"Follow Him. Lead like He leads. Bless as He blesses. Lift as He lifts. Love as He loves."
In his devotional address at the BYU Marriott Center on Tuesday, Elder Mark A. Bragg, a General Authority Seventy for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, emphasized the great need for Christ-like leadership in the Church.
“Whether in your family, in church or in the workplace, on teams or among friends, great joy is experienced in helping and lifting others and seeing them progress and find purpose. That is leadership,” he said.
Adding his witness to that of the late President Howard W. Hunter’s, Elder Bragg stressed the Church’s great need for future leaders who will build faith and defend the truth.
“Make no mistake about it, your loving and inspired leadership is needed in the Church and in the world as we prepare for the glorious Second Coming of the Savior.”
Elder Bragg taught that in the process of becoming a leader, individuals often get caught up with trivial matters, such as details, administration, challenges or vision. Ultimately, leadership is about serving, teaching and caring for others with kindness.
“It’s not about taking charge or being in charge but blessing those who are in your charge.”
Drawing from the account of the Savior’s visit to the Nephites, Elder Bragg shared three universal leadership principles that Christ demonstrated. If emulated, one’s ability to righteously and efficiently lead would significantly increase.
1. Focus on Individuals
During His visit among the Nephites, Jesus Christ took time to minister one-by-one to each individual. This is the first lesson of leadership, Elder Bragg shared, and it always applies.
“No matter the size or composition of your organization, it will always be a collection of individuals. Regardless of the quorum, class, team or organization… focusing on the progress of individuals will lead to greater achievement and more joy.”
2. Build Up and Teach Your Leaders
During this one-day ministry, the Savior turned at least ten times to the twelve disciples that He had called, and taught them about their callings and responsibilities. Elder Bragg wondered at how it would have felt to have Jesus Christ personally instruct and sustain you.
“As a leader, you are to lift others by teaching them what to do and why, and then building them up through sincere praise. If you can do that, productivity, effectiveness, growth and any other measurement will improve.”
3. Teach Repetitively
Elder Bragg reminded the audience that the Savior never shies away from repetition in His sermons or teachings, as “repetitious teaching cements in the mind of the learner the… doctrine.”
“He (Jesus Christ) never tires of teaching and reteaching the doctrine and principles that lead to eternal life. Neither should we!”
Testifying of Jesus Christ’s divine role as the Great Leader and the Master Teacher, Elder Bragg promised that those who follow His loving example of leading and teaching will lead fuller lives.
“His leadership lessons will help you be a better spouse, parent, coach, supervisor, friend, employee, teammate, neurosurgeon, financial planner, missionary or any other opportunity to interact with and lift others.”