The Five Levels of Leadership: A Book Review


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The Five Levels of Leadership- A Book Review

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?

8 Reasons Every Church Instructor Should Learn How to Teach Come, Follow Me

I’m in the beginning of my fourth year teaching Come, Follow Me and I’ve never regretted the changes the Church has made to the new youth curriculum. It’s completely changed how I see teaching in the Church and has helped me to serve my young women better. I find myself wishing that more people taught Come, Follow Me- style lessons. Here are some of the reasons I wish we taught this way church wide.

8 Reasons Every Church Instructor Should Learn How to Teach Come, Follow Me

  1. It helps the instructor focus on the needs of the students. We have the opportunity every month to get feedback from our class or quorum presidencies and parents about which lesson outlines are needed the most. If we are meeting needs, the students are more likely to be engaged in the lesson and not checked out on their phones.
  2. I learn more when I teach this way. Seriously, the answers that come from my young women teach me.
  3. It’s a great way to truly teach by the Spirit.
  4. You will be more focused on spiritual preparation. It’s the spiritual preparation that helps us gain the influence of the Spirit to help us teach. This is what helps us teach effectively and truly meet needs. It also helps us know how to handle questions and concerns that are raised in the course of the lesson by our students. You do not have to be a gospel scholar to be a great teacher.
  5. The discussions can be so much deeper. Have you ever walked away from a lesson wishing the instructor hadn’t ended the discussion so they could move on?
  6. You are free to cover as little or as much material as you feel is right for the lesson. It may not make sense to cover all of the Plan of Salvation in one lesson. It may make more sense to split it over two lessons and discuss it with more depth.
  7. The lessons always end with an invitation to act. We should be doers of the Word, not just hearers!
  8. Come, Follow Me is coming to all church organizations. The change could happen as soon as 2017. Wouldn’t it be easier to start learning this now?

Do you wish every church instructor taught this way? Why? 

9 Ways to Serve the Youth in Your Ward or Branch

I think sometimes as leaders we can get stuck in seeing those we lead as serving us, rather than the other way around. If we truly want to lead by example, we need to serve them. This will teach them to serve others and will help them to be better class and quorum presidents, parents, leaders in other callings and to be good human beings. With that in mind, here are some ways we can serve them.

9 Ways to Serve the Youth in Your Ward or Branch

  1. Remember their birthdays. All this takes is a short phone call or text. Gifts are nice, but not necessary. I once worked with a building custodian who when out of his way to ask me how my birthday was. It meant a lot to me.
  2. Help them to learn how to handle mistakes. They will make mistakes all of they’re lives. What you teach them about this can make life easier for them.
  3. Find out when their special events are, like concerts and plays. Go to them. We had a couple of youth Sunday school teachers who were so good at this. They’ve since moved away and our youth really miss them!
  4. Spend time with them outside of Sunday lessons and activities. For some youth, we may be the only positive adult role model in their lives.
  5. When they have an idea for an activity, listen and find a way to make it happen.
  6. Ask them what they think.
  7. Visit them in their homes. We once visited a young woman who was so excited that we had scheduled a time just to see her. Thinking about how happy she was to have us in her home just for her still makes me smile.
  8. Send them mail. Handwritten letters and post cards are a rarity today.
  9. Pay them a sincere and specific compliment. I did this once with a young woman and she mentioned it 6 months later in a lesson I taught about spiritual gifts. I had no idea it had meant that much to her.

What are your favorite ways to serve the youth? 

10 Times Young Women Leaders Really Should Read Handbook 2

When I was a new Young Women President, it took me awhile to learn how to use Handbook 2 to help me with my calling. One mistake I made every year was when we’d review the instructions for planning Young Women in Excellence and we’d realize that we were supposed to be helping our young women set goals all year to be prepared for it. Sometimes, what you’re looking for is not in the Young Women section and it takes awhile to find it. To make it easier for you, I’ve prepared a list of regular events where you should check to see what the Handbook says with the section number so you can find it. Any time one of these things happens, it’s a good idea to review the Handbook.

10 Times Young Women Leaders Really Should Read Handbook 2

  1. Plan New Beginnings (10.8.3)
  2. Plan activities. Section 13 is all about activities. I’ve used the purposes for activities in 13.1, as well as the purposes of the young women program  in 10.1.1 to help my class presidencies brainstorm ideas for activities.
  3. Train your class presidency. I use both section 3- Leadership in the Church and section 10- Young Women to help with training.
  4. Plan Girls camp. 10.8.6 is all about camp. 10.8.9 covers fundraisers. More details on fundraisers is in 13.6.8.
  5. Plan youth conference (13.4)
  6. Plan Young Women in Excellence (10.8.4)
  7. Train in presidency meeting. (3, 10)
  8. Have a young woman turn 18 (10.1.5)
  9. Have new Beehives that just turned 12 (10.1.15 and 11.4.3)
  10. Prepare a meeting agenda (Young Women Presidency Meeting 10.4.3 and Class Presidency Meeting 10.4.5)

What other times would you add that someone should read the Handbook?


6 Easy, No-Fail Ways to Release Control to the Youth

Many of us are control freaks. We’ve done all of this before and we know how to do it. We think it would be easier if we did it ourselves. It’s so much more work when the youth are in charge. What if they don’t follow through?

6 Easy, No-Fail Ways to Release Control to the Youth

Any of that sound familiar to you? Did you hear yourself in any of those statements?

If you did, you’re not alone and it’s not to late to make some changes. Here’s my list of easy, no-fail ways to release control of the youth programs to the youth.

  • Let them choose the themes for youth conference, camps, New Beginnings, Young Women in Excellence and anything else that requires a theme.
  • Pair a youth up with a leader to plan meals for camps and youth conference. They plan the menu and the leader takes them shopping for the food.
  • Ask your class or quorum presidency for feedback on which Come, Follow Me lessons they feel are needed the most.
  • Have the youth fill out the schedule for camps and youth conference. The worst that can happen is you will either run out of time to do the planned activities or you will run out of activities. These problems are easily solved by having the group vote on which activities are most important to them or by giving them some free time. You can also review the schedule with them before the event and ask them to add more activities or cut some activities out.
  • At the end of your Come, Follow Me lessons ask your class if they would like to spend another week on the same topic or move on to another one.
  • Have the youth start choosing the activities. You can start by giving them 3 or 4 options that are acceptable to you and then eventually move to purpose-based planning.

If this is something that is hard for you to do. I encourage you to choose one and try it out for a month.

What easy, no-fail ways have you used to release control to the youth?


Here’s What We Did for Mutual: January 2016

Here's What We Did for Mutual_ January 2016This post includes affiliate links at no extra cost to you. For more details, please see my disclosure at the bottom of my sidebar. Thanks for your support!


I thought I’d provide some examples of what activities look like when the youth lead. They’re usually pretty simple and inexpensive. Here’s what we did this past month for our activities.

What did you do this month for activities? How did you help the youth to lead them?



Young Women Activities: A Book Review

This post includes affiliate links at no extra cost to you. For more details, please see my disclosure at the bottom of my sidebar. Thanks for your support!

Young Women Activities_ A Book Review


This is a great catalog of activities and all of them are based on the young women values. Some of the activity ideas include:

  • Adopt a grandma
  • Christmas caroling in the Summer
  • Pre-General Conference Activity
  • Making a scripture file
  • Learning car maintenance

As you can see there’s a lot of variety in the activity choices. Each activity has the values listed with it, so young women could write it up as Personal Progress experience. There are 87 ideas for activities in all, so you could use this book for a whole year and still have some ideas left. This book is great for Beehives, who benefit from having a menu of options when it comes to planning activities. With Mia Maids and Laurels, I would recommend using this less often. This is an easy way to plan and carry out activities with a purpose. The girls could even identify a need and there’s a good chance that they will find an activity that is a good match for that need.

Overall rating 4 out of 5 stars

Leadership Skill Lessons


LDS Youth Leader Lessons

This book will help youth leaders work with their class presidencies to plan activities with a purpose and will help them get past getting stuck at the question: What do you want to do for activities?

Did you read this book? What did you think of it?

Get February’s book:

6 Reasons Why I’m Using the Mutual Theme Videos in Class Presidency Meeting

Have you checked out this year’s Mutual theme resources? I love them!  We have videos, articles and music you should go check them out.

One way I plan to use these resources is in Class Presidency to trigger ideas for activities. Here’s why:

  • Using something to trigger ideas always results in more ideas than asking what they want to do for activities.
  • The ideas will come from the youth.
  • The youth are more excited about carrying out activities based on their own ideas.
  • Using a church resource like this helps create purpose-based activities, rather than simply filling the calendar.
  • It will help activities to have a spiritual purpose.
  • It will help us support the theme all year.

How are you using the Mutual theme resources this year?