Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Self-Action Leadership Training for Parents & Families

The Most Important Leadership Positions in the World

Who are the most important leaders in the world today? And what are the most important leadership positions on the planet?  If you are like most people, you are likely to answer this question with titles like: President, Prime Minister, Queen, King, General, Admiral, CEO, etc.

It is true that these titles—and the men and women who hold them—are important because of the power they wield and the influence they extend throughout their respective domains. It is also true that such persons typically receive the most honor, glory, credit (and blame), as well as the most attention and fame (positive or ignominious) for their words, actions, and policies.

The purpose of this article is to argue that such titles—important as they might be, and seem—are NOT the most important leadership positions in the world today, nor have they ever been. Rather, the most important leadership positions in belong to a couple of far more common titles: MOTHER & FATHER.

"No other success can compensate for failure in the home."

~ David O. McKay

President Richard Andrus and his wife, Darlene, 
and me in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, 1999
Fifteen years ago, I was serving as a young missionary in Alberta, Canada. During one of my personal interviews with my Mission President, I was taught the importance of this parental principle of leadership.

During the course of my interview, we were discussing leadership positions and their importance. Knowing full-well that his title carried a vestige of prestige in my Church, my Mission President boldly and without any guile looked me straight in the eye and told me that the most important leadership position I would ever hold would be that of FATHER.

There was something in the way that this great man taught me this principle that left no doubt in my mind concerning his sincerity. This was not just some LDS cultural cliche he was parroting. Rather, he was communicating from the deepest fibers of his innermost soul what he earnestly knew to be true from his own experiences as a leader in both his profession and religion—as well as his experiences as a father himself. And I knew that he was telling me the absolute truth of the matter.

In 1979, Mother Teresa won the Nobel Peace Prize. When asked what individuals could do to promote world peace, she replied: “Go home and take care of your families.” That august sage of the Indian subcontinent understood the great truth that macro problems cannot be solved externally; they must be internally repaired, and OUR nation’s—or any nation's—greatest problems begin at home.

My beautiful Mama
holding me in 1980. 
From a rich ancestry to my own wonderful parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, in-laws, et cetera, I have always been a wealthy man in family. From conception to manhood, I was perhaps blessed most saliently because I had a remarkable woman for a mother.

When I think about my mother, I sometimes reflect on the words of Abraham Lincoln, who once said: "All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother." I don't think anything in this world more obviously approaches the divine than the sweet and precious interactions between a devoted mother and her newborn baby. One leader eloquently put it this way:
"When the real history of mankind is fully disclosed, will it feature the echoes of gunfire or the shaping sound of lullabies? Will what happened in cradles and kitchens prove to be more controlling than what happened in congresses?" [1]
I shouldn't speak for others, but as for myself, I firmly believe that my mother's commitment to bear and raise seven children is a far greater and nobler existential achievement than any 7-term Congressman or woman, as impressive as important civic achievements may be in the eyes of many, including myself.

My Family in 1982. I am sitting on my Dad's lap. 
Growing up, I was blessed to be part of a wonderful family who loved me. A healthy portion of their love was personified pedagogically. For example, they taught me right from wrong and supplemented the education I was obtaining at school or elsewhere with moral instruction and leadership. They also spent both quality and quantity time with me, and in so doing, treated their little brother with kindness and respect most of the time. And I love them all dearly for it.

My family is not perfect. Like any other family, we have our issues and shortcomings. For example, my own parents were divorced in 2004—after 37 years of marriage! I admit it is sad to think that my Mom and Dad won't be celebrating their Golden Wedding Anniversary on August 24th of this year.

My parents the day they wed
August 24, 1966 
Their seven children, including me, are also flawed human beings. We try to do our best, but we, like our parents, also fall far short of any definition of perfection.

No, we are not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but somehow, someway, my parents and family have been perfect for me, and I am who I am today in large part because of the extraordinarily positive impact they have had on my life. As such, I will always be eternally grateful my Mom and Dad got together back in 1966. After all, I wouldn't be here to write this article in 2016 if they hadn't! While they may not be re-enacting their Hawaiian Honeymoon together this August, I will certainly be celebrating the momentous event that special day was in my own life's story.

More than any other way, my family relations have positively impacted me EDUCATIONALLY. Because my family both LOVED me and TAUGHT me correct principles, it created a healthy scenario for growing up that made it almost impossible for me to fail in life.

Me as a baby surrounded by a loving Father & five
older brothers. How could I not succeed with such support? 
I think it is a general truism that good families beget good citizens who become successful self-action leaders that make the world a better place. There are exceptions of course. When you are dealing with something as volatile as unique human beings in possession of free will, individuals will always exist who choose to poorly exercise their free will to the detriment of themselves and others regardless of the familial love and support they may have had access to growing up.

Nevertheless, in the main, I believe that individuals in our society who fail in life do so largely because they lacked the absolutely essential moral leadership that comes ideally from a loving mother and father during a child's formative, childhood, and adolescent years.

Remarkable individuals will always exist who, lacking a firm foundation in family, find a way to succeed no matter what by proactively seeking out positive leaders and mentors they missed out on in their homes. But the vast majority of us are—and largely will remain—a significant by-product (for good or ill) of the seminal influence of our own parents and family.

Click HERE to read about Dr. Nathaniel J. Williams, a remarkable self-action leader who, despite being orphaned at age 5, transcended his difficult life adversity to become incredibly successful professionally and as a family man and Father of 8.

Because much of my work is autobiographical and autoethnographic in nature, I have gone to great lengths to chronicle my own self-action leadership journey, including the influence of my parents and family on my own educational journey. To read more about how my immediate family influenced my formative education both academically and morally speaking, click HERE and HERE. To read more about how an extended family member influenced my education, click HERE.

My Mom & Dad in front of an
early home where they lived. 
The most compelling teaching method my parents and family used to empower my own education was the moral force of their own EXAMPLES. My mother and father were intelligent, educated, hard-working people who knew how to communicate intelligently. They also knew how to get their hands dirty building things from scratch, cleaning, and completing other, difficult manual labor chores.

My brothers and sisters were also honest and hard working academically, athletically, and in anything else they pursued growing up. As I matured to manhood, I observed these examples all around me, thereby absorbing a steady stream of positive peer pressure to also work hard and make good decisions in my life and career. To this day, I continue to look to my parents and siblings as examples for how to best conduct my own life and career.

With this in mind, how can YOU as a Father or Mother (or future parent), best help your children obtain a good education, especially with regards to their character development, acquisition of life skills, and maturation as a leader? There are many good answers to this question. We at Freedom Focused are certainly not the only resource you can consult as you strive to meet this essential need. Recognizing, however, the incredible value of Self-Action Leadership oriented training that we received growing up—and aware of the success that applied training has brought us in our lives—my colleagues and I seek to reach out to help parents and families in any way we can to empower you with resources to teach your children to empower their success in life.

As such, ONE of the key audiences for which Self-Action Leadership was written is MOTHERS and FATHERS. Knowing there are no more important leadership roles in the entire world than that of Father and Mother, Self-Action Leadership was written in a way that can meet the needs of parents and families. Here's how...

An Educational Resource for Parents
Parents who are serious about teaching SAL Principles to their children can take the following steps to utilize the SAL Book and Master Challenge as a key resource in the character, leadership, and life-skill education of their children.

STEP 1: Read the SAL book yourself to become acquainted with the stories as well as the principles contained in the SAL Theory & Model.

STEP 2: Complete the SAL Master Challenge yourself to earn your medal and diploma. Your personal example will account for much more than anything you say to your children. The flawed mantra of, "Do as I say and not as I do" is pure parental folly.  

Note: If you have already completed life study and homework in the past that is commensurate to the SAL Master Challenge requirements and choose to "transfer your credits" so to say, make sure and share with your children the work you have done and how it helped you to become successful.

Click HERE to read more about the SAL Master Challenge.

STEP 3: Read the SAL book together as a family.

STEP 4: Complete the SAL challenge together as a family.

STEP 5: Work together to ideate and then draft a Family Declaration of Independence & Family Constitution.

Note: A Family Declaration of Independence & Constitution is a familial version of a Self-DoI and Constitution. Click HERE and scroll toward the bottom of article to read more about writing your own Self-Declaration of Independence & Constitution. Click HERE to watch a video of Dr. Jordan Jensen explaining the principle of writing a Self-Declaration of Independence & Constitution.

STEP 6: Periodically read passages, poetry, and stories from the SAL book as a family to derive further insight and inspiration as self-action leaders striving for Existential Growth.

STEP 7: Establish a period of time once-a-week (once-a-month minimum) when you will dedicate several hours to being together. Spend most of this time having fun, visiting sights or doing activities together, and eating treats. Spend a little bit of this time (e.g. one hour out of four in a morning, afternoon, or evening) teaching SAL principles and focusing on how to best apply those principles in family members' daily lives.

Click HERE to buy Dr. Jordan Jensen's book — SELF-ACTION LEADERSHIP

I invite Mothers and Fathers to email me to share HOW you are using the SAL Book and Master Challenge to teach your children. I look forward to hearing from you! You can reach me personally at jordan.jensen@freedomfocused.com

Note: This article is one of SIX articles in a special series dedicated to different AUDIENCES that Freedom Focused specifically targets with Self-Action Leadership training. We invite leaders and managers of these different audiences to click on links below to read the articles pertaining to your field or constituency.

Click HERE to access article for  BUSINESS PROFESSIONALS (Leaders, Managers, & Workers)

Click HERE to access article for  EDUCATORS  (Administrators, Teachers, & Staff)

Click HERE to access article for  STUDENTS & INDIVIDUALS

Click HERE to access article for PARENTS & FAMILIES


Click HERE to access article for PERSONS dealing with MENTAL ILLNESS


[1] Maxwell, N.A. (1978). The Women of God. (Public Address).


SELF-ACTION LEADERSHIP is the key catalyst for initiating transformational leadership that lasts in any organization. The truth of the matter really is that simple; and the transformation of organizations through the holistic development of individuals really is that difficult—yet altogether possible for anyone willing to invest the time, effort, and sacrifice required to achieve authentic, transformational results.

Unlike any training program that has ever preceded it, Self-Action Leadership provides a single vehicle wherewith individual self-leaders can discover—and then act—upon the great truth that HOLISTIC personal development and growth spanning the mental, moral, spiritual, physical, emotional, and social elements of our individual natures is within the grasp of each one of us.

Note: Freedom Focused is a non-partisan, for-profit, educational corporation. As such, we do not endorse or embrace political figures. We do, however, comment from time-to-time on historical or political events that provide pedagogical backdrops to illuminating principles contained in the SAL Theory & Model.

Click HERE to learn more about the SAL Theory & Model.

To receive weekly articles from Freedom Focused & Dr. Jordan R. Jensen, sign up with your e-mail address in the white box on the right side of this page where it says "Follow by E-mail."

Click HERE to buy a copy of Dr. Jordan Jensen's new book, Self-Action Leadership: The Key to Personal, Professional, & Global Freedom.

Click HERE to read more about Dr. Jensen's book, Self-Action Leadership, and to review what experts in the leadership field are saying about this groundbreaking new personal development handbook.

Click HERE to learn more about Dr. Jordan R. Jensen. Click HERE to visit the Freedom Focused website.

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