends and neighbors who brought me meals, visited me, checked on me and have given more than I needed.

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As tough as it has been, and will be for a little longer, I already see that I will look back and see some really beautiful moments where I have felt the love of God, especially through my friends, family and neighbors.

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How has the atonement strengthened you? 

11 Family History Websites You Should Check Out Now

Family Search is a great website for family history, but did you know that there are other family history websites out there that offer a variety of features that you won’t find on Family Search? They also may have records that Family Search doesn’t have. I find when I’m doing research, it’s good to try several sites to find records. Here’s a handful that are worth checking out:

11 Family History Websites You Should Check Out Now

  1. Ancestry. You are able to host your own personal pedigree charts. It also has records not available on Family Search.
  2. Mooseroots. This is a database of family history records. It has a really cool feature that will put together a timeline of your ancestor’s life with historical events and context included.
  3. FindMyPast. You can host your own family tree and they have their own database of records. It also has tutorials for different aspects of family history.
  4. MyHeritage. Create your own family tree and search their record database.
  5. Family.me. Build your family tree and access their record database.
  6. Puzzilla. Allows you to see multiple generations in a fan chart to find ancestors and those who need temple work. Great if you want to work several generations away from yourself.
  7. Find-A-Record interacts with Family Search as a search engine to help you find problems and available ordinances in your pedigree chart.
  8. Kinpoint also interacts with Family Search. It compiles a fan chart with dots next to names where there is research or temple work to do. The dots are color-coded based on what needs to be done, creating an to do list at a glance.
  9. All My Cousins interacts with Family Search and provides similar features to Find-A-Record and Kinpoint.
  10. Rootsbid connects family historians with people who live in areas where they need work done. You can post a project and people bid on it.
  11. Ancestor Cloud connects researchers with willing helpers and professional genealogists.

Bonus Tip: Here’s how to connect your Family Search account to their partners, if you haven’t already. 

  1. Click the pull-down menu in the top, right corner that says “Get Help”.
  2. Click Help Center.
  3. Scroll down to where it says “Partners” and click on it.
  4. Click on Our Partners
  5. Click the link to the Family Search partner you want to connect
  6. Click the button that says “Create your free account” and follow the instructions.

Do you have a favorite family history website that I didn’t mention? Please tell me about it in the comments! 

This post is part of the #MyForeverFamily Easter campaign. For more ideas keep checking our homebase page, we will be adding links until Easter!

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The Five Levels of Leadership: A Book Review

 

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The Five Levels of Leadership- A Book Review

Summary
The author, John Maxwell, walks the reader through the five levels of leadership and how to achieve each one.
Level one-Positional.  You’ve been appointed to a leadership position, but have no influence or relationships with those you lead. You have trouble getting people to follow you.
Level two– Permission. You’ve developed relationships with people, which means you have some influence over those you lead. People follow you because they want to.
Level three– Production. People follow you because of what you have done for the organization. Things get done and goals are reached.
Level four– People Development. You develop other leaders and empower others. People follow you because of what you have done for them.
Level five– Pinnacle. This is the hardest level to reach. When you’ve reached level 5, you develop leaders who develop other leaders. People follow you because of who you are and who you represent.

Overall rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Leadership Skill Lessons (5 out of 5 stars)
Aside from the five levels, there are a few key points you should know from this book.
  1. You are at a different level of leadership with every person in your sphere of influence. r example: To a brand-new Beehive, you’re a level 1 leader. As you get to know her and build a relationship with her, you can move on to level two and on.
  2. Every time you move to a new position of leadership, you start at level one. If you move on to a new calling, you start out on level one with those in your care. However, it’s much easier to work your way up the levels once you’ve done it before.
  3. Level one leaders have the hardest time working with volunteers, young people and the highly educated. These three groups of people tend to be more independent.
  4. The five levels are building blocks, rather than rungs on a ladder. You have to maintain what you’ve accomplished on past levels to make progress.
LDS Youth Leader Lessons
We all start out at level one when called as a youth leader. This can make it very difficult to lead the youth, because we, most likely, don’t have relationships with any of them. No relationships=no influence. No influence means that the youth are less likely to follow you because they are in one of those more independent groups I mentioned above.
To truly be an effective youth leader, you need to work your way to level four. One of our responsibilities is to teach the youth leadership skills. We are developing future church leaders. It doesn’t get much more exciting than this!
This means that the faster you progress toward level 4, the more effective you will be as a youth leader. He provides homework assignments at the end of each level’s section to help you to progress to the next level.
Did you read The Five Levels of Leadership? What stood out to you? 

3 Questions to Ask Before You Hold that Extra Meeting

Ah, meetings! We have a lot of them in the Church.  I love what Elder Ballard says about meetings. He quotes what he calls the fourteenth article of faith.

3 Questions to Ask Before You Hold that Extra Meeting

“We believe in meetings—all that have been held, all that are now scheduled—and we believe there will yet be held many great and important meetings. We have endured many meetings and hope to be able to endure all meetings. If there is a meeting, we seek after it.”

He then goes on to say, “We hope you do not have a fourteenth article of faith operating in your wards.”

A reasonable number of meetings should be happening to help keep things running smoothly and to keep everyone on the same page. Unfortunately, sometimes we look for reasons to hold meetings, rather than reasons to not hold them or ways to keep the number and length down. Certainly the work of the kingdom is important. It is also important that in all we do that we support and strengthen families. Two main objectives of every church organization are to bring individuals closer to Christ and strengthen families. Either one can be threatened by being too busy with meetings. If those two reasons aren’t enough for you, consider what President Uchtdorf says about being busy.

Isn’t it true that we often get so busy? And, sad to say, we even wear our busyness as a badge of honor, as though being busy, by itself, was an accomplishment or sign of a superior life.

Is it?

I think of our Lord and Exemplar, Jesus Christ, and His short life among the people of Galilee and Jerusalem. I have tried to imagine Him bustling between meetings or multitasking to get a list of urgent things accomplished.

I can’t see it.

So, when you find yourself looking at your to do list and feeling overwhelmed, please take a deep breath and pause to ask yourself three questions before scheduling an extra meeting.

  1. Can I put it in an email or take care of it with a phone call? If yes, do that instead. 
  2. Can it wait until the next scheduled meeting? If yes, put it on the agenda for the next meeting before you forget.
  3. If it can’t wait until the next regularly scheduled meeting, could it be dealt with in a quick huddle (5-15 minutes) after church or Mutual? 

Here’s how we handle our quick huddles- We let everyone know at the beginning of young women on Sunday or the beginning of Mutual that we need to have a quick huddle and we tell them how long it will be. As soon as our meeting our activity lets out, we gather everyone and stay standing while we talk. This helps us to stay within our time limit. We stick to the one or two items at hand and then we thank everyone and send them on their way.

What things do you consider before planning an extra meeting?