Leadership for the Eternities

Becoming as He Is, Leading as He leads

          Leadership is generally defined as a process of social influence aimed at achieving a desired result. Recognized leadership expert, John C. Maxwell, has taught that, "the true measure of leadership is influence, nothing more, nothing less"(1). And President N. Eldon Tanner, former First Counselor in the First Presidency wrote, "Everyone is a leader or has influence in the lives of others even though he may not realize it. The question is: What kind of leader will he be? What kind of influence will he have?"(2)

          As a full-time missionary you were a leader (an influencer) regardless of whether or not you served in a mission leadership assignment such as senior companion, trainer, district leader, zone leader, sister training leader, or assistant to the president. "True leadership cannot be awarded, appointed, or assigned. It comes only from influence"(3). During your mission, with the help of the Spirit, you exerted powerful influence as you invited others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel.

          Now as a returned missionary, Heavenly Father expects you to continue to grow in your ability to influence others for good eternally. This requires a lifelong commitment to follow the Savior and develop Christlike attributes and leadership qualities. The greatest beneficiaries of your leadership development efforts will be those you will come to love the most--that is, your eternal companion and your children. In addition, your earnest attempt at self-improvement through the power of the Atonement will place you along the path of further leadership service opportunities in the Church and the world around you.

          The following resources contain principles of leadership emphasized in missionary leadership training meetings. They are included here with the intent of assisting you in your long-term effort to follow Christ and emulate His perfect example of leadership.

(1,3) John C. Maxwell, The Complete 101 Collection, 267
(2) New Era, June 1977

Recommended Resources:

Jesus The Perfect Leader by President Spencer W. Kimball (Ensign, August 1979)

Leading As the Savior Led by President N. Eldon Tanner (New Era, June 1977)

Your Personal Influence by President Thomas S. Monson (Ensign, May 2004)

What Manner of Men and Women Ought Ye To Be? Elder Lynn G. Robbins (Apr 2011)

How Do I Develop Christlike Attributes? (Preach My Gospel, 115-26)

Leadership the Lord's Way by Craig Merrill (Ensign, January 2012)

Principles of Leadership (Online Manual)

Leadership Training Library (2013 Worldwide leadership Training)

Other Resources:

The Five Levels of Leadership (John C. Maxwell)

The Disciple Leadership Program (BYU-Idaho)

Leadership (Harvard Business Review)

Leadership (Insights by Stanford GSB)

Leadership (London Business School)

Leadership Media Resources (Various Sources)