Jason D Durrant
My kids used to love to play “Telephone” when they were younger. If you’re like me, you certainly remember little voices whispering a phrase or sentence to the person sitting next to them, passed on until everyone has heard something. When the message arrives at the last person, they reveal to the group what they heard -- usually vastly different from the original phrase -- and everyone giggles at how the message has evolved and changed.
This game always reminds me that good communication isn’t easy. What we say might be misinterpreted or received in a way that we didn’t intend. Effective communication is a skill that needs to be practiced and developed. As I’ve been thinking about our cultural focus, I’m challenging myself to improve my communication skills and invite you to do the same. A couple ideas:
Compliment someone for speaking up and sharing an idea
Spend some time getting to know a member of your team better on a personal level
Practice “active listening”
As we embrace the value of open, candid, and clear communication in ICS, we can all follow the Savior’s perfect example of communicating with love and kindness. Thank you for all you do and have a wonderful weekend.
It was a year ago today that Pete Whiting and I left Bogota, flying home early from an operational review in the South America Northwest area. We had learned the evening prior that many countries, including the United States, were imposing travel restrictions and some were beginning to close their borders. As we scrambled to arrange flights, I don’t think either one of us had any idea what the next 12 months would bring.
This past year has been unlike any other. We have experienced great trials and suffering but have also seen many amazing miracles. My faith has been strengthened as I have seen the hand of the Lord in my life, the lives of my family, and in His work.
I am grateful to you and your teams for your focus and devotion during this time. You have delivered technology with the help of the Lord that has not only kept the work moving forward but has helped accelerate it in incredible ways. Your work has contributed to miracles in the lives of many. I look forward to the next year and beyond as we build upon the amazing things that we have learned through this experience.
During this coming week, I encourage you to take time to write down those things that you have learned and identify ways that you can sustain and build on them. President Nelson invited us to “do better and be better”. We do this as we continually improve ourselves, our work, and our solutions. I hope that you have a wonderful weekend.
Thank you for all that you do!
I had the opportunity to spend some time this afternoon with other temporal affairs Managing Directors and the Presiding Bishopric. Even though we had to maintain social distance and wear masks, it was great to be able to meet in person. Starting our remote work pilot is likely still a few months away. However, I look forward to being able to spend some more time in the office associating with many of you.
During the meeting, the Presiding Bishopric took the opportunity to review our vision and highlight a few of the guiding principles. As they discussed the importance of our roles in preparing the way, I was reminded of a story of a Naval fighter pilot who was shot down over enemy territory. He parachuted safely to the ground but was immediately captured and endured six years as a P.O.W. He was eventually released and returned home. One evening while he was out with his wife, he was approached by a man who knew his name, aircraft, and the details of his capture. When the pilot asked how he knew so much about him, the man responded, “I packed your parachute.”
As the pilot later thought about that man, he thought about the trust he had placed in him without even knowing him. And that had it not been for his hours of careful and precise work, the pilot wouldn’t be alive to meet him years later.
ICS’s stewardship is a little like packing parachutes. We are responsible and accountable for an important work and we each have skills, abilities, and talents that we must constantly improve to ensure big-picture success. We build trust when we do quality work that others can count on every time.
Over the next few days, I invite you to think about our vision and the guiding principles, which are the same as were sent yesterday from the Presiding Bishopric. They help us keep in mind the critical outcomes that define big-picture success. Please spend some time pondering ways your specific talents and job can better add value to the work of the Lord with that context in mind. Once you have identified several, choose one and build a personal action plan around it. I hope that it will be insightful for you and helpful as you complete your day-to-day responsibilities.
As always, thank you for being a vital part of the work,