Friday, February 27, 2009

Hoof’n’Mouth and Leaders

I don't suppose this happens to anyone else but I again find myself looking rather stupid because my mouth got away from my common sense module. Most of the time I can cover things up with a few choice words OR I can pretend it didn't happen and move on, but this time I have placed the foot squarely (or roundly) in my mouth and it won't come out. Thankfully, I don't notice that this malady has transferred to the next generation of my family so I can only conclude that my sweet wife has been able burn this pernicious fiend from the lives of our children. Anyways, my faux-paux was in my communications with the above mentioned sweetness of my life…I said something that was hurtful to her and it was not take-backable. I mean, I tried to take it back but it was already said and the hurt did not go away when I asked for it back. Being a rather insensitive brute and lacking many of the basic people skills necessary to make it through life without giving offense to many, I have done this sort of thing many times. I expect that someday (probably in the eternities) I will have a sufficiently protective barrier on my mouth to prevent these happenings…but in this mortal venue I am still prone to spew forth these little harmful things. My only hope is that the generosity of soul and largeness of heart contained in Teresa's persona will continue to forgive my weakness of character.

Recently there was a talk given by Hugh Nibley that surfaced on my desk and became the object of my interest. It was called "Leaders and Managers" and shared some of his feelings on the differences between a leader and one who manages. He used as his basic comparison the difference between Amalickiah and Moroni (of the captain variety). Where Moroni was interested in what was right and was seeking to bless all people, Amalickiah was only interested in finding a way to become the 'manager' of a nation. It was very interesting to compare the methods of each man and the results of their efforts, both in their personal lives and also in the lives of those they worked with. I think my main harvest from the experience was to understand that managers are concerned with what they get from their people and efforts and leaders are interested in how the people fare from their efforts. True leaders will do what is right, no matter what the political, business, monetary or other repercussions might be. It is the focus of 'what's in it for me' as opposed to 'how can I bless others.' That is why Joseph Smith, Christ and other great leaders were considered so special. But while Joseph was an excellent leader he may not have been the best manager because he was more concerned for people that he was for status or privilege. He was more interested in the heart and soul of the individual than he was in the status or wealth of his own life. I wonder what would happen if those who manage our country would change their emphasis and try to lead. Wouldn't it be nice to see something like that???

Some time this spring I believe that Josh (and maybe Heather) and I will be heading out on a fishing trip. That presumes that we are all healthy on the same weekend. We'll see!! See you next time.

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