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Embracing the Role of an Effective Presider

Thoughts you might add to your Personal Identity Statement

As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we recognize the sacred role of a presider in our families. We strive to lead with love, compassion, and an understanding heart, cultivating an environment of unity and growth.

In the world of business and project management, there’s a concept known as ‘Agile Methodology.’ Interestingly, principles from this approach can offer invaluable insights for presiding over a family, enabling us to guide and nurture our loved ones more effectively.

The Agile Family

Agile methodology emphasizes adaptability, collaboration, and continuous improvement. It’s about responding quickly to changes, working together as a team, and constantly seeking ways to grow and improve.

These principles are especially pertinent to family life. As presiders, we can guide our families to be more ‘agile,’ fostering a culture of open communication, collective decision-making, and continual spiritual and personal development.

Defining the Vision

Every project in the Agile methodology begins with a vision. Likewise, as a family, it’s vital to have a shared vision centered on gospel principles. In the Marriage Repair Workshop, we call this a Marital Mission Statement. 

We encourage you to have a Personal Identity Statement as well in the Eternal Warriors 3.0 workshop.  This vision isn’t just about the ‘what’ of a family—it’s about the ‘why.’ We might see our family vision as fostering love and kindness, supporting each other’s spiritual and temporal goals, and building a home centered on the Savior.

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Creating the Roadmap

A product roadmap in Agile methodology is a strategic plan that outlines the steps or ‘sprints’ towards achieving the product vision. For our families, this could translate to setting specific family goals aligned with our shared vision. These might include weekly family home evenings, daily scripture study, regular service activities, and personal gospel study. As circumstances change, this ‘family roadmap’ can adapt, ensuring the family stays aligned and focused.

User Stories and Task Breakdown

In Agile methodology, ‘user stories’ help understand the user’s perspective, and these stories are broken down into tasks. In the family setting, this could equate to gaining an understanding of each family member’s hopes and ideal growth environment. 

This information can be used to identify ways to support and uplift them or in other words, build a GreenHouse. This approach fosters empathy and unity within the family. 

In a marriage we would call this Season 2.  This is where we can enjoy the fruits of our labors in Season 1: The Spring, where we planted and nurtured the seeds of our relationship in the ideal growth environment we created over time.

Never a Happier Time Book Cover
Understanding Velocity

In the Agile world, ‘velocity’ is a measure of how much a team can accomplish in a specific timeframe. In a family context, this could represent understanding our family’s capacity—recognizing the strengths, limitations, and unique characteristics of each family member.

By understanding this ‘family velocity,’ we can set realistic expectations, reduce unnecessary stress, and better support each other.  Our spiritual leaders encourage us to use the Pattern for Growth cycle: Discover, Plan, Act, Reflect to empower each of us as individuals to grow line upon line and precept upon precept. 

Our inspired leaders have told us that 1% growth is sufficient.  To be a successful presider, you must be both patient and diligent to support the ‘velocity’ or what sometimes looks like a lack of ‘velocity’ with yourself, your spouse and your children.

Creating a Family Release Plan

Just as a ‘release plan’ in Agile methodology outlines what is achievable in the short term, families can also set achievable goals and plans based on their ‘family velocity.’ This approach helps us stay flexible, allowing us to adjust our plans as life’s inevitable changes and challenges arise.  In our religion, we might refer to this as mercy. 

When we are working really hard on our own personal development, and things do go as planned, we hope those around us will have mercy and not be judgmental.  It would be wise for us to give these things to others, to the same degree we hope to get them from our Father in Heaven.

Embracing Agile principles in our role as family presiders can help us lead with vision, empathy, and adaptability. It’s about nurturing an environment where family members feel understood and supported, where goals are shared and realistic, and where change is not feared but seen as an opportunity for growth.

Remember, the most crucial aspect of being an effective presider is to lead with love.

As President Thomas S. Monson once said, “Never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved.” Agile principles, when grounded in the gospel of Jesus Christ, can help us live out that counsel and become the loving, effective leaders our families need.

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